The Bar Exam Is Complicated, but the Approach Is Simple

“How can I pass this bar exam? omg”

There are a million approaches for the bar exam. Indeed, you should find a way that works for YOU. As I always say, you’re the dean of your own studies.

All you have to do is understand the material and know how to use it, right?

If it were only that easy.

The bar exam covers a ton of concepts, including exceptions, jurisdictional differences, over a dozen subjects. There’s a LOT to know at once. Questions are difficult to answer unless you understand the key concepts.

The bar exam is not EASY.

But preparing for it is SIMPLE. Bar prep doesn’t have to be complicated.

There are really only three things you need for successful bar preparation:

  1. Source materials (outlines, questions to practice with, sample answers)
  2. How-to knowledge (which I cover)
  3. Action from YOU to do the things that matter (practice and feedback)

Let’s go through each one.

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How to Pass the California Bar Exam with a Focused Approach of Discipline and Consistency

Got yet another success story, by a reader who shared with me a very detailed and specific recap of her journey to pass the 2020 February California Bar Exam (26.8% pass rate) on her second try.

It was too good not to share.


  • Big bar course made her “dumber,” wasted her time, DRAINED her energy and time. She was too wiped out to memorize or practice
  • Did not even know how to START any essay
  • Panic, doubts, insecurities, mind games, pressure


  • Practical and effective approach
  • Used the right tools for her
  • Enjoyed herself because she could see herself getting better

Key takeaways and full story below…

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You Need a Study Plan: Why You Should Make Your Own Bar Prep Study Schedule

The only thing I remember from law school is my negotiations professor saying this in class randomly:

“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.”

It’s so true. Is bar preparation worth doing? Then it’s worth doing right.

We know that we must enjoy the process (not merely fixate on the goal of passing the bar) for sustainable momentum.

Just as what’s enjoyable is personal, bar prep is also personal.

After all, you’re the “dean of your own studies.” You’re ultimately responsible for learning the material as well as the skills to apply the material.

You might be working while studying for the bar exam. Maybe you have every day free for bar prep and don’t want to blow this opportunity. Or maybe you only have the first 6 hours of your day free while the kids are in school/Zoom classes.

There are a million ways you could approach this which can’t be captured with a unified master calendar. There is no one-size-fits-all study schedule. This alone is reason to abandon the cookie-cutter plan and create one that works for your situation.

Cool, but where do you begin?

You may be lost and not sure where to start heading from here. Like you ran into an unfamiliar part of town and your phone’s about to die (which is why I finally got a car charger after months of denial about how good my phone’s battery actually was).

Like a ship, let’s try to head toward the right direction toward clear waters rather than use speed or force right now.

So here’s a first step that will narrow down your routes and simplify the sudoku of choices…

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