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Recover from Failing the Exam in 10 Easy Steps
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pass bar exam

Summary: Failing the bar exam once does not mean your chance of being an attorney is over. Recover with these 10 steps to pass the exam next time.

Taking the bar exam takes a lot of preparation and effort. To fail the bar once may make some graduates think they will never pass so they give up. In “10 Ways To Bounce Back After Failing The Bar And Pass On Your Next Attempt,” Harrison Barnes provides advice for law school graduates to help them move past one failing grade so they can do better the next time.


  1. Deal with it

You will have feelings of shame and embarrassment but you have to get over it. You won’t be able to move on and start preparing for the next exam if you don’t let go of your feelings. Plenty of talented and intelligent attorneys failed the bar at least once but that did not stop them from going on to pass the bar and become successful attorneys.

  1. Take the bar again

Just because you failed once does not mean you should throw in the towel and give up. Take the bar exam again the next time it is offered. Don’t skip the next exam because it will be harder to keep up the studying habits and remember all the information you need for the exam.

  1. Work even harder

The bar exam tests the takers ability to memorize and regurgitate general principles of law as well as write logical, reasonable, and rules of law to support an argument. The exam does not test the takers intelligence like the LSAT. Your life should be studying. You should be studying 16 hours or so every day in addition to going to class for the full eight weeks. The sooner you pass the exam, the sooner you can move on with your life.

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  1. Take classes to help you study

There are all kinds of classes out there to help you study for the bar exam. The costs of these classes range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Do your research on the class and make sure you are signing up for one that will cover all the material you need for the exam. Generally a cheaper class means you are getting less quality for your money.

  1. Use a tutor or small coached class

If you have already failed the bar exam once, do everything you can to pass the next time and not keep your life on hold any longer. A tutor and/or a small coached class may give you the extra attention and direction needed to focus on.

  1. Change your way of thinking

Many that fail the bar once get lost in their feelings of despair and grief. They don’t feel that they deserve success and decide they won’t be a good attorney. You have to clear your mind from any distraction so that you can focus on the exam. Don’t worry about others taking the exam.

  1. Imagine your happiness after passing the exam

The pride that attorneys have after passing the exam can be yours too. Once you get past this one obstacle, your future will involve being an attorney. For as long as you live, you will be known as an attorney. There is great pride with attorneys in that fact.

  1. Change how you study

Perhaps you spent too much time studying for one specific part of the exam and neglected another part. Look at your results to find what section is your weakness so you know what to focus on next time.

  1. Get special aids if needed

Get prescription drugs for ADD, anxiety, depression, or whatever else might affect your abilities so that you can put your 100 percent into the test. If you need special accommodations such as more time, then go through the steps to get them. Don’t let there be any excuses as to why you can’t give it your all.

  1. Be practical:

The bar exam is looking for the facts, not deep theoretical ideas. If you try to be all fancy and scholarly, then you will leave the grader confused and unimpressed. Provide the facts of the law and how those facts can be applied to an issue. Trying to complicate things will only make it so you have to take the exam yet again.

To learn more about the bar exam, read these articles:




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