Bar Review Requires Full Attention: No weddings, no parties, limited social media. Get serious now.


Excerpt from Bar Exam Success: A Comprehensive Guide. By Sara J. Berman, Copyright ABA/West Publishing 2022

Do not forward or distribute without permission of the publisher.

Need to tell your family and friends to leave you alone until August? Send them a letter.


Dear _________________________,

As you know, I am taking the bar exam next month. Studying is a huge challenge. My professor calls it “the law student’s Mount Everest.” I cannot go in knowing I have not done my best. You would not want that for me either.

So, please, expect me to be gone for all of June and July. Even if you see me, I may not really be present. If you ask me something, I may not hear you. Even if I respond, I may not know or remember what I said.

Even if you want to just to say hello, that might have to wait. Unless you can deal with bringing food over and testing me with flash cards while we quickly eat, then leaving, we’ll have to put off everything until August. 

I’m officially RSVP’ing “No” to all social commitments this summer.

If there is anything you want me for —please wait to even ask me about it until after the bar unless it is truly a life-or-death matter.

I likely won’t even look at, let alone respond to DMs or other messages. I am not trying to be rude. Please just consider me offline until August.

If I happen to see or speak with you, please do not take personally any sort of moodiness or tension. It’s the exam. It has nothing to do with you.

Thank you so much for your unequivocal support.  And, thank you for your support and for taking time to read this!

– – – – – –

Bar Exam Approaches: Get out of your own way

When facing high-stakes competitions, matches, performances, or bar exams, there are tendencies to let in self-doubt. Nerves are normal. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise. But the key to success on Game Day – or Bar Exam Days – is keeping the focus positive.

You have been training for this for years. You have taken many high-stakes and low-stakes exams. You know how to read and reason. And, your well-rested mind will perform, so long as you don’t let worry get in your way.

For preparation and to stay mentally limber, continue to use your “cheat sheets” and take the other steps recommended in Bar Exam Success. And, remember, the most important things you can do today and tomorrow are rest, eat healthfully, drink lots of water, and stay positive. Clear the path to success.

#BarExam #BarExam2022 #BarPass #PasstheBar #BarExamSuccess #lawschool #lawstudent

Jimmy Cliff said it best

Below are Jimmy Cliff’s amazing lyrics, from his amazing song, “You can get it if you really want.” I sang this with students for years -before finals, before bar exams, before all of the great changes they faced. Consider singing it yourself!

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

Look here

Persecution you must bear
Win or lose you’ve got to get your share
Got your mind set on a dream
You can get it, though harder they seem now

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last
I know it, listen

Rome was not built in a day
Opposition will come your way
But the hotter the battle you see
It’s the sweeter the victory, now

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
You can get it if you really want
But you must try, try and try
Try and try, you’ll succeed at last

I know it
Don’t I show it?
So don’t give up now
But keep on trying

Tomorrow is Bar Month. Get Ready!!

For many, the Bar Exam scheduled for February 22–23, 2022 is an event they have been planning for, for years. When the words, “I’m taking the February 2022 bar exam” were uttered, it felt like that date was years in the future –a million miles away. But here it is, January 31 and February 2022 is tomorrow.

Expect tomorrow to be anxiety-producing, and then by February 2 (happy Groundhog Day) to be back on track, making the most of the remaining weeks. And, do not underestimate just how much you can and will learn this month, if you stick to your schedule and keep at it, giving 8-12 hours of daily focused study -including completing many practice tests and studying sample answers. And, every wrong answer before the actual exam is the opportunity to learn something or correct a mistake before the real deal!

So, Happy January 31!

Optimism is Contagious

It’s easy to get discouraged when studying. Mountains of materials make it all overwhelming. But please remember that education is a treasure; it is an endless gift to be able to spend time learning. Confront challenges and problem solve to dissipate road blocks. And, try hard to put a smile on your face when you are working. It is amazing how inner positivity can have a productive ripple effect.

Simulated bar exams: Take them next week!

If you are preparing to PASS the upcoming bar exam, calendar your simulated bar exam next week so you have time to learn from -and improve from- the experience. Take the exam under as close as possible to simulated exam conditions. And, study the sample answers to any questions you got wrong or guessed on as soon as possible after the simulated exam.

#barexam, #simulatedbar, #barreview

Don’t forget to Breathe!

How tense are you right now? How much learning is blocked from coming into and staying in your brain because of nerves.

My constant refrain that I ask bar takers and other students getting ready for exam to tell yourselves is: “Turn Panic into Power and not Paralysis.” That power phrase appears in my books and articles and in most every talk I give to students preparing for high stakes exams.

There are many steps for turning panic into power. Step one is always to breathe. We’ll talk about next steps in future blog posts.

Ten tips to manage procrastination

Many students share that as midterms and finals approach, and during bar prep, they find themselves unusually eager to clean their homes, review and delete old emails, clip their toenails. You get the idea – anything other than studying!

Here are tips if this is your situation:

  1. Know that procrastination is normal. Lose the self-criticism.
  2. See some procrastinating as a positive. Sometimes, it does serve a useful purpose – helping re-charge your batteries so that you are all-in when you are studying.
  3. If your procrastination is paralyzing, rather than positive, seek help from reliable, expert resources.
  4. Think of an academic goal as a series of finite projects. It is more tempting to avoid something that feels like a huge challenge. Identifying tasks as doable parts of a project makes them more approachable.
  5. Once you identify the various tasks, ask yourself if any of them feel overwhelming, and see if you can get some help with those pieces of the puzzle.
  6. List what you tend to do when you procrastinate and schedule specific, limited time slots for those things. Don’t make them guilty pleasures. Make them a controlled part of your day. For example, if you procrastinate with social media, you may find yourself losing many hours. If you know that every day, you have social media “office hours,” you will be less apt to use that as an escape.
  7. Study first, then take your time “off.”
  8. Adopt a routine. Being on a schedule will help your body and brain “accept” that you just do particular tasks at certain times. You just do.
  9. Talk to yourself about how good you feel when you accomplish what you set out to do. And, if it’s helpful, remind yourself how icky it feels when you don’t. Simple example: many people have a habit of never going to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. No matter how tired they are, they just don’t procrastinate on that one. Why? They find it pleasant to wake to a clean sink and very unpleasant to wake to dirt. They also realize that the task gets more difficult the longer food sticks to dishes. And, they know that a sink for of dirty dishes attracts bugs.
  10. Articulate why your big goals are important and valuable. And give yourself props for all the hard work you are doing.

#studysuccess, #academicsuccess, #lawschool, #lawstudent, #ASP, #barsuccess

Are you on a 2022 Roll ?

It is easy to feel stuck in pandemania, but there will be a future, and the time is now to prepare yourself for it. The time is now to push through the challenges, to seek and receive assistance if you need it, and to follow your vision – one step at a time.

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