How to Be the Ultimate Sore Loser (to Pass the Bar Exam Next Time)

The demonic countdown reads 1 minute…and it’s finally 6 PM.

You waited for this moment for months, maybe years. Schroedinger’s bar results are available, where irreconcilable possibilities, zero and one, coexist as long as you resist observation.

“Do I really check right now? Should I leave it alone?” Do you choose purgatory or risk hell? “I could just wait until Sunday so I could avoid anxiety / have a relaxing weekend!” Good luck with that, dude.

You can’t handle the anticipation bursting out of the seams of your heart. You slap in your applicant code, endure the few seconds of pristine agony, and see that you…

Did not pass. Only 43.1% did (for the July 2016 California Bar Exam).

FORTY-THREE PERCENT… That’s a February-level low. This was extremely tough.

This is the third-lowest pass rate on record for the July exam, and the trend is getting worse. It hasn’t been this low for the July exam since 1984, and the only other known low of this magnitude was back in 1951. What the hell is wrong with these people?

So you are in the majority. I don’t think that’s all that comforting, though. You still failed the bar.

I’m truly sorry and regretful to hear this news. After reading this, let me know if you want to discuss anything or just vent.

Nonetheless, I can’t sugarcoat it forever. At this point, a time machine is the only thing that will make you feel better.

Maybe you have a job or loans or children or a relationship dependent on your passage. Maybe you need your bar license to get a job in the first place. And maybe this wasn’t your first time taking the bar and need to change strategies (if something didn’t work for you, don’t do more of it).

Whatever the case, how frustrated are you? If you’re the type who hates to lose, who will struggle like an ugly worm because you care about what you are and what you want to do with your talents, I can show you how you just might pass next time…

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Studying for the MBE and Managing Your Time While Working

Did you know that the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners thinks newer MBE takers are “less able”?

1) Uh, well, given the lowkey increase of the bar exam’s general difficulty in recent years which we can’t prove anyway, it doesn’t even matter if you’re less able or the MBE is actually getting harder because you’re gonna get screwed regardless.

2) That kinda sucks because about HALF your score (also in CA starting July) is determined by scanning a series of alphabets you bubble in. Do you trust the machines? They can’t even autocorrect.

3) Fortunately, you can tilt the odds to your advantage.

I had a phone convo with Luis, a reader taking the Flordia bar who wanted to discuss how to approach studying for the MBE and doing so while occupied in a full-time job and a family. Check out the recording below.

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Studying for the MBE, Whether to Delay the Bar to 2017, Working While Studying, and Scheduling with Tunnel Vision

There’s nothing like hearing your own recorded voice for instant cringe. Despite your reasonable assumptions, I am not a peak human and always have things to improve upon.

Meanwhile, let’s instead focus on what you can learn today from a coaching call I did with a reader so that you might be able to take away some insights for improving your performance on the bar exam.

Here’s a recording of my discussion with Kristy about:

  • Her score report and studying for the MBE to improve her score next time
  • Whether it’s right for her to delay her retake to the two-day CA bar in 2017
  • Working while studying
  • Scheduling with one-track tunnel vision.

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What Should Your Final Preparation Look Like?

Oh you terrify me. But you also delight me. Can’t that be said for at least one person in your life?

True story. Last Friday, I was invited by a guitarist to play the keyboard for his band. Oh my! Exhibitionism was just what I needed to enflame a terror-delight in a heart that has been devoid of emotions since I started attending my alma mater (which dipped in ranking ever since, go figure).

Since I knew nothing about what they were playing, nor had I improvised anything in years, I had to regretfully decline. I got to watch them play for free, though.

Regret. Self-doubt. Insufficient preparation.

If last July is any indication, more than 50% of those attempting the CA Bar Exam will feel something like that come November.

I don’t want to tell you “I know for a fact u will pass if u believe in urself !!” because I’m afraid it will overinflate your optimism and also because I have no empathy. That’s what your friends are for, if you haven’t totally estranged yourself from them yet.

It may seem like a ridiculous coin flip at this point, but perhaps it isn’t too bad if you load the coin in your favor (some optimism is good):

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How Well Should You Be Doing to Feel Secure with Your Progress?

Preparation lowers your risk of non-passage. 

Thank you, Fleet Admiral Obvious! You’re welcome, but have you really thought about how much preparation is needed for an acceptable level of risk?

When there are only a couple more weeks to go, the state of the union inevitably seems to turn to “this is awful i wanna die HELP!”

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