Passing the California Bar Exam with the “Tripod Approach” (Just Triage These Areas)

Let’s say you have an overwhelming amount of material to learn for the California Bar Exam with limited time. (Who doesn’t?)

Or when one door opens, another door closes. You’re not consistently scoring well on the essays. You’re getting a 55 on some. You know you can get a 65 or more if you had more time. Or you just need a little push to get to a 1390 scaled score on the MBE, but then you feel like you’re sacrificing the written portion.

There are a couple of approaches focusing on a few key areas (rather than spreading yourself thin) that could bring you over the hump to pass the California Bar Exam…

This is the basis for the Tripod Approach (click to scroll directly there), which is a minimally effective approach to get the largest return for your efforts in preparing for the California Bar Exam.

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Quick and Simple Ways to Improve Your Bar Essays

A big complaint about essays: “Essays are so freaking subjective!”

Sure, the MBE is more “objective.” There’s only one right answer on the MBE.

But it depends on your interpretation of the question, the hypo, and most important, the answer choices. Yes because X? Yes because Y? Where’s the option for “yes because Z”? FML!

That’s a question for another day.

This is to say, let’s not agonize too much over the essays just because the MBE has objective answer choices and you think that’s somehow advantageous.

Let’s instead use the subjectivity of essays to your advantage. We’re going to take advantage of the impatience of a human who has thousands of shitty essays to read.

This is great because if you know how to write better on one, you’ll know how to write better on ALL of them. How many points is that worth to you?

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How Do You Even Know You’re Practicing Correctly for Bar Prep?

They tell you to “study,” but do they ever teach you HOW to study? Are you studying correctly? Of course bar takers get lost when there are so many different ways to go about preparing.

You could try everything yourself, or you could find a few trustworthy sources and ignore the noise. You could pinpoint insights rather than cobble together information from random people with their own views (bar prep is personal).


  1. Too much conflicting information actually STOPS you from doing anything.
  2. I want the right insights, not just information. The information doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as it makes sense to me and gets me to do something about it.
  3. The more I respect the insight, the more likely I am to do something with it.

How do you know whether to trust someone? Trust yourself to know.

Some resources and advice will work for others, and some will work for you. Big bar review courses cater to the lowest common denominator. It’s like Olive Garden’s menu where there’s something for everyone but also the primary ingredient for everything is butter.

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How to Craft Your Own Study Schedule with a “Macro-managed” Plan

You’re filled with determination to study and get this thing over with… but how? Where do you even begin?

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

Just as what’s enjoyable is personal, bar prep is also personal. Your study plan and schedule are personal.

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

First, you need a study plan. Plan before you need to. If it’s not in your bar study plan, it’s not happening.

Sample 4-week study schedule for bar prep
Sample 4-week study schedule from Passer’s Playbook. This should be a template that’s flexible to YOUR needs and without strict hour-by-hour timing.

I’ll show you how to craft a flexible timeline that works for you. Not the other way around. Not a strict preordained prophecy you must realize to open the iron gates into the bar.

Because if a study schedule is for everybody, then it’s for nobody.

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The Courage to Enjoy Your Mistakes Now

Our first date ended with her car getting towed.

She was the type of person to schedule her showers by the minute because of her absurd rotation schedule in med school. Yet she had taken three hours out of her life to meet me again for a second date.

I wanted to hold her hand so bad. A perfect pretext to see how she felt about me… that I ruined because I lacked three seconds of courage.

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