How to study the week before the Bar Exam

The Week Before the Bar Exam: Top Tips

In the last 10 days before the bar exam, you are going to be spending your time reviewing, practicing, and memorizing. At this point if you’ve done the work in your prep course, you know more of the law than you realize. Try to stay calm. Stressing out for more than 10 minutes is unproductive. If you feel nervous allow yourself 10 minutes to be nervous, then refocus and go back to studying. Studying will help you pass the exam, freaking out will not.

[ RELATED READING: Getting Mentally Prepared for the Bar Exam ]

The last 10 days is when all of your hard work during the summer or winter comes to fruition. Kaplan provides you with a precise plan to follow during those last 10 days before the bar exam based on how you have done on practice questions and exams. The adaptive syllabus will make your strengths stronger while still remediating your weaknesses.

Let’s look at some general advise and tips for the countdown to test day:

  • Be Healthy

    Simply put, eat the way your parents would feed you. This means well-balanced meals with protein, vegetables and carbs. This is not the time to lose weight on some crazy fad diet or consume massive amounts of caffeine. Exercise. If you normally exercise, this is not the time to forgo exercise for study. Exercise produces endorphins, relieves stress, and a less stressed bar exam taker is a more effective bar exam taker. If you don’t regularly exercise, taking a 30 minute walk will also do the trick. Sleep. The Sunday before the bar exam is the most important night to get good sleep! Why? Science tells us that we retain sleep for 48 hours. As the nights before the bar exam are stressful, your sleep pattern may change a bit, so get some great sleep tonight!

  • Get In the Right Mindset

    Be mentally strong. This is key to passing the bar exam. By this time you should have completed hundreds (if not thousands) of multiple-choice questions, reviewed numerous outlines, and written and reviewed numerous essays/performance tests either by submitting them for grading, self-assessing, or a combination of both. Practice does not mean perfect. Practice means passing. Remember: You are ready. You are prepared. You will pass!

  • The Weekend Before the Bar Exam

    At this point, do not allow yourself to stress over anything you do not know! Instead, focus on how far you have come and have confidence in yourself that you are ready for exam-day!  Let us put it this way, studying for the bar is much like a piñata grab. When the piñata breaks, you grab what you can. You know you won’t be able to grab everything but you have a plan- grab the dollar bills and shiny coins; leave the candy! Similarly, when studying, you know you will not be able to retain everything but you have a plan- go for those big-ticket items (heavily tested) and do not allow yourself to stress over the “candy.”

  • The Day Before the Bar Exam

    On the day before your exam, many students take the day off, which is perfectly fine! If you will be studying, our suggestion is to study for no more than 5 hours. During this time, we encourage you to complete very passive tasks. For example, flip through your Outline Book, review your QuickSheets, look over a few flashcards, or spend some time with the charts in your Bar Points books. We do not recommend very active tasks like writing full essays or doing very long MCQ practice exams. It is important to give your brain time to relax!

    Before you sit for your exam, on the morning of the MBE® we encourage you to complete 5 practice questions. DO NOT look at the answers. What makes this so important is looking at the questions BEFORE the exam to get your brain moving before Question 1 on the exam. This activity will create more points on exam day.

  • State Specific Portions of the Bar Exam

    After you have completed the local essay day of your bar exam, before the MBE day, my suggestion is to review the Final MBE examination and your notes from that exam. Year in and year out, that Final MBE covers 20-30 direct issues you will see on the MBE exam. It might also help for the essays if you’d like to review this on Sunday or Monday evening.

    If your state has a Performance Test component, my advice here is to be sure to follow the directions given and finish (or make it look like you finished)! You do this and you will be ahead of 10% of students immediately!

  • Avoid Others

    Before the exam, during breaks, and after the exam, don’t talk to others about the test.  This leads to nothing but regrets about the minor issue that you did not write about, or the multiple-choice question you are now certain you got wrong. You don’t know whether that student you were talking to is correct either. Do not let someone else create stress for you, let them create it for someone else. Have confidence in yourself and your preparedness!

  • It’s Okay to Be Wrong on the Bar Exam

    Speaking of getting things wrong, it will happen!  It’s ok! Remember, practice will make passing, it doesn’t need to make perfect! Nobody is ever perfect on this exam.  Like Homer Simpson, at some point after each portion of this exam, you will have that “D’oh” moment.  “D’oh”, I forgot to write about…, “D’oh”, I forgot about using this strategy for that question dealing with…  Trust us, you can have many of those and still pass this exam. We see it year after year, don’t worry about the “D’oh” moments.

  • Make It Up

    On the essay portion of your exam, if you don’t know it, make it up. Here’s why: you won’t lose points for making an argument and sometimes when you start writing, one of three things may happen:

    1. Thinking and writing about it may help you remember what the correct answer is.
    2. What you are writing is in fact correct.
    3. You may be on the right track and earn some partial points that you may have otherwise not received.

Start the exam with confidence.  Take the exam with confidence.  Finish the exam with confidence!

[ KEEP STUDYING: UBE Passing Scores by State ]