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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3 Options If You Failed the Bar

It’s that time of the year again … Bar results are finally out.

What’s the over/under on how many people SAY they’re not going to immediately check their results (“I’m gonna enjoy the weekend and wait for the mail”) but can’t resist when presented with the ultimate choice?

My bet is that you know your result by now.

If you passed the bar –

Congratulations! Bask in your badass glory (tactfully)! February is especially notorious for low passage rates.

You beat the odds, got your black belt, and the real training begins in the “real world” that you put off since taking the LSAT. For now, be proud of yourself and enjoy a well-earned sigh of bittersweet relief.

If you failed the bar –

You are NOT alone. I don’t think that’s all that comforting, though. You still didn’t pass the bar. Damn it!

This is always a bittersweet time for me and you.

Nonetheless, I can’t sugarcoat it forever. The letdown is infectious to everyone around you. You may even have a job or loans that depended on your passing. At this point, a time machine is the only thing that will make you feel better.

Let me tell you: I know failure is fucking terrible because for some reason I haven’t stopped messing up since I was born (including falling on my head at least 4 times). It’s like I have to retry everything at least once. I grew up in Silicon Valley where the motto is to “fail fast.” How about try not to fail?

But you know what… Improvement comes from constant feedback and learning every time you struggle to solve a difficult problem. The disco mosaic of the Rubik’s Cube is still scattered. Keep turning the puzzle until it clicks for you. This is a learnable skill!

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Answering the Call of Nature (Listening to Yourself When Studying for the Bar)

What? Not potty humor again!

Lol no, this is different, although I can probably try to come up with something if you want… or you can just log out if you don’t want to hear it.

You’re pacing around the bathroom avoiding eye contact with yourself and thinking, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if the bar is coming up in just X weeks, but I’m just drained physically, emotionally and spiritually and I don’t want to think about this anymore?”

Or maybe you got into a routine by now and are feeling complacent with how things are going. Either way, your body is trying to tell you something—nature is calling! We weren’t meant to slave over shitty exams for months.

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