Get on the Bar Exam Schedule:
Adjust your schedule so your study time is the same as testing time: 8-12, 1-5. It’s time to get your brain and body on the bar exam schedule.
- Sunrise Studiers: you are great in the morning but you also need to stay strong through the afternoon. You want to be as sharp at 3pm as you are at 9am.
- Night Owls: the afternoon sessions will be a breeze but your brain has to be ready to go hours before that. Get up and get going.
Balance Review and Practice:
This is not a law school exam where you are expected to know absolutely everything and get points simply for discussing it. This is the bar exam and although substance matters, so does application. If all you do is memorize, you won’t be able to actually write a response or apply it to an MBE fact pattern. If all you do is answer questions without self-assessing you won’t know if you made mistake. A few important truths about practicing:
- You cannot learn all the law. You don’t have to learn all the law. You have to learn enough. Trust that you have done this, stop with the outlines and start answering questions.
- You will get an essay question where you don’t know/can’t remember the rule. You will have to make one up. Stay calm, use words that sound like a rule, connect it to the facts and reason your way through to a conclusion.
Pre-exam jitters are absolutely normal and very necessary. It’s called adrenaline and it is actually useful because the adrenaline rush ensures you’ll operate at peak performance. The problem occurs when it interferes with performance. It will subside once you start working because you know how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Take a moment to think about all the work you’ve done to prepare. Look at the list you wrote last week- the reasons you will pass. Be confident in your abilities. I know you can do it but you have to believe you can. This is the one thing I cannot do for you. When you begin the exam, take a breath and then work your way through, one question after another. As you move forward, your exam preparation will take over and you’ll soon be thinking of the questions and nothing else.