Sometimes no matter how much you study for the bar exam, you still cannot absorb the information. You paid attention in class. You completed all of your assignments. However, there’s just so much material to go over in such a short amount of time—whether you’re taking the NY Bar Exam in February or the Uniform Bar Exam in July—and you’re definitely feeling the pressure.
As a result, you, along with every other law student, want to know every study hack out there. Finding out when the best time to study for the bar is just one of them.
And the best time to study is…
Unfortunately, there isn’t one, definitive answer that applies to everyone when it comes to studying. Instead, you have to determine whether you are more productive during the day or at night. This will indicate what part of the day is the best time for you to study.
According to The Wall Street Journal, typically adults are the most productive in the morning and start to feel tired around 2pm. However, the article also points out that this isn’t necessarily true for everyone. “Morning people tend to wake up and go to sleep earlier and to be most productive early in the day. Evening people tend to wake up later, start more slowly and peak in the evening.” So if you tend to be the more focused in the morning, that’s when you should set aside time to study. If you’re more of a night owl, then study for a few hours later in the day.
Once you determine what time works best for you, try to create a schedule around that. Having a consistent routine will only help you. Reviewing a certain amount of material during your most productive hours each day will make studying for the bar much easier and more effective.
Take care of yourself
One thing is for certain: You should never sabotage your night’s sleep. Night owls should especially take this into consideration when they are studying for the bar. It’s okay to study at night, but do not stay up until 3am when you have to be up at 6am. Those all-nighters aren’t going to do you any good because you’ll be too tired to remember anything you studied.
A Forbes article discusses how sleep deprivation can affect your ability to concentrate. “Skipping sleep impairs your brain function across the board. It slows your ability to process information and problem solve, kills your creativity, and catapults your stress levels and emotional reactivity.” According to the article, people who do not enough sleep are actually not able to function as well as people who are intoxicated. This just goes to show that going without sleep can only hurt you—whether you are studying for the bar or already in the workforce.
Listen to what your body is saying
Determining when the best time for you to study for the bar is all about paying attention to what your body is telling you. Take notice when you are feeling energized because that is when you should be reviewing your notes or doing your bar prep homework. When you’re feeling exhausted and cannot retain any more information, it’s time to put the notebooks away and get some shut-eye.