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  • Writer's pictureOne & Done

So You Failed The Bar Exam: What's Next?

It’s official – you’ve failed the bar exam. You’re probably feeling a range of emotions right now, from shock and disbelief to sadness and anger. But what happens now?

The first thing you need to do is take a step back and take a deep breath. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and defeated at this point, but it’s important to remember that failing the bar exam is not the end of the world. In fact, it’s quite common – approximately 40% of people who take the bar exam fail it the first time.

So, what’s next? The first step is to figure out why you failed. Was it because you didn’t put in enough time studying? Or did you struggle with a particular subject? Once you’ve identified the issue, you can then take steps to correct it. This might involve hiring a tutor or taking a bar review course.

The most important thing to remember is that you can pass the bar exam – it might just take a little more time. The following steps will help you on your journey to success!

Step 1: Accepting that you failed

The first step towards moving on from failing the bar exam is accepting that you have failed. This can be a hard and painful step, especially if you were confident of your performance in the exam. However, it is essential that you acknowledge your failure and move forward without self-blame or negative thoughts. It is important to talk to someone about your feelings at this stage, whether it be a friend, family member, or mental health professional. Accepting and dealing with your emotions will help you prepare for the next steps towards passing the bar exam. Remember that failing this exam does not define your worth as a person, and it is common for many people to fail.

Step 2: Finding out why you failed

Identifying the why of your failure is essential for finding a solution. On reviewing your exam, identify the areas where you have made mistakes or struggled the most. Maybe you did not understand a section of the law, or you were not prepared for the type of questions asked. Perhaps you did not manage your time effectively or you got anxious during the exam. It is crucial to identify these factors and analyze them carefully to understand what led to your failure in the exam.

Step 3: Making a plan

Once you know what caused your failure, it is time to make a plan. It is essential to map out your next steps carefully to avoid making the same mistakes again. Your plan should include factors such as your study schedule, study methods, and resources to tackle your weak areas. Time management is a critical aspect of your plan, and it will help you manage your study time, and help you stay on track. Your plan should be realistic, achievable, and have specific goals that you can measure as you progress. Remember to plan for breaks and rest times to prevent burnout and fatigue during your studies. Make sure you have a support system in place that encourages you and helps you stay accountable for your studies.

Step 4: Studying for the next exam

Now that you know where you need to focus your studies, it is time to hit the books. Devote your time and effort to preparing for the areas that caused you to fail. Utilize the resources available like online tests, bar review courses, and study materials to help you prepare. If required, hire a tutor who can help you with subject-specific areas, guide you through exam strategies, and keep you focused. Remember that studying is not enough; practicing with past papers and mock exams is just as important. This will help you get a better understanding of the format and type of questions to expect in the exam.

Step 5: Staying Positive

t's easy to get discouraged when you fail an exam, but it's essential to stay positive throughout your preparation. Cultivate a positive mindset that encourages you to stay focused on your goals and take one step at a time. Reward yourself for small achievements, like completing a study session, to maintain your motivation for a longer period. Get enough sleep, exercise regularly, and ensure you eat healthily. Remember to take frequent breaks between study periods, as breaks help you mentally rest and increase productivity.


Failing the bar exam is tough, but it is not the end of the world. With the right mindset, plan, study methods, and determination, you can overcome your failure and pass the exam. Remember, it is okay to fail and that everyone's timeline of success is different. So, take a deep breath, identify your weaknesses, utilize resources, and start putting in the effort toward your next bar exam. Good luck!

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