Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Knickerblocker
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Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby Knickerblocker » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:24 pm

Wanted to ask the past exam takers about their exam day experience (preferably unpleasant :mrgreen: ) or if you know someone who experienced something of that sort and tips on how to maybe prevent them from happening. Just preparing for the worst case scenario.

redsox550
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby redsox550 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:57 am

NY bar has /(had?) MC mixed with essays first day, i thought it was MC + 2 essays. it was MC + 3 essays. i skipped an entire essay. double check the format.

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Slytherpuff
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby Slytherpuff » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:15 am

redsox550 wrote:NY bar has /(had?) MC mixed with essays first day, i thought it was MC + 2 essays. it was MC + 3 essays. i skipped an entire essay. double check the format.

NY doesn't have this format anymore - it's now a UBE state.

r.a.t.keurig.machine
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby r.a.t.keurig.machine » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:22 pm

Be smart about what you eat in the days surrounding the bar exam. Milder foods are less likely to cause digestive issues on test days.

When I took the TX bar a few years ago, one of the people in my section had horrendous flatulence throughout the MBE. He must have left his seat a dozen times to run to the bathroom. The next morning (essay day) we asked him what the hell happened. Turns out, he had day-old, unrefridgerated Taco Bell leftovers for breakfast. I have no idea whether he passed or not, but I can't imagine the frequent bathroom breaks did him any favors on his MBE score.

Tiredbuthappyitsover
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby Tiredbuthappyitsover » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:42 pm

Like another poster mentioned, eat smart. Also please be as well-rested with sleep as you can. This one's out of your control, but be as HEALTHY as you can. I had a cough the first time I took the bar exam, and it was terrible trying to suppress it during the MBE-so awful. Even though you're thinking while writing, don't stare up at the ceiling or anywhere else while you're pondering how to answer an essay question for example-I did that a few times and got paranoid the proctors were suspicious of me even though I was doing nothing wrong (and my paranoia made sense, they were staring at me during that time lol and it was a bit of a distraction).

Block out all noise while taking the test, especially when you're in a big room/auditorium it will happen. There were people with high heels and boots walking around clicking their feet, people coughing and clearing their throats, etc. Best prep to get yourself used to the noise is to do some practice questions sitting in a quietly nosy coffee shop or something....you have no idea how much that helped me and didn't drive me crazy on test day when things weren't extremely quiet around me!

Also follow all the proctors' instructions very carefully-they can be really specific at times. Follow all directions on the test, stay focused, and stay calm. And budget your time right, and if you don't know something make your best educated guess/answer. You can do it!

Barrred
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby Barrred » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:18 pm

My friend had his computer run out of batteries in the middle of the essays a few years back and had to write the rest by hand. He had his charger plugged into his computer, but it turned out that the power strip to the entire row wasn't working. This was before it was obvious whether your computer was charging or not. (He still passed).

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SmokeytheBear
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby SmokeytheBear » Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:26 pm

CA bar exam. Cracked the essay booklet on morning of Day 3 and the woman next to me start crying. I was feverishly outlining by hand, and she started crying louder. After several minutes of crying and turning the few pages we had, she finally went to the bathroom for ten minutes.

Two takeaways:

1. FOR THE CRIER: You always know something. If for some reason you freeze and blank on the law, you should at least be able to spot the subject (e.g. civ pro, evidence, contracts, etc). You know something about each so just start writing and something will come to you. If it's civ pro, just start with analyzing personal jx. If it's contracts, just start writing whether its sale of goods or not, then analyze offer, acceptance, consideration. Each essay is going to have the basic components of the topic, which you should at least know from 1L. It's enough to be dangerous. Just start writing and then the rest will come. Don't freeze and cry--it's a downward spiral.

2. FOR THE CRIER ADJACENT: Bring ear plugs. Block out everyone else. QB1. Eye of the tiger.

mimim8
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby mimim8 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:32 pm

A few, given that I've taken 2 bar exams and I'm on my way to my third (I am lucky that I always move to a place with no reciprocity)

Arrive with plenty of time to spare and go directly to your assigned seat. This is no time to feed on other people's anxiety. Say hi to your friends and move along.

When I took the Fl bar in 2012, I skipped a question in the MBE and ended up filling out bubbles in the wrong row for about 15-20 questions down. Luckily I noticed, but this of course gave me an anxiety surge I didn't need. It was all good in the end but just be super aware. You will be anxious and nervous and prone to make silly mistakes like that so just be on the lookout!

Be respectful of other people . Maybe you're feeling good after a morning session or bad, but be mindful that everyone is on the same boat. Your celebration can send someone on a downward spiral, or vice versa.

Do noooot check your past answers during lunch. Unless you're doing it just to make sure you're clear if some variation gets asked again and you're ok with finding out you were wrong. I had a friend that was checking her outlines to see if she had answered correctly, started crying, didn't even eat lunch and was late to the afternoon session. This is no condition to enter part 2. Do not let the morning throw you off whatever happens.

mds79
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby mds79 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:27 pm

mimim8 wrote:When I took the Fl bar in 2012, I skipped a question in the MBE and ended up filling out bubbles in the wrong row for about 15-20 questions down. Luckily I noticed, but this of course gave me an anxiety surge I didn't need. It was all good in the end but just be super aware. You will be anxious and nervous and prone to make silly mistakes like that so just be on the lookout!


OMG, I did this on the July 2016 MBE! I didn't realized that I'd mis-bubbled a question for almost an entire column on the answer sheet. I only caught the error because I'd gotten into a habit of circling the answer in the booklet and then checking my answer sheet against it every couple of dozen questions. Which is actually a good tip for the exam. :)

mimim8 wrote:Do noooot check your past answers during lunch. Unless you're doing it just to make sure you're clear if some variation gets asked again and you're ok with finding out you were wrong. I had a friend that was checking her outlines to see if she had answered correctly, started crying, didn't even eat lunch and was late to the afternoon session. This is no condition to enter part 2. Do not let the morning throw you off whatever happens.


I think this is a really good point, and I'd expand it to the entire exam. For your own mental health, it's just not productive to revisit your answers when a session is over and you have more coming. I wouldn't even discuss them with friends or listen to anyone else discussing theirs! Once you turn in your answer sheet there is absolutely nothing you can do to change your answers, so just don't obsess about them.

Of course, after the exam is over you're entitled to a meltdown, but a least you give yourself the best shot you can during the exam. :lol:

AspiringCALawyer
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby AspiringCALawyer » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:26 am

Bite your tongue in stressful situations.

I was traveling on United (pre passenger dragging incident) to LA in July 2016 to take the California bar exam and was hoping to be able to do a little studying during the 4 1/2 hour flight. No such luck when I got stuck sitting next to a mother with a lap child. The year-old baby was fussy and animated such that she would often hit me during her giggle sessions. After awhile, that gets annoying and my expressions of annoyance directed at them obviously showed my displeasure with the situation, although I never said anything.

I tried to distract myself with music; however, at one point I noticed the mother speaking to me. I didn't hear what she had said due to my earbuds. When I took one out I asked her what she had said. Her response, "did I stutter?" She was offended that I kept giving her baby the side eye and cursed me out. After all, she was only a year old and wasn't doing it on purpose. Plus, what did I expect by sitting in the last section. I should've sat "up there." I was in row 38 so if she meant first class, that was very far from where we were sitting. Fortunately, this happened in the last 20 minutes of the flight.

She got so loud that other passengers even starting turning around. There was so much I could've said; however, I refused to engage in such discourse with this person and put my earbuds back in. I didn't want to see myself online arguing with a fellow passenger. Plus, I certainly didn't want to risk getting arrested, which would've hampered my ability to show up for the bar exam (or later pass character and fitness scrutiny).

Final Thoughts:

I certainly understand all the angst involved in this endeavor. I took CA bar twice in 2016 and failed both times. Despite this failure, at least I achieved one goal this year by moving back to CA in April. Once I get a job and save some money, I hope to retake next year and be successful this time.

In my job hunting, I was amused by a job posting I saw today for a temporary job I couldn't apply for: Exam Proctor. Although it didn't mention what exam (in Santa Clara) the work was for during the last week of July, I know it's the bar exam by the job description and the exclusion of any candidates with a law background.

GOOD LUCK ON THE EXAM!

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Yazzzay
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby Yazzzay » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:48 am

AspiringCALawyer wrote:Bite your tongue in stressful situations.

I was traveling on United (pre passenger dragging incident) to LA in July 2016 to take the California bar exam and was hoping to be able to do a little studying during the 4 1/2 hour flight. No such luck when I got stuck sitting next to a mother with a lap child. The year-old baby was fussy and animated such that she would often hit me during her giggle sessions. After awhile, that gets annoying and my expressions of annoyance directed at them obviously showed my displeasure with the situation, although I never said anything.

I tried to distract myself with music; however, at one point I noticed the mother speaking to me. I didn't hear what she had said due to my earbuds. When I took one out I asked her what she had said. Her response, "did I stutter?" She was offended that I kept giving her baby the side eye and cursed me out. After all, she was only a year old and wasn't doing it on purpose. Plus, what did I expect by sitting in the last section. I should've sat "up there." I was in row 38 so if she meant first class, that was very far from where we were sitting. Fortunately, this happened in the last 20 minutes of the flight.

She got so loud that other passengers even starting turning around. There was so much I could've said; however, I refused to engage in such discourse with this person and put my earbuds back in. I didn't want to see myself online arguing with a fellow passenger. Plus, I certainly didn't want to risk getting arrested, which would've hampered my ability to show up for the bar exam (or later pass character and fitness scrutiny).

Final Thoughts:

I certainly understand all the angst involved in this endeavor. I took CA bar twice in 2016 and failed both times. Despite this failure, at least I achieved one goal this year by moving back to CA in April. Once I get a job and save some money, I hope to retake next year and be successful this time.

In my job hunting, I was amused by a job posting I saw today for a temporary job I couldn't apply for: Exam Proctor. Although it didn't mention what exam (in Santa Clara) the work was for during the last week of July, I know it's the bar exam by the job description and the exclusion of any candidates with a law background.

GOOD LUCK ON THE EXAM!


Is united just for the worst of the worst?! This sounds TERRIBLE, congrats on keeping calm. I'm flying United out of LA with 4 flights total to/from NY for the exam next week and it's my first time flying with them. Pray for meeee, all.

hiphiphooray17
Posts: 1
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Re: Exam day horror stories and how to prevent them

Postby hiphiphooray17 » Tue Jul 18, 2017 1:28 am

So, there is probably a quick fix to this, but I haven't been able to find it. Has anyone else had their main screen on ILG Exam 360 totally freeze up when trying to submit the practice exam? If so, how did you navigate through the screen? I can log in to the software with no problem and was able to exit the ILG Exam 360 by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Del, so I know it's not my keyboard freezing up. Any suggestions would be wonderful at this point!




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