Students start feeling anxious when exam season is around the corner since they don’t know how to prepare for it. Some of them start making notes, while others end up procrastinating. Exams are never straightforward, especially if you are a law student about to graduate. Alongside your final exams, you have to brace yourself for a bar exam.
If you successfully pass this exam – you would receive your license to practice law. In short, this is the key to stepping into the legal world, but not as easy as it sounds. The bar exam is quite extensive, comprising of several sections. Thus, it maximum three days long examination process, testing your capabilities to see whether you qualify as a lawyer.
You might be studying in a prestigious law school, but it doesn’t prepare you for a bar exam. It includes local law rules, which law schools don’t cover. Therefore, you have some additional course material for this exam. Are you wondering how to prepare for it? It depends on your learning style, habits, and ability to communicate your knowledge in writing.
So, to comfort you in this challenging journey, here are six tactical tips to ace your bar exams.
1. CREATE A STUDY SCHEDULE
Sometimes, students lose motivation after seeing stacks of thick books lying ahead of them. Indeed, course material for bar exams is extensive, but it has only minor additions to the course material. The most significant way to start preparing for the bar exam is to create a study schedule. Believe it or not, you will feel way better once you do this. Allocate days and time to every topic, considering your learning speed. It gives a sense of control over things and eases anxiety since you know what you have to study once you open the books.
2. MAKE FLASHCARDS
Bar exams cover a large body of facts, and the best way of remembering them is by making flashcards. Pick different colors of cards and put the points of the same chapter on one card. For instance, if the dates of the company’s act go on pink, civil rights on yellow, and contracts on red. These little tricks make learning easier, letting you grasp concepts in minutes. But if you are running short of time, then creating flashcards is not an option. You can download them online and dig into books right away.
3. USE MEMORY HACKS
Are you dependent on your smartphones? Some researchers suggest that mobile phones are eroding student’s memory. First of all, you have to keep your phone away to shore up your retention rates and recall things quickly. Here are some incredible memory hacks.
- Break complex and confusing areas into smaller chunks.
- Link all the concepts by stringing them together into a chain.
- Teach someone else since it is an incredible way of strengthening your thoughts.
- Having trouble memorizing an idea? Relate it with a visual, funny incident in class, or rhyme to make it stick to your mind.
- Keep revising things you have learned.
4. PRACTICE NEWLY RELEASED QUESTIONS
Once you complete learning, it is time to start practicing. It is not mandatory to finish the entire course and then move to exercise, but you can try solving after completing a topic. It familiarizes you with the paper outline and format because the multiple-choice questions follow a particular style. Likewise, it helps you recognize the topics which tested more often. It boosts your confidence level since you know what to expect from the exam. Also, find more sources newly released questions beyond Kaplan and Barbri by surfing on the internet.
5. FOCUS ON HIGHLY TESTED TOPICS
You might find this surprising, but most bar examiners don’t reinvent the wheels every time they write an essay exam. They continue to test the same topics, again and again, meaning you have to give more weightage to those topics than others. For MBE, negligence, criminal procedure, and individual procedures are the hot topics as you will find the majority of the MCQs from them. Therefore, you have to ensure that these chapters are on your fingertips. Likewise, start searching for important topics of the other two sections of the bar exam.
6. TIME YOURSELF
How many questions can you complete in an hour? Alongside answering correctly, you have to time yourself to make sure you are not running short of it. You can begin with 33 MCQs and increase the number every week. Feel free to grade your essays without any biases to see where you stand and how much more practice you need. However, don’t rush over questions by setting unrealistic expectations of practicing 100 questions in a day. Although time management is essential, you have to answer slowly and methodically.
An organized and diligent approach to studying can help you pass the exam in one go. It is not going to be easy, but it is a matter of utmost dedication and commitment. You have to identify the course material of the exam, find ways to learn, and commit to your study schedule. In case you can’t decide where do begin, follow up on some tips to get going with it.