Check out the new article published by Ashley Heidemann in the National Jurist called “Why Smart People Fail the Bar Exam”.
The article details six common reasons that smart people fail the bar exam.
A brief summary of these reasons is as follows:
- 1. You think too far outside of the box. Ironically thinking outside of the box can be a fantastic quality for a lawyer to have. However, thinking too creatively or too far outside of the box on the bar exam can really hurt your score.
- 2. You do not know the law well enough. Note that there can be a variety of reasons for this (either you did not have enough time to study or you simply did not study the way that is best-suited to your learning style. These reasons are detailed in the article above).
- 3. You suffer from anxiety – during study period and/or during the actual exam.
- 4. You need to improve your time management. It’s hard to pass an exam you don’t finish!
- 5. You simply have bad luck. This can be the flu, an unexpected emergency, locking your keys in your car the day of the bar exam, or a number of other things that happen that can throw you off your game.
- 6. You did not practice answering questions. Some students practice too many questions (that is, they go overboard practicing when they do not know the law — see #2 above). But others practice too few because they are waiting to “perfect” their knowledge of the law before trying out any questions. Both are strategies that may cause failure. (But the good news is, there is a happy middle ground!)
The National Jurist article goes into more detail on each of these six reasons. You can read the full National Jurist article on why smart people fail the bar exam by clicking here.
If you failed the bar exam, do not be discouraged or think of yourself as any less intelligent. There are a variety of reasons that very smart, capable people (and soon-to-be-fantastic attorneys) fail the bar exam. The best thing to do if you fail is to figure out why you failed so you can improve your score on the next exam.
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