One of my students who is taking the July 2012 bar as a first time taker sent me this quote yesterday --a statement on how it feels to start intensive bar review:
"Always in the big woods when you leave familiar ground and step off alone into a new place there will be, along with the feelings of curiosity and excitement, a little nagging of dread. It is the ancient fear of the Unknown, and it is your first bond with the wilderness you are going into."
~ Wendell Berry
It struck me that the quote is just as important for those who learned yesterday that you will be repeating the exam this July as it is for first timers. You are both alone, and no longer on familiar ground.
First timers, if you are doing what's familiar, you are using the same study process you used in law school and that will not work for the bar exam. You MUST make a radical change. The bar exam is different. It requires total and complete focus, and training by taking timed practice questions every single day. Get a new game plan now!
If the July bar is not your first exam, you too move forward alone. And, I know today and this entire weekend feels lonely and miserable. But the shock will pass and you will re-focus on success for July. To get there, though, you too must make some major changes. If you repeat only the study techniques you employed when you did not pass, you will likely find yourself in the same boat. You must make a change, and today, that may well feel like a walk into the wilderness.
I can tell you this today, having received so many emails yesterday from students both who passed and some who did not, that all of you taking this July bar exam have, now, in this month of May, "a nagging dread." For some, still stunned by yesterday's news of a stumble on the path, it may be more of a "raging" dread.
But to all of you, keep hold of the "curiosity." You must be curious and totally engaged to determine what YOU need to do to pass in July.
And, readers who learned you passed the February exam, please write in and tell your colleagues who are studying for the July bar exam, there is no excitement that matches seeing your name pop up on that pass list screen.
Keep at it!!!!