How to battle bar exam stress

By Katy Eddy

Whether you graduated at the top of your class or barely made it through law school, studying for the bar exam has a way of making you feel completely inadequate, insecure and incapable of passing.

These feelings, which you’re probably already familiar with from your three years of law school, come back in full force during bar preparation. Everyone reaches their breaking point, a time when stress and anxiety fill you with the impending fear of not being good enough. The key to studying for the bar exam is to recognize when you are breaking so you can adjust your behavior and form successful habits for passing.

For me, the first breaking point came when I sat down to do my first practice “closed universe” Multistate Practice Test (also known as MPT) and spent the entire 90 minutes freaking out about how to structure my legal argument. After reading and re-reading both the file and the library and then attempting several drafts of a legal argument, I left my answer sheet completely blank. Here I was, a law school graduate, studying for the bar exam with every tool at my disposal, and I could not even formulate a topic sentence. I broke. Likely, at some point during bar prep, you will reach a breaking point too.

To see the rest of the story, click on the link to our special online edition, What it Takes to Pass the Bar Exam Today. 


Katy Eddy is director of Themis Bar Review for Connecticut and New York. She graduated from University of Washington School of Law in 2017 and is licensed in New York.