4 Ways to Conquer Exam Anxiety in Law School and on the Bar Exam
You can manage test anxiety by minimizing your exposure to triggers. Sit in the front so other examinees won’t be in view. Avoid scanning the room as you take the test. Use earplugs to reduce background noises. Ear plugs are permitted in many law school testing situations. Check with your jurisdiction—they may be permitted on your bar exam.
Recast Anxiety as Excitement
Both anxiety and excitement are highly activated states. As a result, it’s easier to shift your mentality from anxious to excited than from anxious to calm. Plus, getting excited has clear benefits. Excitement is a positive emotion with the capacity to boost performance. By contrast, anxiety is a negative emotion that drains your brain’s ability to process information. It’s corny, but tell yourself that you’re excited to take the exam.
Burn Off the Adrenaline
To address the adrenaline rush, try a few minutes of physical activity before an exam. Like a car burning gasoline, exercise allows your body to process and burn off the adrenaline. You’ll arrive at your exam better prepared to perform.
Second, make a mental escape to a place that’s free from stress. Visualizing a stress-free escape can help you disconnect from overwhelming feelings. Develop a sensory-rich mental image. Ponder what you see, hear, smell, taste, and feel in your stress-free place.
Finally, know that you don’t have to go it alone. A mental health professional can help you develop a plan to overcome test anxiety. Many law schools offer counselors who will partner with you in your journey.
Quimbee has your back in law school and beyond. Expert-written case briefs, outlines, and a practice-oriented bar review course give you the edge you’ll need to ace law school finals and conquer the bar exam.