Failed the Bar Exam: What You Need to Know

You failed the Bar Exam. What now?

failed the bar exam - magooshImage by GooGag

This article goes a little bit outside what we normally cover here at Magoosh. However, it is right in line with one of the things we strive to instill into all you test-takers out there: even though it’s possible to have a lower score than you were hoping for, it’s not the end of the world.

Failing the bar exam, while it might have much bigger financial implications, and stress, than getting a low score on the LSAT, the principles behind succeeding on the exam shine through both tests.

The bar exam is a big deal. So failing it is something that nobody wants to think about. But since you’re reading this article, chances are that it’s either happened to you, or you’re completely freaked out about the possibility. So without wasting any of your time, here are three things you need to know if you failed the bar exam.

1. You Can Always Take the Next One

This is something that makes a lot of people feel extremely depressed. I’m right there with you. I’ve studied for two bar exams, and I took them three years apart from each other.

I’ll be the first person to tell you that studying for the bar exam is rough riding, and doing it twice can be downright miserable. However, I’ll also tell you that there are worse things than studying for the bar exam twice. I’ll also tell you that if you’re set on practicing law, then there isn’t much that will stop you from preparing for that next bar exam.

2. You’re Probably Going to Want to Put Yourself Under a Large Rock Slide

Finding out that you’ve failed the bar exam is rough. It has some serious effects on people. I’ve seen it first hand. So, the first thing you need to do if you’ve failed the exam is take some time away to work through what you’re feeling. I’m guessing you’ve already taken a much needed break after you took the exam. However, you’ll need some extra down time to recover from finding out you failed the exam.

It won’t take weeks, but it could take a few days. Take that time off to digest what happened, and use it to steel yourself up and get ready to take the next exam.

3. You’re in a Great Position to Pass the Bar Exam

Look, if you want to know the numbers, second time bar takers don’t have a super high pass rate when they take the exam the second time. I think that’s really unfortunate.

You see, when you take the bar exam and fail, you essentially have a practice run under your belt . . . albeit an expensive one. However, when your score comes back, you’ll know exactly what you scored weak on, and exactly what you need to work on to pass the next time around.

Sure some of the fancy, expensive test prep sites out there can help you out with that before you take the exam. But, the fact still remains, you won’t know how you do until you try.

So, you just need a couple of things to succeed on the next bar exam. First, use the first attempt as motivation to succeed on the second one. Next, work extra hard on the portions of your exam that you performed the poorest on. Keep practicing what you are good at, just to stay sharp—and drill the parts you did poorly on so that next time around you’re ready!

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  • Randall

    Randall earned his JD from the University of Denver in 2013. He received his BA in Communications and Social Science from the University of Washington in 2010. Randall took the LSAT twice, and managed to improve his score by 14 points the second time around. He paid the price of learning to score high on the LSAT and hopes to help other potential law students avoid similar pain.

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