Bar study has begun. For some, it has begun again. With the commercial review courses in full swing, students wonder: Am I doing enough? First-time takers want to know how many hours should they spend studying and how many questions should they answer. The fear of failure is typically sufficient motivation to navigate a journey unknown. But for those who have danced this dance before and who have confronted failure, it can be difficult to get it up for bar study a second, third, or even fourth time.

On the second go-around, bar takers are understandably daunted by shaken self-confidence, and crippled by feelings of test anxiety. In most cases, repeat bar takers do not fully know what they did wrong, as many state bar examiners do not release detailed performance feedback by subject. Those students have to spend months preparing anew for an exam, without the benefit of knowing if their prior performance was subpar in e.g. Contracts, Evidence, Procedure, Property, or Torts.

If you find yourself beginning bar study again, renew your resolve and come out swinging. Reflect back on the reason your went to law school in the first place; leave a conspicuous spot on the wall to hang your soon-to-be-acquired law license; look at listings for leased or shared office space for your new practice; make a request now to shadow an experienced attorney after the bar exam. Do these things as daily or one-time reminders of what awaits you after you pass this gruesome exam. Use those reminders to motivate you now as you grind your way to success, one practice question after another.