By the time the bar exam comes around, you have spent countless hours studying and preparing. You took a bar review course, did multiple-choice questions, and wrote practice essays. As the exam gets closer and closer, you may be wondering what you should do the night before the bar exam. Hint: it’s not cramming.
First things first, do not cram for the exam. If you do not know the information by then, there is a good chance you will not learn it that last night. Cramming is ineffective and can interfere with your long-term memory. Plus, studying the night before the exam will make you more anxious and stressed out, which is the last thing you need!
We understand that some people do get anxious if they don’t look over their notes the day before the bar exam. So if you fall into this category, look over your review materials during the day but try to stop studying by 1 p.m. and keep it brief. Look over your mnemonic devices and your review questions one last time. Avoid answering new multiple-choice questions or looking at new essays that will shake your confidence and stress you out.
The day before your exam you should be relaxing as much as possible. Avoid doing anything exam-related unless you need to. Try to talk to people who will remind you how prepared you really are for the exam. Do whatever you need to do to ensure that you will get a good night’s sleep so that you are feeling well-rested in the morning. You should do everything to ensure that your morning will go as smoothly as possible on the day you take the bar exam. Here are some things you should take care of the night before the exam so your morning is stress-free and you can go tackle the bar exam with confidence:
- Carefully read your jurisdiction's exam day references and security policy.
- Figure out the best route to your testing site. Make sure to have alternate routes in case any delays arise.
- If you are staying at a hotel that isn’t within walking distance of the test site, make sure you have a way to get to your exam in the morning.
- Plan your meals; know what you will have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Make sure your meals are healthy and energizing! If you’re not bringing a lunch, be sure to find a few options for lunch so you don’t go somewhere swarmed with other bar exam candidates.
- Find out about available parking at your test site.
- Check out your jurisdiction's dress code. Dress in layers! Being too hot or too cold can be distracting while you are taking the exam.
- Pack all you need for the exam: pens and pencils, snacks and water (if allowed), a laptop and charging cord (if applicable).
- If you need a laptop, make sure you test the software ahead of time.
- Make sure your exam ticket and your ID are in a safe place. And don't forget them.
- Set two (or even three) alarms to ensure that at least one will wake you up!
- Stay positive!
Relax, you got this!