I leave most of the bar exam advice to Lee, since she’s the resident expert, but I wanted to drop by to share my best bar exam tip:
Just decide you’re going to pass.
On first glance, this might seem naive or silly, but it’s actually quite powerful. Let me share a story…
When I graduated from law school, I couldn’t decide where to practice. I considered taking the California or New York bar exams, but they’re both really hard. Ultimately, I decided to take Massachusetts, partly because I was clerking there, but mostly because it had a 90%+ pass rate.
When I saw the Massachusetts pass rate, I decided there was no way I was going to fail. It just wasn’t going to happen.
Little did I know, this (relatively rational) decision would turn out to be hugely helpful. Why? Because every time I started to get nervous, as anyone would, and my mind would conjure up a parade of horribles about what might happen if I failed the bar exam, I’d force myself to take a breath and repeat a mantra:
Worrying about this is a waste of time…I’m going to pass.
And that was enough to get me back on track so I could focus and study.
Now, was I guaranteed to pass? No. I could have gotten sick, or had a breakdown, or whatever.
But believing I would pass — and repeating it whenever my certainty started to waiver — really was the key. Obviously I still had to study, but once I decided I wasn’t going to fail, a negative outcome became a lot less likely!
Did you find this post helpful? Check out our other great articles on staying mindful during Bar prep.
- Let Go, Relax, and Get Out of Your Own Way
- Getting Mentally Ready for the Bar Exam
- Can Meditation Help You Prepare for the Bar Exam
- Bar Exam Mind – A Book Review
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