Bar Exam Study Tips
This is a bit of a dangerous subject to address, but I’ve been asked about bar exam study several times in the last two days. I’d like to note that I am not an expert on the subject. All I can do is recount the advice that I found useful and add a few tips of my own.
I’ve been repeatedly asked if I did everything on the BarBri schedule. No. I did not. I did not find writing essays helpful during the first couple of weeks. Yet, during the last week, I found writing/outlining essays very helpful. The friend who studied with me in the library never found writing essays helpful. I think she wrote one (sort of) the entire time. We both passed. Studying is an individualized process – as if you didn’t learn this during the first year of law school. I used BarBri as a guideline. If it helps you to do everything on the calendar, by all means, do it. If not, do whatever you find helpful and do a lot of it.
The advice that I found most helpful – and kept reminding myself of along the way – was that the bar exam is a performance test and not a test on the substance of the law. Knowing the law is important and definitely helps, but if you don’t know everything (and in my opinion, you can’t), do not have a total meltdown. Keep studying and doing as much as you possibly can and be at peace with it. It may help to think of yourself as in training for a big two day long race. You are building up to the actual event and will be ready to go when the day arrives.
Back to meltdowns for a minute – having a meltdown early in the study process is a big waste of time and energy. STAY CALM. Stay calm while studying and at the exam. I would also recommend minimal contact with your friends who constantly operate on freakout mode…their influence may work against you…
Now a confession – I freaked out the Saturday before the exam because I could not remember information that I knew the week before. Apparently, this may be normal as several of my friends had the same problem. When I got to the exam, I remembered enough to pass, which is really all that matters.
The best advice that I can give you is to wear layers and closed toe shoes. I was really glad that I wore closed toe shoes because it was cold in the room. But definitely wear layers because it could be hot this year and you won’t know until you get there.
I’m sure everyone had a different experience, studied differently and has different advice to give, so please share anything valuable that I may have forgotten. And GOOD LUCK!!!