I FAILED the BAR EXAM

by thedesertion

I knew I’d failed right after I left the exam. I actually cried more after the exam than when I didn’t see my name on the pass list. I blew it on the multiple choice. My essay came out close to target with what Barbri said I’d need for the best chances of passing, but the multiple choice was short. 10 more points and I would have passed high enough to be admitted in the Desert. Those MBE 200 multiple choice questions are really rough. I’m not a very good standardized test taker at all, especially when it comes to multiple choice.

I feel so sad that my classmates are moving forward with their lives and I’m not. I feel like I just got left behind. I’m also ashamed and embarrassed that I failed. What’s worse is that I feel like everyone in the whole world knows I failed and is looking at me like I’m just a stupid, unintelligent idiot who hasn’t a clue what the hell she is doing.

Another thing that really pisses me off is that people who weren’t really great students were able to get a pass and I wasn’t. I was on law review, student bar association, active member of a bunch of clubs, etc, etc. Meanwhile, people with lower GPAs who did the absolute bare minimum to get by were able to pass and I wasn’t. Better students failed and crappy students passed. I just don’t see the justice in this, but I need to make myself get over it somehow. If only I could figure out how.

I took Barbri and followed the course as closely as I could. I don’t how anyone could study for the bar without the Barbri materials. However, Barbri’s study schedule is a “one-size-fits-all” approach to bar prep, and it just wasn’t for me. The materials were great, and I’m using them again to re-study for July’s exam, but I have to create a whole new approach to studying. Their study schedule jumps all over the place without any time to really digest Property before moving on to Contracts and so on. I was just trying to shove knowledge into my brain without time to process it and organize it in my mind. Concepts were flying all over the place and I just didn’t have a handle on all of it.

Additionally, I was SO nervous and had the worst anxiety throughout the entire study process. I cried almost daily and I had nervous breakdowns once or twice a week. Out of our study group of three, just one of us passed. The pass rate this February was kind of abysmal: 66%.

I am doing Barbri again, but this time I’m reorganizing their study schedule so that I can spend enough time on one subject before moving on to the others. I am also skipping the lectures this time and focusing more on drilling memorization and creating my own outlines. I was just told that if you don’t create your own outlines, you don’t give yourself a chance to properly integrate the material in your own mind with your own thought processes and logic. I can now see how that is true. I never did flashcards before in my life but I just started last night and I can now see why people make them. The first time around, I spent 10-12 hours per day, 7 days per week for 2 months. This time, I am going for 2 1/2 months, 8 hours per day, 7 days per week. I actually think I need to study LESS per day but get better quality studying done. I spent so much time spinning my wheels trying to sort all of the material that I felt the 10-12 hours per day was not worth as much as it seems. This time, I need to also integrate some normal people time. What I mean by that is, spend time doing things normal people do, like exercise, take breaks to watch a little TV or a movie, just as a way to ease the stress and anxiety. I took no breaks last time, and went hard from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. I can’t even tell you how many showers I skipped and how many dirty outfits I repeated time and time again. I will not do that this time. I was so “all in” that it just added to the anxiety and nervousness.

With being just a mere couple of points away from passing, my sadness, nervousness, and anxiety is really now starting to turn into anger. I am mad those little points are what held me back and I am becoming more and more determined to not let this happen again. The repeater fail rate is higher than one would imagine. I asked one of the faculty members at school and he said that what holds people back on the second try is that they let the stigma of failing affect them. I am trying to stay strong and not let it bother me.

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