Stress is inevitable when you’re in the middle of preparing for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). At times, the strain may seem impossible to manage, but you allow yourself enough time to both study and walk away from the material to clear your head, you’ll find you can handle the pressure and reduce the amount of anxiety you’re feeling.
1. Don’t procrastinate
Whether you’re studying for the UBE or any other test, procrastinating never leads to positive results. There is just too much material to cover to wait until the last minute. If you do that, your stress levels will probably be through the roof because by then you’ll be scrambling to read and retain information from review books, class notes, and practice tests. You will only grow more discouraged when you really need to stay positive. Studying ahead of time lets you go over all the necessary material and map out how you plan to stay on schedule.
2. Know when to call it a day
Even when you start studying in advance, the feeling that you’re crunched for time may still overwhelm you. But that doesn’t mean you should study all day and all night, every day. In fact, that kind of schedule could jeopardize your goals.
Have you ever tried to study for a test for hours at a time without taking any breaks? At some point, your mind is just so tired that you can’t concentrate and absorb any more information. You need to walk away and have some down time so you can recharge.
When you’re going through this process on your own, it may be difficult to figure out how long your study intervals and breaks should be. Taking a UBE review course will help you organize your time better so you'll know what to review and when it's appropriate to take the day off.
As pointed out by the Mayo Clinic, a medical research group based in Minnesota, there is a relationship between stress and exercise. Taking part in some type of physical activity, such as going for a run or taking a yoga class, can reduce your stress because it increases your body’s natural production of endorphins, which can improve your mood. So, during those much-needed study breaks in between your bar exam prep, you could take a walk outside to get some fresh air or head to the gym for a workout.
4. Don’t work
People who can stop working or cut back on their work hours while getting ready for the UBE should do it so they can set aside more hours for study. Working less and studying more can decrease your stress level because you’ll find that it’s one less responsibility on your plate.
It may not be possible for some people. Not everyone can afford to stop working completely in order to study, so organizing your time and staying on a certain study schedule become all the more important. Of course, if you still work, you can pass the UBE— but you’ll just have to make the most out of your review time.
5. Take Practice Tests
Answering practice questions from past bar exams gives you a better idea of what the UBE will look like and gives you an understanding of the type of details the bar examiners will expect you to know. Doing this prep work can eliminate any fear you may have of the unknown, which is inherently stressful. It’s like when you were 1L prepping for your first law school exam. You may understand the information, but you are apprehensive about the exam’s format and how the questions will be worded. The more practice questions you complete, the more confident you’ll feel that you have what it takes to pass the exam and that you are as ready to pass as anyone.
Having access to actual bar exam questions will make taking the UBE easier, because you’ll feel like you’ve already taken it multiple times. It’s a smart way to keep your stress manageable.