A lot of students put off what they are afraid of. Well, not just students, but people in general do this. Struggle with multiple choice questions? “I’ll do some later.” Struggle with the performance test? “I don’t have 90 minutes to do that right now, I’ll do it later.” Hate seeing your weird uncle at holiday parties? “I can’t go to Thanksgiving I’m sick.” The list of excuses we make for ourselves to avoid facing what we are uncomfortable with is long. We do it in life every day. One place NOT to do it: when you’re studying for the bar exam.
Bar exam study is all about strengthening your weaknesses. This is because you want to increase your performance and your scores, and in order to do this, you have to work on what you’re not doing well in. However, the bar exam is stressful, and seeing bad scores makes you feel bad. So in this fight or flight situation, what do a lot of students do? They take flight. As a result, their scores never increase, they remain weak in what they are struggling in, and they get better at what they are strong in. This ultimately hurts them on the bar exam. Let’s come up with a plan to NOT do this.
- Track your performance every day. You can do this by using the MBE tracker or self-assessment of your MEE and MPT performance. At the end of each day write down the answer to this question: what do I need to work on tomorrow to improve my scores? Then, schedule the time. This will get you organized and getting the practice you need scheduled.
- Rank your performance by subject, subtopic, and task. At the end of each week, rank your subjects from weakest to strongest, rank your subtopics within those subjects from weakest to strongest, and then rank your tasks (MBE, MEE, MPT) from weakest to strongest. This will allow you to face your scores and performance. You can prioritize your study with what’s weakest to what is strongest when you are scheduling time in your days to build in what you need to work on most.
- Get in the right mindset. Facing what you’re struggling with is a good thing – it is the only way you will get better at something. Afraid of the MPT? Do more of them than everyone else. Scoring low on MBE questions? Do more questions. Do not understand real property? Spend time learning it and put the work in. Working on what you struggle with is not easy, and neither is the bar exam. You’ll beat both things – the fear and the test – if you practice and work with what you’re struggling with.
Today, write down three things you need the most work on, but also write down three things you’re doing well in. You all have work to do, but you’ve already done a lot of work. You’re getting there. Work on getting comfortable with what makes you uncomfortable – you’ll thank yourself later.