I was motivated to write this blog when one of my students said she was terrified about the bar exam. I know her and I know she can pass this test. So this is my message to her and to anyone preparing for a challenge like the bar exam (or a marathon): if you can see yourself passing the test, you can pass it the first time.
When I took the bar exam the first time I knew people who did not pass the first time, but they were not me. I saw myself differently. I knew I was an average student (not top anything). But I was also a really hard worker and I was prepared to work. So I buckled down and studied about 10-12 hours per day. I read, made flash cards, memorized the law, did practice questions, met with my study group and never missed bar review classes. I slept 7-8 hours per night and tried to eat right. I also said out loud to anyone who would listen that I was only taking this test once and that I planned to pass it the first time.
The bar exam is a two day test and halfway into day one during our lunch break I passed a very famous Catholic Church. I stopped to go in and pray. I am not Catholic and my friends joked about this, but I did this as part of everything I was doing to take this test once.
How can you pass the bar the first time? I cannot make any guarantees, but if you visualize success and take the steps necessary to achieve success you can be successful.
First, visualize success. See yourself getting the results that you passed, see yourself getting sworn in. Burn that picture in your head so you can come back to it later.
Second, make a concrete plan for success. Get your vision board up, make a to-do list and get to work! Surround yourself with support. As I stated earlier I never missed a bar review class, I did several different types of studying, find what works for you and do it!
Finally, I recommend a playlist of encouragement songs to keep you motivated. You can listen to this in the shower, or, on your commute. I'm old school so my playlist includes I Will Survive by Gloria Gaynor and Eye of the Tiger by Survivor. Pick songs that motivate you, songs that make you want to take action. Visualize success, make a plan, and get to work.