It’s bar exam go time! This week is the bar exam. Here are 12 final tips to remember as you head into do a wonderful job to pass your bar exam!
“It’s go time” – Seinfield <– Click to tweet this
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Greetings bar exam takers and future bar exam passers, my name is Dustin Saiidi from ipassedmybarexam.com and today I want to give you 12 tips to help you with the bar exam week. I know I have a different podcast on the bar exam week, here is an updated one that I thought I would share with you as the bar exam week is this week so it is go time now.
Tip number 1. Everybody just calm down. Yes let us just calm down. I have been looking at Twitter and online I see a lot of people all riled up about this thing. Let us just take a deep breath in through the nose, push out the belly and breathe out the mouth and slow down the breath. As you slow down the breath your body will become more calm and become more relaxed as I explain to my bar exam body podcast by slowing down the breath you can calm down the body and your mind cannot be both anxious and calm at the same okay, so just focus on being calm, focus on slowing down the breathe, taking deep breaths in, whenever you get stressed and just let it go. Let us not over hype this thing just keeping calm will help you focus, will help you be composed and will help you do better, okay. So that is tip number one just calm down.
Number 2. Laugh it off. Meaning whenever you see something stressful this next week just starts laughing. If you get scared or anxious just start laughing, when you think about going into the bar exam room or something triggers you, just start laughing. If you see other people who are stressed and anxious and whatever, just start laughing again you do not have to laugh at them, you do not have to laugh out loud necessarily, but just laugh to yourself. Just observe and laugh and do not try to make some big meaning out of it, just laugh.
They say laughter is the best medicine and the more you laugh this next week, the more 2:31 you are going to create in your body the happier you are going to be and the better you going to do. So when you see things good, small, bad, right, wrong whatever rather than assessing a meaning to it or making a judgment about it just laugh. Also if you can laugh at the bar exam you are going to take it down off this high horse, this big pedestal that it is on and just laugh at it, you bring it all the way down and you will realize oh well this is just another exam I have taken a million of these before in my life and I am just going to laugh at you, bar exam. Alright, so calm down and laugh at everything.
Number 3. Try and make it a game. Remember when you were a kid and you used to play detective or you know you used to be like a problem solver for whatever purpose just try and make it a game almost like when you are going into the bar exam and you are given this task, this assignment and you have to decipher the code and you have to pick the right answers on the MBE or write the right essay answers and decipher what the issues are just make it like a fun game for you, that is going to make it more fun and it is going to take less out of this serious zone or mindset or be like oh my god this thing is so serious, just make it a fun game.
We do better when we are playing games anyway and more fun for us, so go to your inner childhood and have some fun with it, you do not have to tell anybody just go have fun with it and enjoy yourself. Life is just an experience anyway just go make it fun. This is just one experience in the many you have had in your life and will continue to have in your life.
Tip number 4. Make stuff up. 4:19 What do I mean? well, if you do not our rule and you do not know an issue or something on the bar exam which is bound to happen, it happens to everybody just make things up, you read enough rules by now where you could easily be a judge and you could easily make up rules, so if you do not know something make a rule up apply some facts to it and you are going to get partial credit for doing so.
I am going to share a quick story on this, when I was doing my essays during my bar exam prep if I finish an essay in about 60 minutes I usual hit pretty much all the main issues and 4:57 facts. Basically I feel I would have passed the essay if I spent 60 minutes on it in full. Now if I did not I finish earlier that usually meant that I miss some big issue or was not doing something right with that essay, that all happen during my preps and I was doing pretty well in my prep, I was pretty much spending about an hour almost on the essays getting all the issues I was doing pretty well. So when it came to bar exam day one we had three essays, first was a contracts one which I really feel I did well on because I knew my contracts at the time.
Second essay I did not remember what it was, but I spent only 35 minutes on it and I was done and this was a immediate red flag for me, because if I was not spending 60 minutes I would have missed a key issue and I spent only 35 minutes and I went back and looked at the essay, looked around and I could not figure out what I was missing or what I had not put there, so I said okay let me just go to the third essay and it would come back, so I went to the third essay did that same thing it took me only about 30 to 35 minutes huge red flag for me so what did I do, well I was not totally sure what to do but I had encountered situation like these during my bar exam prep so, all I did was go back find some facts that I had not used, thought up some vague rules that I thought might apply and I just started putting those in there as well.
Maybe I would hit some more issues and get some more points without really knowing it. But as you can imagine I was during well on my prep and all of a sudden two of my first three essays I am finishing early like a lot early that was a very, very troublesome but I handled it, I handled it well and I just went back and made some stuff up and saw how it went. Now here is the funny on my second day of essays we had three more the same thing happened, two of my essays I finished really, really early and one of those essays was a government takings, this is the February 2010 California bar is the government takings essay question, I may be looked at that once during my bar prep right at the beginning not at all studied it an entire essay was on this thing so I had some pretty much make up the entire essay I made up a four rule task apply a bunch of facts to it use what I could that I knew from law school and my bar study and just apply to it and I ended up passing.
This is especially going to be the key in some of the jurisdictions, I know California they will always throw something in there that will try and test you try and mess you up. The reason for it is: they are trying to test your composure, as a lawyer you are going to have your composure tested all the time whether you are in that position or in front of in front of a judge. There are going to be things that come up that you have not prepared for, that you may think that would not come up and it is all how you handle yourself in that moment, so I think one of the reason they do this is to test your ability to handle yourself and be composed.
You do not have to know all the rules to pass the exam the graders know when you are a lawyer you are going to look up the rules anyway. There are just trying to see how you handle yourself in the moment under pressure, can you do it, okay just make things up again I shared my story 4 of my 6 essays I finish earlier than normal, not because I was super genius or to got it all right I was definitely missing stuff but I was able to pass so minimum competency number is all you need 65 make something up and go for it. Oh I remember with that if you do not know it nobody knows it, you studied pretty much probably as everybody else if you do not know it, nobody knows it everybody is in the same boat, you just cannot see that because you are in the middle of your exam, but everybody is in the same boat.
Tip number 5. I said this a million times eat good food, make sure you do not have heavy carbs and a combination of meat at lunch, like do not have a huge hamburger with a bunch of fries at lunch because it is going to make you sleepy in the afternoon session, so have some chickens, have some vegetables, have a lot of good snacks like some cheerio mix or green Obars no big heavy foods or heavy soups or anything like that especially for lunch because that will make you go to sleep. The MBE in the afternoon and the performance test in afternoon are long enough already so you do not want that any worse by having a huge meal.
Tip number 6. Sleep well the night before and watch your favorite motive the night before the bar exam. For me I watched gladiators that is my favorite movie and it is just an epic movie. You know if a guy can go starving make it through dessert starving, taking on 20 other gladiators at once fight gladiators and tigers and lead people all the way back to take control of an entire nation and If he can do that certainly I can spend three days in a bar exam taking a stupid test.
So get nice and comfortable put on your favorite movie whatever that maybe or it could be an inspiring movie maybe like legally blond, yes I watched legally blond during my first year at law school it helped me get through my first year at law school. So put on something epic this is going to get you in the zone you will have nice dream of you overcoming and conquering the bar exam.
Tip number 7. Keep it all in perspective. Yes the bar exam is important but you know what the bottom line is in a hundred years from now everybody who is listening to this probably is going to be dead. A hundred years from now from the time you listen to this you are probably going to be dead and so are the rest of us. As you planned and living to a 123 years old they are not going to be around. So you know what this is important but in the grand scale it is not that big of a thing. This is just one of the many moments that are going to happen in your life.
That recent tragedy that happen in Colorado during batman movie it was very unfortunate that should really gave you some perspective, at least we have our life, and at least we have our health and our vitality. Many parts of the world they wake up wondering if they are going to eat that or if they are going to survive that day. You fortunately do not have to worry about that your troubles are just for the bar exams. so really just keep things into perspective, you are already one of the top point 0.1% of the entire world the fact that you are even in this position to be able to take the bar exam, so just be appreciate and honor that and keep this thing into perspective.
That leads me into tip number 8. Ask yourself what is the worst that can happen. What is the worst thing that can happen and is it worth getting all stressed and anxious and riled up over. The worst thing that will happen is that you failed the bar exam okay got it fine, so have thousands and thousands and thousands and thousands of people who have failed it as well, so what that is really the worst that can happen, you are not going to lose your life, you are not going to lose your health, nobody is going to die 12:21 to take these fears and exaggerate them and make them grow very, very big but you know what just write that down okay this is worst list t that can happen that will clear your mind and you can proceed forward focusing on doing, focusing on success.
Tip number 9. Do not over hype the bar. Yes this thing is planted in your mind since day one, the big scary Mount Everest bar exam, you know what bring it back down, bring it back down to earth, this is an exam that many have passed and you are very, very capable of passing, it is very, very doable. It is just a combination of all the stuff you learned in law school but it still at the end of the day just an exam. You are not going to be tested on every single subject, you may have studied it which is good, but you are not even going to be tested on every single subject.
The bar exam graders they want you to do well, they want you to pass, it keep the profession running and moving forward bringing in new energy, new blood. So do not over hype this thing, do not let the media likes to over hype things or over exaggerate things, do not allow people discussions and thoughts about the bar make it so big, make it so huge, bring it back down this is a test that you can do, you have done many of these test in the past, you made it to this point, you graduated from law school for goodness sake, you can do this okay, so do not over hype the bar bring it back down to earth.
Tip number 10. Make sure you keep on going during the bar exam. This is somewhat bewildering to me, but some people does spend months and months preparing for the bar exam then comes the bar exam day they maybe feel they do well on day one or on day two and then they stop they do not show up the next day. That is the worst thing that you can probably do is to not show up anymore, I mean you spent all this time putting in all this effort and you are not showing up because you think that you did not do well enough to pass, but it is not even a reality and people have done this and a lot of them found out that they actually had passing scores on day one, they just did not continue going because they got scared.
We ask what was the worst thing that can happen; the worst thing that can happen is that you failed. So if you stop showing up, if you do not show up to the test on the next day guess what you are going to fail so you are just creating the worse that is going to happen. So you put in the time just give yourself the opportunity and the chance to all the days of the bar and do the best you can.
Nobody walks out there feeling like they nailed it, they were prefect, they feel awesome, nobody feels that way. I described the way I handled the essays on my first day, there were two of them where I almost thought I did not pass because I finish way too early and was certain I miss major issues, and that did not really happen during or towards the end of my bar exam prep, I felt that I was on my game and then that happen during the bar exam you can imagine what was going on in my mind. So just show up give each portion you all, be present with each portion and keep moving hopefully and probably you will be surprise by the results come bar exam results day. Give yourself the chance, you deserved it and you have earned it.
Tip number 11. Do not compare your answers with others. Don’t do it. Once that portion of the exam is done, it is done you are not going to go back, you are not going to look at it, you cannot change anything, do not talk to other what they got, what issues they got blah, blah, blah. My roommate in law school when he took the bar he was sitting next to a guy who after one of the portions of the exam started asking him questions like oh yea did you get this issue, did you get this?
Whatever issue I do not know what the specific issues were just started asking him oh yea did you get this yea I got this, you know he was that guy that probably was not going to pass, probably did not feel he did that well so what does he do, he was trying to make people around him feel anxious, to make people around him riled up to make himself feel better, he is the one says oh yea that was so easy I got this, I got that, I got this, I got that and the main issues that you may not have talked about and may not have thought were relevant but because it is in your space now, because you heard it, you might start you might start questioning oh yea was I suppose to do that, was I suppose to talk about that blah, blah, blah.
So if you hear someone talking about that, first laugh you remember tip number 2 laugh, and then run get away from that person, you do not need that person in your life at this time. Bar exam you can meet a lot of people if you want, you can meet a lot of friend, but it is not really the time to make friends you are here to focus on your exam and do your thing.
Last tip number 12. Trust that the material you studied will come back to you. It is just like..if you played any kind of like sporting game and you know you have the championship the play offs and you got nervous before the game but once you are in it everything you have put up to that point comes back to you all your preparation comes back to you believe it or not.
I think that is a reward you get essentially from the universe or the way you have been training with your mind. That is a reward you get if you put in the time and the effort it comes back to you during bar exam time. So I know you may be thinking you are nervous okay do I have the tack sheet for all these subjects, a lot of that most of that will come back to you when you see it on the bar exam. Trust in your preparation, trust you had done what it takes to get you here and just be calm and go know this bad boy out.
Alright so those are my twelve tips:
- Number 1 is calm down
- Number 2 is laugh at everything this next week
- Number 3 is make it a game you are now the detective
- Number 4 is make stuff up and if you do not know it nobody knows it
- Number 5 is eat good food
- Number 6 is watching epic movies the night before
- Number 7 is keep things in perspective you are still in the top 0.1% of the entire world just being in the situation that you are
- Number 8 ask yourself and write it down, what is the worst thing that can happen
- Number 9 Do not over hype the bar, bring it down to earth
- Number 10 is no matter what, you keep on going
- Number 11 is do not compare answers with others
- Number 12 trust in your preparation, trust it will come back to you
Good luck this week go get ’em, go know go know ’em down and we will see you on the other side of the bar exam. Hopefully this is the last bar exam podcast you have to listen to and remember your name appears on the pass list. Take care and have a wonderful bar exam.