What If You Failed the Bar Exam? Should You Retake a Bar Review Course?

So you find yourself in an unbelievable situation: You failed the bar exam.

Procedure in case you failed the bar exam

Reality is undeniable. You dust off your tears. It’s time to take action.

You wonder: What’s the next step?

Should you retake a bar prep course? What’s the alternative? 

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Early Bar Prep: Should You Study Early for the Bar Exam?

Some bar takers wonder if they should study early for the bar exam (ahead of the traditional 10-week schedule), whether…

  • They’re waiting for results,
  • They got their bar results and want to retake the exam,
  • They have a full-time job to juggle at the same time, or
  • It’s been a minute (years to be exact) since they’ve graduated law school or have taken the exam.

While there are benefits to studying early, there are many traps to doing so. There are benefits to simply waiting until study season is in full swing before deciding whether or not to study for the bar exam. But as always, bar prep is personal.

Let’s discuss all of this—who early bar prep is right for and the best way to study early and effectively—so that you’re making the most of your time and energy.

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Enjoying Bar Prep: 6 Ways to Make Studying for the Bar Exam More Fun and Effective

Is it possible to enjoy bar prep? It’s one of the dryest things a person can do on this planet. But we retain more and pay more attention when things are enjoyable.

I’ve talked about enjoying the process to maintain motivation when it comes to bar prep. How you do that is personal.

Ultimately, you can have fun with anything. It’s a mindset. If something isn’t fun, you can just enjoy not having fun!

You can have fun with bar prep too. Bar prep can be enjoyable if you go at your own pace and get better at it.

The default (typical, boring) approach of bar prep involves sitting still like a statue watching people in a suit drone on as you fantasize about throwing your computer or self out the window. If you’re especially masochistic, you’ll pause the video and make sure to fill in all the lecture notes.

This is surprisingly exhausting. As a bonus, you’ll also forget 99% of what you listened to. I’d rather watch water boil because at least I’d have something to show for it, like edible pasta. (Did you know the singular form of spaghetti is spaghetto?)

Something people forget to tell you is that you don’t actually have to follow the default. “Just complete the course! Play it safe!”—The National Association of Barbri (probably)

No, instead of playing defense, it’s time to go on offense.

Follow this visual guide of 6 things that can help you make steady progress and enjoy bar prep—without the frustration and exhaustion that come with how bar takers typically approach studying for the bar exam.

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Ultimate Guide to Preparing for the California “Baby Bar” Exam (FYLSX)

Worried about passing the California Baby Bar Exam and moving on with your law school career? Feeling overwhelmed by all the information needed to pass this test?

Also known as the First-Year Law Students’ Exam (FYLSX or FYLSE) to stuffy law students, the baby bar can feel like a huge roadblock on your way to graduating from law school.

You might even be wondering, “How am I facing this much resistance this early into my law career?!”

Worry no more. Breathe a sigh of relief. There’s a way out to put this behind you.

The baby bar (and indeed the full bar exam) is also about knowing the exam, not just the covered material.

You can strategize for the exam once you discover how the baby bar works, how to properly answer essays, and how to prepare for multiple-choice questions.

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What to Do After the Bar Exam to Live a Normal Life Again (21 Post-Bartum Ideas)

Weeks and months of insanity putting on life on hold to study for the bar exam.

The onslaught of psychologically tormenting questions.

It’s over.

The hard-fought battle has ended. The dust has settled. There’s nothing left. No rewards. Just palpable silence (filled only with “how do you think you did? oh wow”) and an empty space in your heart. What were you fighting for this whole time?

It’s hard to believe it’s over, isn’t it?

We get attached to the struggle.

Now yet another difficult part called “waiting” begins. It might be harder than the actual prep. After the shell shock that was the bar exam, what do you do?

mixed feelings after bar exam

What is “free time” again? Is it edible? Will life be the same?

Some people seem to be completely happy with this state of being, while others get post-bartum depression. Let’s recover from your mixed feelings and bring life back to normal.

Here are 21 ideas on what to do (and a few things NOT to do) to stay sane now that the bar exam is over (ideas that have nothing to do with studying for the exam “just in case”).

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