What Should Your Bar Exam Study Schedule Look Like?

November 26 2019 By Pieper Bar Review
Student Studying

You have your books and appropriate notes from law school rounded up. You’ve signed up for a bar prep course. But getting started on studying for the exam itself, especially so far out, isn’t the easiest thing. Having a detailed bar exam study schedule helps. 

Here are several tips on how to kick-start your path to passing the bar:

Find Your Timeline

The best way to set up your study schedule is to work backward from the date you plan to take the bar. Your preparation time should ideally be around 500 hours, with a split between learning the material and completing practice questions and essays.

Like anything, though, the quality of your studying matters more than the amount of time you dedicate: 20 hours of skimming books do less for you than 10 hours of focusing on and completing practice tests. That’s where bar prep courses and/or hiring a tutor can aid you the most. While you can’t guarantee a result, you know for sure that the material you review will be on the bar exam.

Highlights of the Pieper Bar Review Course:

  • 150-plus hours of lectures, more than any other bar review course
  • Comprehensive review of lecture material
  • 1,800-plus Multistate Bar Exam practice questions
  • Unlimited personally graded essays from the Pieper Multistate Essay Exam book
  • Help in developing a study schedule

So when should you begin studying in earnest? If you’re treating bar prep like a full-time job (which isn’t the worst idea, considering it is an integral step in your career), allocate about 40 hours a week plus time on the weekends for nine to 10 weeks leading up to the bar. If you have other obligations—such as a full- or part-time job—start even earlier.

Bar Exam Date: February 25-26, 2020
Suggested Start-Studying Date: December 9, 2019

Bar Exam Date: July 28-29, 2020
Suggested Start-Studying Date: May 15

The Pieper Bar Review Course runs for seven weeks (plus, time to review on your own in the weeks immediately before the exam where our team is there to help you right through the finish line), but if you pay in full, you’ll have early access to the course materials and can ease into intense studying rather than diving right in.

Fill Out Your Calendar

Before you start filling out your calendar, you need to complete a simple, crucial step: Lock down your preferred places to study. If you plan on studying for eight hours, but those are being spent in your bedroom or in front of the television, well it won’t be an effective eight hours. Libraries are great, as are coffee shops. If the weather is nice, don’t be afraid to take your session to the nearest park.

Don’t work in the same place every day, however. Simply switching locations can break up the monotony of studying, in general.

Now, for the calendar: The more you can put on your bar exam study calendar, the better. Details help establish a routine, plus, you can ensure you’re wasting as little time as possible.

Each day could include the following items:

  • Hours you plan to study, leaving the last hour for a self-guided recap
  • Location where you plan to study (library, coffee shop, home office)
  • Material you’re planning to cover (Agency & Partnerships, Torts, etc.)
  • Assignments you plan to complete, with a space for check marks
  • Planned breaks for snacks, coffee, social media, etc.
  • Countdown to the bar, if applicable (Three weeks to test day!)
  • Words of encouragement the closer you get to the exam (You got this!)

And, hey, give yourself a break every so often. Bar exam study will take over your life, but it shouldn’t be your life. Schedule a happy hour with friends. Plan a date night with your significant other. Go see a movie.

You’ll have something to look forward to, while alleviating some of the stress of preparing for the most important test of your life.

Want to see what a monthly calendar could look like? Check out ours for February 2019!

February 2019 Calendar

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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