Friday, December 6, 2013

Attitudes That Can Help You Succeed in the Bar Exam

Previous Bar exam preparation tips in this blog have focused on what to do to prepare oneself for the Bar exam. Knowing what to do, however, is just half of equation. The other half is developing the right attitude. Following are the attitudes that a bar examinee must nurture to help him or her succeed in the Bar exam based on my experience:

(1) Be humble and swallow some pride.

Learn to ask help from others. A couple of months before I started my formal review for the Bar exam, I figured out that I cannot possibly meet my target budget for such endeavor without asking for or accepting help from family and friends. So I identified some friends and elders whom I can solicit for help and they did come up to contribute to my Bar fund. Some gave small amounts, others significant amounts, while an elder lent me money interest-free. One of my friends contributed in kind like food supply.

(2) Know and acknowledge your limitations.

Recognizing your weaknesses is the first step in finding a way around it so that it will not catch up with you in your efforts to pass the Bar exam. It is better to underestimate your strengths than overestimate them or, worse, ignore your weaknesses. For example, I knew that I cannot endure sitting for 12 straight hours reading, even with short breaks, so I devised a plan that would put variety on my daily study schedule. I can only endure six straight hours on my desk, with short breaks of course, then I go to a coffee shop where sometimes I meet some fellow bar examinees and there I can chat with them on some topics that we have already studied. Those light discussions helped me adjust my preparation and reflect on what legal issues will most likely come out during the exam. It also helped me relax and build my confidence going into the final stretch of the preparation.

(3) Impose military-like discipline.

Acknowledging your weaknesses does not mean that you may tolerate it. You can work your way around it but you must remember that the only way to do effective progress on your preparation is to do real work - and that is to study diligently according to the system you have established that suits you best. If it means several hours of sticking your butt to the chair and working up your hands into your notebooks, DO IT! Mental preparation and conditioning is the key to achieving discipline especially if you are the kind of person who is not used to it.

(4) Be flexible and learn how to relax.

It may seem to run counter to your matra of self-discipline, but learning to balance your rigid determination with flexibility and pragmatism can help you maintain your sanity and composure as you trudge along toward Bar exam month. I made sure I slept on schedule and for eight hours, take one or two. Sunday was my study break day. I also didn't study on Mondays following each Sunday bar exam, except during the evening. A little rejuvenation can help your mind make sense of what you have read and gives you renewed energy to continue with the battle.

(5) Trust in God and attract good energy from the universe by being a source of it yourself.

There are things you can control and there are things beyond your control. For the latter, leave everything to God. Know also that the universe will conspire toward helping you achieve your goal if you sow good seeds with your fellowmen and be a source of goodness. Stay away from any trouble and negative people. They are a waste of your energy, and needless to say, are a drain to your inner resources. Stay positive and calm.


The articles in this blog are the writer's own opinion, views or report of facts, AND SHOULD NOT SUBSTITUTE for official documents or issuances, or the advice of an independent and competent legal counsel. We do not warrant the accuracy and suitability of these articles for whatever purpose you may have in copying them. Thank you.

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