People who pass the bar exam usually share common traits.
In particular, bar passers have certain studying strategies and habits in common.
While knowing yourself and what works best for you is important, some habits don't serve you as well as you think.
With that in mind, understanding how bar passers achieved their success can help you think about what habits and strategies you want to develop or reinforce.
If you adopt the below strategies, you're on a great start to bar exam success.
1. Challenge Yourself
You may be logging the hours, but that doesn’t mean much if you're taking the easy route. Learning elements and definitions alone isn’t enough. You need to know how to apply rules, how they differ from one another, and when to apply them.
In short, you gotta know the ins and outs of key bar exam concepts, so when you are presented with a new fact pattern you are able to determine when to apply them.
2. Keep moving
While knowing the ins and outs is important, you have to know when to move on. Those who get stuck trying to master small, discrete issues are wasting their time. On the other hand, those who can keep their focus on the bigger picture (for example, spending time on the bigger picture issues) do much better on the bar exam.
So, don't get caught up in the weeds. Whether you understand in detail all the prongs of the Interlocutory Appeals Act in Civ Pro will not help you pass the bar exam if you haven't mastered personal jurisdiction. Putting the same amount of effort into these issues (which are very different in terms of their importance to passing the bar exam) will not help you pass the bar exam.
3. Don’t be a bystander
Reading and watching videos for hours on end will not suffice for the bar exam. You cannot sit back and rely on passive studying, even if it worked for you in the past.
The bar exam rewards those who interact with the material and actively attack questions. Work through difficult subjects and unfamiliar questions.
When reviewing practice tests, don’t just read the correct answer and move on. It’s important to sit in your mistakes, analyze what led you astray, and get comfortable and confident with the material you got wrong.
4. No pain, no gain
You must learn the minimum required for every subject if you want to pass. That means putting in the time with subjects that bewilder you the most.
Think about which subject you feel the strongest in, then put in the time to lift up all the subjects that aren’t there yet. You need to ensure that you have the same level of comfort in every subject that may appear on the exam. If you aren’t actively struggling through these subjects, you won’t gain the points you need to pass.