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Legal Jobs >> Legal Articles >> Feature >> Taking the Bar Exam: How to Prepare in Advance for the Big Test!
  • Feature

Taking the Bar Exam: How to Prepare in Advance for the Big Test!


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The preceding is usually the cause for much stress and anxiety for nearly every law student and graduate. However, if you take the time to study and prepare just as you did in law school, you can do just as well on the Bar.

Read on to learn about the steps that you can take before the big exam to help you to ace your Bar!

Take a Bar Review Course (or Courses)


How better to learn about what to expect from the BAR than to take a class that is dedicated to teaching only that? These courses are specially designed to give you insight as to what's on the exam, studying tips, and much more. Some choose to avoid these courses due to the costs associated with them. However, if you find a course offered from your school or other reputable site, take advantage of it! After all, it may cost money now, but having to take the Bar multiple times will also cost you big!

Start Studying ATLEAST Six Months Before


Ideally, when scheduling your Bar Exam date, you should allow for at least six months to a year of studying time. This exam is NOT something to take lightly, or to just try and ''wing''. If you have the financial resources, consider taking this amount of time off from work, or consider working only part-time. After all, studying for the Bar should be a full-time job in itself! If not working for this amount of time is not feasible, try working some kind of leave arrangement out with your employer that will allow for you to take work off a minimum of six weeks before the Bar to allow you to cram!

Make a Schedule


Some days, it can be difficult to ''make'' yourself study, or to stay on task. Consider writing up a schedule for yourself. This schedule should consist of the length of time you will dedicate to studying, as well as the topics that you will be studying, to ensure that you cover it all. Another benefit to making a schedule is that it will allow you to make the best use of your studying time if you cannot take six months to a year off of work to do so.

Focus on the Material Covered


When setting a schedule, and when you are actually studying, set a goal to cover a specific amount of material and questions each day. Sometimes if you just merely set a specific time to study, you don't get as much out of your studying sessions as you would when setting a goal of specific material to cover. Focusing on this will also allow you to get an idea for how long it takes you to answer certain questions, and will help you to manage your time accordingly on the big day.

Take Advantage of ALL Studying Opportunities


Obviously, your entire life cannot consist of sitting at home and cramming for the Bar. You will have other appointments and commitments during this time as well. However, be prepared to take advantage of any ''down time'' that you have during these other commitments. For example, make an audio CD or tape to help you study (or find some that are professionally made for this purpose) and listen to them while you drive or commute places. Or, consider taking some flashcards or a small book of questions with you where ever you go. This will give you some study time when you find yourself waiting in the doctor's office!

Be Break-Savvy


While it is very important to discipline yourself and stick to your set schedule, remember, it is also just as important to understand when to give yourself a break. Break five to 20 minutes every so often, perhaps after each question, depending on how complex the subject is. Avoiding breaks can actually hurt your studying efforts, no matter how hard you study. Allowing yourself enough break time to grab a snack, return a phone call, etc. will actually allow your mind time to process what you've learned, and rejuvenate mentally so that you can go back and continue productively studying.


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