Five Tips for Dealing with Post-Bar Exam Anxiety

While studying for the bar exam, you might have thought you’d feel relieved once you took the test. Instead, many bar exam takers report feeling post-bar exam anxiety. While it’s normal to feel nervous about your bar exam results, don’t let those nerves become an obsession. These five tips will help you deal with post-bar exam anxiety. 

  1. Get out of “bar exam mode”

While you were studying for the bar, chances are that just about every other obligation you had was put on the back burner. Now that you’re no longer spending your days studying, take advantage of your free time! Spend time on your hobbies, visit your friends, and catch up on the household tasks you’ve been neglecting. Worrying about the bar exam once it is over is not productive, and engaging in other meaningful activities is a good way to help separate yourself from the emotions that naturally come with taking the bar exam. 

  1. Talk to your friends, but not those friends

Talking with friends is often a great way to connect over shared experiences. However, you might find yourself becoming more anxious if your friends constantly want to talk about the bar exam. It might also be helpful to disengage from any social media related to the bar exam or test results.

  1. Come up with a plan

You may find you can mitigate your anxiety by coming up with a plan for getting your results. Will you have a friend on call? Will you check your results at work or wait until you get home? Will you check results by yourself or with a family member or friend? No matter what you decide, it can feel comforting to have a plan in place for once results are available. It can also be helpful to come up with a “Plan A” (for if you pass) and a “Plan B” (for if you fail). This will help you feel in control of the situation either way, and ease anxiety as you await results.

  1. Remember that you do not need a perfect score to pass

While passing the bar exam is not easy, it is also not impossible. You do not need a perfect score to pass. In fact, depending on the state you are in, you likely need an approximate score of 60–70% to pass. So, if you are beating yourself up over an incorrect answer, remember that it is OK to answer some questions incorrectly. It is even OK to answer many questions incorrectly. You can still pass the bar exam with flying colors. 

  1. Confide in someone you trust

Feeling nervous about your bar results is normal, but it should not take over your life. If you find that you’re having a hard time dealing with post-bar anxiety even after trying some of our tips, you should try telling someone about how you’re feeling. That person may be a trusted friend, a neutral third party, or a professional. No matter what, remind yourself that you’re not alone in feeling nervous about your bar results.