advice from an older sister…

I emailed my fabulous sister this morning, seriously stressed out because the practice test I took last night didn’t go so well. I kept hoping she’d email me back, but when I hadn’t heard from her, I finally called her on my lunch. We had a great conversation (she’s fantastic for boosting the ego) and I felt much better. And then, when I got back from work, this is what I found. She gives some pretty good excellent advice (is that better, Erika?), I must say. And per her advice, I’m done “studying”, which is why I’m blogging.

What do you know…you did send me an e-mail. Huh.

Here’s some more advice from your big sister extraordinaire about what you should do for the next 20 or so hours.

1. 3pm: Stop studying.

2. 5pm: (when you get off work): Go buy a small, exceedingly small notebook (like what you see reporters using in TV shows)

3. 5:15pm to 10pm: Relax; spend time with J, C, and T, keeping in mind the entire time that life is about people, not test scores. This will help you keep your perspective. Seriously; during the AZ bar exam, for which I was not nearly prepared, I spent most of my off time at Brad and Shelley’s. Hanging out with their kids worked wonders. I still remember hearing Brittany pray that I would do well on my “spelling” test.

3a. At those times when you think, “I really need to review such-and-such subject,” simply write it down in the little notebook. That’s what it’s for. DO NOT ACTUALLY

4. 9:55pm: Make sure that Dad has agreed to be your back-up alarm clock.

5. 10pm: Go to bed; if it helps, set your music system to play peaceful music (Jon Schmidt’s “Morning Light”?) for 30 minutes.

5a. Your little notebook should be on the night stand. When you wake up in the middle of the night, completely panicked about such-and-such subject, write it down then go back to sleep.

6. 6:00am: Wake up; get ready.

7. 6:30am: One hour to eat breakfast, which should be a combination of healthy carbs (fruit, for quick pick-me-up) and protein (for endurance). SIZE: not so small that you’ll run out of steam; not so big that it will drag you down.

7a. As you’re eating breakfast, do a quick review:
FIRST 15 minutes: Review the subjects you wrote down, which will probably number between 10 and 15. DON’T actually open the books; instead, just review the rules in your head. You will have memorized the rules for the vast majority of thesubjects; this is your chance to convince yourself that you do indeed know the subjects down cold.
SECOND 15 minutes: For the three to five subjects that you do not know cold, openthe books and look up the rule/formula. Come up with a quick tricks to help you remember. You won’t know these cold, but the quick review will help your confidence.Remember though: NO MORE THAN 15 MINUTES, so here’s the math for how much
time you can spend on each:
3 subjects: 5:00 minutes each
4 subjects: 3:45 minutes each
5 subjects: 3:00 minutes each
THIRD 15 minutes: Do some EASY practice questions from the Princeton Review book. This is just to warm you up, SO DON’T LOOK TO SEE IF YOU GOT THEM RIGHT; however, because I know you are going to look, I re-emphasize that you should only do the easy questions.
FOURTH 15 minutes: If he’s up, play with T; otherwise talk to Dad, or go out on the kitchen balcony and gaze north at the Mt. Timp Temple (the focus here is on the whole perspective thing again).

8. 7:30am: Drive to the testing center. Listen to music that you can sing to. Actually, not just sing, but belt. Recommendation: the “Hairspray” soundtrack, especially anything sung by Tracy Turnblad; best song “You Can’t Stop the Beat”

9. 7:45am: Chill, mediate, pray, whatever. But at this point, you’ll probably be feeling so pumped up, you’ll be bouncing around.

10: 8:00: Knock ’em dead.

I hope you all are as lucky as I am to have such fabulous siblings.

14 thoughts on “advice from an older sister…

  1. What an amazing sister you have to be so supportive and helpful. It’s great when you have family that love you and want you to succeed and be happy. I hiope all of the tips worked for you!

  2. That is fabulous advice! How very sweet of her! I love an older sibling advice on things. I call my older sis all the time! She always gives me good advice! You will do great on your test I know it! Don’t stress! Good luck! Oh and I get the backgrounds and graphics for my blog at

  3. Good luck! I’m sure there are plenty of people praying that you’ll do well on your spelling test too. (I know I will be before I go to bed tonight)

  4. I echo what Sarah and CropStar5 said, especially the first lines of each comment. (And yes, the edits are much more accurate.)

  5. Go-o-o-o-o-o-d Luck! My brother just took the ID & WA D.C. Bar, so I know these tests can be a bear. (got your blog thru Wendi’s–hope you don’t mind) 🙂

  6. wow. your sis might be the wisest person ever! seriously!GOOD LUCK! You’ll do great! As I always say “bad practice means great performance”. So you should be happy that your practice test didn’t go so well. That means you’ll do wonderfully on the actual exam.And… like your sis said. It’s all about perspective. xoxo

  7. Your sister rocketh.You will do fab and we will party this weekend!! My fingers are crossed for you!!And thanks again for bring the Diet Coke to my work…you’re the best.

  8. You’ll rock it, I have no doubt.I cranked up the new (ish) Josh Groban CD as loudly as I could and WOW did I feel good by the time I got to the testing center.

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