The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is unlike any other test you will ever have to take. And although the preparation process is important whenever you have to take a test, it’s especially critical when it comes time to study for the bar exam.
By asking yourself these 4 questions, you’ll be able to determine if you’re ready for the UBE this July or if you need to go back to the drawing board and refocus.
Have I created a study schedule and am I consistently following it?
YES: This means you’re organizing your time wisely and studying for the bar exam on a regular basis. Keep it up! Ideally, you should anticipate studying 6 to 8 hours per day in May, 8 to 10 hours per day in June, and upwards of 10 hours per day in July. To help maintain that pace, you’ll need to develop a routine that includes time to yourself every so often so you can re-charge your batteries. If you fall behind, you’ll have to study during any time you had reserved for clearing your head, and you’ll run the risk of burning out. If you can stay organized and develop a routine, you’ll keep yourself in top mental condition heading into the exam on July 26-27.
NO: Answering “No” to this question indicates that you haven’t put a study schedule in place or you’re not following the one you created. Even if you’re not working and spending the majority of your day studying, there’s a good chance you’re going to get overwhelmed rather quickly and not be able to fully concentrate on one topic at a time. There’s so much information you have to retain for the UBE and being disorganized will leave you floundering. In order to be as productive as possible while preparing for the bar exam, make sure you create a study schedule that clearly maps out what material you should be reviewing and when.
Am I actively involved during my bar exam review course?
YES: You aren’t just showing up to class and staring at your phone the entire time. Rather, you are focusing your attention to your instructor, listening to the lectures, processing the information, and taking notes. All of your efforts will pay off if you continue to prepare for the bar exam this way.
NO: Taking a bar review course is essential, but in order to get the most out of that class, you have to pay attention. Think about it: Have you ever taken a class where you sat in the back of the room and doodled in your notebook or browsed the Internet on your phone? By the end of each session, you probably had no idea what your instructor discussed. You don’t have the luxury of being able to push off learning the material until some other time when you’re ready to “turn it on.” You’ll have other material to cover and assignments to complete. Your time is incredibly valuable as you prepare for the exam. Make sure you aren’t just physically present, but mentally present when you go to your bar review course. The more you listen, the more you learn.
Am I taking practice exams?
YES: You’re not just re-reading your notes, but taking practice exams in order to familiarize yourself with the test’s format and sharpen your skills. Keep taking advantage of this resource because then you’ll know what to expect on exam day.
NO: Taking practice exams is the best way to fully understand what the UBE will be like. Besides seeing how the test is structured, it also allows you to find out how the questions will be phrased. Additionally, you’ll be able to pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses as a test taker, and learn how to manage the clock on the exam. With the help of your bar review instructor, you can work on your multiple-choice strategy or time management skills so you can answer every question and write every essay with time to spare. As you take more practice exams, you’ll become comfortable with the exam and see your skills progress.
Do I have a deep understanding of basic laws and principles?
YES: This means that when you’re taking UBE practice exams, you’re not just touching on important laws, but explaining them in detail. This is exactly what you want to do when you take the actual bar exam.
NO: In order to pass the UBE exam, you must be able to identify legal issues, and be able to display your knowledge, particularly when it comes to the written portion of the exam. You should include as much relevant information as you can when writing your essays to show that you know and can properly apply the law to the facts, rather than just advocating for a particular outcome that you think is fair.. Your bar review course will help you develop a better understanding of the law and train you how to organize your essays to ensure that you are earning every available point.