5 Tips to Pass the Bar Exam the First Time

First off, congratulations. You’ve completed your arduous trek through law school. The last obstacle in your path is a doozy – the bar exam.

One in four aspiring lawyers fail the bar exam. Some states prohibit taking the exam after a number of failed attempts. And depending on what state that is, it could cost you up to $1,500 per try.


Judge Dan Hinde

That’s a lot of pressure to pass the bar exam your first try. If you’d like to raise the bar with your studying, check out these 5 tips to hurdle the bar.

1. Stay Calm!

First and foremost, you shouldn’t panic. It’s an expensive mistake to fail the exam, but there’s a lot of leeway.

To ease your mind when going in for the exam, remember this: you don’t need to get every question right. In fact, you don’t need to even get the majority correct. States consider a 65% on the bar exam a passing grade.



No client or employer is going to check your grade. You’re no longer in high school. Shoot for the best you can do – there’s a lot of margin for misfires.

2. Get a Feel for the Structure of the Test

Don’t just make studying your priority. It’s good to concentrate on the material, but study the test, too.

Knowing what you’re getting into is half the battle of the exam.

It’s a long, tough test. Getting a passing grade isn’t the difficult part. It’s getting through the exam.

It’s administered only twice a year, and the exam takes six hours to finish. There are 200 multiple questions and an essay section.

You should prepare for this mentally. It’s the exhausting experience that causes would-be lawyers to fail.

It might sound like a difficult thing to do, but you should practice for this entirely. Set aside a six-hour period of time and take a faux bar exam. Do this multiple times.

3. Take a Course

The admission fee for a course is a tough pill to swallow. But they’ll be worth your while.

Most classes are available in the evening and span for a few hours. They usually meet every night.

Take this as an opportunity for structure. A structured classroom is a tried and true method of learning material.

It’s suggested to take some time off while preparing for the bar exam. When you’re not working, treat this class like it’s your job.

4. Remove Distractions to Pass the Bar Exam

You need to get rid of any distractions during those months of study. It’s a strict philosophy of “all work, and no play,” but it’s necessary.

Delete any social media – or at least temporarily deactivate them. Unplug your PlayStation and TV. Buckle down, because the bar exam requires all your attention.

5. Meet With Lawyers That Passed

Meet up with some lawyers that have passed the exam. The best place to find wisdom is in people that have experienced the bar.

If you’re not in with the lawyer clique yet, cold-email some of them. Or consult with LawyersMarketingAssociates.com to find a lawyer near you.

But if you do have some lawyer buddies, hang out with ’em. They’ll be an infinite source of tips and tricks. Ask them about any concerns you have.

Hurdle the Bar

Getting through law school is tough enough. But the bar exam is what haunts post-law students.

It shouldn’t haunt you. Don’t panic – the exam isn’t hard to pass. Be sure to practice to get a feel for the density of the test.

Take a course on the exam if you have the money. Also, remove any distractions while you prepare to pass the bar exam.

Talking to some lawyers will also benefit you. Vent your concerns with them.

Check out our other feature posts on law right here on our site.

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