A coaching client and I were on the phone discussing strategy for the upcoming California Bar Exam in July.
The good news was that his MBE scores from previous attempts were already on track to pass the bar exam in California. He consistently got scaled scores of over 1440.
(If you’re taking the exam elsewhere, you’re already halfway home free with a good MBE score according to the “tripod approach” I’ll describe in a bit.)
The issue was that he couldn’t consistently score well on the essays. The essays he thought were the best, he’d get a 55 on them. The essays he wrote fewer than 1,000 words and thought were his worst, he’d get a 65 or more.
BY THE WAY: You don’t “pass” the MBE, or an essay, or a performance test. You pass the EXAM with enough total points—all or nothing. I will throw my keyboard out the window and hope it falls on the next person who talks about “passing an essay with a 65.” How does grading work for the CBX? Read.
Given his situation, I suggested a couple of approaches that would focus on a few key areas that would easily bring him over the hump to pass the California bar in July, once things “clicked” for him…
One of these is the basis for the Tripod Approach, which is a minimally effective approach where you focus on a few key portions when preparing for the California Bar Exam to get the largest return.
Am I the only one who keeps a list of cringeworthy things they’ve done in the past? Anyone?
*crickets and random cough*
We learn our lessons by doing something and getting embarrassed and trying again. In fact, embarrassment is the best way I found to learn a lesson: actually doing things, realizing you did something wrong, feeling the pain, and using the pain to changing course in the future.
I’m not saying we should “make bad decisions” on purpose (#yolo). Life is already a constant stream of embarrassment anyway.
We simply need a willingness to endure embarrassment as fodder for our growth. Opening ourselves up to the possibility that we’re wrong.
We don’t know what we don’t know. That’s why we can’t really be too quick to judge our own proficiency. That’s why we get on the bike and try to apply the theory as we go so that we find out.
If we don’t—if we simply try things once and stop—we end up thinking we “get it” with a generalized and incomplete understanding. There’s a difference between awareness and experience.
We like to tell people we “don’t have time” or that “time is the most valuable resource” or that “life is short” (even though we love to procrastinate). But I think we do have a lot of time at our disposal. We just choose to squander a lot of it, too.
Then what’s the true scarcity of this world? What is the one thing that’s radically limited and expires very quickly?
Money? Time? Milk?
I think there’s something even more scarce: human attention.
Read on to see how you can use this scarcity principle to give yourself an edge on the written portions of the bar exam.