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Steve Zikman (The Strategic Bar Coach)


  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
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Type: Essays Only|MBEs Only|Private Tutor|Performance Test Only
Cost: Varies--both unlimited and package options, depending on student's needs and budget
State: All|California
Website: www.strategicbarcoach.com
Contact: 626-441-0011/info@strategicbarcoach.com
Description: The Strategic Bar Coach offers one-on-one, highly personalized coaching and tutoring program options (unlimited or packages) with a particular focus on the California bar exam including essays, performance tests (PTs) and MBEs. We also offer essay skills writing workshops. We specialize in repeat exam takers, as well as attorneys and LL.M. students from other jurisdictions. Of course, we also welcome first-timers.
Tutor Qualification: Steve Zikman is an experienced educator and a natural teacher. He received his Masters of Law (LL.M.) from Pepperdine University where he also serves on the Council of Distinguished Advisors at Pepperdine University's Straus Institute. A member of the National Tutoring Association, Steve has taught and coached individuals for over 20 years. Steve is a certified performance and self-esteem coach, specially trained to help students build their level of confidence and achieve their goal of passing the bar exam.
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REVIEWS


Emery's Dad

on 4/1/2010
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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As a bar examiner that used multiple tutors and multiple efforts to pass, there is none better than Steve. He actually cares about you first and then helps you get past the beast that is the bar exam. He keeps you focused on the important things and will have you believing in your ability to pass the test.

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zz

on 5/15/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I passed the July 2010 bar exam and Steve Zikman was my tutor. I failed the Feb exam. Regarding the essays, Steve has a very formulaic approach that can be used for any essay the examiners toss at you. No matter what the subject, what the issues, he gives you a road map to use each and every time that helps with your organization. He teaches you how to write so you make it really easy for the graders. He does the same for the PTs." The best thing about Steve was that he discussed each essay you handed in, line by line. He didn't just give you a grade with written comments. I found that the verbal, conversational back and forth discussion about essays was so helpful. Overall, after Steve worked with me- I felt very prepared going into the exam and confident that I had passed.

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DylanT

on 5/16/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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The first time around, I felt that I had mastered the law and crushed the MBE, so I was shocked when my name was not on the pass list. After my first couple of sessions with Steve, I realized that I wasn't as good at the exam as I had previously thought, and why. Steve taught me the gamesmanship involved in the exam and gave me a strong sense for the mindset of the grader. I followed his techniques form the outset, and in a short time I was writing passing essays. Most importantly, he taught me how to be consistent under the pressure and time-crunch of the exam. Steve was, without a doubt, my X-factor. He taught how to beat the test. I passed the February 2011 exam!

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Avital

on 5/16/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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As a foreign attorney I needed extra guidance on the written portion of the California Bar exam and Steve provided that for me. He did not judge nor did he criticize, in stead, with extreme patience, Steve pin pointed my weakest areas and helped me strengthen them. He gave me a formula to follow that helped me tremendously during the exam. I knew exactly what to do, what to write and how to write it in real time. Simply put, thanks to Steve's methods and strategies I passed the February 2011 bar exam. I have no doubt about it.

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GAS

on 5/17/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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By the time I contacted Steve, I was thisclose to quitting. Steve gave me hope after looking at my THREE past exams. I liked several things about Steve: (1) He didn't call and chat about his day. Getting me to pass was his job. We had phone meetings about my practice essays, past bar exams and plans for the July bar. Nothing about anything extraneous. (2) He was motivating without blowing smoke up my a$$. (3) His formula for bar essays armed me with confidence and a way of getting through each subject without freaking out. (4) During the bar we spoke on the phone. I thought it was just to calm my nerves... But when I wrote him just a few days before the results were released and freaked out, he went over everything I said each day of the bar. He reminded me that I felt good about a couple of the subject essays and the PTs and that the MBE wasn't a complete fail. I needed that voice of reason. I passed July 2010 and will always be grateful to Steve. When I saw my name with the pass message, I bawled for several minutes. It felt like true freedom. I just found out all four of my friends I referred to Steve passed February's bar. Steve really does get results.

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CABarPasserF

on 5/18/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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When I hired Steve in December of 2010 I had just received the news that I had failed the CA Bar exa again. I had spent 2 plus years studying for the test, spent thousands and thousands of dollars on books & tutors and wasted countless hours studying for this test. I had come close to passing but at the same time has some seriously bad habits with respect to my writing style; particularly the PTS. From day 1, Steve analyzed my strengths and focused on those rather dwelling on my weaknesses (like previoys tutors had). He taught me how to (1) read an essay, (2) organize it in a methodical manner; (3) attack it head on and (4) present the essay in such a manner that was easily readable by the grader. He completely changed the way I looked at essays. His methods allowed me to look at each subject (regardless of what it was) and be comfortable and cofident with the subject. When I started with him Con Law and I were enemies....by the time February came along I had done 5 Con Law past Bar Exam Questions (3 back to back ...1 hr each one). In Conclusion, I was more than ready for that First Amenedment Question that was on this past bar. In fact , I was ready for every subject! By the time I got to the bar exam I felt like I was on auto pilot. I knew the method to write a passing essay or PT and I plugged in the formulas. His approach it similar for the PTS. He taught me how to break the PTs apart and treat them like a puzzle. A puzzle that got easier and easier with each one we did. Steve spend countless hours with me (morning, night, weeekends, ect). I never had to guess where I was with him. His honesty and guidance is invaluable. After completing (and re doing) 35 plus essays (20 under timed essay bar exam conditions); 7 PTs under exam conditions and 2500 MBEs I was so ready for this exam that I did not care what the examiners threw at me. If you surrender to Steve and his methods I promise you will pass. Steve was born to mentor students for the bar exam. I realized that within 2-3 phone sessions with him. Overall, Steve's strategies and methods allowed me to remain calm, use my brain, write "what I thought," not reguritate the law and right one heck of a passing essay/PT. The only regret I have is not hiring Steve the first time I took teh BAR exam. Bottomline, Steve gets the job done!

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Cayce21

on 5/18/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I passed on my 5th try because Steve Zikman tutored me. I took his one-on-one tutoring because I needed the personal feedback. He taught me how to methodically approach the essays and apply a formula which I stuck to religiously with each practice essay and PT. By the time the bar exam rolled around, I had the formula down so well, I automatically applied it to the 6 essays and 2 PTs on the Feb exam and I AM CONVINCED Steve's method helped me to finally pass. I accepted Steve's method and constructive criticism without complaint or argument because his track record proves he knows what he is talking about. I trusted him and the process. And, I passed. After 4 failed attempts, I was "ready" to listen because I didn't want to give up after everything I invested in my education and bar prep. It is worth at the very least having one conversation with Steve to see if something clicks for you. Best of luck.

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KenL

on 11/20/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I passed the New York and New Jersey Bar Exams on the first time in 2007. However, I had failed the California bar twice (February 2010 and February 2011). After reviewing my tests, I had determined that I failed the CA Bar Exam because of my writing. Essays that I thought I had knocked out of the park came back with scores of 50 or 55. That’s when I started the hunt for writing tutors. I had interviewed about 5 people/companies and decided to go with Steve. I decided to use him because he was a no BS type of guy and I could tell that he didn’t sugar coat anything to try to get my money. I also liked that we could do everything over the phone, which saved me time because I was working full-time while studying. Needless to say, it is the best decision I ever made because I just passed the July 2011 California Bar Exam. Steve teaches a very formulaic writing style. It’s very simple and very effective. It essentially dummy proofs your essay to the grader. Steve also taught me a number of tricks for taking the exam, one of which I am certain got me a passing grade on the professional responsibility essay question. Bottom line, do your research and use the tutor you are most comfortable with, because you will spend a lot of time with them over the course of your studies. For me, that tutor was Steve and I cannot recommend him highly enough.

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phantom

on 11/24/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I recommend Steve without any reservation. I failed the July 2010 CA bar exam and the Feb 2011 exam. Having taken BarBari, I decided it was time to get a tutor. I hired Steve and finally passed on my 3rd try. We did all of our tutoring sessions over the phone, which made things efficient and saved time. He gave me honest and thorough feedback on my practice essays, and didn't sugar coat anything. Frankly, I thought I was a pretty good writer before hiring Steve. After hiring Steve, I realized how much room there was for improvement. Steve taught me how to improve my analysis, as well as how approach the PT’s and essays using his formula. Also, his subject outlines were helpful in condensing the massive amount of material into something more manageable. I did have a “panic attack” about 3-4 weeks before the exam and really started freaking out w/my job on the line and an upcoming baby. But Steve really calmed me down and encouraged me to keep pressing forward and stick with the game plan. I really appreciated that and his emotional support during the process. I finally passed, and I’m thoroughly convinced that Steve got me there.

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Tyler

on 11/29/2011
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Having taken BarBri, using a different tutor and taking a class all without success I feel that Steve is without a doubt the best choice out there. It took me 4 times to pass the CA Bar Exam. Looking back I wish that I would have used Steve sooner and saved myself the grief of not passing. He offers many options to help you pass the bar. That is his goal. The other programs out there don't even come close to the personal attention that you get receive from working with Steve. The other options that I mistakenly chose in the past looked at the experience as a job that ended once the Bar was over. However not only was Steve teaching me how to write to pass, analyzing my MBEs and showing me tactics to pass the Bar Exam in general before the test, but he was available during the test and once the results came out as well. I honestly believe it was a mistake for me not to contact him sooner, and if you are looking for a tutor it is a mistake not to contact him.

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Glovescaesar

on 5/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I took the CA Bar Exam 7 times, and despite taking two different bar prep courses, I had no idea how to pass the bar exam. I worked with Steve for a period of 8 months. During that time Steve provided me with the structure and guidance that I needed to finally pass the bar. Steve was more than a tutor, he was a coach. Steve displayed the same degree of skill in his approach to all three portions of the exam, something which the other bar prep courses lacked. Steve is efficient in his approach, there is no fluff, which put me on the right path. Contact Steve, and you will find out for yourself why he is the right tutor to get you through the bar exam.

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TrustyKick

on 5/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I had taken Barbri and used several commercial supplements in my past 3 tries (July 2010-2011). It took me long enough to realize that this method wasn't working. Enter Steve. I asked him for help on my essays even as I had to travel to China for a month's time. Though the travel is not recommended, he was able to work with the time difference and sporadic phone connection and immediately identified what I was doing wrong. He fixed my errors and helped me find a solid and consistent structure that the bar graders were looking for. It's such a relief to have found the right person to help me pass.

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SethB

on 5/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve certainly had his work cut out for him when I signed up for his help to pass the CA Bar Exam. Although I was admitted to practice law in NY in 1998, I have spent the greater part of the last decade working as a writer, not an attorney. When I first moved to Los Angeles in 2005 I had my first encounter with the CA bar and obviously did not pass (I studied with BarBri). Since that time the law, legal writing and even basics like the IRAC concept of answering questions had become foreign to me. Creative writing, screenplays and children's books became my focus and until I decided to give the bar another shot I had no idea just how far from prepared I had become. First I recognized that my unique situation would require individual teaching and not a classroom or group environment. After an exhaustive search for what I had hoped would be the best match for me in a teacher I had it narrowed down to two individuals. My search ended during my first phone meeting with Steve. From the get-go, Steve understood my unique situation and set up a schedule of studying, testing and phone meetings that challenged me to be at my best. There is no question that Steve challenged me. I had to move from someone who had not been in an academic setting for over a decade to someone who was studying day and night and taking practice essays every week. I had ups and downs, times when I felt as though I returned to form and others when I thought I was facing something I was simply too far removed from to succeed, but Steve was a consistent voice of reason: "You can pass this exam but if you do not it is not the end of the world." He never blew smoke up my ___, and that helped earn my trust in him. Each week with Steve, I studied a subject, tried an associated essay, and then reviewed it with him on the phone. In the phone meetings Steve read through my answers with me and rather than telling me to do this or that, he asked why I had written certain things or not addressed others. He was not worried about the information I was retaining (the essays were done open book) but with my approach to providing the graders with the information they are looking for in a presentation that made it as easy as possible for them to find it all. I did have doubts about my abilities after some disappointing practice essays and even questioned Steve's methods after a couple of attempts that were, well, pathetic. But by the time we were through each subject one time and entering the closed book attempts, I had no doubts. Steve had, through his methods, turned me into a machine that even when faced with an essay on the actual exam that left me somewhat blank, I knew to just forge ahead with what I thought it could be and finished with the confidence that although I may not have known every legal issue or law the examiners were looking for, I knew I provided the grader with a well thought out, organized, straight forward answer to read. As Steve always reminded me, all I had to do was pass... not be perfect or anywhere near it... just pass. And that's just what I did. I have no doubt that without Steve, his method and, just as importantly, his psychological approach, the results would have been different. I cannot recommend Steve enough and am willing to discuss my experience with anyone who would like to learn more.

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AMPeterson

on 5/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I took the July 2011 CA bar and did everything Barbri told me to do, but I failed. I contacted Steve to help me with the Feb 2012 bar because I knew I needed one on one attention to figure out why I failed. I liked his straightforward method of teaching, and formulaic approach to attacking bar essays and performance tests. He showed me my weaknesses, helped me fix them, and instilled confidence along the way. I came out of the Feb bar exam with a feeling that I passed because Steve enabled me to self-assess my essays and PTs so I had a realistic idea of what my scores would be. Thanks to Steve, I passed the Feb bar!

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Priscilla

on 5/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I recommend STEVE ZIKMAN, ESQ., THE BAR TUTOR GURU if you want this bar exam to be your last! Steve narrowed in on my weaknesses right away. I was so impressed right away. After my first session, I learned so much of what I was doing wrong and how to make it right-- and things that law school or my law office job did NOT teach me. I was so ecstatic just after my first session with Steve because I was learning and I KNEW he was the REAL DEAL. I took Flemings, BarBri, PMBR and those were all "general" bar reviews. Whereas, Steve was my personal bar coach who focused on my weaknesses and kept drilling me until my weaknesses became my strengths. After taking the bar exam i KNEW I passed and I owe it ALL to Steve! ANYONE WHO IS SERIOUS ABOUT PASSING-put in the time and follow Steve's plan-you will pass!!!! THANK YOU STEVE!!!

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JinnyC

on 5/20/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I hired Steve Zikman unlimited MBEs and essays after I failed the CA bar exam on my first attempt. Initially I was a bit skeptical to sign up for telephonic tutoring, but it worked very well and was efficient. His essay writing approach completely changed the way I wrote. I gained more confidence as I practiced and nailed down his essay tips and general structure. It was difficult to completely change the way I was used to writing essays, but I trusted Steve's techniques and by the time I sat for the bar exam, I knew I had a solid plan of attack for the essays. His MBE approach dramatically improved me correctly answered practice MBE questions. He uses Adaptibar and instead of telling me to do 1000s of MBEs daily until my brain exploded, he had me do a reasonable amount of questions per subject. Then I would analyze each question I answered incorrectly and record why I got it wrong. During MBE day, I felt more comfortable during both sections. Steve is an excellent tutor. He always got right down to business and helped me stay focused/calm when I had some personal issues starting to distract me from my preparation. I can honestly say he was worth every dollar. I am so thankful I did not try and save money by self-studying. I was too devastated and depressed after failing to go on my own. I needed Steve's personalized tutoring and he delivered. Thank you, Steve.

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STaylorESQ

on 5/20/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After several failed attempts at taking the CA bar exam, I decided I needed one-on-one help. Steve Zikman's name kept coming up in my searches...and I'm so glad it did because I just found out I passed the February 2012 Bar Exam!!!! I was able to talk to Steve personally from the get-go. We discussed my past experiences with the bar exam and he reviewed my previous scores immediately so that we could decide what program/package would be best for me. There was no pressure from Steve to purchase anything or spend money on what I truly didn't need. We figured out the right package for my personal needs that included tutoring in all three of the areas tested: essay, PTs and the MBEs. Steve's program is very simple and direct--for the essays and PTs he teaches you a basic format to use for any subject, any topic, ANYTHING the bar exam throws your way. Steve would have me practice essays and/or PTs every week and he would go over them with me (by phone) pointing out where I could improve and what things I was doing right so that I could continue to do that. The formula for the essays and PTs just became second nature-- I was able to use the format for every essay or PT I encountered no matter the subject or the type of question. When it came to the actual exam, I had the confidence to know that I could conquer anything they threw at me-- and believe me there's always a curveball, but it was no match for keeping it simple and showing them what I had been practicing for the previous 3 months. Steve also helped improve my MBE scores by using the Adaptibar program where I would answer actual questions from previous bar exams and was able to see my mistakes and figure out WHY I was answering the questions incorrectly. By the end I could answer questions immediately and without hesitation. The bottom line is that Steve has a program that is simple, straightforward and helps build your confidence to be able to take on the bar exam. He targets individual weaknesses and is able to get you to a point where taking the bar exam just feels routine-- like it's just another day of practicing essays. I would recommend Steve to anyone who is taking the bar exam again. Like I said, I have taken the bar a few times and even worked with another tutor, but it wasn't until I learned Steve's method that I finally saw my name on the pass list!!

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hal

on 5/20/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I just passed the Feb 2012 CA bar exam with Steve's help! I chose his option of MBE help and 30 written essays. Each time you write an essay Steve calls you and you go over draft by draft how the changes that should be made until he thinks it is a passing essay. I enjoyed the real time feedback rather than say receiving a graded essay with comments and a bar graders number which can be daunting. His feedback was meaningful and more productive than the essay grading service I used in the past. Many of the books and other study resources that I used before Steve gave you examples of unattainable "perfect" sample essays that left me feeling like I would never be able to write to pass the test. Steve breaks the process down into the templates for how each essay should be written to be readable to the grader and then helps you to hone your instincts as to how to spot issues and how to write enough analysis to show the grader that you have weighed the facts and are coming to a methodical conclusion. The repetition and practice of writing essays in Steve's organized way allows you to not have that moment of panic after reading the essay question. You know exactly how you should start your essay and you just begin and the rest follows! Steve is especially good for those of you studying out of state because all of the one on one is through the phone. I studied from Tennessee this last time around. I highly recommend Steve's services and truly believe that his method is exactly what I needed to pass the exam.

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PassedFeb2012CBX

on 5/31/2012
  • Currently 1/5 Stars.
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Steve Zikman doesn't work for everyone. I didn't pass with him. His techniques only work if you need help with essay organization but if your weakness is in issue-spotting (like mine was), he will not be able to help you at all. Also, if you are weak in a particular subject matter, he will not help you strengthen your knowledge of that subject so that you can improve your issue-spotting for that subject. Instead, he will simply dismiss your concerns and tell you "it's ok, they may not test this subject anyway." He thinks the substantive law is not very important but it is important especially when it comes to issue spotting the essays. You need a strong understanding of the law to be able to issue spot and being able to issue spot (along with solid factual analysis and organized subheadings) is really all that matters on the essay portion of the CBX. After I didn't pass with him, I took Barbri's Essay Advantage class and passed. I highly recommend taking Essay Advantage if you are struggling with issue-spotting and factual analysis. Their techniques really do work. I recommend that if you are a repeater, you should seriously consider taking Essay Advantage. I believe that the key to passing the exam is practicing as many questions as you can get your hands on and that is what Essay Advantage does -- their schedule forces you to practice a ton of essays under timed conditions. On the other hand, Steve only worked on 40 or so essays with me (maybe even less). This was definitely not enough essay practice in my opinion. I would also stay away from his MBE tutoring. It is not helpful at all. He will tell you to sign up with AdaptiBar and then give you tips/advice based on an analysis of your MBE performance on AdaptiBar. This kind of analysis of your MBE performance is something you can easily do yourself as long as you are signed up with AdaptiBar. Analysis of your MBE performance is a built-in feature that comes with your AdaptiBar subscription. The point of my review is just to warn others about Steve Zikman and to think twice before thinking about hiring him.

Comment Id-45

TechNerd

on 11/17/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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The first time I took the bar, I used BarBri. Unfortunately, the feedback I received on my BarBri essays was only a score with the same comment “needs more analysis”, and no matter how much analysis I added it was always the same comment. Since I worked full-time, I thought I was going to be doomed in the eternal repeater cycle, because I didn’t have time to parse BarBri’s feedback & model answers to determine how to write a passing answer. Steve taught me his approach and he explained how having a very clear and organized answer made it easier for examiners to pass you. While I thought my answers using BarBri’s model was organized, it very apparent that Steve’s approach was significantly better. He also showed me that having an organized answer also made it easier for me to spot weaknesses in my answer. I remember after doing a rewrite of my first essay I could see that I missing analysis for some elements. More importantly, for each essay, he would walk me through my response line-by-line to show me how I could strengthen it. While I programmed by BarBri to think my analysis was weak, Steve showed me that my analysis wasn’t always the problem and that sometimes minor tweaking of my organization greatly increased my score. Steve’s philosophy is to study smarter. By using his flash outlines and his feedback, I saw a huge improvement in my essays/PTs and was able to pass the bar. Thanks Steve!!!

Comment Id-48

B Woodward

on 11/18/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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“The name above [mine] does not appear on the pass list for the California Bar Examination.” I had received those despised quoted words 5 times prior to Steve Zikman becoming my Strategic Bar Coach to prepare me to take the CA Bar for the last time. His step-by-step methodical approach is elegantly simple. Having a full-time job and raising two children under the age of five-years-old, I felt that Steve made himself and his Flash Outline material readily accessible--making the very most of our phoned meetings and finally culminating in those sweet words: “The name above [mine] appears on the pass list for the California Bar Examination.” Failing to prepare is to prepare for failure. Steve Zikman will prepare you to pass the CA Bar.

Comment Id-49

CAesq

on 11/18/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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There are myriad ways to write a passing bar exam. Steve teaches you a single method that can be applied in every circumstance, and then coaches you through hours of rigorous edits until the method is second nature. Steve's Flash Outlines break down the law into easily applied rule statements, and the essay approach he taught me made me confident in writing a passing essay even when I wasn't sure of the law. Furthermore, Steve provides an invaluable service in illuminating the little mistakes each individual makes in writing essays or performance tests, that add up to failing scores. Particularly in the wake of a bar failure, Steve's coaching and demeanor (from the time of hire through the last day of the exam) help to bolster optimism and maintain sanity during an incredibly stressful process.

Comment Id-50

EO

on 11/18/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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As a first time bar exam taker who struggled through law school final exams, I knew I had to make major changes to my test taking process if I was going to pass the California bar exam on my first attempt. I felt strongly that if I used a generic program like Barbri I would fail, which would then lead to me seeking out a tutor for my second attempt. Instead, I decided to just cut out all that wasted time, money, and heartbreak and go straight to using Steve Zikman for my first attempt. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I started working with Steve early - beginning in March for the July exam. I found out quickly that Steve is very supportive but really a no-nonsense guy. He won't waste your time or money with small talk - he will contact you on time and get straight to the point. Steve will identify your strengths and weaknesses and adjust the program specifically to address the areas you need help in the most, while at the same time still giving attention to the other areas of the exam to make sure all your bases stay covered. By the time the exam was 2-3 weeks out, I had worked so hard with Steve that things just became automatic. During the actual exam, knowing exactly what to do the instant the proctor says "begin" is absolutely invaluable. After working with Steve I knew exactly what to do from start to finish on every section of the exam, including those times I felt slowed down or stuck. I was able to relax and fall back on Steve's training to smash through those roadblocks without letting precious time tick away. Steve will have you writing in a way that allows you to tackle anything the bar examiners throw at you. I have no doubt that his system is why I passed the exam on my first attempt. I fully recommend Steve to anyone preparing for the bar exam without hesitation.

Comment Id-51

amillea

on 11/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After failing the bar twice I was so defeated by this test. I am so grateful that I found Steve! I took Barbri the first time around and found it absolutely useless. I sat in lectures and pawed through 100 page outlines with absolutely no direction or any real insight into how a bar exam essay is supposed to be written. I tried other tutors who simply gave me the same critique over and over again without ever explaining the real formula behind the bar exam. Then I was fortunate enough to find Steve. Steve isn't just another bar prep course or cookie-cutter tutor. He gives you the language, format, and structure required to pass the bar. He is amazingly intuitive and perceptive and is able to quickly ascertain his student's strengths and weaknesses to truly give you the road map to success! Thank you so much Steve; I couldn't have done it without you.

Comment Id-52

Bill S.

on 11/19/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After working with Steve Zikman extensively, I am happy to give him a strong & unqualified endorsement. I first enlisted Steve's help after my unsuccessful attempt to pass the Baby Bar (FYLSX). I easily passed the second time. While I did not pass on my first try at the California Bar Exam, I'm confidant that Steve's work and methodologies played an essential role in getting me to a second read and a miss by only 30 points. I am glad that I used Steve again to claim my spot on the pass list on this second and last attempt. Steve's approach is a straight-forward, common sense method that can be practiced for continued improvement. Steve's knowledge, experience and in-depth, constructive feedback were essential to my progress. Most importantly, Steve has a wonderful, personal style. It was clear that he cared about me and my success. He was able to gently assist me through those crises of confidence, and over those inevitable walls.

Comment Id-53

Neha Modi

on 11/20/2012
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I turned to Steve Zikman after I wan't successful in my goal of passing the California Bar. Upon looking at my score report, I realized that I needed substantial work related to the written portion of the exam. I was unaware how to write for the graders and didn't know what they were looking for in an essay or PT. Ultimately, I am extremely grateful to Steve for helping me achieve my goal of passing the Bar. He has a clear, formulaic method in which to write essays and PTs that are visually pleasing to the grader. He taught me how to write an essay with confidence even when I had no idea where to begin. Steve will go through each essay and PT with you line by line, giving you honest feedback that you use to improve future essays. He is supportive throughout the whole process, is always available by phone or email, and checks in with you twice a day when taking the test. Looking back, I can honestly say that if faced with the task of retaking the Bar I would choose Steve again.

Comment Id-54

MNJD2012

on 5/20/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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One of the most difficult aspects of not passing the CA bar exam for me, was not knowing why or what I did wrong in preparing the first time. Barbri left me with no feedback and therefore no reference as to how to improve. The second time around I worked with Steve, who helped me recognize both my strengths and my weaknesses throughout the entire process. His no-nonsense, direct approach motivated me to continue studying and improving. I worked with Steve on the essays, performance tests, and MBE portions of the exam. He meticulously reviewed and explained each essay and performance test he assigned. He highlighted my weak subjects on the MBE, and had me review the explanations for each question at least twice. After each phone call, he encouraged me to write out all the lessons I learned and to email it to him for his review. It was a lot of hard work, but it was necessary and worth it for me in the end. In doing so, I internalized both my weaknesses and strengths; I developed skills that were invaluable not just for the exam, but also for my career. Like a good coach, Steve didn't baby me, he pushed me to improve and consistently supplied detailed, constructive notes and criticism. It was a humbling yet empowering experience and I'm very grateful I had the opportunity to work with him. I wholeheartedly recommend Steve as a coach to anyone who is serious about passing the CA Bar Exam. He knows what he's doing, and if you put in the work and listen to him, you'll see your name on the pass list, too.

Comment Id-58

Passed2013

on 5/20/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I took the bar exam several times before my name finally appeared on the February Pass List. The initial cookie cutter law review course and subsequent efforts to study on my own did not get me to pass. What did get me to pass was the individualized study program, consistent communication, and feedback that I received from Steve. Because he worked with me one on one and was able to understand me/figure out how my mind works, I was able to break through the 2 major roadblocks that had kept me from passing: Timing and The Inner Perfectionist. Performance Tests were my worst enemy- I'm a slow reader, had difficulty with organizing the material, and always wasted time rephrasing what I was writing as I was writing it because I thought that I could make my answer sound better/smoother/smarter. I failed PT after PT after PT. It usually took me over 2 hours just to read through the material before I worked with him, but by the time I was done, I was able to read the materials AND organize my thoughts in under 1hr30 (and get my answer written in the remaining time). Steve also got me to the point where I was writing consistently passing essays, and he helped me get my practice MBE scores, which were honestly not bad, to the point where they were excellent. In the end, I'll never know what my score was on this last bar exam, but what I do know is that Steve's coaching was definitely the reason my name is on that pass list.

Comment Id-59

jhatcher96

on 5/21/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve was very accessible and willing to go the extra mile in helping me with my writing (a proven weak point in previous bar exams). One thing I appreciate about Steve is that he is a straight-shooter. In reviewing assigned practice essays, he let me know what my weaknesses were (without mincing words). This was something I needed, but did not receive from tutors from previous "well known" bar prep programs. He avoids any fluff that inevitably sets you up for failure, while teaching you how to capitalize on your strengths as well. Although his method is not meant to re-teach the law, he provides you with detailed elements of rules for all tested subjects, neatly packaging them in his customized Flash Outlines. These tools were invaluable, enabling me to memorize and apply the law in a way that I failed to master throughout law school, or for previous bar exams for which I studied prior to seeking Steve's help. I highly recommend The Strategic Bar Coach's services for any CBX examinee who wants to learn how to pass this challenging exam.

Comment Id-60

cl

on 11/23/2013
  • Currently 1/5 Stars.
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I am a NY lawyer with 10+ years experience at a large white-shoe firm and Ivy League law school degree and law review pedigree. After I failed in Feb, 2013, I signed up with Steve Zickman, Strategic Bar Coach to assist me with passing in July 2013. I paid him $8,000 for unlimited help. I also paid CA Bar Weasel $600 for help with PT's. Zickman's approach for me was worthless - he spent hours making me re-write one paragraph to use his exact language - then had no plan for how to memorize. He disappeared on July 17th, saying everyone does the memorization their own way, without a shred of a suggestion on how to memorize the law. His advice on PT's is flat out wrong - he says find 4 issues and cover them. Most other tutors say more is better. Finally, Zickman's strategy is to write a nearly perfect 1/2 of each essay and copy and paste and tweak the rest because you've wasted too much time on his formulaic language and approach. In July 2013, this approach was very costly - the heart of the conlaw issue was near the end, and by the time I'd laid down Zickman's standing, etc., there wasn't enough time to handle the myriad issues to spot on the big item. In contrast, CA Bar Weasle (Steve Harris) has great materials and a bona-fide method to help you pass the bar. His materials are concise and not a recycling of Barbri without any logic that it appears Zickman uses. Bottom line, I believe I would have passed had I focused on Harris's law summaries, approach and schedule. Zickman, for me, was a total was of time and money.

Comment Id-68

pujasharma

on 11/24/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I passed the July 2013 California bar exam on my first try thanks to Steve. I knew from the start that the usual bar prep companies wouldn't be a good fit for me. Being talked at by a person on a video recording (not even a live person to whom I could pose questions!) was a teaching method I immediately knew would not help me to pass the bar. Steve went above and beyond anything that Barbri, etc. ever could do by being in constant contact with me, giving me extensive feedback on each Essay and PT, and discussing my progress up until the bar was over. Steve took it further by teaching me what the bar examiners would be looking for, and how to achieve that, so as to pass the exam on my first try. Steve's method for passing the bar really works, and if you stick to it, exactly as he says, then you can pass too.

Comment Id-69

KristenB

on 11/24/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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When I failed the February 2013 bar (second time failing), I knew I needed additional help in order to pass this bar. I researched and researched tutors. My decision was easy after I spoke to Steve Zikman's prior students. Each student gave me thoughtful and detailed descriptions of why Steve helped them pass the bar exam. These are some of the comments I received "Steve has a no-nonsense approach; Steve's Flash Outlines really helped me learn the law; Steve is more than just a tutor, he is a coach." After sitting for the July 2013 exam and seeing the words "The name above appears on the pass list for the July 2013 Bar Examination," I can truly say that all of the statements from Steve's prior students are true - every single one. From my own personal experience, Steve helped me gain confidence, kept me honest, and motivated me right until the end. I worked hard and diligently everyday. A few days before the exam, I was nervous but relied on the "method" that Steve had taught me to calm me down. In my opinion, a big part of being successful on the bar exam is learning what you did wrong during the practice sessions. Steve reviewed each practice essay and PT with me in great detail and made me do a re-write, so I could see what a high scoring essay/PT would look like. Re-writing the essay made me understand what I did wrong to avoid making those mistakes on the bar exam. Another effective part of Steve's approach is the "Lessons Learned." After each exercise, Steve has his students write what they learned from the essay - e.g. how to attack the call of the questions, substantive law that is tested frequently, how to highlight certain facts for the grader. Steve has his students compile the "Lessons Learned" throughout the process and review them before exam day. This helped me realize how much work I had done. Steve is a phenomenal coach and will easily identify your strengths and weaknesses. If it wasn't for Steve, I know I wouldn't have passed the bar exam. I would highly recommend him to anyone, and I encourage students to call Steve's previous students for real-life testimonials. I owe a big - THANK YOU - to Steve.

Comment Id-70

Amy H.

on 11/24/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve's method is very effective and I passed the bar!!! Unlike Barbri which overwhelms you, Steve used 13 essay-modules and lots of timed essay-drills to teach me the most important tips in essay writing. He gave me a lot of constructive comments and made me re-write and re-write until they became passing essays. Steve's review charts for the MBE (Adaptibar) were also very helpful in nailing down my weak points and improving my scores in a short period of time. For PTs, he gave me this wonderful method to organize the facts and the law, as well as exposed me to a wide range of PT formats. By the end, I felt very comfortable with whatever PT I would get. Steve also made me re-do all my previous bar essays, which turned out to be critical in boosting my scores. Overall, Steve kept me on schedule, motivated and encouraged me. His appropriate criticisms may be hard to hear under the pressure of bar prep, but were always on the mark and motivated me to keep going. The hard work was all worth it when I saw my name on the pass list!!

Comment Id-72

Anita A.

on 11/25/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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With a full time job and studying for the Bar Exam, I didn't think I'd be prepared to pass. However, Steve's approach to the exam was clear and direct, which was something I had not gotten with other bar prep courses in the past. Steve kept me on track every step of the way. He made sure I was utilizing my time wisely by designing a program that met my time restrictions and addressed my weaknesses on the exam. He was honest about what I needed to work on, but also made sure to be that positive coach I needed during this difficult process. I highly recommend Steve to anyone who wants to pass the Bar Exam. Trust him, he knows what he's doing.

Comment Id-75

hastingsgrad13

on 11/26/2013
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I hired Steve as my tutor for the July, 2013 CA Bar Exam. I was a first time taker and I wanted maximize my chances of passing the Bar the first time around. I started working with Steve in the last semester of my 3L year. From the get-go, I loved his structured and personalized process and quickly saw some major improvements in my essay writing. Specifically, here are a few things that I loved about Steve and his program: (1) His Flash Outlines - Steve provides his students with his own Flash Outlines. These outlines are written concisely, without extra information, and have everything you need to memorize for the CA Bar Exam. I saved countless hours by not having to create my own outlines or stare at a Barbri Conviser outline by using these. (2) His Personalized Feedback - Steve talked about and/or corrected every single essay or PT that I wrote over the 5 months that we worked together. Also, at the end of each phone call, he would review the things I needed to improve on, and we would set up a phone meeting for the next discussion. He was punctual, never rushed through any phone call, spent the time on how I could improve my answers, and always offered consistent feedback and advice. (3) His Essay & PT method – Steve gives you a simple method/strategy to use for every single Essay and PT. This was invaluable. Once I learned and trusted his method, I stopped wasting time thinking about how I should organize and write the essays. Rather, I was prepared for whatever the Bar Examiners threw at me and was confident knowing that Steve’s approach would help me garner the points needed to pass the Bar Exam. (4) His Exam Day Updates – Steve called me the day before the Bar Exam, during the lunch period of each day, and after Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3 of the Bar Exam. Being able to talk with Steve, have him calm me down, and hear his strategies for the next section of the exam increased my confidence. (5) His Nurturing and Positive Attitude - I’m the Type A, anxious type of a person. Steve always guided me emotionally and encouraged me throughout the whole process while studying for the Bar. He listened to my concerns, and kicked me in the rear end when I needed to be kicked. Most importantly, he helped me overcome my fear of taking the Bar Exam. Most people think that studying for the Bar just means sitting at a desk and putting in the hours. Well…there’s a lot of that…but you also need to be psychologically prepared for exam. Steve made me more confident and motivated than ever before to achieve success on this Exam. I have no doubt that Steve’s work made me pass the Bar Exam. I trusted him and you should too.

Comment Id-76

Paige C

on 5/20/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After my third unsuccessful attempt at the California Bar Exam, I decided to look for a tutor. I had taken the Barbri course right after law school and used their materials to study on my own for the next two attempts. The Barbri information was overwhelming and I started to feel less and less confident going into the exams. Steve’s techniques are very useful and working with him gave me back the confidence I had been losing with every unsuccessful exam. He helped me tremendously with the organization and structure of my essays and PT’s. I also found the line-by-line review and multiple revisions to be extremely useful and very different from how Barbri works. Steve is also very good with time management; I felt like I was spending enough time on each area of the exam and I did not feel over-stressed during the final days before the exam. I am incredibly happy I reached out to Steve for help and recommend him to anyone looking for help with the California Bar Exam.

Comment Id-86

Gila

on 5/22/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve's tutoring was invaluable! Without his expertise and guidance I don't believe I would have passed the exam. This was my 4th time taking a bar exam (I took and passed NY on the 1st try in '99 and failed CA 2x before) so I have plenty to compare it to. What I feel made the biggest impact and difference was Steve's method of teaching. Admittedly, I had some reservations when I 1st spoke with him because other tutors told me I would do so many more essays with them but I am glad I trusted my gut instinct in the end! Steve has a very intensive experiential method and technique. He teaches you how to think for the exam and what the examiners are looking for. He provides valuable insight into the grading process and teaches a standardized approach to answering essays and PTs that can and should be used for very answer. Thanks to these tools, even when I didn't feel I had any clue what to answer I was able to begin writing and to make far more educated choices on how to answer the questions saving me valuable time and eliminating a tremendous amount of anxiety!

Comment Id-96

alexam17

on 5/22/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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For the California bar exam knowing the law isn’t always enough, you have to know how to take the exam and present your knowledge properly. Steve helped me pinpoint what the graders were looking for and provided a framework that could be used for every essay and performance test, regardless of the subject. Steve was able to motivate me to work through hundreds of MBE and finally recognize patterns within the questions. I followed Steve’s method and used his feedback to improve my test taking strategy and once exam day arrived I was confident I was writing passing answers.

Comment Id-97

Seth G.

on 5/22/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After I was unsuccessful on my first California bar exam attempt, I felt lost because I had put forth a completely concerted effort in my preparation for all three portions. Fortunately for me, there were 2 attorneys at my firm who had gone through the same experience I had, and found Steve to help them pass on their second attempt. Dylan and Will recommended Steve wholeheartedly and I decided to hire him immediately. As it turns out, I was not writing my PTs and Essays how the graders wanted to read them. Steve provided the framework and guidance on how to write the PTs and Essays exactly how the graders want them presented. My scores were very low on the PTs and that is where most of the opportunity lies on the exam since they are worth 2 essays each. Simply having a step-by-step approach to any PT that was thrown at me on my next attempt helped put me over the top with a passing score. Steve is flexible and will diagnose your score report and recommend a program to fit your needs, whether it be MBE, Essay, or PT help, or any combination of the three. Steve is a true coach, which means he tells you what you are doing poorly and tells you what you are doing well. If you chose to use Steve you must trust in his constructive criticism and not take it personal. Without making mistakes, you will never know how to improve and most importantly, PASS THE BAR! The quicker you can deal with the failure, the quicker you will be ready for success. Simply heed his coaching, and implement his tips on your next practice exam, and then it will become a habit.

Comment Id-98

MelodyK

on 5/23/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve provided me with the tools I needed to pass the CA bar. I took the Bar in Feb. 2013 and PASSED! I struggled with the MBE section of the bar exam. His approach to tackling the MBE's including his ‘MBE Drilldowns’ helped me move away from the mystery which I often felt about the answers to a much better understanding of what was the correct answer, and why. In doing so, I was able to improve my score tremendously. The template Steve provides for the PT helped me organize the law and facts and see the bigger picture. Trust in Steve's process, put in the hard work and you will see results.

Comment Id-99

aholland

on 11/22/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After two unsuccessful attempts at taking the CA Bar exam, I decided to find a coach to help me pass the Bar. Steve was exactly what I was looking for. Having been a ballet dancer, I craved honest feedback and someone who would teach me how to pass the Bar. Steve is the essence of that coach — his feedback was honest and direct, yet he was always on my side, pushing me towards passing. Steve worked with me on my essays, PTs and especially the MBEs. His Flash outlines, line by line review, and revisions were invaluable. These are things that the Barbri program and graders did not provide. Steve focused on my weaknesses, namely being too general, and answering questions too quickly, and made me address these. During the exam, he called me after each writing session to check in and refocus me for the upcoming session. On November 21st, I had the privilege of calling Steve to tell him that I had passed thanks to his coaching. Thank you, Steve!

Comment Id-104

Hellen

on 11/23/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I took and failed the bar exam twice before hiring Steve as my tutor. Both times I failed the exam, I felt prepared to take the exam: I had studied the law, memorized the rules and thought I had a solid approach to the essays and PTs. I was wrong! I consistently struggled with PTs and MBEs. The third time around I knew I needed to do something different. I hired Steve as my tutor and what a difference he made. He gave me an approach to the essays and PTs. We reviewed each essay and PT. He told me what I was doing wrong and how I could improve. On the MBEs, I quickly learned why I was choosing the wrong answer. At times, I would still fall into my old habits and he called me out every time. He pushed me to work hard and held me accountable. It was hard work but it paid off. By the time the exam came around, his approach to the essays and PTs was second nature. I went into the exam and executed what he had taught me. Now, I can proudly say that I passed the July 2014 bar exam. Steve is a game changer! Hellen H., Lincoln Law School of Sacramento

Comment Id-105

Hyojung Jang

on 11/24/2014
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Thank you, Steve, for all of your help in preparing the bar exam. I first started with 19 essays & 5 PTs, but changed to unlimited essays & PTs. At first, I had a hard time finishing the PT within 3 hours and Steve helped me figuring out how to attack it. It worked very well; I could confidently follow his instruction on the exam dates and I could finish both PTs on time! He also taught me a lot of essay techniques for each of essay subjects; it was very specific and customized to each essay subject. It was not one-for-all essay technique that other bar review courses teach; you can learn all different approaches for all different subjects. In second stage of my tutoring, I also learned how to finish essays on time. He is very sharp in figuring out on what students are missing and very good at giving inspiring feedbacks to overcome that obstacles. Another thing was that he gave me a call on the exam dates and it tremendously helped me in overcoming nervousness and focusing on next, not past. I can confidently say, “without him, I could not have passed the bar exam in my first attempt!!!”

Comment Id-106

Kristin Mc

on 5/16/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I have no doubt in my mind that I passed the California February 2015 bar exam because of Steve and his system. I researched several tutors/coaches after I failed in July 2014. I realized that there was more to the exam than just knowing the law. Steve’s process was a game changer. He pulls the curtain back for you on the bar exam and reveals how to play the “game” effectively and successfully. It was tough at times, because I had to learn this new perspective and way of writing. I listened to his past students and I trusted the process – I followed every instruction he gave me. He showed me that it was ok to let go of my inner perfectionist, because it did not serve me on the bar exam. Steve helped me to shoot for excellence rather than perfection and I discovered that the exam anxiety and paralysis subsided. It was a lot of hard work, but his system became second nature and my approach to the essays and the performance exams became mechanical. I knew that I could write a passing answer to whatever was thrown at me. He is not a cheerleader, but that is not what you want at this stage of the game! What you get is a tailored approach to target your weaknesses and maintain your strong points. On exam day you will have his voice in your head and his process to pull you through and then, like me, you name will be on the PASS LIST!!! Kristin M. (Suffolk University Law School)

Comment Id-112

MaryV

on 5/16/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I took the CA bar in July 2014 after using Barbri as my prep course. After completing dozens of practice essays, several PTs, and hundreds of MBEs, I was incredibly disappointed to not see my name on the pass list in November. By then, I was working full time and was not sure how to tackle the next exam. My husband contacted Steve and, after Steve reviewed my scores, I signed up with Steve and the February 2015 exam. Steve hammered the importance of structure and consistency with my essays, and provided excellent, specific feedback on improving my essays. He went through each practice essay with me 1-3 times and each time we discussed what score I would have gotten on the essay. This helped me to realize that an above passing score was possible on each essay and to not be intimidated by any question or issue. My PTs were my strength and Steve's approach with me was to focus on earning as many additional points as I could out of each PT. Coming out of the February exam, I definitely felt like my PTs would help me get on the pass list. Steve is practical, to-the-point, and treats you like a professional with feedback that is designed to promote improvement rather than complacency. I highly recommend Steve to anyone who wants to put the CA bar behind them!

Comment Id-113

Maureen A

on 5/16/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I just found out that I passed the February 2015 California Bar Exam thanks to Steve’s help. He really took the time to find out what I needed from him as a tutor, and help me in the areas that I needed it. When I took the bar the first time I failed because I had no idea how to write a passing PT or essay answer. Steve taught me a process for both, which I practiced over and over with him. By the time I took the exam, I felt that I was ready for anything the examiners threw at me. His technique worked – I passed the exam the second time I took it and I owe it to all of the help and support that Steve gave me. I would definitely recommend Steve as a tutor to anybody taking the California Bar Exam.

Comment Id-114

Andrew K

on 5/17/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve was 100% the difference between failing in July and passing in February. After finishing the July exam with Barbri, I felt thoroughly unprepared. I felt that I spent an inordinate amount of time sitting through painfully slow videos and switching back and forth between multiple outlines, which made it incredibly hard to know what or how much of a subject to study. After one week with Steve, I fully understood why I felt that Barbri had failed me. First, Steve gives you ONE outline which shows you exactly how to attack a particular issue. The outlines themselves made a world of difference, as I finally understood how to break down every possible topic if it came up on an exam. Second, the process of actually going through the essays and then getting feedback from Steve quickly shaped my writing and attack process. I didn't really understand what it took to write a "great" essay before Steve. He just made the process click and really showed me what it took to kill the bar exam. Finally, the MBE drilldowns really helped me improve on my MBE's. Being able to target problem areas made me realize what topics I didn't really understand, which also helped me with the essays. In sum, I am eternally grateful to Steve, and would recommend him to anyone who wants to take the bar for the last time.

Comment Id-115

Gabriel C.

on 5/17/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve specifically helped me by identifying my individual weaknesses, motivating me to overcome them through practice, and by capitalizing on my strengths to maximize my scoring potential. To address my number one issue of timing, Steve reviewed my essays and taught me how to eliminate excess verbiage that did not count for points. To address my number two issue of synthesizing the performance test material efficiently, Steve taught me a universal road-map for deconstructing the law in the library and gathering relevant facts from the file. To capitalize on my strength with the MBE, Steve taught me how to identify patterns in my incorrect answers. Steve also highlighted the subjects and topics in which I scored lower percentages on the MBE, and this helped raise my original MBE diagnostic score of 63.7% to an 86% on my final MBE practice set.

Comment Id-116

Meg G.

on 5/17/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I had taken the CA bar twice when I came to Steve. My failures had left me feeling confused, ashamed, and dejected. But Steve immediately put me on a course of study that enabled me to regain my confidence and go into the bar exam feeling prepared and ready to pass -- which I did! I implemented Steve's test taking techniques and believe this is the reason I passed. While working with Steve, he read my essays and analyzed my weaknesses, then worked with me to write passing essays. He gave very specific feedback and this allowed me to correct the mistakes I was making. Having Steve tell me what I was doing wrong and then give me a method to fix it was truly invaluable and allowed me to pass the CA bar. Steve restored my confidence, because I truly did not understand what I was doing wrong and through Steve's constant analysis and correction, I was able to finally understand what the graders were looking for and then give them just that on exam day(s). Additionally, Steve's method for 'attacking' the PTs was extremely valuable. This is an area of the bar where you can capitalize points and Steve took the time to thoroughly explain how to write a passing objective PT versus a subjective PT versus a client letter, etc. and worked through each one with me. So on exam day, when we received a rather difficult and involved PT, I was able to take a deep breath and 'attack' it using the structure Steve taught me. There was zero stress involved. I am incredibly grateful to Steve and I recommend him wholeheartedly to anyone looking for a tutor to take the CA bar, whether it be the first time -- or third.

Comment Id-117

Tbyrdlaw

on 5/18/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve is an exceptional motivator and coach. I can truly say that I put all my faith into his approach and this was a very difficult thing for me to do. In the end, however, it all worked out because I passed the CA Bar. His individualized approach allows him to assess his students’ weaknesses and strengths, giving them the capabilities and confidence to get their name on the pass list. Steve is with his students during the entire bar-study experience, and having him available for a pep talk during the actual exam was a great relief. His patience and diligence helped me stay focused on succeeding!! I would recommend The Strategic Bar Coach, Steve Zikman, to anyone who sincerely wants to take a serious attempt at getting his or her name on the CA Bar pass list!

Comment Id-118

TheCaliforniaBarExam

on 5/18/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I chose Steve because I was at my wits end. Steve has an excellent program. The difference between this program and any other is that it taught me to set up a structure to argue both sides of an issue . I had to practice. My initial belief was that you don’t have enough time . I had gotten use to spotting issues laying down the law as fast as I could. This led to very short essays. I thought I was typing long essays and I found I was coming in with 500 words. My mind was a race horse that forgot to put its feet on the ground. Steve gave me a course with hurdles to jump. This helped stream what I knew into the form. His PT method taught me how a PT was constructed. Once I saw that it made it much easier to organize and write. Steve is a strong energy and no non-sense person. He shows up on time and completes the tasks. This is good because its like moving next to a stronger horse you start running the same way. He has a good and kind heart but is stern. However one student said this was a warm supportive program. I thought it was a strong pail of ice water in your face. Passed Feb 2015

Comment Id-119

Duncan P.

on 5/18/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Nobody worked harder than I did over the eight weeks leading up to my first attempt at the CBX. When I didn’t pass, it mystified me more than anything else. I mistakenly believed that I had hit the written portions of the exam more or less out of the park. Steve Zikman showed me why I had not. Foremost, my analyses lacked depth. I was hurling issues at the wall just to see what would stick, but I wasn’t delivering enough meaningful factual analysis. Steve taught me how to write essays that had substance, essays that focused on answering the call of the question. He showed me what factual analysis is all about. It was exciting. Steve did not teach me the law: he taught me how to exhaust the facts. With every essay that I wrote and rewrote, he opened my eyes to something new and fine-tuned my application of his methods, line by line. His “elementized” approach required some effort on my part before it became second nature, especially since I had to work full time during my prep. But Steve kept me focused. He pays strict attention to the business of passing the bar, and didn’t let me waste time on distractions that would have impeded my progress. Happy to say, it worked. I committed to his method, embraced it, and applied it on my second attempt at the bar. And I passed! I cannot recommend Steve Zikman highly enough. He is simply an outstanding coach, tutor and mentor for passing the California bar exam. Steve Zikman gave me the game plan for success that put my name on the pass list. Thank you, Steve!

Comment Id-120

A.C. Esq.

on 5/19/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I highly recommend Steve as a bar tutor whose methodology and caring persistence were essential to my success passing the Feb. 2015 CA bar exam. As a practicing attorney who had just moved from another state, I was determined not to take the CA Bar twice. My previous experience with BarBri had been mixed. I struggled to keep up with the self-study schedule and to format my essays in a manner that would consistently score high points. Steve presented a solution to both of my challenges. His strict, no-nonsense enforcement of a customized schedule kept me on track even through the busy Christmas season when my husband and I (newlyweds in Nov.) were faced with holiday responsibilities of thanking and attending to our many wedding guests. Steve was a pro at honing my ability to draft essays according to a strong IRAC formula and pushed me to do so consistently with attention to both quality and time efficiency. I thank God for Steve who coached me to never have to take the CA Bar again!

Comment Id-121

SteveBoggins

on 11/26/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I approached Steve after previously failing the February 2015 administration of the California Bar Exam. I used one of the big bar prep companies that lacked the personalized approach that Steve offered. After speaking with several tutors I took the leap and went with Steve; and I'm so glad that I did! What stood out with Steve is the customization he offers in his services. I did not require much help with the MBE's....but my Essays and Performance Tests were another story. He helped show me what the graders are looking for, how to attack each issue and how to write a coherent, and more importantly, passing essay/PT. Steve will go line by line and analyze each sentence and offer his critique. It's this personal attention that helped me pass the July 2015 California Bar Exam. My biggest piece of advice to those who decide to hire Steve: do not fight the process. Listen to what he says and understand that he knows what works and doesn't work. It was one of the best experiences finding out that I had passed. Steve Zikman can make this a reality for you, too.

Comment Id-122

ality929

on 11/28/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After not passing the 1st time, I wanted more practice (no lectures, etc.). Studying with Steve Zikman was focused. For essays, Steve’s method is succinct, straightforward, and exactly what bar examiners need to see. No matter how good a writer I thought I was – for the bar I could not manage my writing time well. But Steve had me fashioning essays the same way each time so that it became habit. On this past July 2015 Bar, I felt 2 essays didn’t go well – and they probably didn’t – but I think I passed because Steve's tips helped with all other essays, even the bad ones. Also a big part of my passing had to come from MBE practice; Steve drills you on countless Adaptibar questions and for the July Bar, all the questions looked like what I’d studied. Steve won’t mince words when telling you what you’re doing wrong – but it’s not personal – it’s for what the bar examiners need to see.

Comment Id-123

palmerbp

on 11/30/2015
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After failing the bar for a second time, I was devastated. I was actually beginning to think it was not possible for me to pass the bar exam; then I found Steve. Steve's process and method for preparation was phenomenal. I felt extremely prepared for all three phases of the exam. First, Steve taught me how to write, and even more importantly, how to actually answer the essays. His process was difficult at first, but soon answering any essay, in any subject, became second nature. Second, Steve had me doing practice multiple choice questions daily, and one by one my scores greatly improved, but even more importantly, so did my confidence. Third, Steve is a Performance Test expert. The PTs had been my greatest weakness on my previous 2 attempts. Steve taught me the gamesmanship and tricks of these exams. For the first time ever, I was finishing the PTs and passing them, which of course did wonders for my confidence as well. By the time the exam rolled around, I felt so confident and prepared in all three phases, and no subject or part of the test scared me. After trying Barbri and another private tutor the first two times, I sure wish I had used Steve for my first attempt. Put your trust into Steve's method, work hard, and you too can finally slay the dragon!

Comment Id-124

James Speights

on 5/14/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I just passed the Cal bar exam on my third attempt, and Steve was the difference. I was near the top of my class in law school, but I just couldn’t get over top with Barbri and another highly advertised private tutor. Steve’s approach makes thinking about how take each section of the exam automatic—I didn’t even have to think about how to structure an essay or PT by the time the exam came around. Steve provided me with specific approaches and writing structure for each and every subject and then made sure I had it down by analyzing my work, line by line. Most importantly, Steve treated me like a unique individual and helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, so I could focus my study time. He kept in contact with me throughout the entire process and made sure I was on track, all the way to the last day of the exam. I can’t say enough about how thankful I am that I chose Steve over all of the other tutors and bar methods I investigated. I’m a lawyer now, and you can be too, with Steve’s help! Jim S.

Comment Id-125

JR2016

on 5/14/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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If there is an exact formula for passing the California bar exam, I'm honestly still not sure what it is. What I am sure of however is that Steve has a reliable and highly effective system and process that as a repeat taker, put me in the best possible position to pass the exam. Finally, I'm on the pass list! As an older, working professional, recently married and expecting my first child, I knew I needed one on one tutoring to focus my efforts and keep me motivated, on task, and on schedule. Above all, I needed to improve my writing on essays and PT's. Steve helped me eliminate bad essay writing habits (some learned in law school) and taught me how to write FOR the California bar examiners. I learned the importance of organization, structure, conciseness and how to present an clear, cogent, and an easy to read essay. Steve's demanding regiment and countless exercises also helped immensely with my timing. By the time I sat for the last bar exam of my career in February 2016, rather than run out time mid sentence halfway through an essay as I had done on a previous exam attempt, I actually had time to review and check answers. Steve is accessible, responsive and offers a form of coaching that minimizes one's weakness and maximizes one's strengths. He has countless tips and proven techniques which translate into critical points across the board. Its all about fighting for points and every facet of Steve's system, whether its learning how to write an essay introduction, head a PT cover memo, or attack a certain type of MBE question, is designed to help you win that fight. Lastly, while Steve is not a certified therapist or a psychologist (to my knowledge), he does find a way to keep the emotional and mental grind of bar prep in perspective and he provides tools to manage and steady oneself through the storm. He is firm and no nonsense yet patient and encouraging even up to and through the very last exam session. Having Steve there during those three exam days was like having a great corner man in the ring during a heavyweight title bought. The California bar exam is a huge commitment and hiring a tutor is a serious investment which I approached with the same intensity as I did preparing for the bar itself. In doing the research, reading the message boards, online reviews, emailing strangers and talking to people in the legal community, Steve's name kept coming up. As I moved through the process and finally reached out and personally spoke to some of Steve's past students on the phone, I realized that I had only one option. I'm happy that I chose Steve as my bar tutor as he was instrumental in my passing the February 2016 exam. I highly recommend Steve for anyone who wants to pass the California bar exam. Its without a doubt the best overall investment I have ever made for myself and my new family. Give Steve a call and get yourself on the pass list! (Feel free to reach out as I'm happy to discuss and recommend Steve's services)

Comment Id-126

Lynn H.

on 5/15/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After failing the July 2015 bar exam, I knew I needed a focused approach to pass the California bar exam. It is a very specific exam, so specific preparation was needed. I researched the various bar coaches and programs, and located Steve. I am so thankful I did. He provided references from his students so I could make an informed decision. Having practiced in another state before moving to California, I had to check my ego at the door in order to effectively prepare. Steve gave me the structure, work load, and accountability I needed to succeed, and I passed the test in February. He is very disciplined, and expects the same from his students. Make no mistake he will make you work. He will also not mince words when you need correction. However, if you are willing to commit to his program and work hard, you can find your name on the pass list as well. Please do your due diligence as a current or aspiring attorney, and check out Steve. You will be so glad you did.

Comment Id-127

AttorneyAl

on 5/15/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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First, Steve's outlines are super helpful for both understanding the law and memorizing rule statements for essays. Other programs tend to either have outlines that are so brief that you can't use them to understand all the details or law, or so verbose that they are hard to use for memorizing rule statements for essays. Steve also really helped me with improving my essays. Structure and format as just as important as content, so he helped me shape that up in time through much practice. He also pushed me to use the facts to their full extend in the analysis. The line by line review helped me to get to the next level of essay writing each time. It was also useful to revise essays until they were in shape. Steve's PT method also helped tremendously. He has a method for getting you to use as much of the relevant law and facts as possible. It's up to each student to put in the work, but Steve can definitely push you over the top!

Comment Id-128

Derek L

on 5/17/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I would not have passed the February 2016 bar exam without Steve. During our first few weeks of working together, Steve broke down my writing structure and taught me how to earn every point possible. The structure that Steve teaches was invaluable, especially during the very difficult third day of the exam. By that third day, I was physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted. Luckily, I could rely on Steve’s strategies and formats, both of which were particularly helpful on the difficult evidence and professional responsibility essays. Because I was working full-time while studying, I was in danger of mismanaging my time, but Steve kept me on track. He coordinated my schedule for me and told me exactly what I needed to do and when. I did not have to waste any mental energy on planning. Instead, I could focus on learning the law and, more importantly, on learning how to write to pass.

Comment Id-129

K.S.

on 5/20/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I hired Steve after failing the CA bar 3 times, and I passed on the first try with Steve's help. I went to a top 20 law school outside California, and I had passed the bar in that state on the first try, but I couldn't pass the CA bar using Barbri. Steve's process made the study process easier and helped me focus on what was important in preparing for the test. Being a practicing attorney at the time that I took the test, Steve made sure that I was focusing on memorizing what was important, so that I wasn't overwhelmed. In addition, I had done poorly on PTs, but Steve made me confident that I could gain points rather than lose points on the PTs. The essays were also a problem for me, and Steve's system worked much better for me than the Barbri system, by ensuring that I was still able to gain points on essays, even if I didn't remember the law perfectly. I would highly recommend Steve for anyone who needs to pass and has been unsuccessful in the past.

Comment Id-130

Abner Pinedo

on 11/18/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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As a person who went to law school outside of California, taking the CA Bar Exam was no easy feat for me. I am so glad to have found Steve to be my tutor; there really is no other coach like him. He is very thorough and compassionate, and is very intentional about all of the advice he gives - each and every correction he makes on your practice essays and PTs is really tailored to how to improve upon your writing style in order to match a passing score. He was able to pinpoint all of my weaknesses, both in the MBE and written portions, and coach me through what exactly I needed to do in order to pass. His outlines were succinct and very easily digestible. He wastes no time with his instruction at all and makes sure to cater to whatever concerns you might have. I really owe my success and the passing of the bar to Steve. Without his help, I can unreservedly say that I would not have succeeded. Thank you Steve!

Comment Id-131

RochelleR

on 11/21/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve was my tutor for the July 2016 California Bar Examination. His strategies and methods helped me transform my writing style to be tailored specifically to master bar essays and performance tests. He diligently walked me through each of my essays, line by line, to help me improve my writing technique which was too vague and wordy. His attention to detail helped me spot important issues and properly analyze facts that I had been overlooking. He took the time to help me focus on areas that I was struggling with, such as my time management on the essays, second-guessing myself on the MBEs, and wrong issue recognition, to help me improve in those areas tremendously. Furthermore, Steve taught me how to analyze each issue on the bar exam logically and in an organized fashion. Steve was not only a fantastic tutor, but also a great mentor that helped me reach my ultimate goal of passing the California Bar Exam.

Comment Id-132

Joanne H.

on 12/1/2016
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve is 100% the reason I passed the California Bar Exam. After two unsuccessful attempts, I knew I needed someone to help guide me through the process. The first time I used Barbri and felt extremely uncomfortable throughout the entire program, and the second time I tried to self-study. While my score improved, it was not enough to pass. Steve offers a really well-developed program and holds you accountable every step of the way. I felt myself improving during each tutoring session and growing in confidence. His laser focus on structure, analysis, common sense and reflection is unparalleled and his commitment to your success is evident. Probably the most important takeaway from my experience was that working with Steve improved my confidence and greatly reduced my anxiety. For anyone who has taken this exam more than once, you know that the anxiety increases with each bar. I walked into the July 2016 bar exam knowing that because of Steve, I had done everything I possibly could to prepare. This is the best money you will ever spend - it was a privilege to work with him and I could not more sincerely recommend someone. My best wishes for your success!

Comment Id-133

P.D.

on 5/13/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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If you are a practicing attorney and you want to pass the California Bar Exam the first time, you should hire Steve Zikman. I was not a traditional bar examinee as I had been practicing law for nearly 10 years. I took the July 2016 Attorney Bar Exam and enrolled in a traditional bar review course. The traditional course was not geared for the Attorney Bar Exam, and I did not pass the July 2016 bar exam. I knew I had to find another method, and I found Steve Zikman. Steve is an excellent bar exam coach. Steve has a very strict method that he instills from day one with his coaching. When I sat for the February 2017 bar exam, I was extremely prepared and confident because I had a plan coming in with Steve's coaching. Steve demands that you follow his method, and I know that it was his method that helped me pass the February 2017 California Bar Exam. Trust the method and you too will pass the California bar exam.

Comment Id-135

James E

on 5/13/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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It took me 6 times to take the bar exam. The bar exam was an absolute nightmare, and seemed to be never-ending. I took Barbri, Kaplan, and even my own mixture of both. Nothing seemed to work. I was referred to Steve by another attorney and coincidentally other people I knew had used Steve as well. Going with Steve was the best investment I ever made. He cares very much about his students, but is a no bullsh** kind of guy. Steve will tell you how it is, which is surprisingly something no other bar company ever did. Steve is very regimented and has a “strategic” system that works!!! He gives you all the material you need, lays out your schedule, and goes over all the material “line by line” (literally). I am extremely thankful and forever indebted for all of Steve’s help. Steve is the way to go. - James E. Whittier Law School

Comment Id-136

Ted R

on 5/13/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I failed the bar exam twice and then became busy with work. The next thing I knew, it had been two years and my moral character was about to expire so I knew I only had one chance to take the bar exam again. I was rusty and didn’t remember much because it had been two years. Steve knew this and helped whip me into shape. He is not a ‘hold-your-hand’-type of tutor. He is blunt and sometimes brutally honest, but that is the kind of tutor I needed and many people who didn’t pass the bar need. If you have an ego going into studying, you need to put it aside and Steve will let you know that. There were times I questioned his methods, but if it wasn’t for him then I do not think I would have passed or even received got close. Take it from someone who wasn’t close to passing, used a different tutor that cost twice as much before and took two years off, Steve is the tutor you need.

Comment Id-137

David_E

on 5/14/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After failing the California Bar Exam for a third time, it was clear that I needed help to demonstrate my legal knowledge better on the written exam. Steve explained in extensive detail what I should do for each part of the written exam and what I should not do, from the introduction to the analysis to the conclusion. No detail important for the exam is neglected with Steve. Steve's approach to the test was thorough and gave me concrete rules to writing that kept me focused, calm, and collected for the exam. Finally, it is important to mention that Steve keeps his student on track. When reviewing a specific written exam with me, Steve provided substantial objective feedback. Steve was there to remind me that parts of my work were good without neglecting to mention where I needed to improve. Steve genuinely cares about helping his students pass the bar exam, and this shows in his program.

Comment Id-138

Eyal F.

on 5/14/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Being unsuccessful after two attempts, I knew I needed to change my approach and preparation to this exam. I was weak in all three areas of the exam, but not by much. I just needed that 'extra push.' I found Steve after searching online for personal tutors and I subsequently reached out to a few of his former students. Steve's method completely changed my writing style and made me understand how to present the information accurately and concisely to the examiners. Further, I began to understand why I was answering MBE questions incorrectly and how to avoid making the same mistake in the future. Steve's approach to conquering the exam is precise, thorough and effective. It simply works. Beyond that, Steve instilled the confidence in me to overcome the mental hurdle that the exam poses. I highly recommend Steve to any student, regardless of their weaknesses. I am finally on the pass list, and you will be too.

Comment Id-139

Alex Murer

on 5/15/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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The first time I took the bar exam I felt that I did every thing I could to prepare. I completed each assignment Barbri gave me, and walked into the exam feeling ready for whatever it could throw at me. When I checked my results and read the dreaded “this name does not appear on the pass list” I didn’t know what to do. I scheduled a call with Steve and felt he had what I needed to get my name on the pass list. There was a lot of work to be done, but with his unique approach I made the necessary changes. As we worked together I saw my writing improve every week. Steve’s method stripped away the unnecessary fluff in other bar programs, and really focused on what I needed to know. He kept me accountable, helped me develop a well planned strategy for taking the test, and was the extra motivation I needed to put in the hard work. Looking back, Barbri gave many unnecessary assignments that didn’t move me closer to passing the bar. It felt great to check the box and move on to my next day’s work, but I wasn’t focusing on the areas I really needed to. Barbri was a shotgun approach. They throw every thing at you and hope some of it will help. Steve’s method is like a sniper. Focused and effective. For me, that made all the difference.

Comment Id-140

Haik

on 5/16/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I am incredibly grateful to Steve for helping me pass the bar exam. I tried different methods for preparing for the bar, including a bar prep course and studying on my own without taking any courses. But it was the collaboration with Steve that enabled me to acquire the ultimate prize. Steve was able to evaluate my strengths and weaknesses early on and tailor the program accordingly. I would sometimes panic when he would grade my essay with a low score. But he would always remind me that there’s still plenty of time and the memorization portion comes in the end, so many of the mistakes I made when writing that particular essay I won’t make on the exam. Surely, he was right. Some of the essays with similar topics in which I scored below 65 during practice showed up on the actual bar exam. Had it not been for his advice, I would probably panic. But instead, I walked out on the last day of the exam knowing that I had passed. Lastly, make no mistake it’s a two-way street. As the test-taker, you must be fully committed to giving all you've got, otherwise you’ll be wasting both your’s and Steve’s time. Just because he is a phenomenal tutor does not mean you will automatically pass. At times you might feel exhausted or question his methods, but you must stick to the game plan and do as he instructs. All in all, it’s the best investment you can make both for preparing for the bar and being confident on the day you walk into the exam.

Comment Id-141

rick111

on 5/16/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve Zikman is the number one reason I passed the February 2017 California bar. In particular, he helped me raise my MBE score to a passing score within a couple of weeks (something I thought was impossible at the time). His structure and overall methodology was key to helping me understand why I was getting questions wrong, and it helped me rewire the way my brain was thinking. Moreover, Steve's essay structure was a major reason I was able to stay organize and answer the question directly. Additionally, Steve provided great individual feedback and I always felt he was heavily invested in my success. I highly recommend Steve to anyone who believes they need help and feel hopeless, because Steve will re-instill that hope and ensure that you pass.

Comment Id-142

CVS

on 5/16/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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While many reputable bar study programs rely on volume of material and provide students with little insight, support, or constructive criticism, Steve gets results with purposeful assignments and extensive, thoughtful feedback. Steve's approach allows his students to fine tune their skills, understand the questions posed to them, and improve their self-awareness and confidence with respect to the exam. He is committed to his students and supports them every step of the way. I wish that I had found Steve and invested in his services from the start--he was the winning edge that I needed to pass the bar!

Comment Id-143

ols1989

on 5/18/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After multiple attempts at the California Bar Exam, I needed a tutor who would personalize a program to my individual needs. Steve went above and beyond to help me. He helped me work through the frustrations I had when I was writing good essays, but just couldn't seem to make it over the hump. The MBE was my weakness, but with Steve's customized feedback and MBE Drilldowns, my scores continued to improve. It made all the difference to have Steve in my corner during the exam. His phone calls at lunch during the exam gave me the motivation and encouragement I needed to get through the PTs in the afternoon. Steve also helped me change my attitude and find my inner fire. I was able to go in to the exam with a fighting attitude which made all the difference for me. I couldn't have done it without all of Steve's help!

Comment Id-144

Justin Hall

on 5/23/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After taking the California Bar exam 4 times and hiring Steve twice, I am proud to say that I passed! Despite my failure on the third attempt, I do not hold him responsible because my computer crashed. Even still, I was points away from passing - the closest I had ever been! Learning his strategy to tackle an essay, PT, or MBE question is the only reason why I was so successful. The outlines are straightforward, easy to understand and provide many tips for analysis; The practice essays and PTs are comprehensive, covering many issues of a given subject; And, the drill-down exercises hone in on practicing new writing techniques while also providing an opportunity to understand areas of weakness. What I liked most about Steve is that he holds you accountable to learn the law and get the work done. Knowing that I had a scheduled phone call with him motivated me to get up every single morning to study and not slack off. While his services are pricey, there is a reason for that. He will teach you effective and time-saving strategies that will ultimately help you finally defeat the California Bar exam. ​ Justin A. Hall, Esq. Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, CA

Comment Id-145

Michael Yap

on 11/18/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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If you failed the CA Bar and are reading this I want you to (1) cheer up because you just found the tutor that will help you pass the next time and (2) hire this tutor and commit to his methods because it helped me pass! I failed the bar on my first attempt by a small margin. I did everything that my commercial bar prep course told me to do and yet still came up short. I was devastated. I remember speaking with multiple tutors and felt like they had the same approach as the commercial bar prep course that I took (a lot of busy work and not a lot of meaningful work). I was feeling hopeless until I called Steve. From our initial conversation, Steve felt different from the other tutors. He had a clear and straightforward game plan and expected me to stick with that plan. Steve was like a drill sergeant and that is something that I needed. Everything we did had a purpose. Steve went over every line of EVERY practice essay that I did with him and pinpointed my weaknesses in the MBEs with his MBE drill-down feedback. Steve’s writing style and MBE approach helped me pass the bar the second time. Without Steve I don’t think I would have passed the July 2017 California Bar Exam! - Michael Yap (Thomas Jefferson School of Law)

Comment Id-146

Matthew B

on 11/18/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Steve is truly the X-factor. I passed the July 2017 California Bar Exam and I can easily attribute that to him. He calls himself a coach, and that’s exactly the type of service you get when you sign up to work with Steve. Like a coach, he’s not going to baby you or tell you how great of a job you’re doing. Rather, Steve will hone in on your mistakes and keep at it until you cannot get it wrong. His approach to the essays and Performance Tests is a game changer. He has found a method to take the guesswork out of the writing process. Further, Steve’s approach to the MBE, while difficult, is very helpful. His MBE approach will show you exactly what you’re doing wrong, how to study in a fashion to remedy that mistake, and ensure you don’t fall in pattern behavior of getting MBE questions wrong. I previously took BARBRI and it simply didn’t work for me. Long lectures and senseless amount of work didn’t teach me much. Rather, Steve’s approaches and tips were direct and helpful. He reviews essays line-by-line. It’s a detailed process. However, it’s this level of review and analysis of your work that is needed to get you through the Bar Exam. Lastly, studying and taking the bar is a marathon. Having Steve train you during that endeavor is just the type of thing you need to be successful. Matthew B - California Western School of Law

Comment Id-147

StephanieD

on 11/19/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I passed the July 2017 CA Bar Exam on my 3rd attempt. The feeling of seeing your name on the pass list is honestly the best feeling in the entire world. The first time around I took Kaplan Bar Prep and my computer crashed during the bar exam. The second time around, I went with Barbri and still came up short. I actually only changed my score from the first bar exam by ONE point. When I found out I didn’t pass the second time, I vowed that I would never take this test again. I studied so hard and thought there was nothing more I could do to pass this bar exam. I was emotionally and mentally drained. After taking some time to think it through, I decided I would give it another shot and hire a tutor because I needed someone to work with me personally and “fix” whatever it was that I needed to fix to get my name on the pass list. From my initial phone call with Steve, I knew I was signing up to work with someone who was ready to help me achieve my goal, as long as I was willing to put in the work. Like other reviews have said, Steve is no-nonsense and is not going to baby you. He talked to me about being aggressive and competing to get my name on the pass list. I followed every single assignment Steve gave me, completed it on time, and never missed an appointment with him. You have to have self-discipline and trust his method. I thought I was a good essay writer until I met Steve. He completely transformed my way of writing. His approach to writing essays is straightforward & to the point and he goes over your essays line by line and tells you how you should change it so it is exactly what the graders want to see. At first, changing my writing style was difficult but by the end I was getting 70+’s on essays, finishing on time and getting it done. My area of weakness was the MBE. Steve’s “Drilldowns” were so beneficial and over time I began seeing the patterns I was making that were contributing to my low score. Going over EVERY wrong MBE question and figuring out why I got it wrong, although time consuming, helped me pass the bar exam. My score improved tremendously and I felt confident going into the bar exam. The PT strategies Steve has and the attack plan for conquering the PT for the bar is amazing—I would have never known what the graders wanted to see. Lastly, one of the essays we had for the July 2017 bar exam was almost identical to one I worked on with Steve. When I saw it on the day of the bar exam, I was the happiest girl in the room. I knew exactly what to do and how to “wow” the graders. It was essay 3 of the morning session, where most people get tired but I knew I was going to kill that essay. If you are considering a tutor please invest in yourself and make this bar exam the last time you have to take it EVER again. I promise you, although it is expensive, it is worth it to have the feeling of seeing your name on the pass list.

Comment Id-148

J.M.

on 11/19/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I highly recommend Steve for anyone looking for a more customized, streamlined approach to bar prep. Steve told me what to study, but more importantly he also told me what to not waste my time doing. Steve kept me level-headed—when I had a bad practice exam he was straight with me and he honed in on how I could approach the question better next time. His time management tips were also extremely helpful. After looking over my practice essays he would mentor me as to where I could have written more or less in order to maximize my essay score points. His MBE schedule gave me peace of mind to know that I was doing the right amount of questions throughout the study period and also was set up in a way to maximize my MBE score on exam day.

Comment Id-149

cbx2017

on 11/19/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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When I took the bar exam my first time, I chose to prepare with a national bar prep company. Their one size fits all approach did not work for me. Another re-taker recommended Steve, and I'm glad I listened to their advice. Steve reviews every essay you write line by line and explains what needs to be fixed. He also has a specific approach for how to write the essays and performance tests in order to maximize points. His approach is simple, effective, and easy to implement. But more importantly, it helps minimize stress on exam day because you know how to structure your essay so you can spend more time reading and analyzing the facts. When it comes to the MBE, Steve teaches you to look for specific patterns in your incorrect answers so you know which pitfalls to avoid. I initially struggled with the MBE, but eventually improved my overall score by 13.5% under Steve's guidance (some subjects increased by 30% or more). Steve also tailors his program to you. There were certain subjects that I needed more time to review, and other subjects that I didn't need to spend as much time working on. Steve adjusted my study schedule accordingly. In short, Steve's approach works because he highlights your weaknesses, teaches you how to fix them, and gives you the tools to avoid them.

Comment Id-150

BostonBasedLawGrad

on 11/19/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Coming from a law school outside of California, and not having much confidence in my writing, I knew I needed more help than standard bar-prep programs could give. Additionally, almost everyone from my law school that took the CA bar the year before failed, and many of them said it was because their bar prep program did not prepare them for the exam, so I knew those wouldn't work for me either. I worked with Steve based on a recommendation from a friend, and I couldn't recommend Steve enough. Steve has a sensible formulaic approach for both the essays and PT, so you know exactly how to structure those on exam day. This really helped me because I did not have to spend any of my time or energy on structure, I just had to fill in the applicable law and analysis with facts from the questions during the exam. Additionally, the one on one reviews of essays and PTs Steve provides help to perfect your essay and PT writing, so you feel confident in your abilities walking into the exam. Steve also explained to me how to do proper analysis, something I was not taught in three years of law school, which I believe made a huge difference in my scores and led me to pass the exam on my first try. Steve's approach to MBEs is also really helpful because he has you use AdaptiBar which contains actual former MBE questions that were used in previous bar exams. I found the AdaptiBar questions to be quite similar to the questions on my exam, compared to the MBE questions BarBri wrote. Steve has you identify patterns in how you answer the MBE questions so you can figure out exactly why you're getting questions wrong, and you can recognize those patterns and correct them and therefore get more MBE questions correct. Steve is great at tailoring your study schedule to your needs, giving you enough time to get a handle on the subject while also balancing the time you need to study every subject. Plus, I really liked Steve's outlines, much more so than BarBri, they were concise and gave the exact law I needed to know for each subject. All in all I had a great experience with Steve, I believe he is the reason I passed the CA bar on my first try.

Comment Id-151

vll427

on 11/22/2017
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I walked out of the July 2016 bar with a smile on my face, thanks to Steve! Steve went through each essay with me line by line, and gave me brutally honest, thorough, and personalized feedback. He helped me see for myself what I was doing wrong and his outlines gave very specific tips so that I knew exactly what I needed to do to write a passing bar essay. My bar essay writing improved significantly with Steve’s method and personalized feedback I could not get from a big test prep company like Barbri. Steve was tough but he was also compassionate, respectful, and very patient with me throughout the learning process.

Comment Id-152

Emilia G.

on 5/20/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Words cannot express how grateful I am that I found Steve. After failing the bar twice, I was absolutely devastated. I started to think I could never pass. Luckily, my friend referred me to Steve and the rest is history. His method just works. He covers every single practice essay and PT line by line and gives you honest and straightforward feedback. He tells you exactly how you should change it so it is exactly what the bar graders want to see. His drill-down exercises improved my MBE score drastically. Going over every wrong MBE question allowed me to identify patterns and truly understand why I got it wrong. His outlines were easy to understand and not overwhelmingly long as most commercial bar prep outlines are. By the time I sat for the exam, I was ready for whatever was going to be thrown my way. Do yourself a favor, and hire Steve. If you commit to his method and work hard, you too will have your name on the pass list!

Comment Id-153

Chris Allen

on 5/20/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I was in your position not too long ago. Steve’s program was instrumental in my success on the February 2018 California Bar Exam. He improved my writing tremendously by focusing on thorough analysis and structure. Learning and consistently following his essay and PT writing approach was key. His approach to organizing the PT was clear and efficient, enabling me to save time by quickly spotting the law and relevant issues without sacrificing quality. Steve is a no-nonsense guy. He will help you get where you need to be so long as you are willing to put in the work. He will keep you on task. So long as you have an open mind, listen and stick to Steve’s plan, you will put your self in the best position to pass the bar exam through his leadership. I highly recommend Steve.

Comment Id-154

charles w

on 5/20/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I found Steve after I talked to a friend who was a repeat taker that finally passed after taking Steve's course one time. Steve Zikman encompasses what it means to truly be a Master Instructor. To me the three most important things that Steve provides are: The Blueprint, The Method, The Perspective. Steve's Blueprint includes very comprehensive and compact outlines that help you break down all tested subjects into bite sized material that is very manageable to learn given the time constraints. Steve's Method helps you write exactly what the Bar questions ask you for. Within the outlines are countless tips on how to write certain subjects within the material that lets the Bar Reader know that YOU as the student know your Law. Steve instills within you a structure to every essay that is "pleasing to the eyes" and easy to follow as a Bar Reader. Most importantly, Steve provides Perspective. Throughout my preparation Steve played the role of a Bar Reader and showed me what they are looking for. He hammered into my head constantly that Bar Readers take very little time to review your essay answer and that structure, delivery, and analysis all must be precise and exact. Steve was relentless because he knows that you only have to make a few mistakes on the Exam in order not to pass. Steve also knew when to ease off the gas and tell me to rest, relax, take a step back, and KEEP PERSPECTIVE. This is a test. All tests can be conquered. As a student I developed a strong trust with Steve because he reminded me to keep working and moving forward even when some subjects were very difficult to get through. As I sat for the exam I constantly heard his voice in the back of my head and it allowed me to leave no stone unturned and to take advantage of every hour, minute, second. I am eternally grateful to Steve Zikman. Thank you for helping me pass the February 2018 Bar Exam....THE LOWEST PASS RATE IN CA HISTORY!!!!

Comment Id-155

KE

on 5/21/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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If you are anything like me you just experienced one of the worst moments of your life. You're frantically trying to make sense of it and develop a plan to pass the next exam. In making my plan, I knew this was my only remaining shot. I would not be taking the bar exam for a third time. My 'big law' job was on the line. After my first call with Steve (I talked to many others), there was no question. He was the guy who was going to help me get those last few points to pass. My score for the July bar was close to passing. But I wanted a margin. Steve has fantastic bar material. The outlines he provided crystalized areas of law that I never had a good handle on. Steve is going to critique your writing. You are going to learn how to write in short sentences, and follow a formula that the grader is looking for. In a few short weeks, all of your exams are going to look the same. The grader only takes a minute or so to review the essays. This first "appearance" matters. Steve's formula, with his help, is going to become second nature to you. Game day, you'll be flexing your toned muscle memory and pumping out passing essays without breaking a sweat. My problem was the MBE questions. Steve has a system for learning how to master them. In mastering these questions, you are becoming really well versed in the nuances of the law. Which in turn helps the essays. Steve was with me every step of the way, and personalized the process. -- I passed the bar because of Steve's program. You cannot put a $$$ dollar figure on that.

Comment Id-156

Martha Yancey

on 5/21/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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If you want to pass the California Bar Exam, you need to hire Steve. Steve is not going to tell you how great you are; he's going to tell you how to improve so that you can pass the bar exam. He will keep you on track and make you accountable. He will teach you a method for writing essays to pass the exam. Steve will also teach you an efficient way to write the PTs. He will hone in on your weaknesses so that you recognize them and improve. I brought my MBE score up significantly with Steve's drilldowns. Steve's method is a proven winner. I passed the exam when the pass rate was at an all time low of 27% after having failed it once. I cannot recommend Steve highly enough. Steve's program is worth every penny!

Comment Id-157

jp44

on 5/22/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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YO!! Stop searching for bar-prep tutors!! Steve is the best possibility. I wasted my time, money, and energy on ineffective test-prep companies for 2 years of my life… Then I found Steve!! Seriously… I felt like it was impossible to pass until Steve showed me how passing works. His method is designed to impress the graders persistently. Steve knows how to pass this exam. His system for writing Bar answers is very different from the other tutors; I failed using another private tutor in LA and Barbri, both of which gave me too much material to possibly study and without enough direct guidance writing the actual essays. The words “strategic” and “coach” should be EMPHASIZED because Steve demands hard work and focus throughout the program. Steve’s approach to winning the bar graders’ approval is designed to pass if you’re willing to open your mind and heart to new habits and strategies. My personal challenge was organizing my writing clearly. I wrote rule statements in prose, I applied the entire rule to the entire facts without breaking out the law into several sub-rules, and my analysis read like a bulky discussion of all the elements in one broad conclusion. Steve taught me how to write bar essays mechanically. I went from spinning in circles trying to answer everything at once, to methodically working through each issue, sub-rule, element, and factor like a checklist with control. I went from never finishing an essay to hitting every issue and going deep into bonus point territory with time to spare, thanks to Steve’s approach. I cannot express enough the difference I felt studying for the Bar with Steve. It is truly a special program that gives you the strongest tools possible to pass by utilizing his masterful formula. I scored a 1240, 1280, 1350, then passed with Steve. The biggest difference was the massive confidence I felt taking the exam once I had the tools Steve provides in his program. Most of all, I was excited to work hard to pass with Steve because he is such a great coach. He knows how to inspire greatness in law students through the tutoring process. I was invigorated to try my absolute best and work my hardest in Steve’s program like never before. Steve’s program is challenging, but it is fair and fruitful – just like the bar exam! If passing feels impossible: I truly believe the best solution is a) Steve’s class and b) commitment. Good luck! 

Comment Id-158

SCald

on 11/17/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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"I had been unsuccessful on the bar on two prior occasions, both of which, I received "second reads." Though I thought I knew the law well enough to pass the exam, Steve taught me how to better write my exam so that the bar grader could better find my issues and analysis. He provided with strategies such as using my best analysis at the beginning of the essay and writing about "minor issues" towards the end. Additionally, Steve taught how to write an exam, so that even if I did not know that law sufficiently to pass, I could make the essay "look pretty," so that the bar graders may not find misstatements or incomplete rule statements. Steve also taught my to elementise each rule of law and then lead with each element. Steve provides MBE drill downs, where I was to look at all of my wrong answers and then determine why I got them wrong. Steve then trended my repeat mistakes so that I could better review those areas of law that I was repeatedly missing. By doing this, I was also able to recognize patterns in MBE questions so that I could better recognize the correct answer. This was extremely helpful. Although the price may appear expensive, I went from a two time bar failer to a one time bar passer."

Comment Id-159

rew

on 11/18/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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Robert W. Thomas Jefferson School of Law I failed the CA Bar Exam several times prior to working with Steve. I needed a lot of help with timing and simplifying my writing style. I had tried most of the commercial bar prep courses and apps which were essentially all the same. I was stuck in a depressing cycle of study for several months, wait for results, grieve, seclude myself from society, repeat. I stumbled across a review of Steve’s tutoring services on Yelp and was immediately skeptical due to the vast number of excellent, upbeat reviews. Was this the Holy Grail of CA Bar prep I had just stumbled upon or an ingenious scam preying on the hopeless? How could so many students be so complimentary of a CA Bar Exam tutor? Within the first few sessions of working with Steve I learned why. Steve’s methods are not taught by any commercial prep program but they make more sense and more importantly they actually work. His outlines are actually useful and not some 2,000 page telephone book that is as useful as, well.. a telephone book. Steve gave me a whole new perspective about the CA Bar Exam which helped my writing and reduced my anxiety. Every task and instruction Steve gives you during your work together is packed full of meaning and mini-lessons. If you know very little about the law, you can probably still pass the essay portion of the exam by utilizing Steve’s techniques. As such, Steve will challenge your critical analysis and give you invaluable insight into how to approach answering essays, mbe questions, and the performance test. In conclusion, if you have committed to taking the bar exam one last time I suggest calling Steve and he will do everything he can to help you achieve your goal.

Comment Id-160

Umber H

on 11/18/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I wrote the California Bar exam in July 2018 and Steve was a tremendous help throughout the entire Bar process. I’m an attorney from Canada and was starting from scratch in terms of everything I knew about the CA bar. Steve is tough but fair and his process is challenging but so is the Bar. Steve’s tutoring prepared me both mentally and physically for this exam. 1) Essays: Although I have always prided myself on being a good essay writer, I realized only after working with Steve that I didn’t know how to write an essay that the bar graders can easily read through and extract relevant issues from. His step by step essay process makes you understand not what to write, but how to write to get you the most points. 2) MBE’s: His 3 question process for the MBE was ingrained in my brain by the time I was writing the actual exam. It helps you understand how to quickly eliminate the wrong answers and use your best guess or judgment to choose the right one. His practice questions and rigorous drilldowns I am certain are what helped me pass the MBE portion. 3) PT’s: Steve’s process for the PT’s helped me to realize how important paying attention to instructions is, and that misreading one sentence can mean the difference between passing and failing. Organization, structure and attention to detail are especially important skills he taught me through his practice PT’s. 4) Price: Although I did find that the fees were more expensive than I had expected, what I appreciated is that Steve offers different bundles based on your budget and the amount of tutoring you think you need. Personally speaking, it was absolutely worth it. Thank you Steve!

Comment Id-161

cpfarris3

on 11/19/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I failed on my first attempt of the CA Bar Exam with one of the big bar review programs and decided to look for tutors - I found Steve and I couldn't be happier. He tailored the program for my strengths and weaknesses and gave me support when I needed it, but he didn't sugarcoat my performance - he kept me on track and gave me the structure I needed to study and pass the exam. Above all, he kept me accountable, which I sorely needed. After just one of his MBE exercises, I started looking at the test in a completely new light. The essays I wrote on my first attempt were jumbled messes compared to the essays I wrote under Steve's instruction. His outlines are fantastic and easily accessible and the exercises he uses for MBE review are stellar. Studying with Steve will change the way you look at the bar exam and will give you what you need to pass. It did for me!

Comment Id-162

chy127th

on 11/21/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I cannot express how tremendously thankful I am for Steve's help in passing the 2018 bar exam where only 16% of repeat takers passed. I was unsuccessful several times in the past while using one of the major bar prep programs and I needed something different. If you're struggling in writing or MBE's Steve's strategy will help you in either area. Prior to using Steve, my previous essay scores were in the 55's and 60's but Steve's approach obviously helped me see the mistakes I was making in my structure and analysis. In addition, I saw my MBE score increase 30 points using his strategy. His packages aren't cheap but they are worth every dime. I strongly recommend Steve for anyone who is willing to bust their ass and take tough criticism in order to concur the bar exam.

Comment Id-163

Coreyhock

on 11/28/2018
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I passed the California Bar thanks to Steve where only 16% of repeat takers passed. Steve's method is targeted, specific, and extremely helpful. For essays, Steve initially identifies your writing style, strengths and weaknesses and even your personality and how it comes across in your writing. He is able to expand on your writing abilities by targeting the specific level of detail the examiners are looking for. He explains where to impress them and where to get to the point to ensure you have a thorough essay in the time provided. For MBE's, Steve's Drilldowns help you focus on what you got wrong, why you got it wrong, how many of that category you got wrong and it allows you to truly see the patterns and fix the problem in bulk which will increase your score. I took the bar 3 times and passed on the third. I took Barbri classes for my first time and a private tutor for the second, but nothing compared to the specific targeting, repetition and dedication you will find in Steve's course. I highly recommend Steve Zikman to anyone taking the bar for the first time or on repeat. Thank you Steve!

Comment Id-164

Jenna

on 5/18/2019
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I took the bar exam in July 2018 and ended up with the dreaded “this name does not appear on the pass list.” I already had a job and if I didn’t pass the next time I would not have been able to keep it. I couldn’t fail this next time, so I began searching for a tutor with a great track record, someone that could keep me on the right schedule, as I was studying and working at the same time. I came across Steve zikman and saw countless people who had repeatedly failed and finally after working with Steve were able to pass.. sounded like just the person I wanted. The first time I took the bar exam I made the mistake of relying solely on a one size fits all approach with a big name brand. But that was not my learning style, I learn best from individual attention and hands on practice, something I didn’t get with Barbri. I did not use Barbri in February only Steve, Adaptibar, and BarEssays and I passed. Steve went over each essay, some multiple times, to refine the places where I was losing easy points. My problem wasn’t in knowing the law but in being able to write in a way that made the graders job easy to give me points. I also worked with Steve to improve my PTs, a place where I was really weak. I didn’t realize how easy it was to not follow the directions. He gave me a game plan and fool proof structure when approaching them and we did multiple practice PTs till it was a formula. So happy I came across Steve in my tutor search and ended up working with him.

Comment Id-165

Puzzlegrl8

on 5/18/2019
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I was referred to Steve by my friend who had also passed with his services, and that was the best thing anyone did for me after I failed my first California bar exam. Throughout law school, I was persuaded that Barbri was the best bar prep company, which is why I used the company’s services. However, once I started studying with Steve, I realized how unorganized, vague, and impersonal the program was. Steve personalized my program to fit me, taking into consideration my strengths and weaknesses. The program really challenged me the way Barbri just did not: I did almost one essay per week and Steve guided me through each and every essay (and PT) so that they were organized and significantly easier to read for the graders. He also put me through 25-50 MC questions per day. I honestly don’t think I could’ve passed without him, and his services were worth every penny.

Comment Id-166

Saif K

on 5/19/2019
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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The first time I took the Bar exam, I used a commercial prep. course to prepare and saw almost no improvement on my scores. Next, I tried a popular online tutoring service, which I instantly regretted, as I found myself frequently asking my tutor to be more specific about how to improve. Then I found The Strategic Bar Coach and he completely changed the way I approached the CA Bar Exam. Steve Zikman delivers the kind of stern, upfront, and honest feedback necessary to pass the exam. He provided weekly updates on my MBE scores and had great outlines to help with studying. The Strategic Bar Coach, went line by line on my Essays and PT, telling me what was specifically wrong with my responses, why they needed to be changed, and he give me examples of how they should be written. This kind of honest, open, and firm communication coupled with his unique method to tackle the written Essays, PT, and MBE’s are without a doubt one of the strongest factors that helped me pass the 2019 February CA Bar Examination. Thanks for everything Steve!!! -Saif K. -Whittier Law School

Comment Id-167

JK786

on 5/19/2019
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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I had failed the bar exam and was completely overwhelmed. I did not know what to do, or whether repeating my bar prep course would result in a different outcome. I called two friends who were repeaters from the year ahead of me and they both said the same thing: Call Steve Zikman. Steve helped me identify what bad habits were inhibiting my success. We worked through numerous essay questions to correct my structure, my misuse of the facts, and my approach on timing. I worked through hundreds of MBE questions to finally see patterns of why I was getting questions wrong. Steve's approach works because it is not a copy and paste job; it focuses you and what is holding you back from passing the bar. When I saw my name on the pass list I knew that calling Steve was the best decision I made. I highly encourage you to do the same.

Comment Id-168

itsmatt33

on 5/19/2019
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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The weight that is lifted off your shoulders after passing the CA bar exam is completely indescribable. Steve played a crucial role is equipping me with the necessary tools do just that. I was in your exact same position. I failed to overcome the bar exam using a commercial course, Barbri, despite following the assignments to the tee. It is a shame that many of our law schools advertise them so rigorously when the simple truth is that a one size fits all approach will not cut it for CA's exam. My Background: I had a friend who had recently gone through the same thing and recommended that I abandon the commercial approach and consult with his tutor, Steve at TSBC. I am the type of person who overthinks and stresses the little details. Ultimately, I fell short on both writing and MBEs, but it was the MBEs that needed the real work. I contacted Steve and found he was a perfect fit. Because of my tendency to overthink, I needed someone who could tell me I was flat out wrong and redirect me. Steve was that that person. What Steve is like: Steve is a professional tutor. Not a life coach, a friend, or your mom. If you need someone to babysit or hold your hand or validate you every 5 minutes, look elsewhere. There will be no motherly care, no magic solution, and most importantly, you will only get out what you put in. Outside of bar study, Steve is truly a genuine caring person but when it is time to do work, you do not question or fight the approach, you simply submit and trust the process. What Steve's program looks like: Steve has a vast “menu” that will fit each person's budget and needs. Yes, he is expensive. Probably more than most. Does that mean he is better than cheaper tutors? I do not know. But I do know that I passed because of Steve's approach and would have not without it. He does have a payment plan that eases this burden if you sign up early enough. When I first signed up with Steve, I chose a program that fit my budget and allowed for at least one essay in each subject, 3 PTs and a few MBE drilldowns. -Essays: The bar exam will not look like what you did in law school. You will have the same feeling as when you came into law school and first learned how to write like a law student. It seems counterintuitive that law school does not really teach you how to write for the bar exam. The bar exam is a different kind of animal. Steve has a formula. Yes, an actual formula for writing essays. It is clear, concise, and if you are someone like me who stresses details that throws off your writing, it is perfect for you. It will keep you on track and within the time constraints. -PTs: My biggest issue with PTs was that even though this is typically where I performed the best, I always ran out of time. Again, Steve has a strong method for getting you through, including the case file, having everything neatly organized in a quick manner, and a clear approach for getting it all on the paper. -MBEs: MBEs were my weakest part of the exam. Barbri was not helpful because there were a lot of simulated question that were nothing like CA's. Before Steve, I also supplemented with the Emanuel book which was helpful, but not enough. I passed because of Adaptibar. Steve will require you to purchase this online software and no it is not included in the initial course fees. Adaptibar is worth EVERY penny and quite frankly I cannot imagine how people pass without it. Even if you do not choose to hire a tutor, get Adaptibar. It has every released MBE and tracks your progress by subject and sub subject. Adaptibar, in addition to Steve's drilldowns allowed me to cover enough questions and more importantly understand why I got certain ones wrong. It is long and tedious but absolutely necessary. You will start to see patterns during practice and on the exam after enough questions. There is no magic formula for MBEs and anyone who tells you otherwise you should avoid. You will work hard with Steve, that includes covering his outlines, released essays, answering questions on Adaptibar, doing released PTs. You never meet in person as he schedules calls. This worried me at first but it was actually just what I needed. I had to be prepared before every call and you still have a rigid schedule. Call times are limited so you only get what you need and it leaves no room for overthinking. My experience with the bar exam after hiring Steve: I unfortunately did not pass the CA bar exam with Steve the first time around and that was a huge blow BUT my score improved by over 100 points. I probably started off at a lower place than most and started with Steve later than most. The huge improvement told me I was definitely in the right direction and I decided to continue with Steve again with a smaller revised version of the course better fitting to supplement what I had already done. We went over my past exam and really tailored the work to where I was still lacking. Sure enough I made it through and will be sworn in in the coming weeks.

Comment Id-169

Irene S.

on 5/20/2019
  • Currently 5/5 Stars.
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After two unsuccessful attempts at the CA bar using Barbri, and despite receiving a close to passing score, I felt defeated and unsure about whether I’d ever be able to pass the bar. I decided to give it one last shot with professional help, and hired Steve Zikman. I am so thankful that I did. Steve’s approach is personalized, focused, and intense. You really have to put in the work—he will not sugarcoat his feedback if you aren’t trying hard enough or putting in the requisite amount of time. Steve is always to the point and sometimes stern, but it turned out to be exactly what I needed to finally get me to a passing score. Steve has a very specific writing method that will help any student get a passing score on the essays, as well as a gradual and manageable way of improving on the MBEs. Yes, Steve’s services are costly. But if you need someone to whip you into bar exam shape, Steve is your man.

Comment Id-170

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