Ask The Professor: Top 3 Things To Know If You Failed The Bar Exam

Bar exam results are out. You didn’t make it. Panic and grief sets in. Over the coming days and weeks, you will read about how many famous people like Hillary Clinton and John F. Kennedy, Jr., failed the bar exam, but this will not make you feel any better.

The only thing that will change your feelings will be to begin working on a plan of attack for the next time you take the exam. What was your strategy last time? What should you do differently this go around? Where will you find the answers?

We at Marino Bar Review have worked with thousands of students who have failed the bar exam. Some of them were very high profile people. We guided them to success on the bar exam by helping them follow these three simple steps:

1) Keep in mind that the bar exam does not test subject areas. People spend entire careers trying to master legal subject areas like Evidence or Constitutional Law. It is a fool’s errand to believe you could do so over the course of a couple of months. Instead, the bar exam tests rules. You do not need to know the entirety of Torts law; you just need to know the main 25 or so rules tested.

The last time you studied you spent weeks or even months skimming the surface of the law. But the exam isn’t nearly as big as it seems, and by focusing on what you study, you will have sufficient knowledge of the rules that are most frequently tested to pass the bar exam.

2) Don’t neglect any section of the bar exam. On the UBE, the essay section and the MBE section are each worth an equal number of points. While multiple choice is a large part of the bar exam, half of the exam is written and subjectively scored. Not all answers are equal and simply putting the correct answer on the page may not score you maximum points if you don’t know how to properly word it. Furthermore, it’s not as simple as the IRAC method you were taught in law school and led to believe was the best way to write by your previous bar review course. In fact, with the proper approach, you can score points even if you don’t know the rule being tested.

3) Don’t be afraid to get help. You need to know what went wrong on your last bar exam and your score report can give you a good amount of information about this. Everyone thinks that they just needed to study a little more or focus on the MBE, but the reality is that each exam taker’s scores and problems are unique. Just because your uncle, who took the bar exam many years ago, is convinced that you probably failed because you’re not good at answering multiple choice questions, does not mean this is actually the reason you were not successful. You can submit your score report to us here or email it to us at [email protected] and we will be happy to give you a completely free score evaluation and guidance on what went wrong and what you can do to improve your score for the next exam. We really know what we’re talking about!

Remember, the bar exam is not a referendum on your intelligence, nor is it an impossible hurdle. It is a hazing ritual that all future lawyers must go through. However, you need to approach studying for the exam the correct way or you will struggle to pass.

As always, if you have any questions about the bar exam or need help knowing where to start (or restart) your studying, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

We wish you good luck!