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Which Type of Bar Exam Taker Are You?

By Andrew Chow, Esq. | Last updated on

Summer bar exams are set to commence. Years of hard work and preparation all come down to a two- or three-day gauntlet that determines who finally gets to put their legal education to practice. (If they can actually find a legal job, that is.)

But bar studies aside, how will you actually go about taking the test? Take it from those of us who've been there: At any sitting in any state, you'll find but a handful of common bar-examinee personality types.

Which type of bar exam taker are you? Here are our Top 8 archetypes:

  1. The Pajama Girl. This stressed-out specimen typically spends the night in the overpriced hotel attached to the testing site, and shows up the next morning in her sleepwear. Padded slippers and superfluous pillows are among her telltale accoutrements.

  2. The Zombie. This sad creature is also likely camping out nearby. He just looks like the living dead, thanks to sleepless nights of desperate cramming. Keep him away from bath salts, and you should be fine.

  3. The Latecomer. There's always the one guy who, for one reason or another, shows up near the end of the proctor's instructions. A little pity (but not much) is appropriate as he breathlessly boots up his computer while everyone else is already typing away.

  4. The Borderline Cheater. A holdover from law school, this annoying jerk keeps typing or filling-in circles for a few seconds after time is called. He will get nasty looks from neighbors, but very rarely will anyone turn him in. Perhaps you can be the one who finally puts a stop to his penchant for unethical behavior.

  5. The Know-It-All Who Insists She's Going to Fail. Stay away from this brainiac, especially during lunch breaks when she will inevitably bring up arcane areas of law she included in her essays that no one even knew existed. What's worse, she will repeatedly insist she's going to fail. Lies, all lies.

  6. The Guy You Recognize from Law School But Don't Know His Name. That one guy who was in your section but you never talked to... (Who? Oh yeah, that guy...) Well, he's sitting right next to you. And he's avoiding eye contact and conversation, because he recognizes you too. Awk-ward.

  7. The Multiple-Jurisdiction Bar Taker. These sadistic overachievers voluntarily (yes, voluntarily) take bar exams in multiple states, to rack up frequent-flier miles and "keep their options open...." A motion for a mental health exam should be granted for these folks.

  8. The Quicker Giver-Upper. Sadly, some bar takers won't come back after the first day, or even after the first few hours. Don't let their lack of discipline get you down -- just showing up for the bar exam is half the battle.

If you're taking a summer bar exam, best of luck -- we're rooting for you! And if you come across any unsavory bar-taker archetypes that we missed, let us know at our FindLaw for Legal Professionals Facebook page.

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