July 14, 2021

Bar Exam July 2021: Your Best is Yet to Come


Written by: Scot Goins, Director of Academic Achievement and Bar Success

The July 2021 bar exam is right around the corner, and this is a stressful time. As the bar exam dates get closer, future examinees tend to put a lot more emphasis and react more strongly to how they performed ‘today.’ The sense of time running out, combined with the elusive (and impossible) search for perfection on practice questions and essays, leads to people suffering as they strive to understand why today they scored x, but yesterday they scored y. Furthermore, this leads to fears about what is going to happen in the future when they might get z score. These concerns are normal in the process, but not realistic as a method of approach and to perform your best.

I attached the graph above to remind you that your best is going to vary daily, and although you have invested plenty of time and effort up to this point, you will still have days that are up and down in terms of your daily scoring. Please remember that your up days shouldn’t lead you to be overconfident, and that your down days shouldn’t destroy your confidence. Instead, I encourage you to simply keep in mind that each day is an opportunity to improve, and fluctuations will occur. These are normal, and one single day will neither make nor break you when it comes to ultimately being successful. Additionally, if you step back and think about it rationally, each day you are encountering different items, specific nuances, varying levels of difficulty, and will have varying levels of mental energy and focus. You are not a machine, and you should not expect bar prep to be an assembly line process where everything looks the same at the end of each day.

“Success is not built on success. It’s built on failure. It’s built on frustration. Sometimes it’s built on catastrophe.”

~Sumner Redstone

Remember that bar exam preparation is not about being perfect and knowing everything. Bar exam preparation is about studying, putting forth the effort, and learning from your mistakes as you progress. In fact, making mistakes and learning from them is part of the path of progress. 

What many people see as failure on any particular day is not that at all, but rather it is an opportunity to learn a nuance, uncover a misunderstanding, or gain an insight. It is an opportunity to see a literal red X in your bar prep programming now so that you can eventually get the proverbial green light of success notification from the Board of Bar Examiners later. This is a difficult time period, but it is one of opportunities that you have worked towards for years, and now is your time to shine. See each day as an opportunity to gain knowledge and set your sights on success.

I know that you can do this. Strive to learn something new each day and improve, dedicate your time to bar preparation, and treat yourself with kindness. You have been successful your entire life to arrive at this point, and you can continue to be successful moving forward. The bar exam is a difficult challenge, but it is an achievable goal for you to accomplish. You simply have to keep working hard and believing in yourself the way that I believe in you. 

You can pass the bar exam! You’ve got this! Keep working hard and take advantage of each day on your journey to successfully becoming an attorney and receiving that celebratory news letting you know that you passed the bar exam!

Keep working hard and turn your dreams into reality!