Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

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rgucsb
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Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby rgucsb » Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:08 pm

Beginning to study for the Feb '15 bar exam (1st time retaking since Feb '14); The fear of failure, failing again, is something that has haunted me everyday since May 16; I am trying to stay positive and motivate myself, but I would love to hear some success stories about TLSers that passed the bar exam. Did any of you work while studying? What motivated you? How did you stay motivated? Please share and thanks you

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kingofcream
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby kingofcream » Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:32 pm

rgucsb wrote:Beginning to study for the Feb '15 bar exam (1st time retaking since Feb '14); The fear of failure, failing again, is something that has haunted me everyday since May 16; I am trying to stay positive and motivate myself, but I would love to hear some success stories about TLSers that passed the bar exam. Did any of you work while studying? What motivated you? How did you stay motivated? Please share and thanks you


Just passed NY and NJ. It was hard, psychologically. I could not have done it studying alone, or in my apartment. You have to get out of the house. I studied at the law school with 3-6 other people in whatever conference rooms or classrooms were open. Sure, there were interruptions and lots of talking. But they kept me sane-I would've felt way too overwhelmed and isolated otherwise. We helped each other clear things up, we wrote out charts on the chalkboard, we took MBE practice questions together and reviewed them.

So I'd say:

If you can find just one or two other people to study regularly with, that you trust and you know are studious and not deadweight distractors, go for it. When I slept in or didn't feel like studying on a Sunday, they'd text me and tell me to come in, and I did the same for them. 80% of the time we just sat quietly in the same room, but it gave me people to eat with, to decompress with as I was going home at night, etc. And towards the end it was awesome to have them to help flesh things out we didn't understand.

Leave your house/apartment to study every day. Every. Day. No excuses. If you're starting to lose focus and need a change of scenery in the afternoon, no shame in going home and trying to do some studying there. But don't just stay home all day.

Know when it's time to quit for the day, and don't be ashamed or second guess yourself. Especially early on in the studying. Marathon not a sprint, you know? The first few weeks, until I finished the MBE subjects, I averaged about 5 hours a day, and tried to give myself Sunday off. Don't start out full throttle, you'll burn out before the last week. Last 2-3 weeks is when you need to be putting in the late nights, even on Sundays. But even then, sometimes you just have a pounding headache, or you're fucking saturated for the day. It's ok-your mind and body need rest. I remember one day 2 weeks before the bar I just couldn't. Just couldn't. Took the day off to wander around Central Park and then watch TV. Came back refreshed.

Don't beat yourself up if you fall behind, just triage and move on. That is, doing practice questions/essays is more important than watching every single minute of every lecture and filling in all those stupid blanks. Speaking of which, I found that I'd get so worn out after watching hours of lecture that I didn't have the energy to do practice questions and flash cards in the afternoon. So be sure to switch it up so you're not just watching lectures in the morning and then spacing out because you're tired.

Practice questions and essays are painful, but you need to do them early on. Nobody likes being confronted with their limits, but especially practice essays really helped solidify knowledge. The Bar is about test taking skill as much as it is legal knowledge. Therefore, practice MBEs right out of the gate is just as important, if not more important than, poring over that subject outline.

But to make sure I've answered the question-my friends helped me stay motivated, and getting out of the apartment every day was *essential* to ensuring that I didn't fall into a bad state of mind. I found that having a solid structure and routine made motivation irrelevant-it's just what I did. Also, if you pass and get admitted, you get to put "Esq." after your name. How cool is that?

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rgucsb
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby rgucsb » Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:16 pm

King of Cream, thank you for the awesome, detailed post, I greatly appreciate you sharing your experience and Congrats on Passing!!!

kingofcream wrote:
rgucsb wrote:Beginning to study for the Feb '15 bar exam (1st time retaking since Feb '14); The fear of failure, failing again, is something that has haunted me everyday since May 16; I am trying to stay positive and motivate myself, but I would love to hear some success stories about TLSers that passed the bar exam. Did any of you work while studying? What motivated you? How did you stay motivated? Please share and thanks you


Just passed NY and NJ. It was hard, psychologically. I could not have done it studying alone, or in my apartment. You have to get out of the house. I studied at the law school with 3-6 other people in whatever conference rooms or classrooms were open. Sure, there were interruptions and lots of talking. But they kept me sane-I would've felt way too overwhelmed and isolated otherwise. We helped each other clear things up, we wrote out charts on the chalkboard, we took MBE practice questions together and reviewed them.

So I'd say:

If you can find just one or two other people to study regularly with, that you trust and you know are studious and not deadweight distractors, go for it. When I slept in or didn't feel like studying on a Sunday, they'd text me and tell me to come in, and I did the same for them. 80% of the time we just sat quietly in the same room, but it gave me people to eat with, to decompress with as I was going home at night, etc. And towards the end it was awesome to have them to help flesh things out we didn't understand.

Leave your house/apartment to study every day. Every. Day. No excuses. If you're starting to lose focus and need a change of scenery in the afternoon, no shame in going home and trying to do some studying there. But don't just stay home all day.

Know when it's time to quit for the day, and don't be ashamed or second guess yourself. Especially early on in the studying. Marathon not a sprint, you know? The first few weeks, until I finished the MBE subjects, I averaged about 5 hours a day, and tried to give myself Sunday off. Don't start out full throttle, you'll burn out before the last week. Last 2-3 weeks is when you need to be putting in the late nights, even on Sundays. But even then, sometimes you just have a pounding headache, or you're fucking saturated for the day. It's ok-your mind and body need rest. I remember one day 2 weeks before the bar I just couldn't. Just couldn't. Took the day off to wander around Central Park and then watch TV. Came back refreshed.

Don't beat yourself up if you fall behind, just triage and move on. That is, doing practice questions/essays is more important than watching every single minute of every lecture and filling in all those stupid blanks. Speaking of which, I found that I'd get so worn out after watching hours of lecture that I didn't have the energy to do practice questions and flash cards in the afternoon. So be sure to switch it up so you're not just watching lectures in the morning and then spacing out because you're tired.

Practice questions and essays are painful, but you need to do them early on. Nobody likes being confronted with their limits, but especially practice essays really helped solidify knowledge. The Bar is about test taking skill as much as it is legal knowledge. Therefore, practice MBEs right out of the gate is just as important, if not more important than, poring over that subject outline.

But to make sure I've answered the question-my friends helped me stay motivated, and getting out of the apartment every day was *essential* to ensuring that I didn't fall into a bad state of mind. I found that having a solid structure and routine made motivation irrelevant-it's just what I did. Also, if you pass and get admitted, you get to put "Esq." after your name. How cool is that?

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kingofcream
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby kingofcream » Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:23 pm

rgucsb wrote:King of Cream, thank you for the awesome, detailed post, I greatly appreciate you sharing your experience and Congrats on Passing!!


np, thanks for the kind words. I know a few smart people who didn't make it the first time around. Just remember it's a glorified hazing ritual, not a reflection of your worth as a lawyer. Chin up and nose to the grindstone, you'll pull through.

sparty99
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby sparty99 » Mon Nov 17, 2014 10:46 pm

I feel like studying with other people would be stressful as hell.

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northwood
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby northwood » Mon Nov 17, 2014 11:51 pm

I would add don't be afraid to change your approach, especially in the beginning. I started studying with a group of people, but after 2 weeks felt that it was more of a distraction than anything else ( found myself talking too much)so I changed my approach ( the other person also felt that it wasn't working).

I also think changing your schedule may help too. IF you find that the lectures make you want to sleep after words, then do your MC and essays first,then do the lectures. That way if you need to veg out, you will still be productive.

bklynattorney
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby bklynattorney » Tue Nov 18, 2014 1:27 am

I worked full time during bar prep (just passed the July 2014 NY bar). While I didn't exactly finish my Kaplan bar course (work just got in the way), I felt I had a solid grasp on most of the material.

Another thing that helped me out was holding a conference call with a buddy who was also studying for the bar twice a week where we'd quiz each other on bar notes. This was my way of not studying alone, as I was in an isolated area and didn't know of anyone else studying for the bar in the area. The phone calls also helped me to not panic as they reinforced that I wasn't supposed to know every single point that would be on the exam.

I'd also say to take care to really internalize and apply the bar tips outlined in your course (that is if you are taking one). For instance, learning to always finish and to take a position even if I didn't know what I was talking about (as opposed to giving a two option response) served me well on the essays as my MBE score wasn't necessarily anything to write home about (my friends who failed the bar didn't do this, which had a negative impact on their essay scores). Let's face it: bar courses don't teach everything and, even if they did, we probably wouldn't memorize everything. That said, I've found that doing the above often means being right more times than not if your answer is reasonable . . . plus it's just proper bar form.

Good luck!

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kingofcream
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby kingofcream » Tue Nov 18, 2014 5:54 pm

sparty99 wrote:I feel like studying with other people would be stressful as hell.


To each his own I suppose. Out of the usual group of 5-6, 2 studying for California, another Virginia. It was nice in that we could do MBE stuff but wouldn't stress each other out about the state-specific stuff. 5 other people to stress about MBE stuff, but only 2 others to stress about NY.

Also, studying with a CA person is great for putting your stress into perspective. Hehe :wink:

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rgucsb
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby rgucsb » Tue Nov 18, 2014 8:36 pm

Thank you guys for the positive feedback, I am actually taking CA lol

I took the themis bar prep my 1st time around and have been using all my notes/outlines, I did very well on the essays but got destroyed by the MBE, so I will be purchasing AdaptiBar and doing about 70% mbe prep/ 30% essay writing

kingofcream wrote:
sparty99 wrote:I feel like studying with other people would be stressful as hell.


To each his own I suppose. Out of the usual group of 5-6, 2 studying for California, another Virginia. It was nice in that we could do MBE stuff but wouldn't stress each other out about the state-specific stuff. 5 other people to stress about MBE stuff, but only 2 others to stress about NY.

Also, studying with a CA person is great for putting your stress into perspective. Hehe :wink:

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northwood
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby northwood » Tue Nov 18, 2014 9:06 pm

i was never a big outliner ( I talked about doing them and wanted to do them, but never got around to doing them in law school) and always took one or 2 outlines and read from them so sticking to that course of action worked fine for me ( but I did do all of the work and extra essays and MBE ?'s and made up silly songs to memorize rule statements) so I guess TLDR- just do whatever it is that got you through law school finals

onecallthatsall
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby onecallthatsall » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:36 pm

If you're doing a bar prep course, enroll in one that offers live lectures and go to EVERY ONE. People will tell you it's a waste of time, but I promise you will get more out of a live lecture than an online video. Also, at the end of the lecture, you will be awake, energized, and much more likely to stay at whatever venue the lecture is at to study the rest of the afternoon. By the time you leave around 5pm or so, you will genuinely have put forth a full study effort from 9am-5pm and that is MORE than enough needed to pass the bar.

The key is simplicity and anxiety management. If you put in 9am-5pm study days (including lectures) 5 days a week up until the last 2 weeks of study (at which point I added weekends), the odds are massively in your favor. As an added bonus, by keeping a manageable but consistent schedule, you will ward off a lot of the anxiety I saw many friends struggle with. I never pulled all-nighters and did not deny myself a free weekend up until the last 2 weeks and I passed with about 40 points to spare.

You can do this. It's just a test. The key to cracking it is a healthy study schedule.

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kingofcream
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby kingofcream » Wed Nov 19, 2014 3:56 pm

rgucsb wrote:Thank you guys for the positive feedback, I am actually taking CA lol

I took the themis bar prep my 1st time around and have been using all my notes/outlines, I did very well on the essays but got destroyed by the MBE, so I will be purchasing AdaptiBar and doing about 70% mbe prep/ 30% essay writing

kingofcream wrote:
sparty99 wrote:I feel like studying with other people would be stressful as hell.


To each his own I suppose. Out of the usual group of 5-6, 2 studying for California, another Virginia. It was nice in that we could do MBE stuff but wouldn't stress each other out about the state-specific stuff. 5 other people to stress about MBE stuff, but only 2 others to stress about NY.

Also, studying with a CA person is great for putting your stress into perspective. Hehe :wink:


Lol sorry. Anyway, I highly recommend Critical Pass MBE flashcards (I swear I'm not a shill) http://www.criticalpass.com/critical-pa ... lashcards/

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n900mixalot
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby n900mixalot » Fri Nov 21, 2014 1:43 pm

kingofcream wrote:Lol sorry. Anyway, I highly recommend Critical Pass MBE flashcards (I swear I'm not a shill)


Hey there, so as a re-taker, I have always enjoyed reading and condensing the long outlines and I feel like I really need to to get at all of those discrete issues I saw on the July 2014 MBE. But I know that I just don't have the time to do that. (I'm not doing lectures again, they feel like a waste of time on the third round)

Do you think those cards are enough in terms of written material? I mean, some of the questions seemed like REALLY fine points of law that only the long outlines covered. I know they can't replace actual practice MBE questions but I'm afraid of being caught off guard again.

mvsw
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Re: Bar Prep Motivation-Share your success story

Postby mvsw » Fri Nov 21, 2014 8:25 pm

n900mixalot wrote:
kingofcream wrote:Lol sorry. Anyway, I highly recommend Critical Pass MBE flashcards (I swear I'm not a shill)


Hey there, so as a re-taker, I have always enjoyed reading and condensing the long outlines and I feel like I really need to to get at all of those discrete issues I saw on the July 2014 MBE. But I know that I just don't have the time to do that. (I'm not doing lectures again, they feel like a waste of time on the third round)

Do you think those cards are enough in terms of written material? I mean, some of the questions seemed like REALLY fine points of law that only the long outlines covered. I know they can't replace actual practice MBE questions but I'm afraid of being caught off guard again.



Critical Pass flashcards are amazing. They leave half the card blank so you can write in your own material. I just added the small details to the cards myself. I thought they were tremendously helpful.




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