Common Traits of Bar Passers & Why Mental Fortitude Is Important for Bar Preparation

They say knowledge is power (and you can never have too much power).

But why is it that with all the information out there, we don’t always get to where we want to go? Why do 80 percent of New Year resolutions fail by February? (Remember those? LOL)

“If more information was the answer, then we’d all be billionaires with perfect abs.”

Knowledge applied correctly is power. Knowledge is potential energy. It’s what we DO with the knowledge and the desire, not the fact that we have them, not the fact that we simply declare our desire.

But even then, the top hurdle that I’ve encountered with people taking the bar isn’t skills or knowledge.

It’s, uh, mindset. I lowkey hesitate to use this term because it’s sometimes associated with impractical woo-woo and things like visualization.

But the point remains: The hurdle is often internal.

If you have the raw material but can’t bring yourself to make a sand castle, if you can’t turn that potential energy in your mind into kinetic energy, what’s the point?

"half of bar prep involves preparing oneself mentally"
"the bar exam is all about your mental fitness and your ability to retain a crap ton of information without going crazy. Take care of yourself this time around."

It’s getting harder to pass the bar exam…and that’s exactly why you should go for it.

It’s not going to get easier. But when the bar is set high, it’s actually an opportunity to stand out more.


If you take the time to observe people who have passed the bar exam, you can kind of tell why. There’s something about their behavior:

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Richard’s Minimalist Bar Prep Without Overwhelm

There’s more than one way to skin a cat. Like I keep saying, bar prep is personal.

Richard passed the 2023 February California Bar Exam on his first try. Anyone can learn from this case study since he also passed the UBE.

Corina’s story about passing the bar exam was about MAXIMIZING her coverage. I couldn’t even sleep trying to scrape all the meat off the bone of her story.

Today, I’ll show you a MINIMALIST approach to getting it done.

You’ll also get the benefit of hindsight from someone who used a traditional bar course for his first exam (UBE) and also on his second exam (CA) and passed both times.

How you use any resource for your benefit is key.

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Predictions for the Bar Exam (What to Focus On for Efficient Study)

Before every exam, a handful of people come out of the woodwork and shamelessly ask about subject predictions for the bar exam.

“Does anyone know the essay predictions?”
“What do you think will be tested?”
“I don’t think ____ will appear on the exam.”
“Anyone think ____ will be tested?”
“I know we’re not supposed to listen to predictions, but…”
“What are ____’s predictions?”
“Here are my MEE predictions!”

Whose predictions are you going to listen to?

If you’re like many bar takers, or if you’re a repeater, you say: “Haha of course I’m not going to rely on the predictions. I shall adequately study all the subjects. You should too!”

And then you panic and look at the predictions anyway.

Did you want me to tell you, “Aww poor baby, don’t worry. It’s normal and happens to the best of us 🥺”?

You SHOULD worry if you’re secretly tempted about relying on predictions… because this kind of thinking is entirely predictable and avoidable. Sweating about predictions is not a good place to be and requires intervention.

Also, remember when subjects actually leaked for the California exam in 2019 and people got mad over it? Do you want to know the subjects ahead of time or not? Make up your minds!

Maybe you’re too young to remember ancient history. I’ve been dealing with you people for too long.

Here’s why you should look toward essay or MEE subject predictions only for entertainment value and morbid curiosity (and 3 things you can focus on instead):

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How Corina “Broke the Rules” to Pass the Bar Exam Her Second Time

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from all these bar taker success stories, it’s that there’s a wide spectrum of methods for passing the bar exam.

Your bar exam is yours!

Corina “broke the rules” and went ALL OUT on her second successful attempt at passing the bar. She was the embodiment of creating your own curriculum as the dean of her own studies

💬 “The first round of prep made me feel like I must be crazy because I wasn’t getting it. Even though breaking the rules and doing my own thing the second time was scary, I am glad I did.

In her full story linked below, she literally spares no details about how she did it.

First, here’s a summary of her heroine’s journey — from failing her first exam to her strategies for passing on her second attempt

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LLM passes California Bar Exam on her FIRST try by “cramming” strategically

Tanvi passed the 2023 February California Bar Exam, which had a 32.5% pass rate.

Pass rates don’t mean anything to MTYLT readers (you) because pass rates have no bearing on their own chance of success.

Like many of the other passers you hear about here, this featured passer did it her own way after she realized things were not working for her.

There are many ways you can pass the exam! You are the dean of your own studies. Bar prep is personal.

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