1. Always Be Learning

“His first suggestion is the most obvious. ‘Get competent. Always be learning‘, Dunning urges.” Intelligence is not fixed, it is malleable; the bar exam is not an aptitude test, it is a test of whether you have mastered specific knowledge and skills, and the ability to show your mastery.

2. Beware Beginnings

“The second important point if you’re looking to avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect is to be aware of when it’s most likely to strike so you can be extra careful to gather relevant information and expertise at those times. When is prime time for DKE? In short, when you’re new to a skill or topic.” (Note: like when you are studying for your first bar exam).

3. Slow Down

“Unless you’re a world-class expert (and very few of us are), fast decisions are generally more biased decisions, so beware the Dunning-Kruger effect when you’re making quick calls, instructs Dunning.”

“Our most recent research also suggests one should be wary of quick and impulsive decisions…that those who get caught in DKE errors less are those who deliberate over them, at least a little. People who jump to conclusions are the most prone to overconfident error,” [Dunning] explains. “I have found it useful to explicitly consider how I might be wrong…in a decision. What’s wrong with this car deal that seems so attractive? What have I left out in this response about avoiding the DKE?”

Note: This is the heart of self-assessment, essential to improvement and mastery. What did you misunderstand on a practice question? How will you fix that?