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How to Manage Bar Exam Stress

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Preparing for the Philippine Bar Exams has a way of making you feel inadequate and insecure. The thought of being not good enough to pass the bar and be a lawyer, because of whatever reason, can lead to stress and anxiety. We wish to give you tips on how to be in control and keep your sanity as you try to hurdle the Bar Exams.

Crises and problems can be overwhelming. The fear of failure and the feeling of inadequacy, insecurity, and uncertainty may weigh you down. Sometimes, what consumes you are those which are trivial and unimportant. Here are some tips which can help you take control of your behavior while dealing with stress and transform them into healthy and helpful habits that can propel you to Bar Exam Success.

1. Focus on your strengths- As you start your Bar Review, make an honest assessment of your skills and abilities. You need to recognize your strengths and use them to improve yourself as a student of the law and a future lawyer. When you are conscious of your strengths, you will be more confident and less anxious. You will also have a better perspective of the task at hand and that is to hurdle the most difficult exam in the country.


2. Stay Healthy- Good nutrition is important to help you focus and think clearly. You need to feed your mind and body with healthy and nutritious food to help you function and focus better. Getting enough sleep is also needed for you to stay healthy and well.

You also need to keep moving because exercise helps combat anxiety and stress because of endorphins. "Exercise is also a natural antidepressant. Don't you feel more relaxed and in such a better mood after workout? Your brain does, too. That's because exercise pumps up your endorphins, our bodies' natural painkillers, while increasing production of serotonin, making you feel happier." (Mosconi, Lisa (2018) Brain Food. New York, New York: Avery)

So if you want to improve your ability to think, focus and concentrate, nourish your brain and body well.


3. Take Breathing Exercises- Breathing exercises are found to manage and lower stress levels. When the bar review is starting to be overwhelming and you begin to notice signs of stress, remember to put down your notes and take deep breaths in a slow and relaxed manner. If you make breathing exercises a part of your routine, you'll notice the difference it will make you feel.


4. Take a break- When you draft your study plan, make sure to allow time for short breaks. It is very important to give your mind a chance to rest and recharge. So don't feel guilty when you go out for movies, quick stroll or eat out.


5. Find support- There is absolutely no shame in reaching out to friends and family when you don't feel perfectly well. Sometimes you just need a little push to get going.


Having self-doubts can have disastrous effects on your performance. Your constant feeling of inadequacy and insecurity can lead to stress and is difficult to overcome. So if you can, take a short break and focus on study goals. Having an ability to visualize success can help you have the confidence you need to hurdle the bar exams.

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