My secrets in passing the bar…(Part 2.4)

Finally, the last installment in this bar series…

I may blog about what is known as “pre-week,” the flurry of activities in September where bar reviewees see if they are good enough to have the “Atty.” in front of their names.

5. Improving Handwriting

As I have blogged before, part of communicating your answer to the bar examiner is that he can read your handwriting. Mind you, you’re handwriting need not be beautiful. Only legible. The strategy is the have your handwriting legible enough so that the examiner can even read your answer. Then in theory, the brilliance of your answer will be allowed to shine.

There have been comments that even improving your handwriting is merely common sense. Of course, your handwriting should be legible at the minimum. And they have a point. So why blog about it now?

Simple. The unbelievable pressures associated with taking the bar forces and examinee to a “default” or instinctive mode. Under this pressure, common sense get thrown out the window. Those who have took this exam know this.

Under this pressure, as I have said before, your brain shuts down and merely relies on its stock knowledge. If you do manage to think of an answer, you’ll find that your hand tries very hard to catch up with your brain, in an instinctive effort to capture the train of thought quickly before it “fades away.”

Some people react to this kind of pressure differently. Some people shine like diamonds when squeezed. Others explode.

Personally, that’s what happens to me during exams. My hand wants to catch up to my brain. Since my handwriting is not legible to begin with, you can imagine my handwriting under pressure.

For those with a decent handwriting, the best advice it to print your answer instead of using script. I’ve seen script handwriting that is beautiful at first glance but illegible when one attempts to decipher it. Writing in print ensures legibility.

For those like me who have terrible handwriting aggravated under extreme pressure, there is this personal experience I will share.

The trick is to force you to remember writing in print and legibly under that extreme pressure, under that “default mode.”

Hence, you have to find a writing instrument that forces you to do just that.

Enter the Rotring Calligraphy Art Pen.

This was the pen La Vida Lawyer and I used for the bar exams. This pen only dispenses ink in a certain direction. Hence, it forces you to write in a certain way even in default mode. Of course you’ll need to practice with this pen for a considerable amount of time…

How effective was this for me?

That bar exams was the first and only time anyone complemented my handwriting. As in, one of the proctors actually remarked that I have very good handwriting and will surely pass. I’m pretty sure my friends will be laughing hard when they read this portion.

So these are my secrets in passing that darn exam. Of course this may not work for everyone so do take it with a grain of salt. I do hope you bar reviewees learned something from this blogging series. And I sincerely hope you pass the bar this year.

See you in court.


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