As your bar review course and months of relentless studying finally wind down, you may be wondering: "Am I ready for the bar exam?" Although it may be impossible to truly tell until you actually take the test, there is one certainty: You must master every part of the UBE, from the MBE, to the MPT and MEE.
The last thing you'll want is to show up on exam day wishing you made more of an effort, so here are five indicators to help you determine whether or not you're fully ready to take the bar exam.
1. You Understand Everything (or Almost Everything) and Have Been Over It Again, and Again, and Again
The biggest challenge of the bar exam may be wrapping your head around the incredible amount of information that you’ll be responsible for. That requires endless hours reviewing and re-reviewing all of the material you covered in your bar review course. But on the eve of the exam, you’ll know you’re ready if you know the law better than you’ve known it in your entire life.
At that point, your focus should ideally be on re-reviewing things you understand like the elements of intentional torts or crimes, rather than trying to understand a complex problem under Article 9. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert in everything on which they might test you. You’ll just need to be very good at the things you understand. That is, it’s less important that you remember what a springing executory interest is than that you can explain contract formation, negligence, and the Fourth Amendment clearly and quickly should you see them on the test.
If you feel as if you know everything about as well as you could possibly know it going into the exam and that another week (or month) of studying won’t realistically improve your chances, you’re in a good place. You’re ready.
2. You're a Multiple Choice Pro
Have you reviewed every single multiple choice question available, including those from prior bar exams? Do you understand the language the NCBE uses, and the ways they try to trick you? Have you learned all of the necessary process-of-elimination tips? If so, and you're regularly managing to get better than 60% of your practice questions correct (and recognize why you got them correct), you're ready to take the bar exam.
3. You've Written Practice Essays
Similar to multiple choice questions, practice makes perfect when it comes to your bar exam essays, so write as many as possible. Make sure you've perfected your essay outlining and practiced under test-like conditions, so you're positive you can complete all six essays in the allotted time.
4. You've Had Your Essays Reviewed
Even though you're writing essays, you may not know how well you are performing. Make sure you've had several of your bar exam essays reviewed by a professional, who can review your essay with test standards in mind. This way, you can receive feedback and make improvements, accordingly. If you've regularly had essays reviewed (practicing even when you didn’t feel as if you were completely prepared to write them because you hadn’t had enough time to review the relevant material) and have started to earn high marks, you're bar exam ready.
5. You're Confident
Your confidence is a huge indication of whether or not you're bar exam ready. If you're feeling confident in all the time, effort, and hard work you've put into preparing for the bar exam, then chances are, you're ready. However, if you're questioning whether or not you know all the subject matter, or feel you need to improve your essay writing, you’ll need to keep working with the material right up to the exam, and maybe get additional help from a private bar exam tutor.
Think you're bar exam ready? Here are a few last-minute tips to know before the exam.