I Failed the Tennessee Bar Exam – What Should I Do?
If you failed the Tennessee bar exam, you are not alone! Bar exam pass rates have been falling nationwide and Tennessee is no exception to this national trend. Here are a few steps to take if you failed the Tennessee bar exam.
I Failed the Tennessee Bar Exam – What Should I Do?
First, take a break!
It is not easy to fail the bar exam. You are probably feeling a combination of emotions including disappointment, frustration, anxiety, sadness, and anger. It is hard to work so hard for something and then not see it come to fruition. An important first step is to give yourself a break and process your feelings. This allows you to clear your head, move on, and adequately prepare for the upcoming bar exam.
We recommend you check out a few links:
- Read this note to those who failed the bar exam.
- You may even want to read over this list of famous people who failed the bar exam so you know you are not alone!
- Lastly, you may want to read over some quotes we recommend for those who failed the bar exam.
If you try to start studying the day you find out you failed, you will not be preparing adequately for the bar exam. So, give yourself some time to let results sink in and to process your emotions.
Second, examine your score report.
Look at your score report to see exactly how well you performed on each portion of the exam. Many students simply assume that they scored low on the MBE portion of the exam when in reality, they sometimes score lower on the essay portion.
It is tempting to ignore your score report altogether but if you do this, you will not be doing yourself any favors! Rather than ignoring it, see it for what it is — a valuable source of information that can provide you with a roadmap moving forward!
Third, request your essays.
It is unclear to us if you can request your essays from the Tennessee Board of Law Examiners (and this may change with the recent adoption of the Uniform Bar Exam). If you can, it is well worth it to request your essays to see where you went wrong.
- Did I know the law well enough?
- Were my answers organized?
- Did I have any timing issues?
- Was my analysis complete enough?
- Were my conclusions accurate?
While nobody looks forward to reading their essays, they can be a great source of information. There is no sense in repeating the same mistakes twice.
When you read over your Tennesee bar exam essay answers, instead of just looking at where you need to improve, you can also examine what you did well. Knowing your strengths is just as important as knowing your weaknesses as this can give you confidence going into the exam and you can even work on turning your strengths into super strengths.
Fourth, reflect on your preparation.
We recommend you ask yourself a few key questions if you failed the Tennessee bar exam. Even asking questions can be very helpful in determining what to do moving forward. Students often find that truly reflecting on their preparation gives them insight into what they did wrong and it also helps show them the path forward. So it can actually be quite a relief to go through this list of questions!
Some important questions are:
- How much time did you dedicate to studying?
- Did you know the rules well enough?
- Did you practice enough essays?
- Did you answer enough MBE questions? (And if so, were the MBE questions actual released questions or were you using course-invented questions?)
- Was your study schedule manageable?
Taking time to reflect on these questions will help you come up with a new and efficient approach moving forward!
Fifth, commit to changing your approach.
Don’t do the same thing again and expect a different result.
This is a common “trap” that students fall into. It is much easier to just, say, sign up for the same course again than it is to do the hard work of switching gears or coming up with a more tailored plan! But doing something different is key to getting a different result! (On a side note, we truly do not recommend you take your commercial course again. You need to do something different if you want a different (and passing) result on the next bar exam you take.)
Another reason you need to do something different if you failed the July 2018 Tennessee bar exam is because Tennesee is administering the Uniform Bar Exam beginning February 2019.
Lastly, come up with a plan!
Once you know where you fell short, come up with a plan to conquer your weaknesses. Consider private tutoring if you need a lot of help. Your plan should be tailored to your weaknesses. If you struggled with the MBE, focus on the MBE. If you didn’t practice enough essays, for example, come up with a schedule where you write at least five essays a week. Make sure to tailor your plan to the Uniform Bar Exam. You will not have to know Tennessee law beginning February 2019.
We have several Uniform Bar Exam services which you may be interested in if you failed the Tennessee bar exam (including our premium Uniform Bar Exam full-service course which fills up quickly!). We specialize in helping repeat takers pass the bar exam. We list plenty of resources below!
If you are not familiar with the Uniform Bar Exam, we recommend you check out these posts:
- Our top five Uniform Bar Exam study tips
- What is the Uniform Bar Exam? Read an overview of the UBE here!
Looking for a personal consultation?
We are happy to offer a free personal consultation to you if you are looking for basic feedback on what you need to do to improve. Just contact us! If you want detailed help dissecting your score report and coming up with a plan for the next administration, please feel free to sign up for a one-on-one consultation with one of our bar exam experts here. We specialize in helping students pass the bar exam and we have helped hundreds of students come up with successful bar exam study plans. We are happy to help you, too!
Looking for a new approach to the bar exam?
If you failed the Tennesee bar exam by a lot of points, or if you have taken it more than once already, if you are working full time while you study, or if you simply want to make sure you do everything possible to pass it the next time, we recommend that you check out our highly regarded Uniform Bar Exam course. This is a full-service approach to the bar exam. This course fills up fast so we recommend early application! This will help you improve all portions (the MBE, MEE, and MPT portion) of the bar exam.
Other Posts You May Be Interested In if you Failed the Tennesee Bar Exam:
- Read this free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
- How to pass the bar exam the second time around: 5 things to do differently.
- I failed the bar exam twice (or three times, or four or more times): Here is a step-by-step guide to getting out of this vicious cycle!
- Should I rewatch lectures if I fail the bar exam? Generally, the answer is no.
- How to tell your boss you failed the bar exam: What to say and what not to say.
- Lastly, check out our very popular note to those who failed the bar exam, quotes for those who failed the bar exam, and a list of famous people that failed the bar exam — you are not alone!
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