You made it through three years of Socratic method, issue-spotting, and cite-checking, only to be plunged, post-graduation, right into the longest study hall you’ve ever attended. But here we are, two months later, and the bar exam is almost here. It’s exciting. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s almost done! There are many articles out there to offer last-minute bar exam tips. Here are some of the most commonly agreed upon:
- If you haven’t yet, try to simulate a full day of examination. A big part of success on the bar is stamina, and it’s hard to know what you’ll experience if you’ve just been outlining essays rather than writing them out completely.
- Don’t focus entirely on one portion of the exam. Your grade comes from a combination of the MBE, the MPT (where applicable), and the essays, so make sure you’re getting practice in all three.
- In the last days leading up to the exam, try to just go over your outlines. You’ve been looking at them all summer, you know them front and back. Don’t suddenly switch to some new resource you just found.
- Try to relax the day before. I know that sounds ridiculous, but you need to give your brain a rest so it’s in top shape for the actual exam. If you don’t want to sacrifice an entire day, try to at least take off the afternoon.
- Get some sleep. In the days leading up to, and especially the nights of, the exam, make sure you’re resting. You cannot perform your best when you’re worn out.
- Correspondingly, eat well and stay hydrated.
- Come prepared. Some people even scope out the bar exam location beforehand to make sure they know how to get there and how long it’ll take. Read and re-read the list of items you can bring and make sure you have everything you need.
- Do NOT talk to people about the exam before, during, or after. This is my favorite piece of advice. It will only psych you out, and that’s not going to help.
- Afterward, try to forget about it. The cruelty about the bar exam is you get about three months to convince yourself you failed. I had myself so convinced of failure that I almost didn’t even check the results when they came out! (I passed.) Chances are, you did way better than you think you did, and all you have to do is pass!
- Finally, trust yourself. These are all fantastic tips, but you know yourself better than anyone else does, and you have to do what’s best for you. Take care of yourself, stay focused, and soldier on. It’ll be over soon!
And once you’ve passed, remember this: Every other summer, no matter how swamped you are with work, you’ll be able to think, at least I don’t have to study for the bar again! Best of luck everyone!