You want to pass. We want you to pass. Here’s how to do it:
Do NOT underestimate the bar.
You made it through a tough law school curriculum. You have what it takes to pass the first time, and in fact you’ve probably passed every exam you’ve ever taken. You’re tired and studying this much after all of that is exhausting. BUT: You’ve still got to push through and work as hard as you can – possibly harder than you’ve ever worked before – to pass the bar. Take preparing seriously from the beginning — which is NOW! — all the way through. No lounging around with Netflix telling yourself that you’ll start really studying tomorrow…or you’ll really start studying again in six months.
DO adopt an “attack” attitude.
Respect the exam, work hard, and take it seriously from the start, but do not psych yourself out into thinking that you might fail. No one ever feels fully ready, but if you prepare wisely, you WILL pass. Go in knowing that, and attack the exam with everything you’ve got. If you run into a tough question (essay, PT, or MBE) that you just don’t know – like everyone does – do your best and move on with the same “attack” attitude. One question won’t kill you, but giving up will.
DO take advantage of the support programs available.
Take advantage of programs offered by the school, such as the free Extra Feedback Program. Follow this blog and/or like the “McGeorge Bar Prep” Facebook page for more info, advice, and support, and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions or need a pep talk.
DO simulate practice exams & compare your work to the sample answers.
That means timed, in a realistic environment, and no cheating!! And then when you’re done simulating those practice exams, simulate some more. This is the key to success, and it is the most common regret among those who fail the exam. As they studied, they either thought they didn’t really need to write that often, or they felt like they didn’t know the law well enough to start writing…but you will NEVER feel like you know the law well enough, so just do it. You can mess up; that’s why it’s called “practice.” Just issue-spotting is not enough. Plain and simple: You will not pass the bar if you do not fully, realistically simulate practice exams and compare your answers to the sample answers.
DO be real with yourself and do NOT set yourself up for failure.
If you know deep down that you will pay attention better if you physically come to campus to attend the commercial bar review lectures or to study and write practice exams – and that’s most of us – then do it! Staying holed up in your bedroom only partially paying attention to online lectures will not work.
DO take care of yourself.
Eat healthfully, exercise, and take some planned time off to relax (i.e., an afternoon here or there, not a trip to Hawaii). It’s true that the bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint. You’ve got to be mentally ready, but also emotionally and physically up to the challenge.
DO believe that if you can graduate from McGeorge, you can pass the bar! Focus, work hard, and we’ll see you at the Swearing-In Ceremony!