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Bar exam tips


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This slideshow gives you 18 important tips to help you pass the bar exam. This presentation is adapted from a bar exam tips post I did on my blog, Bar Exam Mind.

This slideshow gives you 18 important tips to help you pass the bar exam. This presentation is adapted from a bar exam tips post I did on my blog, Bar Exam Mind.

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  • 1. 18 Bar Exam Tips from
  • 2. Bar Exam Tip #1• Register for the bar exam. Applying to take the bar exam is a lengthy and expensive process, so you want to start early and make sure you fill out the correct paperwork, get your background check taken care of, and locate all of the historical records (e.g., driving records for past 10 years, every address you have lived at since 18, etc.) you will need to complete your application
  • 3. Bar Exam Tip #2• Determine where and when you will study. Both times I passed the bar, I studied at a library from about 8am to 5pm. This schedule will work for a lot of people, but not for everyone. Do you have a job you can’t afford to quit? Do you have children you need to take care of? Can you study at home without getting distracted by chores or cohabitants? Think about this now and try to get your routine set. (For more detail, see level-set/.)
  • 4. Bar Exam Tip #3• Create a study schedule. This is related to tip number 2. If your bar prep course came with a schedule that seems like it will work for you, then follow it. If you are studying for the bar exam on your own, then create a schedule now. Also, keep in mind that as you begin studying, you may realize the schedule you are following is not working for you. That’s okay. Modify your schedule to fit how you learn.
  • 5. Bar Exam Tip #4• Eliminate Potential Sources of Stress. By this I mean talk to family and friends about your upcoming need for solitude. If necessary, make arrangements for childcare or pet- sitting. Arrange your finances and bill paying. Look at your life and ask yourself: What sort of day-to-day tasks might be difficult when I need to study all week long? If you think you might have any trouble completing these tasks, take the time now — before you start studying — to figure out how to fix that problem.
  • 6. Bar Exam Tip #5• Deal with Anxiety. It is natural to have anxiety about the bar exam. After all, it is a difficult test of great significance. But, too much anxiety or fear can sabotage your chances of success. Learn techniques to decrease and channel your anxiety. If you feel it is necessary, seek help from a therapist.• Check out my book for more at
  • 7. Bar Exam Tip #6• Diligence Matters. Diligence is continuous and systematic preparation for the bar examination without interruption or distraction. This is your mantra. If you can sit down each day, focus in long chunks of time on studying (30-60 minute blocks with short breaks between), you will be able to study more than enough for the bar exam.• For more, check out
  • 8. Bar Exam Tip #7• Focus Matters. Do not study while distracted by websites, texts, facebook, etc. The bar exam is important enough to merit your full attention.
  • 9. Bar Exam Tip #8• Think of Studying as a Quest. As you begin your bar exam studies, you are going into the unknown, but as you continue to move forward, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, you become smarter and more skillful and, eventually, you succeed. Along the way, you will learn things about yourself you did not know before. Pay attention to what you learn, about the bar exam and about yourself.
  • 10. Bar Exam Tip #9• Don’t Overstudy. Exercise physiologists know that extreme exercising can lead to injuries from overuse and can sabotage performance at critical times. The same is true with bar preparation. If you try and study 12-14 hours per day for 8 or 10 weeks straight, it will be very difficult to maintain your ability to learn.• For more, check out this post: schedule-overtraining/
  • 11. Bar Exam Tip #10• Get Outlines from Others. When you first start studying, it is easy to be overwhelmed with all the information you need to learn. The size of the study materials — yeah, I’m talking to you, BarBri — is enough to induce a panic attack. Looking at outlines that others have used to pass the bar exam can help you realize that each subject can be condensed to 10 to 20 pages, which is totally manageable.• You can get some free outlines at
  • 12. Bar Exam Tip #11• Know When You Have Studied Enough. The central point is to treat studying like a job: get to work the same time each day, bust ass, and then go home and do something else. The process of studying, like the act of working, should not be constantly present in your life. Know when you have studied enough each day, and know when you have studied enough for each topic.
  • 13. Bar Exam Tip #12• Practice Tests Matter. The bar exam is not about how much information you can cram into your brain. The bar exam is about how well you can convey the information that is in your brain to others. The method chosen to test this is essays, performance tests and/or multiple choice questions. Therefore, practice getting your knowledge out in these forms. Practice will show you what you truly understand and what you only think you understand.
  • 14. Bar Exam Tip #13• Practice under test-like conditions. Take the time to practice under timed conditions and under sub-optimal conditions. So, for instance, you will want to practice writing essays and performance tests within the time limits your state’s bar allows. Practice until it is easy to complete your task within the time allowed. Lastly, and very important, take full- length practice exams at least once during your bar exam prep.
  • 15. Bar Exam Tip #14• The MBE is about how well you take a test, not what you know. The MBE is a difficult test because both the questions and the answers can be cryptic or confusing. If the bar examiners only wanted to test your knowledge of the law, essays would be sufficient. Instead, they have chosen to test your dedication to the law by creating a test that is about learning how to spot tricks. Just accept this and keep track of which tricks trip you up while you are studying. Figure the tricks out so that you don’t fall for them during the bar exam.
  • 16. Bar Exam Tip #15• Eat well. Nutrition is a big contributor to proper brain function. Keep your brain firing and be sure to eat healthy food, and — in consultation with a health care provider — consider supplementing with Omega-3 fish oils and other brain-healthy nutrients.
  • 17. Bar Exam Tip #16• Spend the last couple weeks memorizing. The first 6-8 weeks of bar exam preparation are about learning the material and practicing the format of the test. About two weeks before the exam, you should be comfortable with the different sections of the bar exam and should have a basic working knowledge of all subjects. Now, start memorizing whatever it is you do not know yet.• More at: practice-and-memorization/
  • 18. Bar Exam Tip #17• Adjust your sleep schedule as the bar exam approaches. If you are a night owl and have been studying until midnight every night, start adjusting your schedule to match the exam. You will be expected to perform your best between 8am and 5pm. If you are normally hitting the snooze button at 8am, this will not be good when bar exam time comes around.
  • 19. Bar Exam Tip #18• Do What You Need to Do. Remember, this list of advice is simply a compilation of suggestions. You can pass the bar whether you implement all, some, or none of these ideas. I think these are helpful, but if you think they suck, then do what you want to. I thought the BarBri study schedule was ridiculous and did not follow it. I rarely studied past 5 or 6 pm and passed. Some of my friends studied until midnight every night and passed. Know thyself.
  • 20. More from• Keep up with bar exam tips and advice at• Follow us on Twitter @barexammind• Like us at• Get more information about Bar Exam Mind: A strategy guide for an anxiety free bar exam at
  • 21. Good luck onthe bar exam!