How To Fail The Bar Exam Like A Champion
How To Fail The Bar Exam Like A Champion: I failed the bar exam. Failing the bar exam isn’t the most pleasant thing. Once I saw that long-awaited email sitting in my inbox, my heart immediately started to pound and my hands begun to shake. I fumbled around with my computer mouse, not bothering to even read the message. I desperately searched for the word “PASSED.” When I didn’t find it, my stomach dropped, my eyes begun to well and suddenly I felt like I needed to gulp down my disappointment. Sound familiar?
How To Fail The Bar Exam Like A Champion
1. Prepare yourself the right way.
Ah the ole waiting game. Before I received the bar exam results, I found myself, like many others, stressing. I’ve found however, that worrying is like a rocking chair- it often expends lots of energy but doesn’t get you anywhere. At this point “what’s done is done.” I have found that the most productive way to respond to the growing anticipation of the release of results is to reframe the event in my mind, essentially, thinking and weighing out how I will feel about either outcome and what my plan of action will be. Maybe it’s a strategy I do to lessen the blow in case I didn’t pass, but immediately shifting into problem-solving mode and “blueprinting a plan” is helpful because, regardless of the outcome, you stick to the plan.
I do this with many things in my life; I try to structure my thinking into “worst case scenario.” What I mean by this is that I frame the stressful event- here, the bar exam, like this: “what is the worse thing that could happen?” Obviously, the answer is failing. I then think to myself “ok, say I fail, then what?” Here, the answer is: I will change my studying approach, take it again and pass. Nothing that has happened to you up until this point has broken you, and this won’t either. You’ve rebounded every single time, and you will do that again. Doesn’t seem so scary anymore, right?
2. Know that failing does not make you a failure.
Yes, you did fail the bar exam, and it’s no joke. I’ve been there – twice. However hard it may be to see at the time, there is a silver lining. Reflect upon your life. You studied, took the LSAT, worked your behind off in law school spending little time sleeping and socializing and it all lead up to the big event: the bar exam. My point in this: you are lucky that you are capable! If you can get through three years of law school, you can get through this exam. Pass it just once, and it’s done forever. If your life is a carpet, the bar exam is merely a piece of lint stuck to the corner. In the grand scheme of things, this is nothing. You need to forgive yourself for not passing, and move forward.
3. Don’t lose sight of the big picture.
“Don’t lose the forest within the trees.” In the big scheme of things, it comes down to this one simple truth that I remind myself daily: it is a true gift to be able to even sit for the bar exam and I am grateful for that. Truly, if failing the bar exam is the worst thing to happen to me this year, I think it will be a good year. I feel thankful that the news regards an exam, rather than health (G-d forbid) or something more serious. Feel a little thankful. Think about it: to be able work it out financially to have the resources, the drive and the support to even think about applying to and getting through law school and then being able to pay the fees and study for this exam…wow.
So many people would absolutely love the opportunity to be a lawyer, but life circumstances and finances don’t always allow that opportunity. To sit in that seat so many others would love to sit and be able to study for and take that exam, in itself is a gift that many would kill for. If you fail the bar exam, remember: it’s all about perspective.
4. Don’t wallow away, be proactive.
Ok so you failed, now what? Give yourself a day to be upset maximum. I gave myself one hour. Then: start planning immediately. Regardless of it you missed it by one point or fifty, act like you missed it by a lot and give it your absolute all. Nothing will change unless you change your approach. It’s now your time to prove the exam wrong and take it head on like a champion. With your dreaded results comes a little insight: the score breakdown. As much as you want to crumble up that sheet of paper or “trash” that email in your inbox, look at where you can improve, plan out your time for efficient studying, and start right away.
If you fail the bar exam, you actually do have a leg up on the competition. Why? You know what the exam is like now that you have had a practice run. It may be tough to get back on the horse and into studying mode. However, putting it off will only cause more stress and make it more likely for this circumstance to repeat itself. For me: contracts, evidence and beating the clock are my goals. Set your goal and go for it with all that you have! Don’t waste this opportunity that so many would love to have.
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