I'm Having a Bar Prep Panic Attack! What Should I Do?

Bar exam freakouts happen. Here's how to deal with them.

Now that you're in the home stretch of studying for the bar exam, you're probably starting to feel the weight of the last few weeks and putting a lot of pressure on yourself to make the final study push.

With all the effort you've put in and the importance of the exam, it's perfectly natural to feel anxious or overwhelmed. In fact, we'd venture to say that anyone who has studied for (and passed!) the bar exam had at least one freakout or meltdown.

So what should you do if you find yourself experiencing some anxiety in the last few weeks? Try this:

1. Take a break.

When you start to feel a panic attack come on, it means it's time to take a quick study break. Trying to study when you're overwhelmed will not only get you nowhere, it will probably make things worse. Take some time to step away from studying, reset your mindset, and then dive back in.

2. Share what you're feeling.

Studying for the bar exam can be a very solitary exercise. You can feel like you're the only one who's having an anxious moment. Except you're not.

That's why it's important to get it off your chest: share it with a friend or family member and tell them how you're feeling. Often times just saying it out loud will help you process your emotions.

Also: don't bottle those feeling up. They usually end up resurfacing at the worst time (i.e., the week of the bar exam). So acknowledge them when they come up so you can move on.

3. Ask for a pep talk.

Reach out to family or friends and ask them to remind you that you're a superstar and have this under control. Just hearing those words from someone else is reassuring and can get you back in the right frame of mind.

Remind yourself of how much work you've done. Seriously, think about all the effort you've put in so far. It can be very easy to lose perspective when you're in the study weeds every day for eight weeks. 

Be confident in your preparation and you'll finish strong.


MBE and MEE Essay Flashcards that help you learn and memorize key bar exam concepts, effectively and affordably.

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