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I Failed the Bar Exam – 3 Pieces of Unique Advice for Those that Fail

We have several articles about what to do if you fail the bar exam, including an in-depth guide on what to do if you fail the Uniform Bar Exam. However, in this article, we are going to tell you three pieces of unique advice that will benefit you if you failed the bar exam. This advice is based on years of helping repeat takers pass the bar exam!

I Failed the Bar Exam – 3 Pieces of Unique Advice for Those that Fail

1. Recognize that you are at an advantage. 

You might feel completely disadvantaged if you fail the bar exam. In addition to being sad, angry, embarrassed, and/or annoyed, you might also feel like you aren’t going to pass the next exam.  Maybe you have read the statistics on repeat takers (though, we tell you here why you shouldn’t put too much weight on them!) or maybe you are feeling discouraged after being let down by the negative result.  It is true there are disadvantages to failing the bar exam, but there are also advantages.

For example:

  • You have the experience of taking the bar exam. You know what it is like. You will be more assured walking into the exam because you already know the process.
  • You have valuable information on your hands — the most valuable kind of information there is! You know exactly how you performed on the last bar exam. (Many jurisdictions tell you not only your overall score, but your score on each essay and some even tell you your percentile on each MBE subject.) This will help you make your roadmap to success on the next bar exam. It will tell you exactly what you need to know to pass.
  • You will come out of the experience more confident, resilient, and able to tackle whatever comes your way. Many bar exam students who repeat the bar exam tell us how much strength the experience gave them. You might feel beat down now but you will get through this as a stronger, more resilient, more confident person!

2. Consider the cost of changing your approach and not changing your approach 

Many examinees forego paying for bar exam private tutoring or a tailored bar exam course because they do not have money to spend on bar review. And we understand completely. It is hard to come up with the resources for a course, supplements, or a new approach, especially as a recent grad! The problem, though, with not investing in your bar exam preparation is that you risk failing the bar exam again and again and again. (And we know that is the last thing you want to do!)

So, it is also important to consider the cost of not investing in a new approach to the bar exam.

It costs a lot to repeat the bar exam. It costs:

  • The price of actually registering to take the exam ($500 – $1500)
  • Travel costs, including hotel, airfare, food (variable, but between $200 and $2,000+)
  • The price of taking time off work (if you make $20/hour and take 12 weeks off to study or are unemployed, that is $9,600)
  • A bar review course (most, including ours during our promotional period, start at $2,000 but can be as much as $6,000)
  • The cost of delaying your law license and not being able to practice law (variable, depending on your salary)
  • The emotional aspects of having to retake the exam

When you look at the cost of failing, it makes sense to invest in a program that will bring you success on the next bar exam. So, carefully consider the cost of changing your approach and also not changing your approach.

3. Take a few minutes to think of some things that will get you inspired to begin studying. 

Many examinees that fail the bar exam say that getting themselves motivated to study again is one of their greatest hurdles. So, once you are past the initial shock of failing, think of some things that will motivate you to start studying.

Here are some things that have examinees find helpful:

  • Make a study plan. (We have advice on that here.) You will likely find that you feel much better once you have a plan in place.
  • Consider bar exam private tutoring or a tailored bar exam course. One of the worst things about failing is imagining completing the same course (which didn’t help you pass the first time). A fresh, new approach with new outlines and new instruction often motivates students to get started!
  • Get new study supplies! Some students honestly find it makes a difference to get new pens, highlighters, notepads, and other supplies. It is often helpful to clean off your desk too to help you physically and mentally declutter.
  • Plan a fun thing every week. As you plan a schedule, also make sure to schedule time for yourself. Go out with a friend, or schedule a time to exercise, bake, or whatever you enjoy doing. Having something to look forward to can serve as a reward for a long day of studying.

We hope you find this advice useful. Best of luck on your next attempt on the bar exam! If you are looking for guidance on how we can help you pass, please contact us to schedule a free consultation here. We have helped hundreds of repeat takers pass the bar exam. It is our specialty!

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