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Holiday Pies

What is your favorite holiday pie (cake or other dessert recipe)?   Ever try to make a pie without measuring the ingredients? 

There is a lot of cooking that can be done eye-balling it, estimating, truly winging it.  Desserts typically are not that way, especially not baked goods.  Pastry chefs are often more like chemists than they are like the proverbial Grandma in the kitchen with a pinch of this and a dab of that.

So???  What relevance to the bar exam?  Well, let’s just say you cannot wing it!  In cooking terms, it’s a bit more like a fancy layer cake than a forgiving soup or stew (where you can throw together a mess of vegies, meats, water, turn up the heat long enough and something good will emerge.).  No!  You must put in all the right ingredients (use reliable materials from a trustworthy bar review).  You must measure them carefully and prepare them precisely (studying actively to learn from every mistake, honing and refining until you get just the right passing recipe!).

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Envision Success

To achieve success, you must envision success. 

See success in your mind’s eye.  If you are a verbal person –write a short description of the goal/s you are after.  Write as specifically as possible.  If you are a visual person —develop an image of yourself in the successful role you are working toward. 

Let’s use this example —you are studying for the February Bar Exam: 

       *First get a good picture of yourself in your cap and gown, with all the graduation regalia.  Sit with those visuals.  Let it sink in deeply how the image symbolizes the realization of years of hard work. 

       *Next, imagine yourself in the room of applicants, reading questions, finding issues and writing solid, strong, logical analyses.  Calm, confident, and strong, you are!  See yourself?   

       *Now, picture yourself standing before a judge being sworn in to the state bar –being asked to take that oath to uphold the laws of your state….  Picture your smile, and the pride of those who will come to witness. 

        *Then, get an image of yourself as a lawyer.  Stand before the mirror and introduce yourself as a lawyer.  Use the words, "Hello, nice to meet you.  My name is _______ and I am an attorney here in California [or whatever your state]."  Think this is silly?  Try it!  Believe, and you will achieve. 

          Another empowering way to work on this step is to go to a courthouse.  Walk the hallways.  Look at the men and women in suits carrying briefcases.  See how different they look from the people wearing old jeans?  How different and yet how similar….  Are you ready to become one of the suits?   Go to the courthouse again a few weeks later, wearing a suit —just for a few minutes stroll the corridors.  Step into a courtroom and listen to the arguments.  You will quickly realize you understand everything and find yourself thinking , "I can do that."

Yes, YOU can.  Seeing, "I CAN do that," envisioning success, leads to success. 

So picture the steps to success.  See, and then achieve, your goals.  YOU can do it!!!

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What kind of learner are you?

Studying works better when you do it in ways that fit you, your personality, your time constraints, and your learning styles. A few more thoughts to help get you thinking about how you learn best…

Q: When studying for class, you learn best by
A: 1) Silently reading your notes and re-reading hornbook, casebook, looking at flow-charts, etc.
2) Listening to a taped lecture, reading your notes aloud, having someone test you aloud
3) Drawing diagrams that track the issues and rules, writing notes and outlining on your computer

Q: When you go on an interview, what stands out most in your mind
A: 1) How people looked
2) The names and qualifications of people you spoke with
3) What rooms you were in, what you said and did, what you ate…

Q: When you are working in the library, or coffee shop, or bookstore, you are most distracted by
A: 1) Looking at things on the walls, the people nearby, etc.
2) Listening to the conversations of people nearby, music playing, other sounds
3) Your feelings, whether you are thirsty or tired, how comfortable your clothes are, etc.

Q: When you are trying to figure out some concept you don’t understand, you
A: 1) Read until you get it
2) Ask someone to explain it to you
3) Review the problem in your mind, diagram it out

Out of the four, do you have mostly “1” responses, mostly “2” responses, or mostly “3” responses? Do you want to answer 1, 2, and 3, for each?? Ones tend toward the visual, twos toward the auditory, and threes toward the kinesthetic. (Those who want to answer all three might like variety!)

You can’t change the way a class is run, but you can adapt your own independent studying to how you learn best. Think about this as you plan your study schedule. Make more charts and diagrams, use flash cards, color-coding for case-briefing and more, if you tend toward the visual. Build in more listening or talking time if you learn best through your ears. And, get up and move around, stop for breaks at regular intervals, study standing sometimes, diagram things in vivid colors or consider a study group atmosphere if you are a more kinesthetic learner.

Let your studying time work with you and for you by knowing who you are and how you learn best!!!

–PASS offers online academic success and bar review programs, 24-7 access to easy-to-use study tools to help you excel in law school classes at, and to help you pass the bar exam at Email for more details or call PASS today at (310) 288-4374.

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