Salma is a foreign-trained attorney who passed the 2023 July NY Bar Exam (UBE) on her first try!
Despite her nervousness and debilitating thoughts of failure, she found a way to prepare for (and pass) this exam while using her time efficiently. She suggests how to study efficiently in LESS time.
Check it out.
- Attempts: New York Bar Exam 1x
- Weakness: Balanced
- Unique challenge: Foreign-trained attorney (going through a lot of nervousness)
Resources Salma used to pass the New York Bar Exam
▶▶ AdaptiBar MBE Simulator and Jon Grossman videos
Salma’s tips on preparing for the NY Bar Exam
1) Studying hard is not the same as studying smart.
Salma recognizes that we should put in the hours but use those hours wisely.
You could even be spending less time studying than you thought, or taking breaks so you don’t burn out or overexert yourself.
💬 “You will pass if you dedicate enough hours to study, whilst keeping in mind that studying hard is not the same as studying smart. If you are going to waste 8 hours staring blank into your screen or notes, take that time and do something more useful. Study for 4-5 hours, but make sure that it’s the kind of studying that will benefit you.“
💬 “Take breaks when you need them. Eat right, socialise when you can and seek help when you need it.“
With the time you spend studying, a better way to learn is to do what you’ll be doing on the exam. In fact, get things wrong. Get the fails out of the way now instead of on the exam.
If you’re not feeling dumb, you’re not learning. Don’t let the exam be the learning experience.
💬 “Practice a TON! Got MBE questions wrong? That’s more than OK. Just read and learn the patterns, and once you do that enough times, you will most certainly get the drift on the day of the exam. Repeat wrong questions and it’s OK if you feel dumb for doing it.“
2) Use tools designed to help you study smart.
You need two things for practice and memorization: source materials (such as outlines or flashcards) and past exam questions to use them on.
Salma stuck to a few key resources to do this.
💬 “Adaptibar is a brilliant tool to learn the law and practice questions that are as close to MBE questions as possible. The Grossman videos are literally a save. Watch the videos the first time without taking notes and write your notes on your second time around.”
💬 “Magic sheets are a must when you’re trying to memorize BLL.”
💬 “As for the written portion (MEE and MPT), I really recommend that you stick to those made available online (I used the NY bar website and practiced ALL MEEs on it). Repeat the ones you did poorly on.”
At the same time, Salma also recommends making your own notes (or whatever helps you) to get the material to stick.
💬 “MAKE YOUR OWN NOTES! I can’t begin to explain how important this is to get that amount of BLL to stick. You have to know the law. You can’t wing it, you just have to memorize BLL. Make up scenarios that are funny, or scenarios/hypos that you can relate to.“
It’s true. Anything that helps you memorize is useful.
3) You may be underestimating yourself.
If you graduated from law school, you are capable of passing the bar exam. It is inevitable.
💬 “Please be kind to yourself and believe that you have been through law school for a reason, and that you graduated law school because you are smart and can do anything you set your mind to.“
You came this far for a reason.
But you may or may not believe in what got you here. You may doubt yourself and think that you are overestimating yourself.
Salma thinks otherwise after going through the nervousness of the exam and the uncertainty of waiting.
💬 “I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve had nervous breakdowns both before and after the exam. . . . I imagined that it is the end of the world, when in reality, it wouldn’t have been. What I’m trying to say is that things could seem worse than what they actually are.“
Regardless of how things turn out or where you are right now, you have what it takes. Try Salma’s suggestions above, and you’ll be going in the right direction.
💬 “Don’t stop now. If you are a retaker, use the experience as a stepping stone to do better. If you are a first time taker like myself … please know that you can do it if you believe in yourself enough and if you work towards your goal.“
Nice work, Salma! Here are the resources she used again.