Relax. You’ve got this.
By the time Bar Exam Eve rolls around, you are as prepared to tackle the test as you are ever going to be. Avoid the temptation to spend your last hours cramming, because, for most bar takers, this will only result in increased anxiety and confusion.
The best thing you can do for yourself the day before the exam is simply to take a breather. You’ve put in the hours, done the practice questions, and pored over endless practice essays. Be confident that you did everything you could to succeed and visualize success. Having a positive attitude going into the test is really half the battle.
Many bar takers treat themselves to a day of relaxation that is completely free of all bar exam concerns. See a movie, get a massage, or simply meet up with friends for a nice meal. Being calm and rested will be crucial to your performance, so pamper yourself…you’ve earned it!
There are, however, some practical matters that you can take care of the day before the exam to ensure that everything goes smoothly on test day. First off, make sure to plot the best route to the testing site. Time how long it takes you to get there and plan out alternate routes in case of any unforeseen delays. Make sure you know where you can find parking if necessary, too.
Some bar takers choose to stay in a hotel within walking distance or a short drive from the test site to alleviate anxiety about arriving at the exam late. It’s also a good idea to avoid public transportation where possible, as the one day the buses or trains stop running will invariably be the first day of the bar exam.
Another thing you might want to consider is to scout out the testing site. If you can gain access to the room, it is a good idea to check out what the temperature will be, where the closest restrooms are, and what the seating will be like. You should also determine what your lunch plan will be, whether you bring your own or whether you can scout out a location that will not be swarmed with other bar examinees.
Getting a full night’s rest is important to maintaining mental acuity and focus, so if you have trouble sleeping before big tests, do what you can during the day to tire yourself out. Hit the gym, go for a run, even pull out the Wii Fit! You’re less likely to lie awake worrying about the exam if you are too tuckered to think.
Finally, make sure that you are fully conversant with all the rules laid out by your state bar examiners. Make sure you are dressed appropriately, have the correct writing implements, and that you do not mistakenly bring in a prohibited item that could result in your dismissal from the exam.
Stay focused, stay strong, and you will conquer the bar exam!