by Paulina Bandy, Esq.
I will do my part. You do yours. It sounds simple, to the untrained ear. However, as a repeater, placing your trust in a stranger, again, is not without hesitation. Even after making your decision and investing in your tutor, some candidates let obstacles from past preparation stand in their way of success. Here are some ways you can create a productive relationship with your bar exam tutor.1. The Trust Factor
Your trust has been shaken. You have paid, and relied upon, law school, bar review, tutors, how-to materials, and promises of panaceas, without passing. After interviewing, and paying for a tutorís help, you need to trust them and let them do their job. This is no time for a power struggle or undermining the integrity of their program. You have tried it your way, now try it theirs. Trust that you saw something in this individual that will help you.2. Follow the Leader
Repeaters get into a comfortable groove. Bar exam preparation has been your job for a while now and you may be hesitant to let someone else take the leadership position. If you are not finishing the assignments, you are not following your tutorís lead. If you are not following their schedule, you are not following their lead. If you are sneaking off to someone elseís lectures on the weekends, you are not following your tutorís lead. If you are questioning them, instead of talking to them, you are usurping their leadership. You chose them for a reason. Embrace the necessary changes and recognize the value it holds in passing the bar exam. Follow their direction.3. Take Personal Responsibility
Take personal responsibility for your past failing and play your part in your success. Your tutor is just part of the equation. You must take personal responsibility for your part in order for the tutorial to be effective. A me vs. them attitude is not productive. Blaming past tutors for your present predicament does not benefit the relationship with your new tutor. Blaming gives other people control over your destiny. Donít give bad experiences power over your success.4. Strike Balance
When you are struggling to figure out what the bar examiners want from you, studying demands more attention than it should. Now that your tutor has supplied a plan for you, and a schedule, strike a proper balance again. Bring the physical and spiritual back into your life to balance out the intellectual.5. Communicate
If you donít understand something, ask them. If you are worried about your progress, tell them. Your tutor cannot help you make proper adjustments if you do not communicate with them. If you have schedule changes, let your tutor know. If something hinders your studies, tell your tutor. Realize, you know yourself better than anyone. You need to share your feelings, changes, challenges, and concerns with your tutor.6. Re-Focus on your Goal
When others throw in the towel, you need to focus on your task at hand. Reflect on the changes you are making which will make the difference. Commit.7. Think Positively
Are you rehearsing your success, or re-playing your failing? Visualize and participate in your plan for success. Complaining puts you in a negative, unproductive state. Complainers are spectators; not, movers and shakers.
Donít hang around negative people.
Donít listen to negative people.
Donít entertain the thoughts of negative people.
Donít self-sabotage. Donít talk negatively to yourself or about yourself.
Successful people think successfully. Rehearse your success.8. Do the Time
Take the time to make this investment a priority. Unfortunately, you do not get credit for taking time off work for the last bar exam. If possible, make bar exam preparation your full-time job, for less than a season, to break bad habits and establish good ones.
It is understandable that after taking time off work, many repeaters cannot continue to take time off. However, you cannot fully participate if you are not able to take the time to do the work. If you are working full-time, then you need nights and weekends to study.9. Safeguard your Studies
Take a calculated risk. Step out of your comfort zone to face the challenge and allow yourself to improve. Old habits die hard. Donít allow yourself to fall back into your old bar exam prep ways out of comfort. You must understand the value of working through changes which will lead to improvement.10. Maximize your Potential
Do more than requested. If you are assigned a practice exam, do two.
Another way to maximize your potential, implement successful study habits from law school or your undergraduate education. If flashcards are effective for you, ask your tutor how to effectively introduce them into your present program.
In summary, donít let your past preparation hurt your future. Think of your new tutor as the avenue to your success.
Paulina Bandy, Esq.
CA Bar Exam Repeaters' Resourceô
Prepare to Passô
About the Author: Paulina Bandy is an expert in bar exam preparation for repeaters. Her skills as a tutor, author, public speaker, and in study aid development, are in demand across the U.S.
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