Top 7 Tactical Tips For Studying For The Bar Exam

“You some kind of attorney or a little something? / Someone essential or a little something? / Properly, I ain’t handed the bar, but I know a minimal little bit / More than enough that you will not illegally search my sh*t.”Jay-Z

Now that the bar test year has formally commenced, several mentees and pals have approached me for learning guidelines. Several are enrolled in bar prep courses (these types of as Barbri, Themis, and Kaplan), while a handful of others have determined to self-research for this beast of an assessment.

The a single large advantage of a bar prep course is the forced endeavor of a regimented research schedule. After all, if you fail to approach to established a schedule for bar prep, you are very likely preparing to fail the bar test.

Though I can not talk immediately to the achievements of any distinct bar prep software, I do have 7 precise guidelines for those people of you who approach on taking the July, 2018 test. As the move charges continue on to plummet (see California, Arizona, and Texas) for examination takers, stress and tension continue on to skyrocket for long run test candidates.

So devoid of even more ado, here are my top rated tactical guidelines for learning for the bar test:

1. Bar Hero for the MBE (totally free) — Just before I was able to get my arms on a pair of earlier bar prep publications with hundreds of MBE numerous-alternative concerns, I started my bar test journey with Bar Hero.

  • Bar Hero is a totally free evaluation and planning software that focuses solely on the MBE component of the bar. As its website notes: “Our practice exams are made to resemble as intently as attainable the varieties of concerns that we be expecting will appear in the MBE.”
  • I located Bar Hero’s software to be both equally enjoyment and straightforward. How several bar test tools can you say that about?

2. Flash Playing cards for the MBE — Flash cards are yet another wonderful source for learning on the go, traveling, or for the duration of small breaks. But genuinely who am I kidding? I frequently put in a pair hours at a time examining flash cards and failing my several memory self-exams. But slowly but surely and surely more than enough, soon after more than enough hours in the trenches, the information on these cards grew to become second-mother nature to me. I utilized an MBE flashcard established from Important Move and I really suggest you do the exact.

3. Condition Bar Sites for Previous MPT, Brief Solution, and Essay Thoughts (totally free) — As a self-studier, I put in a lion’s share of my time examining earlier test concerns and responses provided on my respective state bar’s website (Texas). The state bar’s source was invaluable for me to recognize what just bar examiners are hunting for. You really should not undervalue these guidance, especially when crafting your essays (located on the state bar website):

  • Meticulously go through the issue and the “call of the question”
  • Spend attention to the info offered devoid of assuming further info.
  • Include far more than a mere summary when questioned to clarify the respond to fully.
  • Answer to the “call of the question” (what the issue asks you to do) and keep on track.
  • Apply writing in finish sentences and composing paragraphs.
  • Organize your responses, and respond to subparts, if any, in the buy questioned.
  • Strive for clarity and superior communication in writing.
  • Stay away from prolonged or unwanted discussion of basic or extraneous matters.

4. Delete Social Media Apps from Your Cell phone — I’m a large disciple of Cal Newport’s “deep work” philosophy. 1 of the very best items I did for the duration of bar prep was delete Fb, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn from my cellphone. It undoubtedly assisted me to function deeply, cut down interruptions, and produce my concentration. If you are really dedicated to passing the bar, I really suggest you get rid of social media applications on your cellphone for the upcoming two months. Certainly, this may possibly be the ultimate sacrifice for Millennials.

5. Established Weekly Objectives — The rewards of a bar prep course is that it dictates a schedule for you to observe. Just before I began my bar studies, I basically questioned my pals in different bar prep courses to send out me their schedules so I could evaluate myself towards the different bar prep programs’ crucial success.

  • I not long ago go through John Doerr’s e-book Measuring What Issues and it speaks immediately to goal environment. Doerr’s management principle of “OKRs” defines “Objectives” as what we request to accomplish and “Key Results” as top rated-priority aims that will be attained with precise, measurable steps in a established time body. Below, your objective is to move the bar. Appropriately, you really should established 8 weekly crucial success to assist you climb this scaffold.

6. Play Your Own Activity — For the very best success in legislation college or on the bar test, you have to aim on your possess video game and what is effective for you. A handful of a long time back, I protected chess Grandmaster Gary Kasparov’s commencement speech at St. Louis College. I ended the piece by writing, “We may possibly all get started from a diverse opening established, but it is how we participate in the video game that will in the end establish our destiny.” You have to find out what is effective for you and adhere with it. Why squander your time enjoying another person else’s video game?

  • Every minute you shell out evaluating by yourself to another person else, you are taking absent from your possess peace and contentment. Or as Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich wrote in her 1997 “Wear Suncreen” column: “Don’t squander time on jealousy. In some cases you are forward, occasionally you are guiding. The race is extensive and, in the finish, it is only with by yourself.”

7. The Complete Line will Feel Awful — I question if everyone who completes a marathon feels bodily, mentally, and spiritually astounding when they cross the end line. I felt terrible when I concluded the bar test and I really don’t know everyone who felt wonderful about it in the foggy days following the mental marathon race.

  • Just recall, worrying is like a rocking chair, guaranteed it presents you a little something to do, but it under no circumstances will get you everywhere. So when you are concluded with the bar test, do your very best to set it in the back of your thoughts. Really don’t conquer by yourself up about concerns you could’ve answered improved. If you really gave it your very best shot, then you really should have no regrets.
  • You have just a single previous hoop to jump via to develop into a attorney. Possessing to retake an test is not the finish of the entire world.

I hope this information is functional for you and aids to cut down any heartburn and headaches you are emotion from this unrelenting (societal and self-manufactured) stress.

As constantly, if you have a superior tale about your bar test journey, we invite you to share it with us at guidelines@abovethelaw.com.


Renwei Chung is the Variety Columnist at Earlier mentioned the Regulation. You can contact Renwei by email at projectrenwei@gmail.com, observe him on Twitter (@renweichung), or link with him on LinkedIn. 

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