Taking the July Bar Exam? Feeling like you are way behind on your bar review schedule? Have the sense that you’ll “never learn it all” ? You are not alone! I have been hearing from dozens of students in your same boat. Here are some tips to stay on course:
- Don’t spend (waste) time berating yourself; problem solve and focus on improvement.
- Don’t worry about what you did not learn in law school; learn what you need to know now!
- Assess where you are spending your time. Track each hour of each day. If you are “wasting” time on social media or chit chat or worry, fill that time in with productive efforts.
- Put off all that is not essential until August. (Do minimal laundry, dishes or other chores; tell all friends and family you will see them in August.; take time off from work; etc.)
- Take care of absolutely essential non-study activities (such as paying bills, taking showers, etc.) when you are too tired to study effectively.
- Productive time when you are in high gear studying for the bar exam is time a) learning and memorizing law (listening to bar review lectures, reading outlines, making flashcards, etc.), b) taking practice tests and studying model answers to see how to improve, and c) exercising, sleeping well, drinking lots of water, and eating healthy foods.
- Don’t feel guilty taking time “off” to exercise, eat well, and sleep. All of those will make your brain more efficient.
- Take practice tests of every variety that will be tested on your bar exam: MBEs, Essays, PTs, any other portion. Test taking will improve your stamina, concentration, and test taking skills. It is also often easier to learn law in the context of hypos (taking practice tests) than in the abstract (simply reading outlines).
- Critically review answers to practice tests to a) learn law you don’t know and b) assess your timing and strategies for each part of the test (how much time reading and outlining versus writing on essays; are you reading the call of the question first on MBEs, etc.).
- Remember, studying for the bar exam is not “punishment.” You earned the right to take the exam. And, a summer of serious study will help you go in to the exam in July feeling empowered to answer any sort of question the examiners throw at you.
For more Bar Exam Success Strategies, check out Pass the Bar: A Practical Guide to Achieving Academic & Professional Goals