Everyone’s FYLSE exam day is different. Some of us go into the FYLSE thinking we are prepared, some of us go in knowing we are prepared, and some of us go in knowing we are going to bomb the test like experts. No matter how you go into your first FYLSE, no two stories are the same.
For me personally, I must have missed all the suggestions except wear layers. I forgot pencils for the MCQ section of the FYLSE, I forgot to make sure my spyware was turned off so Examsoft would work, I forgot to leave my stuff at the hotel, I forgot a watch, and I even spaced everything I knew the moment the test started.
Nothing prepares you for the FYLSE. I went into my test, resigned to the fact there was no way I could pass. I listened to stories from my fellow classmates, where they detailed the hours upon hours they spent studying for this test. I listened to the horror stories from others about how this was their 6th testing, 7th testing and how this test was impossible to take.
I think I was more worried about waking up in time and not sleeping through my alarm. Mornings are not my thing. Even knowing I had to wake up super early, I stayed up late and went swimming at midnight! I was so full of nervous energy I had to do something and I knew that if I didn’t burn the energy I would be awake all night. It was probably the only way I got to sleep that night.
The moment I woke up to take the test, I was more awake than I ever had been before. I grabbed my laptop, admittance ticket, purse, and went off to face my future.
Once I arrived, I immediately realized I brought my purse and would have to leave it in the hallway of the Convention Center. That wasn’t so bad. The Convention center was locked down like Fort Knox; no one was going to be interested in stealing my purse or even capable of stealing anything at that. People were abandoning back packs, purses, luggage, jackets, and all sorts of thing right there in the hall. I too abandoned my belongings and marched right on up to the ticket takers.
I easily passed the guards at the front and found my seat, right next to the entrance, real close to the front. I sat down, opened my laptop, looked around; taking in the competition, the whole time just thinking “Only 18% of this entire room will make it out of this alive. Do I have a chance?” While I am thinking this, I am also laughing at myself because I am positive I have no chance at being a first time passer.
While I am thinking this, I am also laughing at myself because I am positive I have no chance at being a first time passer.
As soon as I am done admiring the competition, so well organized, foot rests, watches, thoroughly prepared, I realize my computer has decided to try and download a Microsoft Update. NOOOOOOO! I immediately began scrambling to stop the update, and that’s when the proctors began giving instructions. Each word the proctor said over the loud speaker made my heart beat faster. This was the worst thing that could happen!
I managed to close my eyes, breathe deeply, the whole time 100% positive I would have a heart attack waiting for the update to finish. They began handing out tests. This was it, I was going to be a hand writer; I had not in a million years prepared for this. I must have been the luckiest person in that room because the moment they began to give the final instructions someone got caught with a fit bit and things halted momentarily.
I opened my eyes at the commotion and realized my update was finished. I scrambled to login and open ExamSoft. Wouldn’t you know; my defender was turned on and wouldn’t let ExamSoft open!
Luckily for me I had already dealt with this and knew how to quickly disable Windows Defendor. I closed ExamSoft, diabled Windows Defendor, and then launched ExamSoft again. I logged in and looked up just in time to hear the proctor say “Begin”.
I spent the first 15 minutes writing the worst essay I have ever written in my life. I spaced all my training, I forgot I attended law school, I was just typing some babbled mess. It took 15 minutes of typing the longest diatribe of nonsense I have ever written before when someone had pity on me and turned my brain back on.
I quickly erased my entire 15 minutes of mess. Threw down my outline and began again. After that, it’s all a blur. I don’t remember lunch, I don’t remember the MCQ portion. Well, I remember one thing. I forgot to bring pencils! Thankfully another student in the hall of abandoned possessions had pity on me and handed me three semi-sharpened pencils. I was absolutely terrified I would break all three tips and fail due to my lack of preparation.
I was one of the first five people to finish the MCQ portion. I finished in about an hour and a half. I grabbed my abandoned possessions, walked outside, and called my mother. The first thing I said to my mother was “I either passed that like a boss or bombed it like a boss!”
The end of my tale is that I passed on my first try! I got 29’s and higher on the MCQ portions of the FYLSE! I shocked myself. If I can do it you can.
If you take anything from my FYLSE experience let it be this: Don’t let anything stop you. If you get there and your computer doesn’t work, take a deep breath and keep going. If you lost your admittance ticket, take a deep breath and find a way to get another one printed. If you forgot pencils, take a deep breath and meet someone new; maybe they will have pity on you.
Whatever you do, don’t quit!
The Queen Bee of 1L