There are so many unknowns about the first day of exam, or the 3 Sundays after, for those who are taking the bar exams for the first time. Here are some notes on what to expect, what to do (or not to do), what to bring, or just about anything helpful during the first Sunday.
1. Have your things ready. By the time the first Sunday arrives, all the important things should have been prepared and packed. Permits, pens, etc.
2. Get up early and have a decent breakfast. Breakfast is no doubt the most important meal of the day. The first Sunday of the bar exams is not any ordinary Sunday. Besides, you’ll have to (try to) relax while doing your pre-exam rituals. Waking up late won’t help (those who took sleeping pills and woke up late, raise your right hand).
3. Bring a jacket, sweatshirt or anything that will keep you warm. The aircon in La Salle Taft (the bar exams venue) is damn cold, plus you’re nervous so it’s going to be colder. Worse, when you don’t have a clue upon reading the first few questions, you’ll really freeze to death. If it’s not cold, it’s better to be prepared than sorry.
4. Check your building assignment. They say it’s better to know the terrain when going to battle. Check your building assignment, check where in LaSalle it’s located and, more importantly, check which entrance you’re going to use.
5. Bring extra pens. During our time, one examinee got so tense, she broke at least two pens. It’s better having the extra pen without needing it, than having only one pen when you need the extra one.
6. Bring a bottle of water (or Gatorade or Powerade; a power drink like Lipovitan or Red Bull is optional), but don’t drink too much. The few minutes you need to take a pee could have been used to answer one or two questions.
7. Bring lunch, unless you have BarOps. Preferably something you can eat while reading, and some power bar for snacks. If you plan to go out for lunch, just consider these: (a) you have to wrestle with the jampacked crowed surrounding LaSalle in order to get out; (b) in all probability, the restaurants are also crowded; and (c) you’re wasting time and energy.
8. At the end of the day, forget your answers. Don’t figure out if your answers are right or wrong; it’s out of your hands. There are three more Sundays to go, so focus on the next coverage.
(This article was expanded to include the discussion at the phBar.org Forum)