Tomorrow, many readers will begin the last exam of their lives (excluding DMV renewals). Most are hunkered down poring over notes, taking last-minute practice exams, and generally questioning the life decisions that brought them to this moment.
But more than a few are searching for almost anything to distract them from incessant studying today. This post is for them. We’ve gathered together some random thoughts on the exam, some time-wasting links, and of course a thread to commiserate.
Gear up for some ATL Classic tales of bar exam woe, a Downfall video, tales of a dumb test-taker, and cat pictures!
We’re going to organize this listicle in outline form, because you’re about to take the bar exam, so f**k you.
I. It probably won’t be as bad as this
Your bar exam experience might suck. But odds are it won’t be as bad as these stories from the ATL archives.
For example, you probably won’t have a little person trying to escape you during the test:
“A friend of mine went into labor while taking the Illinois bar exam,” a tipster told us. “She calmly finished, went to the hospital, and had her baby an hour or two later. Girl’s a real trooper.”
“A certain Northwestern Law alumna went into labor during the second day of the Illinois bar,” said a second source. “She finished the exam and had her baby, her first, at 5:58 p.m. I think that is worth noting.”
And note that this mother-lawyer passed the bar exam just fine.
At the very least, hope the guy behind you doesn’t relieve himself in his seat:
Yall I swear to God I would not have believed this happen if I had not been there.
The guy in the row behind me apparently asked the proctor if he could get up to use the restroom when there were less than 15 minute left. You’re not allowed to leave your seat during the last 15 minutes. If you have to go, go before then. Take 90 seconds, get up, and use the restroom. OKAY?!
So the proctor says no, you can’t go.
Apparently ole guy behind me decides that if he’s not going to be allowed to get up and use the restroom when he needs to go HE IS JUST GOING TO DUMP OUT THE ZIPLOC BAGGIE CONTAINING HIS PENS AND PENCILS AND WHIP HIS WIENER OUT AND PISS IN THE BAG.
Better yet, at the very least don’t be the person who relieves themselves in their seat.
One problem unique to California is the risk of an earthquake, like what happened in 2008 when a 5.4 quake hit the bar exam:
When the chandeliers began shaking, some test takers squealed / screamed. The announcer told everyone to remain calm and stay seated. Some people kept typing. I was rebooting to leave anyway. Proctor then shouted: “Don’t worry, this happens in California. If you’re not from here: welcome. And there will be aftershocks.”
That’s actually a metaphor for the whole legal experience: the bar exam may seem traumatic, and then you enter practice and realize you’ll suffer through pale echoes of that terror forever.
II. How to Study on the Last Day
A. We Got More Logistics Than UPS
I love the UPS Logistics commercials. Maybe it’s time to make that the focus of your studying:
The age-old wisdom suggests that a struggling or time-crunched exam-taker should choose “C” for the remaining questions. The logic is that humans generally eschew the extremes, meaning a test designer is less likely to make the correct answer “A” or “D,” and thus “B” and “C” have a slightly higher statistical likelihood of being correct.
This strategy is no longer all that valuable since computers now randomize the answer order, thus eliminating the human bias. But even if a panicked test-taker wants to lock down a 25 percent chance of being correct, it pays to go with “B” instead of “C,” as one student learned:
Just remember to keep a good attitude. What’s the worst that can happen? You have to take it again? That’s not the end of the world. Many famous and successful people have failed the bar exam.
In case your friends and family don’t share this relaxed attitude, just draft something to let them down easy, like the kid we talked about earlier this month:
III. The Obligatory Downfall Video
No phenomenon involving Americans under 40 would be complete without a Downfall video. Without further ado, Hitler bemoans the California bar exam and teaches us that Montana also has a three-day exam:
IV. The Tumbling Tumblr Weeds
Why wouldn’t you want cat picture flash cards while studying for the bar exam? Peggy the Cat has got you covered:
As I scrolled through the rest of the Tumblr, the burning question on my mind was, “Does this cat do anything but sleep?”
Here’s a GIF narrative that pretty much sums up the experience. It’s hard to coherently jump from Jon Snow to Taylor Swift to McLovin’, so double points for that.
But Passing the Bar has the best advice:
Indeed. See you all on Wednesday night.
Ooooh. Sorry California.
Earlier: Pregnant Woman Takes Bar Exam While in Labor, Delivers Baby Right After!
Quote of the Day: The Fruits of Her Labor
Breaking: Earthquake Hits California on Day 1 of the Bar Exam!
Bar Exam Horror Stories: Losing Power > Losing Bladder Control
How To Fail The Bar Exam With Style
A Children’s Treasury of Hitler Reacting To Legal Stuff
The Bar Exam: A List of Famous Failures