Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Battle is Over, Comrades

First, congratulations! No, really - you went through hell over the past few months. You just sat for a difficult exam, and now you're done. That alone is worth a celebratory beer.

Quick recap for other readers: On the essays, we saw all of the usual suspects (surprise, surprise!). Trusts, Federal Jurisdiction, Domestic Relations, Sales (U.C.C. Art. 2), Real Property, Wills, Criminal Law, Corporations, and our good friend, Virginia Civil Procedure. I'm glad that Federal Jurisdiction is back, after a two-exam hiatus, although I was a little surprised not to see an essay on U.C.C. Arts 3 and 9 (Commercial Paper/Secured Transactions/Creditors' Rights) after being absent on the February 2012 exam, too. On the short answer section, the questions were fairly difficult, but not completely unmanageable. Finally, the MBE was tougher than the average MBE installment. Mortgage questions can be unkind, and often rattle a lot of examinees. On the bright side, a tough MBE means a more generous curve. (But as I will discuss in a later post, that's meaningless.)

Second, let's briefly discuss how you feel now. All of you are exhausted and, hopefully, relieved. Some of you feel good, but most of you probably feel like an overcooked wet noodle. Maybe you're fretting over that one essay which gave you trouble. You might pissed about the excess of one particular subject or the lack of another, or the seemingly left-field short answer questions. Others, too, might be recovering from, what they felt was, a slaughtering on the MBE. And still, others might think the entire exam was just a terrible anomaly.

Gradually, these feelings will wear off. You will come to terms with the VBBE's essay selection and the tough MBE. You will accept that the July 2012 exam was fair, is now out of your control, and that you gave it your best shot under the circumstances. Some of you will put the whole exam in the back of your mind until about a week before results are released. Others will not let your anxiety subside at all. While I recommend the former approach, I understand why the latter approach is hard to shake off. Preparing for the exam is hard. But waiting for results is not any easier; in fact, maybe even harder. You go from having no time on your hands, to having lots of time -- time to think, time to wonder, time to worry. But just like any anxiety or self-doubt you had before the exam, you have to keep them in check after the exam, too. Otherwise, you'll go crazy. Today, you might think you fared horribly on the exam. That's because the wound is still fresh and it's all you can think about. I bet you're being too hard on yourself. I bet you did just fine. Perhaps in a month or two, you'll agree with me.

The VBBE will post results in mid-October on either the posted date or the day before the posted date, but not before then. The wait is long and arduous. In the meantime, have a beer. Spend time with family, friends, and significant others. Get out of the country. Go to the beach. Go on a road trip. Go anywhere, do anything -- just get your mind off the bar exam . Keep yourself distracted from thinking about it. Because thinking will only lead to unnecessary worry. That's my recommendation.

On the other hand, I also understand that some of you will go insane by not thinking about the exam. So if you can't help yourself, or maybe if you're just curious or need to scratch an itch or simply pass the time, that's why I created the discussion forums. By all means, use them! Just don't use them to abuse yourself.

Again, congratulations! Now relax and celebrate!


  1. It was crim law. Actually, it was an old essay, directly out of the BarBri prep materials. Thanks for the tip!

    And yes, the MBE was pretty brutal. The second set wasn't terrible, but the first set was...well, mean. I don't think I heard the phrase "what was THAT about?" less than a dozen times between the end of the first set and lunch. C'est la vie.

  2. Thanks for the update. Glad it helped!

  3. It is so funny how these things work - I thought the morning section of the MBE was much, much easier than the afternoon!