Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

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Steve2207

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Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Steve2207 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:15 am

I hate to do this, but panic is starting to set in; so any advice would be appreciated!

I am sitting for the Illinois bar this Feb. (second time taker), and using Themis again for my free retake. Last time I completed 93% of the course, but BOMBED the essays and failed by a decent margin. This time, I have felt ok about this until recently, and now suddenly I feel like I am forgetting everything. Any advice on what I should do this final week before the exam, or on my likelihood of passing the second time out based on the details below? (I hear repeaters have a very low pass rate.)

Details:
• My mixed MBE numbers are typically hitting between 60% and 66%, with a couple highs of around 70 and lows around 50.
• I still feel lost with essays, but my structure has improved a little. (My Themis Grader this time is WAY too easy, and I do not feel that I am getting accurate scores.)
• My confidence is slightly better, but over the past few days, it is starting to decline, and my practice Q’s are reflecting that.
• Weakest Essay Subjects = Corporations, Partnerships, and Admin.
• Weakest MBE = Real Property, Civ Pro, and Constitutional Law (my understanding of Con Law is minimal, and I still cant seem to wrap my head around many of the concepts.)

Any advice or input on the likelihood of my success will be appreciated. I apologize in advance if this should have been posted somewhere else, but I am becoming very concerned and both my family and my firm are depending on me to pull through this time! Also am curious to know if the Feb. exam is any more forgiving with respect to the curve than the one in July. Thanks.

Mckay

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Mckay » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:07 pm

I know the stress can be unbearable. There is a ton of information and no one ever feels ready. If you can, remember panic is the enemy. You honestly cannot afford it. Once you go into fight or flight, you lose alot of your abilty to recall, focus and cognitively think. You can control the panic which should be your number 1 goal right now. Panic will take away everything you have worked so hard for. Take control of your thoughts and do not allow the negative thinking. Easier said than done, I know. At this point, you have put in the work and you are going to claim the reward next week. You have got this.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby NonTradHealthLaw » Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:56 pm

Sitting for Illinois as well as a first-timer having passed a different jurisdiction a few years ago.

It sounds like your MBE score will be solid. That allows you much more leeway on the essays where 2-4 points per will suffice. The name of the game is to avoid zeroes and to have a short memory for when things go awry. While I don't know if this is the case in Illinois, graders in other states report spending 45-60 seconds per essay. By using the appropriate buzz words, road signs, IRAC, etc., you're far more likely to get the benefit of the doubt. There are WAY WAY WAY too many subjects to become an expert on. I think at this point, particularly in the IL/MEE subjects focus on buzz words and a couple essay topics that seem manageable. This will build your confidence and allow you to put something down on paper, even if it only gets you one or two points.

Commercial Paper - Holder in Due Course
Secured Transactions - Perfection, Attachment, Priorities
Corporations - Agency liability, piercing the corporate veil
Personal Property - bailor/bailee liability
Admin - Adjudicative hearings
Equity - TRO and Injunctions while giving a nod to constructive trusts (value increases) or equitable lien (value decreases)

Give yourself permission to say "eff it" if the question has a Part 7 that asks for below-the-line tax implications of a fraudulent gratuitous suretorship. Sometimes questions like that are deliberate monkey wrenches to prevent you from getting gimme points asking you to analyze whether a battery occurred.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby LockBox » Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:03 pm

There is some good advice here already. All I will add is that you have to realize that the stress is a part of this process. It would be different exam if it was offered every other week, wouldn't it? But that pressure goes with practice as well. So, you have to get yourself to a position where you can let your best work come out.

Further, there is a problem if you feel like you should "know everything." This isn't some college class final where you can go in and destroy it - it's the bar. So, much like being prepared to run a marathon, you have to rely on the work you've already done. Treat each essay as if it were a case and you were sitting in your office trying to figure it out.

Good luck.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby CalBar3Day » Tue Feb 14, 2017 4:10 pm

It's natural to feel stressed out and have anxiety going into the bar. The studying is brutal, having no life for a few months is brutal, the test is brutal, and the waiting is brutal. But the one thing you need to remember is that no matter what happens, you gave it your best shot. There are more things that can happen that are far worse than failing a bar exam so as hard as it may be, walk into that test with the mindset that whatever the outcome YOU WILL BE OK. Be proud of yourself that you made it this far and that you are taking this test. Most people don't even get to this point.

Breathe. Hang in there.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby rcharter1978 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:33 pm

The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby happyhour1122 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:55 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.



I agree with this.
I failed my first bar and I'm doing ok.
Feb exam coming up, people have been sending text messages reminding how sorry they are for my situation.
But...really? I am not in a bad situation....

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Tim123 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 8:54 pm

.. :roll: :shock:
Last edited by Tim123 on Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Steve2207

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Steve2207 » Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:31 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.



Thanks for the input, and to everyone else thank you as well. I mainly feel like my back is against the wall because I am afraid of losing my job, and my family needs me for financial support. When I failed the first time, I had to go tell the Partners I didnt make it, and we literally had a meeting the very day the results came out about some of the case assignments I would be getting.

I am afraid that failure will mean the door. I am still trying, but this last week hasn't felt very productive. I am keeping the pace with Themis, but it still isnt coming together that well. Hopefully, I will get into the zone soon!

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby reasonable_man_03 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 9:55 am

Steve2207 wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.



Thanks for the input, and to everyone else thank you as well. I mainly feel like my back is against the wall because I am afraid of losing my job, and my family needs me for financial support. When I failed the first time, I had to go tell the Partners I didnt make it, and we literally had a meeting the very day the results came out about some of the case assignments I would be getting.

I am afraid that failure will mean the door. I am still trying, but this last week hasn't felt very productive. I am keeping the pace with Themis, but it still isnt coming together that well. Hopefully, I will get into the zone soon!


A lof of good advice has already been given here. I would just add one thing: focus on what you know rather than worrying about what you dont know or could have known better. Fear of failure is only natural before the big day but keep at it and have faith. You will make it through.

Mckay

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Mckay » Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:25 am

I will say a prayer for you today for a calm heart and calm mind. Good luck to you! We all want to hear when you pass!

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby mvp99 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 12:03 pm

Watch comedy movies. I felt the same way and passed by a wide margin.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Steve2207 » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:16 pm

Mckay wrote:I will say a prayer for you today for a calm heart and calm mind. Good luck to you! We all want to hear when you pass!



THANK YOU! I appreciate the gesture! I am doing better with the nervousness today, and trying to focus on practice questions and then review through the evening.

My plan was to study a bunch of essay topics these final days, but now I have decided that it may be best to go over Con Law pretty hard and get a grasp on it since its likely to come up on the MEE. There are also some particular points in Civ Pro and Real Property that I need to get a better grasp on as well. As for the essay topics, it will have to just be the luck of the draw. I think I have at least a minimal understanding in most the essay topics, except for maybe Corporations and Partnerships. Anyone have any thoughts on this new strategy??

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby pleasepass » Wed Feb 15, 2017 3:39 pm

Embrace it. No one that walks into a bar exam isn't nervous, and if they say otherwise, they're full of it.

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BVest

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby BVest » Wed Feb 15, 2017 4:57 pm

Focus on what you need to do now. Here are a couple posts I've put up in the past:

BVest wrote:Okay gang, you're one week out. In studying, you know by now where you're in good shape and you know what you still have to work on. This thread is not about that. This is about the other shit you need to do between now and then.

(1) Go the fuck to sleep. No more studying until 3 AM, even if you feel like you're more productive at that time. Guess what time the bar examiners don't let you take the exam: 3 AM. So if you're still sleepy at 6:30 or 7 AM when you need to be getting out of bed on test days, you're going to have trouble focusing. Fix your schedule now.

(2) Plan your route. This consists of two things: (i) follow the route to the exam location at any point in the day; and (ii) look up the route on google maps putting in your desired arrival time so you have some sense of how long the route will take during morning traffic.

(3) Plan your meals. Don't waste any brain power during the week of the exam trying to decide what to eat. Decide now what you're going to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus snacks, on exam days and be sure you have it in your house. And make your breakfast and lunch the night before each day.

(4) Plan your attire. I'm serious. Set your clothes out in two (or three if you're in a three-day state) stacks so that you can just go to the Tuesday stack that morning without any thought whatsoever.

(5) Plan your day. Make a separate list of all the things you need to take with you for each day. This includes your test supplies (pencils/pens), laptop, admission ticket, ID, and food. Put each list under that day's pile of clothes, so when you get fully dressed your list is staring back at you.

(6) Schedule your sleep. Work backwards from what time you have to wake up to get to the exam center in a timely fashion. Allow no less than 7-8 hours in bed, so even if you have a hard time falling asleep you should get a decent rest. At this point rest has a much higher marginal value than sleep. If this means you have to be in bed by 11, then go to bed at 11.

(7) Don't Panic. Panic is counterproductive. Yeah, I know "That's easy to say but not to do." But if you plan how to deal with panic, then you just go to your plan -- Even if you're completely stumped, just start typing something that makes sense to you and move on. And always watch the clock.


And here's what my pre-set daily stacks looked like:

BVest wrote:On Sunday or Monday, set up your stuff to reduce the amount of non-bar thinking you'll have to do on test days. I could go into detail but it's easier to just show you:

Image


eta: The stickied thread on how to BS essays is good. Here's my take on it:

If a question on the exam is outside your ken, well that's the luck of the draw, but a lot of people are in the same boat you are so just take 5-10 seconds to relax and not panic, make up the law, and answer the question using that.

How to make up the law: (1) Decide what the fairest result would be. (2) Make up a general rule that sounds good. If your general rule would result in the case coming out in favor of your pre-determined fairest result (3a) make up an exception to the general rule that will not be applicable in this case. If your general rule would prevent your fairest result, (3b) make up an exception to the general rule that applies to these facts. (4) State and apply your made up law and exception to the case in proper CRAC/CIRAC form.

Being cool and calm about making up the law is critical. There will be at least one question where you have no clue. Maybe more. You're not alone. Whatever you do, don't spend more time on that question than the exam has allotted. That is, if you're taking the MEE, don't spend more than 30 minutes on a question you don't actually know the answer to and are just BSing. That takes away time you could be spending on questions you DO know the answer to, and even though BSing will get you points, you're going to get a lot more points answering the questions you do know than you are answering the questions you don't
Last edited by BVest on Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:53 am

Steve2207 wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.



Thanks for the input, and to everyone else thank you as well. I mainly feel like my back is against the wall because I am afraid of losing my job, and my family needs me for financial support. When I failed the first time, I had to go tell the Partners I didnt make it, and we literally had a meeting the very day the results came out about some of the case assignments I would be getting.

I am afraid that failure will mean the door. I am still trying, but this last week hasn't felt very productive. I am keeping the pace with Themis, but it still isnt coming together that well. Hopefully, I will get into the zone soon!


Not to be crass, but that is the beauty of having a plan B.

Have a plan for what would happen if you were to lose your job. Once you think it through a little, you'll realize that its not the end of the world, its the end of a job.

Your family needs your financial support, so if you lose your job maybe you'll drive for uber for a few months while you study, maybe you'll take temp/contract work while you study, maybe you can make unemployment work, maybe someone else can take up the slack for 3-6 months, maybe your living situation will have to change. None of those things is the end of the world.

Thinking of my plan B just took so much stress off of my shoulders.

Though I think you'll probably feel fine. I was convinced I didn't pass the second time I took the exam. I remember that results were released online Friday, May 13 and people were like "did you check, did you check?" and I was like "whats the point of checking, I know I failed, I'll just wait to get the fail letter on Monday so I can see if my scores went up this time."

I almost had a heart attack when I opened up the letter and the first word I saw was "delighted," because hot damn, no one is ever delighted to tell you you failed the damn bar exam.

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby Steve2207 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:14 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:
Steve2207 wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.



Thanks for the input, and to everyone else thank you as well. I mainly feel like my back is against the wall because I am afraid of losing my job, and my family needs me for financial support. When I failed the first time, I had to go tell the Partners I didnt make it, and we literally had a meeting the very day the results came out about some of the case assignments I would be getting.

I am afraid that failure will mean the door. I am still trying, but this last week hasn't felt very productive. I am keeping the pace with Themis, but it still isnt coming together that well. Hopefully, I will get into the zone soon!


Not to be crass, but that is the beauty of having a plan B.

Have a plan for what would happen if you were to lose your job. Once you think it through a little, you'll realize that its not the end of the world, its the end of a job.

Your family needs your financial support, so if you lose your job maybe you'll drive for uber for a few months while you study, maybe you'll take temp/contract work while you study, maybe you can make unemployment work, maybe someone else can take up the slack for 3-6 months, maybe your living situation will have to change. None of those things is the end of the world.

Thinking of my plan B just took so much stress off of my shoulders.

Though I think you'll probably feel fine. I was convinced I didn't pass the second time I took the exam. I remember that results were released online Friday, May 13 and people were like "did you check, did you check?" and I was like "whats the point of checking, I know I failed, I'll just wait to get the fail letter on Monday so I can see if my scores went up this time."

I almost had a heart attack when I opened up the letter and the first word I saw was "delighted," because hot damn, no one is ever delighted to tell you you failed the damn bar exam.



Thanks. I guess you do have a point, although maybe not what I wanted to hear. Still feeling slightly better and as calm as I can be, but trying to do my best. I keep worrying that all the essays will be on all of my worst topics/ subtopics, and that I will somehow do worse than I did last time if thats possible. Con Law will almost definitely come up and that has me very anxious.

Did you take the Illinois Bar, or was it another district?

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Re: Advice for Final Stretch Anxiety? Feb. 2017

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:19 pm

Steve2207 wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:
Steve2207 wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:The one thing that helped me to manage my stress was to have a plan B.

Basically, what would be the very worst thing that would happen if I didn't pass? I looked up famous bar failures, and realized that not only does life go on, but life can be pretty damn good, even if you fail the bar. A Supreme Court justice failed the bar, two first ladies failed the bar, a former POTUS failed the bar. All of these people failed the bar and went on to find incredible success.

Once I realized that failing the bar wasn't the end of the world....facing it wasn't the end of the world. I knew if I failed that I would change some study habits and try again. Maybe I would get a job, maybe I would take it in a different jurisdiction. Having that plan B took so much stress off of me.

When you feel like you ABSOLUTELY MUST pass the bar, I think it puts so much more stress on you. Even without a plan B, preparing for the bar exam is a stressful challenge.

However, mileage will vary and maybe some people have to think that failure is not an option or they won't try as hard. But for me, that thinking just put so much more pressure on me and it would make it almost unbearable.



Thanks for the input, and to everyone else thank you as well. I mainly feel like my back is against the wall because I am afraid of losing my job, and my family needs me for financial support. When I failed the first time, I had to go tell the Partners I didnt make it, and we literally had a meeting the very day the results came out about some of the case assignments I would be getting.

I am afraid that failure will mean the door. I am still trying, but this last week hasn't felt very productive. I am keeping the pace with Themis, but it still isnt coming together that well. Hopefully, I will get into the zone soon!


Not to be crass, but that is the beauty of having a plan B.

Have a plan for what would happen if you were to lose your job. Once you think it through a little, you'll realize that its not the end of the world, its the end of a job.

Your family needs your financial support, so if you lose your job maybe you'll drive for uber for a few months while you study, maybe you'll take temp/contract work while you study, maybe you can make unemployment work, maybe someone else can take up the slack for 3-6 months, maybe your living situation will have to change. None of those things is the end of the world.

Thinking of my plan B just took so much stress off of my shoulders.

Though I think you'll probably feel fine. I was convinced I didn't pass the second time I took the exam. I remember that results were released online Friday, May 13 and people were like "did you check, did you check?" and I was like "whats the point of checking, I know I failed, I'll just wait to get the fail letter on Monday so I can see if my scores went up this time."

I almost had a heart attack when I opened up the letter and the first word I saw was "delighted," because hot damn, no one is ever delighted to tell you you failed the damn bar exam.



Thanks. I guess you do have a point, although maybe not what I wanted to hear. Still feeling slightly better and as calm as I can be, but trying to do my best. I keep worrying that all the essays will be on all of my worst topics/ subtopics, and that I will somehow do worse than I did last time if thats possible. Con Law will almost definitely come up and that has me very anxious.

Did you take the Illinois Bar, or was it another district?


California.

I'm not saying you won't pass. You very likely will pass. But you can't get in your own head. I wouldn't worry too much about the essays. It makes sense to worry, but its unlikely that you've studied hard and nothing you're comfortable with will be an essay topic.

And at least in California you could still do crappy an essay and still pass.



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