Summary: Before taking the bar exam, follow these seven tips to increase your chances of passing.
The bar exam is in the back and even the front of every third-year law student’s mind, looming like bad news. While the thought of your impending graduation has you excited, it also means that you are that much closer to taking the test that will determine your future. Here are seven common things that many wish they had known or better utilized before taking the exam.
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- Studying - Use methods of studying that fit your style. Everyone has advice as to what worked best for them, but everyone is different. Making flashcards may work better for one person, whereas writing outlines may work better for another. This also goes for where to study and when to study.
- Style - The bar exam is not a typical law school exam. Many state bar exams are straightforward in their testing method. Review past bar exam essays in your area to understand what is expected.
- Multiple Choice - Study actual Multistate Bar Examination questions written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners instead of the commercial review course questions. MBE questions are true examples of what you will see on the exam.
- Anxiety - Use whatever methods of relaxation work for you to stay calm during your studying. Stay away from things that increase your stress like studying for too many hours in one stretch or a specific person that bothers you.
- Memorize - You need to memorize the law as much as possible. The bar exam is looking for details of the law, so make sure you know the law well. Visual techniques such as charts and diagrams as well as auditory techniques like lectures and reading out loud are often both helpful.
- Classes - The classes you take in law school play a big role in helping you be prepared for the exam. Take bar subjects in law school or find a tutor that can help you study before even beginning your exam prep.
- Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination- Take the MPRE and finish all graduation requirements early. Many jurisdictions require you to pass the MPRE before being eligible to practice law. Some states prevent you from taking the bar exam until you have a passing score on the MPRE. Take the test early so you have time to take the MPRE over again if needed and get your law school graduation requirements done early so there aren’t any problems.
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