Confidence is Key: Getting Mentally Ready for Exam Day

In times of high stress, it’s easy to think about our flaws or what we struggle with. We often even tell ourselves we aren’t good enough when self-doubt takes over. You’ve maybe never taken such a high-stakes exam that tested your insecurities.

If you’ve had these moments throughout your bar study and these thoughts sometimes crossed your mind – it is normal. However, it’s time to get mentally prepared for exam day and rid yourself of all negative or self-doubting thoughts.

  • Don’t confuse your thoughts with facts. Sometimes our thoughts don’t necessarily portray reality. When you tell yourself you can’t do something – it’s not reality. Remember the facts: you’ve studied; you’ve passed law school exams; you’ve participated in challenging clinics or internships; you’ve graduated from law school; and you’ve had the strength to face all of life’s trials up until this point. Don’t confuse your negative thoughts with facts. You CAN do this.
  • Talk to yourself in these final days. This is extremely important. Treat and talk to yourself like you would talk to anyone else about the bar exam – encouraging, positive, and confident. Just as you would tell someone that they’ve got this and that you are confident they will be okay, tell yourself this. Be nice to yourself during this time, because you deserve nothing less than that.
  • Be positive. I’ve said this in a lot of posts, emails to students, and aloud. Tell yourself positive affirmations. Let it sit there for 20 seconds before you move onto another thought. Don’t suppress negative emotions or thoughts, but instead acknowledge them and change your perspective. Don’t enter into an internal dialogue with your negative thoughts – simply acknowledge them and move on. Come up with 3 positive affirmations for every negative thought you have before test day. Write down 5 positive things each night before test day. Focus on the good, and you’ll be in the best mindset you can be in when you are taking the exam.

Your belief in yourself is so important during these final days. Start this reinforcement today.

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