How Navi Passed the New York Bar Exam with a Score of 295 on Her First Try

Here’s someone who dedicated herself to passing the New York Bar Exam on her first attempt. She was able to achieve—in her words—freedom.

"A true capture of how freedom looks post bar"
Her caption for the trip celebrating passing the bar: “A true capture of how freedom looks post bar”

One and done.

On top of that, she only completed 30% of Themis and got a score of 295, well above the cutoff to practice in any UBE jurisdiction.

You’ll notice that many of the lessons she shares here can be linked back to what I share with you in my coaching emails and other study materials.

Key lessons and her full story below.


“Consistency over intensity.”

“For me, love was the greatest motivator. Love for myself.”

Those are some of the words she passed along to me when describing her journey to passing the bar exam. Below are my breakdown of her story, resources used, and her full recipe for success.

(Includes links to her weekly calendar, her one-pager of takeaways created every day from her learnings, and her MPT analysis outline)

Keys to passing the New York Bar Exam on her first attempt

✅ Stay calm. I know, easier said than done. But you have what it takes, especially if you’re a repeater who went through this process already and simply need to change your approach. 

💬 “I’m someone who cannot stress. I do not like the feeling of stress and personally for me it does more damage than good. Instead, I believe in progress and ways I could be better than yesterday. This was the approach I took during my bar exam prep.


✅ Enjoy the process.
 I say this all the time. Stop begging for motivation. You already have a reason you’re doing this, which is to pass the bar exam and move on with your life. Think in terms of maintaining MOMENTUM.

💬 “For me to enjoy the destination, I had to enjoy the journey just as much.


✅ You can do ANYTHING you want—but not EVERYTHING. Stop getting distracted by other things. Make progress with bar prep, and let that be your motivator.

💬 “After the bar exam, it seems like we can do anything we put our mind to. It’s all about mindset, appropriate methods and motivation. Progress is the greatest motivator.

💬 “Bar prep for me was almost a self-discovery journey. It forced me to block out all the noise and reclaim my inner knowing.


✅ Start your practice early and get questions wrong. Obvious but not easy to make space for when you’re bogged down by the bloat of bar review courses.

💬 “Instead of waiting 3 weeks out from the bar, I would start my MBE practice with [Emanuel’s Strategies & Tactics for the MBE] early on.

💬 “I learn more by doing. The more I got questions wrong, the more motivated I felt.


✅ Listen to yourself. You’re the dean of your own studies (never forget this). Are you doing what makes sense to YOU? Turn off lectures if they’re a way to zone out instead of learning. Take an extra day for a subject if you need to. 

💬 “Just because a certain style works for other people – doesn’t mean it works for me. Studying for the bar was very empowering because I realized how creative I can become and actually enjoy the process of learning.

💬 “What a regret to purchase Themis and pour $2k down the drain. All lessons learned. (as a retaker would definitely not do a bar prep course).

Learn to trust yourself. I can show you how you can become confident in your own abilities.

Resources used to prepare for the New York Bar Exam

▶▶ Magicsheets + Approsheets

▶▶ Passer’s Playbook (tools and techniques for effective bar prep)

▶▶ Mental Engines (mini-course on organizing your mind and emotions for bar prep)

▶▶ UWorld (AdaptiBar can also work; knock $30 off with this discount code)

▶▶ Strategies & Tactics for the MBE

▶▶ Past NY Bar Exam questions

▶▶ BarMD PT video

▶▶ Themis Bar Prep (stopped at 30%)

▶▶ MTYLT coaching emails (sign up here)

Initial email

Hi Brian,

Found out this morning that I passed the NY Bar Exam with a 295 UBE score and 147.1 scaled MBE score.

Literally only completed 30% of Themis Bar Prep Course, in hindsight could have saved that $2000 – everything I needed for the bar exam was found on your website. Your Magicsheets, Approsheets, practice exams. Really drilled down on the practice practice bit. Another thing that helped was reading other people’s success story. One in particular was of a woman who recorded herself and relistened to the audio. That was extremely effective for me but one thing that took it to the next level was recording the notes in my native language. This forced me to distill concepts in ways that really stuck with me. I would listen to these recordings on my drive to and back from the library.

All in all, just want to say thank you for your gift to us law grads. Thanks to you, studying for the bar exam was a fun, calm, and empowering process. Really could not have done it without you!! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!

With gratitude,

Navi

Bio/background. Photo optional but encouraged: “A real person did it. So can I.”

  • Photo – A true capture of how freedom looks post bar.
  • JD/MBA student where more than ½ of her law school experience was remote. Most of my exams were open-book so had to relearn how to take closed-book exams.
  • Did not take some of the classes NY MEEs tested

Quick stats – which exam, how many times you took it, weak areas, scores, unique struggles

  • Took the NY Bar once. UBE Score of 295 with scaled MBE score of 147.1
  • My weak areas shifted throughout the prep. I started really strong with Con Law and 2 weeks out from the exam, it became my weakest. On the flip, I started pretty weak in Contracts and by the end, I was scoring the highest in Contracts.
  • 2 weeks out of the exam and I realized I had not done a single MEE for Business Organizations (agency, corp, etc.) , Wills, and Trusts. At that point, all I did was past bar exam MEEs for each subject and tons of essay cooking. The Hemingway App helped incredibly because it forced me to dummy down the overwhelmingly dense rules Bar Prep outlines.
  • Unlike most bar examinees, I followed an 8-week schedule and allowed myself many buffer days for mental sanity. I realized early on – the more I showed up for my body, the more it showed up for me. Your mental engine talks were so crucial in level-setting as well.
  • Bar prep for me was almost a self-discovery journey. It forced me to block out all the noise and reclaim my inner knowing. Just because a certain style works for other people – doesn’t mean it works for me. Studying for the bar was very empowering because I realized how creative I can become and actually enjoy the process of learningFor me to enjoy the destination, I had to enjoy the journey just as much.
  • By the time I took the bar, I had only completed 30% of my Themis workload. Granted it did not take into account, the hundreds of MBE questions I did on UWorld or Emanuel’s.
    • I learn more by doing. The more I got questions wrong, the more motivated I felt. I wanted to mess up as much as I could now so I did not make the same mistakes during the exam. (shout out to Playbook for that perspective)
    • Also quality over quantity, thoroughly reviewing the explanations of every answer choice (right or wrong) – allowed me to get a realistic sense of how I was doing. Just because I got something right didn’t mean I understood the law correctly.

Quotes

  • Consistency over intensity.
  • I am capable and worthy as anyone else to achieve all that my heart desires – in this case, passing the bar.
  • The more I believe and trust in myself, the more I am able to show up fully. I won’t ever let myself down.
  • I love myself and my life too much to have to do this again. One and Done.
    • For me love was the greatest motivator. Love for myself.

Quick insights, things you did differently if you’re a retaker

  • Instead of waiting 3 weeks out from the bar, I would start my MBE practice with Emmanuel early on. His explanations were so thorough and easy to follow that they even helped tremendously for the MEEs. Emmanuel’s explanations are great at tying concepts together.
  • Other than that, honestly, I would not do anything differently. Even though towards the last week I felt like I was cramming, at the end, it forced me to get comfortable at making up the rules. Which I honestly believe is the reason I scored as I did. The July 2022 NY Bar tested so many nuanced and intricate legal rules that even if I studied every single word on the outlines, I would still not have been able to recall the rules exactly. Essay cooking made me comfortable at issue checking and being able to articulate rules and analysis in a systematic way – shout out to headlines. The more the merrier!

Resources used

Full story for those interested

  • I’m someone who cannot stress. I do not like the feeling of stress and personally for me it does more damage than good. Instead, I believe in progress and ways I could be better than yesterday. This was the approach I took during my bar exam prep. Any time I found myself stressing, I took a break and did something that refueled me with a sense of purpose and what it means to be alive. Our existence is so much bigger than the bar exam. And nothing in the world is worth taking away my sense of clarity and tranquility!
  • Bar exam was honestly one of the most disciplined times of my life. The process was strenuous yet relative to my other peers, I maintained a sense of confidence, calmness and inspiration. This all was a product of my ability to remain creative and track my progress.
  • I’m attaching the different systems I created in addition to what you provided in the Playbook.
    • See the monthly calendar – which evolved weekly depending on how much I accomplished that day or generally how I was feeling. Some days I was putting in 10 hours and other days barely 3 hours.
    • My weekly calendar – this was updated every day. To track my hours, to keep a tally of how many MBE qs/MEEs I did. How I was feeling overall and ways I could show up better the next day.
    • My one-pager of takeaways I created every day from my learnings. This page was the very last thing I looked at before going to sleep and the first thing I looked at upon waking up. Incredibly effective at helping recall. I legit could remember the placement of the text when a relevant question was asked. This helped me train my subconscious memory.
    • My one-pager takeaways were then transcribed into audio recordings on my phone. I would explain and record the concepts in my native language, Punjabi – which forced me to distill the concepts in foreign words and solidify the retention. This was probably the most effective form of learning. I can still recall the concepts from the recordings so vividly. I made the recordings pretty entertaining, describing the weather and what I was feeling when recording, for instance I remember when I recorded the Miranda warnings segment, my niece was born. So tying emotion with memory = incredible retention. I listened to these recordings on my drive to the library or whenever I was sitting in traffic.
    • MPT – analysis outline. I made this from Reddit user’s recommendations and the BarMD video.
    • Google Task Timer – every morning I would create a schedule of how much time I would allocate to each task. I was so intentional with timing, I would pause the timer for any bathroom breaks, any meal breaks, any point where I was not actively learning.
    • Walks in nature midday. There is something powerful about taking a break from technology and letting yourself immerse in the sounds and views of nature. It allowed me to retackle topics with a renewed perspective and lots of freshness.
    • Essay cooking was a game changer! Also when reviewing MBE questions from Emmanuel, I would re-write on the book, key take aways from his explanations.
    • I also printed so many quotes from the Playbook and hung them all over my study room. Every time I was slacking, those quotes would bring back to the grind.
    • Having access to reach you whenever I felt overwhelmed and hearing your perspective always
  • Your body is a machine. Support it, prime it. I was very serious with my diet and exercise during my bar prep. I ate super clean, lots of hydration, movement, and herbal supplements to support cognitive functioning (eg, Gingko Biloba, rosemary tea, Gotu Kola, lionsmane, etc.)

Wow. Writing all this out, makes me feel so empowered once again. After the bar exam, it seems like we can do anything we put our mind to. It’s all about mindset, appropriate methods and motivation. Progress is the greatest motivator.

Takeaways: What did we learn from her story?

  • You don’t need fancy courses to pass the bar exam. Use one for structure if you need to of course, but it doesn’t have to be the ONLY or DEFAULT way of doing things. Think about whether you could use $2,000 for something else. Bar prep doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • Stay calm. Freaking out is for the dance floor. Pay attention to insights (such as what you find here), and give them a whirl instead of doing things haphazardly.
  • Love yourself enough to invest in yourself and do what it takes to not hold yourself back from life.

Nice work, Navi! Here are the tools she used again.

Original unedited screenshots

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