July 28, 2019

Bar Exam Evening Routine

What to do the night before the bar exam. How to stay calm the night before the bar exam. How to prepare the day before the bar exam. A lawyer's last-minute Bar exam tips. What to do in the 24 hours before the bar exam. How to fall asleep the night of the bar exam. Should you study the day before the bar exam | brazenandbrunette.com

Ready or not, here comes the Bar! If you're starting to feel like ugh let's just get this over with already!! then I have good news– you're ready! I know literally every single person reading this doesn't feel ready, and that's okay because you can never really feel ready or confidently prepared for the Bar. Just take comfort knowing that everyone in that room with you (even if they're licensed attorneys sitting for a new state) is shitting bricks too. 

Here's I get in the right mindset for the Worst Test Ever:

8:00 am - 3:00 pm

Before day 1, obviously on all the other days you'll be taking the Bar. Get groceries and meal prep for the week. Even if your school is providing lunch, make sure you have breakfast food ready and I really encourage meal prepping supper because you'll want good, normal food but won't want to put in the mental effort to even make a PB&J.

Do all your laundry. I laid out my outfits for each day on a shelf in my closet and had undies, pants, bra, shirt, & socks all ready to go for each day. I went with leggings (it likely will be cold), my favorite oversized shirts from college/law school, and my law school sweatshirt that I could take off if I got hot.

3:00 - 5:00 pm

Before Day 1, do a dry run to the Bar prep center to make sure you know where you're going. Repeat if it makes you feel comfortable. Double check that you have your Bar ticket, license, at least 10 pre-sharpened wooden pencils, and a big eraser in a clear bag. Check to see if the test the next morning allows highlighters or not and pack those if allowed. 

Prepare your laptop! Double check that you're allowed a laptop the upcoming day. Log in to make sure the software is properly downloaded and works. Practice logging in and out to make sure you remember your password for each day/bathroom breaks. Turn off your screensaver (to save time from logging back in) and set your display to always on. Go ahead and disable wifi because you can't have it on with Exam 360. Quit all apps and make sure you turn off all notifications and set your volume to mute. Open up Exam 360 and leave it open, shut your laptop but don't turn it off so you're all set up for in the morning. Test your charger to make sure there's no wiring out and pack an extension cord in case the plug near you doesn't work. Pack up everything so you don't forget it.

5:00 - 6:00 pm

Life as usual. Lounge around watching an episode of the show you've been secretly binging when you take study breaks. I recommend Crazy Stupid Love because a sub-plot is that she takes and passes the Bar. Eat a meal that will put you in a good mood (calories don't count during the Bar). Call your boyfriend or bestie and whine and complain that you have to do this, it's fine.

6:00 - 7:00 pm 

This is controversial because everyone on Barbi and online said don't study the day before the exam! but I actually did and I'm glad. I would've felt like a nervous sitting duck knowing that I was about to take a test over the law the next day and not actually look at any legal words. 

I get it, if you didn't know it by now then you're not going to learn it and cramming won't help. But I do feel like a light review of quickly looking through the Barbri "key cards" and flipping through my flashcards helped at least give me the feeling that I was doing something and the confidence to know "well if I fail, at least I gave it my best shot." I actually sent my boyfriend Ryan the link to my Quizlet flashcards and had him read the first side to me so that it didn't feel so lonely. Again, don't actually study, but I found a light review actually calmed my nerves.

7:00 pm

I turned all the lights off in my apartment by 7:15 pm before the Bar. Because it was summer, there was still enough light coming through the windows that I could walk around and see, but I wanted all the artificial lights to be turned off so my body would start relaxing, unwinding, and preparing for bed. 

I also took a melatonin at this time. I know that sounds ridiculously early but trust me you're going to be a ball of nerves from now til you fall asleep so it helps to have this already working to calm down your brain. Plus, you'll want the melatonin totally out of your system by the time you need to be getting up so you don't wake up feeling groggy. If you fall asleep easily naturally so you don't need melatonin or if you're super stressed and don't feel like you'll fall asleep even with melatonin's help, you can take a cortisol blocker (that's your stress hormone) to try to help your nerves enough to fall asleep.

7:15 - 8:00 pm

Bubble bath time for me. I went all out on the calming. Lavender candles, lavender bath saltslavender bath bomband lavender bubble bath. I soaked and inhaled and prayed and until I started to feel a little better. Then I took my time pampering myself with lotions and moisturizers to make it feel like a little spa night.

8:00 pm

Last check before the morning. Breakfast food is at the front of the fridge, car keys are by my clear bag with all my supplies, phone has a full charge so that it will for sure go off and wake me up even if the power were to go out in the middle of the night and also automatic updates are turned off to make sure your phone doesn't accidentally update/restart in the middle of the night and fuck up your alarm (true horror story from a co-worker's classmate), and a "just checking to make sure you're up/good luck motivational call" scheduled from your designated friend/family member.

8:00 - 9:00 pm

I laid down and read a book on my Kindle (lowest brightness possible) to help me fall asleep. Luckily, I was in the middle of Little Women at that time so while it was a good book, nothing was really too exciting that it would start to wake me up. I would read until I got tired and then the moment I felt a little tired I would stop, even if mid-sentence, and would pull down my eye mask and go to sleep.

If you don't like to read, I also really suggest the app HeadSpace and recommend you do one of the longer mediations to help you fall asleep. The guy has a really calming voice.


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