Opening Statements

Repeat After Me

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Stress, says Paulina Bandy, figures prominently in bar exam failures.

She should know. Bandy passed the California bar exam in 2007—on her 14th try.

But rather than be ashamed of her track record, Bandy owned it; and now she is trying to capitalize on her failures with Bar Exam Frameworks. Bandy’s company focuses on test-taking skills and techniques for “repeaters.” Her latest project is a 14-minute CD called Bar Exam Mind Set. It retails for $29.99 and is based on self-hypnosis strategies, with the goal of helping people control their test anxiety. There’s a special version for those taking the California exam.

“I can get them primed to do a good job and not have this stress accumulate,” says Bandy, adding that passing the bar requires more than just being comfortable: Candidates have to be competent, too.

But in some cases stress overwhelms what the candidates know. “You should see people at the bar exams, especially in February,” Bandy says. “It’s like the walking dead.”

Listen to a track from Bar Exam Mind Set.

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