For those of you currently studying for the bar exam, we recommend you check out Pass the Baton’s, “Ten Tips for the Bar Review Session” article. While the Bar Exam may seem like a “huge mountain you must climb before coming a lawyer,” if you get organized and plan ahead, you will be able to study effectively and be well on your way to success. Below are the tips the author recommends:
1. Make a schedule that fits your study habits. Don’t overwork yourself by studying extra if you’re not used to that schedule.
2. If possible, ensure you have a set, protected study space.
3. Get your study kit together. Make sure you will not have to reach for anything once you sit down to study. Get your online study system, books, pencils, batteries, or anything else in order before you start.
4. Set out guidelines. There is no time for drama in your study-group. Set the bar before you start studying for a group, so you know when you will take drink/food breaks, the responsibilities of each person, etc.
5. Don’t strain yourself!Eat and drink items that don’t JUST contain sugar, salts, and caffeine, and don’t stay sedentary.
6. Manage your relationships. They may get it, but even if they say they do, emphasize the importance of the Bar Exam to your friends and family, and reassure them that you will be able to show up for all the fun after the exam is over, and hopefully have news about your job search!
7. Make a plan for the test days. Don’t just wing it. After making sure you’ve registered for the exam, do a trial run of the day-of, and make a Plan B, in case any transportation, housing, etc. unexpectedly falls through.
8. You’ve Got This. The Bar Exam will not throw you for a loop. When you encounter issues that you weren’t expecting, whether it is something you did not study for or something you forgot, remember to BREATHE. Then, answer the questions in context of the subjects you have studied.
9. Take advice. Review the advice from the Board of Law Examiners, which probably included some or all of the following:
- Set out a time for answering each question beginning 12 o’clock. TIP: Use a wrist watch.
- Read each question at least twice. Stop and think before you write or type.
- In reading the question twice, also make sure you follow the directions, which might ask for a letter to a client, a memo to a partner, a pleading, or any other kind of legal document. Don’t stray.
- Assume you get a point for everything that you write down; assume that these graders know nothing.
- Do not freak out or act rude in your bar exam writing. This could reflect poorly when it comes to the Character and Fitness committee.
- Leave your cell phone at home. Better safe than sorry. If it rings in some jurisdictions, you and the phone will be removed instantly.
10. This one might be difficult… But stop talking to other test takers two weeks before the exam. They will remember things that you have never heard of or remember them in ways that you know are incorrect. Stay focused on what you know.
Don’t worry; you’ve got this!
All of these tips were pulled from Pass the Baton, which also features other helpful articles as you embark on your job search and post-graduate career.