The following bar exam advice was absolutely paramount in my passing the bar the first time! Now if you’re wondering what that golden advice was, well it really doesn’t matter and I’ll explain why. Though it mattered immensely to me, it might be meaningless to you because it’s a matter of prospective. It primarily involves seeking the advice of someone with similar lifestyles, learning styles and test-taking styles and seeking out their advice.
By now, after 3+ years of laws school you’ve probably buddied up with a few folks from your section or school who you identify with a bit more than others. You may have similar backgrounds, age, or work experience, and most likely gravitated towards these peers early on. For me, it was one person in particular who took the bar before I did whom I strongly identified with early in law school. Both of us were working professionals with enough professional and life experiences to fill a couple pages on a resume. Once I found out she’d passed the bar her first attempt, she was the first person I reached out to for advice on successfully passing the bar. The advice she gave me was tailored to our similar life, learning, and test-taking styles. It was something I carried with me for the next four months leading up to the exam. Once D-Day arrived, I felt prepared to tackle one of the hardest portions of the bar exam, the self-inflicted mental anxiety!
Well, Whats the Advice?
By now, I’m sure you’re still wondering what the hell she told me to help beat back the anxiety and pass the bar the first time! As I said before, the advice may or may not be helpful to you, but it was a godsend to me. Her advice, simply remain confident throughout the entire process! Yes, the confidence that I possessed the minimum skills required to be successful on the bar exam. While it sounds simple enough, many bar-sitters psyche themselves out of a passing score by doubting their ability to succeed. Throughout school we both knew we were smart, however at times, we tended to second guess ourselves when we didn’t get the grade we wanted. When you lack confidence, wrong answers will appear to look right and right answers begin to look wrong. By building up my confidence going into the exam, I was better able to read a fact-pattern (MBE or Essay), identify a right answer (or exclude the wrong answer), and move on to the next. By dithering on questions you clearly know the answer to you’ll be wasting valuable time that could be spent elsewhere. Additionally, the more you second guess yourself the more your confidence will diminish.
You already know you have what it takes to succeed. You successfully got accepted and graduated law school, an accomplishment not everyone is capable of. Personally, I had to repeatedly remind myself of how smart I was and how I knew I had what it takes to succeed. By the time I entered the examination room I had sky-high confidence. I left feeling like I aced the exam while some of my peers felt like they’d failed. I reminded myself over and over how the process would be no more difficult than taking four law school final exams within a two day period. After 9 semesters of law school, I was hardly afraid of taking final exams anymore.
The best bar exam advice I received was special to me because I knew how easily I could get distracted by negative thoughts. Coming from a peer who shared similar circumstances, her advice was tailor made to my situation. So again, the best advice I can give is to identify with someone similarly situated as you and simply ask what worked best for them. Don’t over-complicate things by trying to mimic their exact study regimen, however instead, seek out their take-away for overall success. When it comes to studying, do what worked for you in law school. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when preparing for the bar, and remember to remain confident in your ability to pass this exam!