Nearly a quarter of those who passed the bar exam – 24.9% to be precise – failed the test in 2017, and now the situation is much better than it could be. October 2020 online bar exam pass rates shows us that it’s more comfortable for students to take exams online because it’s not as stressful as normal one. But there are still 20-25% of students every year that didn’t score well enough to pass the bar exam.
There are five main reasons why so many test takers can’t pass the bar exam every year. Learning to avoid these pitfalls can help you pass this critical test.
1. They tried to study every detail of the law
The bar exam requires a minimum of legal knowledge. However, many subjects cannot cope with the volume of material that they need to study. Therefore, they try to study in the same way as in law school, learning every nuance and every detail.
This usually results in hours of listening to audio lectures and drawing up flashcards or sketches, but there is actually very little time to study carefully vetted areas of the law. Diving into details can seriously hurt your chances of passing the exam. If you concentrate on the little things, you will not know the thoroughly tested areas of the law on the exam, and this could put you at risk of failing.
2. They ignored “MBE”
Most certification exams include the Matriculation Exam, a standardized certification created by the National Conference of Lawyers’ Certificates and held for matriculation candidates in nearly every state across the country.
Remember to take a practice MBE. However, as with the sample performance tests and sample essay questions, it’s easy to get free MBE questions from past exams. It is important to practice with real MBE questions because they are written in a very specific style.
3. They were unable to practice and seek feedback
Many students find that they have no time to practice. This is a problem because practice is especially important when preparing for the bar exam. For example, in California, as in many other states, applicants must take an academic achievement test as part of the bar exam. California attorneys point out that the performance test is designed to evaluate test-takers.
However, students often save money on preparing for this difficult part of the exam, although past performance tests are available for free online. Essays are also an integral part of bar examinations in most states. Therefore, it is important to practice this part of the test and to access the sample exam questions simply (and free).
The New York State Bar Council, for example, offers essay questions with sample candidate responses, which can be downloaded free of charge from the lawyer exams held in February 2018. If you are a candidate for the bar exams, you should access these free questions, read the material, and practice writing an essay or running performance testing scripts.
After practice, compare your answers to the sample answers, rewrite sections if necessary, and rate your work yourself. Also, if your bar exam checker program offers you feedback, turn in all possible assignments and try to get as much feedback as possible. You can even hire an exam tutor to help you with this.
4. They didn’t take care of themselves
Students who take terrible care of themselves – thus putting themselves at risk of illness, additional anxiety, burnout, and inability to concentrate – often have difficulty passing the exam. Of course, now is not the time to start a new diet or exercise regimen, but you will not be successful on exam day if you are tired, blurry eyes, in stress and hungry because you didn’t accept taking care of yourself or eating poorly.
5. They engaged in sabotage behavior
This behavior can take many different forms: you can agree to volunteer for a long summer program, and as a result, you will not have enough time to study. You may be spending too much time on the Internet or chatting with friends instead of spending hours studying. You may quarrel with your significant other, which makes you too emotionally drained to study.
Remember, you only want to take this exam once: do your best to focus and keep up with your bar exam preparation.