Practice Essay and Performance Test Writing: dig in now, no delays!

Fit a full performance test (“PT”), under timed conditions, into your study schedule today.  Hopefully this entire you have already begun writing bar exam essays in full.  If not, start today!

Many people ask me if it’s ok to just memorize rules now, and wait to write out in full.  No.  Write.  Practice writing.  The time is now!

There is no way to master bar exam essays and PTs without practicing them. As I told my class yesterday, if we decided to spend the next month in an intensive tennis workshop and what we did were to take every class session to read tennis books and watch tennis videos without ever hitting the court, we would not learn to play tennis.  Even if we watched and read for 15 hours a day for 30 days, we would not have trained our muscles or reflexes.

Likewise, to learn to write effective bar exam essay and performance test answers, you must put the book learning into practice.  It’s often ok to write open book in June (not looking at answers but simply looking up a rule if you need to) so long as by July you are regularly writing practice exams closed book. The point is now to get started.  Dig in, and go!


Author: Sara J. Berman

Sara J. Berman, a graduate of the UCLA School of Law, is a Professor of Law and Assistant Dean at the Touro Law Center. She formerly served as a Director at the Washington DC-based Center for Legal Education Excellence.

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