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Attorney Admission Exams are around the corner- dealing with pre-exam nerves

Exams are approximately two months away. Your workload at work might not have decreased, or perhaps you haven't been able to take leave to study. Perhaps you have family commitments, or you have recently experienced a stressful event. 2020 and 2021 have been such difficult years for many- you are certainly not alone if you are feeling overwhelmed by all of the events that have happened over the last year. Let's face it- nobody would ever have expected that our lives would change the way it did since 2020.

In 2020, many people lost their jobs due to lockdown and Covid19. Others received pay cuts, and we all had to learn how to be confined to our residences for six weeks, and in other cases longer. We had to suddenly learn how to try and cope working in law and with the courts, in a completely different way. We had to see people close to us go through very difficult things, and yet, still try to keep sane in all of this.

Fast forward a few months, and 2021 has not changed much. With admission exams nearly here, It's okay and perfectly normal to feel overwhelmed. You might be writing one, two or all four exams. You've got this! During times of stress, you need to try and remain calm and focus on the task ahead. Here are some tips to help you focus, and get through the next three weeks.

  1. During this time, YOU are first- work comes second. Put your exams first. Unfortunately, if you don't make these exams because of work commitments, it is YOUR professional career that is affected. If work expects you to put it first, you need to have a chat to your employer about the importance of these exams and for your future.

  2. Try and take a few days leave beforehand, if possible.

  3. Turn your phone off during study time, and pause your social media accounts until exams are over- you won't believe how much time gets inadvertently eaten by social media time.

  4. If you have a noisy home, or family members at home, try and find a quiet place to study somewhere else (maybe your church, or a library etc) for as long as possible. Interruptions by family members or our children unfortunately sometimes can result in unnecessary stress.

  5. Set a study timetable, and stick to it. For example, study from 7.30 till 11.30 each night, and take small 10 minute breaks in between.

  6. Use the whole of your weekend to study. Until exams are over, social commitments can wait.

  7. Get into a routine. If you are in a routine, you work better.

  8. Work in an area where there is good light, little noise, and a comfortable desk. Don't study on the bed.

  9. Use lots of colours and highlighters when studying, and make summaries of your notes- don't only read past memos, this is NOT an efficient study method! UNDERSTAND the content, READ the legislation and STUDY your study notes!

  10. Eat healthily, get a bit of exercise. Exercise stimulates blood flow and is so essential in getting rid of that "brain fog" you might be experiencing. Lay off on too much coffee.

  11. Relax- you have got this! You got through a WHOLE LLB degree- and you are now doubting yourself for these exams? So many thousands of others have passed, and you can too. If you don't understand concepts, you still have time to ask someone else- rather ask than not. Know that you can get through these exams successfully.

  12. Write words on colour board in places where you can see them, words that inspire you, such as "SUCCESS"; "ACHIEVE"; "TALENTED"; "BRILLIANT"; "LAWYER"; "PASS"; "WIN"; "LEADER"; "ACADEMIC" etc- words that you will see consistently to remind yourself of what you are and who you aspire to be.

  13. Set realistic goals for the exam. Write down on a piece of paper your target marks for the exams, and put it somewhere you can see it. It is good to set goals and work toward them.

  14. Don't decide "not to write" because you are afraid of failing. The worst thing that can happen is you don't pass- you can always write again next year. You may as well try now any way (since you registered)- perhaps you will surprise yourself and pass, with the amazing result being that you get to be admitted as a legal practitioner sooner.

  15. Treat yourself to something at the end of exams to reward your hard work. Hard work deserves a reward!

Good luck candidates! Don't let Covid's havoc change your future. You've totally got this!!

This article is the viewpoint of the writer, and should not be regarded as medical advice. (C) Spence Learning Pty Ltd.

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