Taking the bar exam is probably one of most stressful events in a law student’s life. For years you have prepared, and now it feels like your entire future is dependent on the results of this test. Before you let the stress consume you, know that passing the bar exam is within your reach and it all begins with a plan.
Create A Schedule
Before sitting down to study for your upcoming exam, create a study schedule. Divide your workload into manageable 30 to 60-minute sections, and don’t forget to include time to take a break. Creating a study schedule will allow you to stay on track and will help with the feeling of being overwhelmed by the requirements of the bar. Break up any study or reading task that tends to take up a long time, and intersperse with another part of your studies.
If you can, take advantage of the resources you have at school. This can be everything from your assigned textbooks to your own professors. Studying on your own is important, but you should also learn and take advice from other sources as well. Your professors will gladly answer questions you have and can put you on the right track to getting the right study materials. Get to know the law section of your school or public library. If you are getting a master’s of science in law online make sure you have places you can turn for help like a local lawyer or even community college professor.
Seek Peace and Quiet
It is important that you find a place that offers solitude and will allow you to focus on the task at hand. Many libraries have study rooms you can use for free for a couple of hours a day. These rooms are typically windowless and sound resistant so distractions stay to a minimum. If this is not an option for you, speak with your family or roommates about what you need from them in order to have a quiet study place. Also, put your social media accounts on hold during this time to eliminate the temptation to constantly check Facebook or Twitter, which could eat up your study time.
Obtaining a vast amount of knowledge for the bar exam is one thing, but can you actually relay that knowledge to others when it comes test time? The bar exam will test your knowledge in the form of essay and multiple choice questions. Research free bar exam practice tests online, or find a practice exam book at your local library and test yourself. Taking practice tests will reveal what information you truly understand, and what you need to continue to study. Once you have gotten the information down, begin to test yourself under the same conditions as the exam. Find out what the time limits for each section are and try to complete the section within the given time frame. Slowly work your way up until you are ready to practice taking a full exam in one session.
Take Care of Yourself
This is a tip that is often overlooked but is still very important. Though a large majority of your time will be spent preparing for this exam, make an effort to eat healthy and stick to a consistent sleep schedule. If your exam begins at 8am and you are not used to waking up until 9am or later, your mind will not be ready to take a grueling test when the day comes. Get plenty of rest and practice waking up early so your mind is sharp on exam day.
Passing the bar exam may seem like an impossible task now. However, with diligent study, focus, and the right organization, you will be ready to ace your first bar exam, no problem.
This article is from Brooke Chaplan, a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.