9 Bar Exam Study Habits That Will Change Your Life

13 Bar Exam Study Habits That Will Change Your Life

The Uniform Bar Exam has three components, is broken up over the course of two days, and requires months of preparation.

Luckily, passing the bar exam isn't impossible; it just requires a lot of hard work.

Passing the bar exam begins with effective study habits. Here are 11 practices of successful bar exam students to help you succeed:

1. Find Your Study Space

An effective study environment promotes learning. Find a quiet space you can go to each day. Ensure there are minimal distractions, so you can zone in and get the most out of your studying.

2. Divide the Information into Sections

The amount of material you'll have to learn for the bar exam can be overwhelming. Divide the information up into digestible sections, so you can master each topic, one at a time. Trying to tackle all of civil procedure and torts in a single day is too much.  You’ll retain more if you allow your brain enough time to absorb what you are reviewing.

3. Make a Study Schedule

The most efficient way to divvy up your studying is to create a bar exam study schedule outlining exactly what topic you'll review and which specific practice questions you'll practice. This will help you map out everything beforehand and ensure you're on track to cover all the relevant course material in time for this all-important exam.

4. Maintain a Balanced Approach when Practicing

We all have days where we accomplish less than we expected and it’s possible to fall behind. No matter what, you want to maintain a balance approach to how you prepare, making  sure that you’re regularly incorporating MBE questions into your study regimen, practicing MPTs, and writing essays from previous bar exams. If you planned to complete 200 questions, write two essays, and write an MPT last week but didn’t do any of it, adjust your schedule for the coming week to make sure that you complete at least 100 questions along with an essay and an MPT. In a perfect world, you’d have time to catch up and do everything, but sometimes you need to be realistic, and you want to make sure you haven’t pushed off all of the practice in one area until the week or two immediately before the exam.

5. Don't Procrastinate

Although it's easy to push off your studying, never procrastinate your scheduled study sessions. Sticking to your pre-defined schedule will help ensure success!

6. Utilize Shorthand

With so much to learn for the bar, taking notes in shorthand will enable you to cover more topics and more effectively manage your time. Plus, doing so aids in better comprehension of the course material, since translating your notes requires more thought. You'll thank us later.

7. Practice Tests

You know the adage: "Practice makes perfect." Run through full uniform bar exams from previous years in test-like conditions similar to those on exam day.


8. Understand Why You Get MBE Questions Wrong

It's not enough to just do MBE practice questions. You need to understand why you get them wrong, so you don't repeat the same mistakes on the exam. Recognizing where you're falling flat will help you rectify these obstacles, and ultimately, master them.   

9. Have A "Study Buddy" 

Having someone to study with holds a host of benefits, not least among these an additional source of motivation and someone to bounce ideas off. Tackling the substantial amount of coursework alongside a study buddy also promotes teamwork, and helps ensure neither of you are falling behind.

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About the author

Pieper Bar Review

For over forty years, Pieper Bar Review has taught students the legal concepts and skills necessary for success on the bar exam, and reinforced students’ knowledge through thought provoking examples and bar exam questions. The proof that the Pieper teaching method works is found in the success of our former students – now present-day attorneys. Learn more

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