Having the proper study environment can be as important for your bar exam preparation as knowing what you need to study. As you prepare for the bar exam, you'll most likely be spending a lot of time in your favorite spot, but is it the best environment for studying?
You'll want to make sure that you are studying in an environment that encourages you to stay focused and motivated. Here are a few things you can do to create the best study environment for the bar exam.
- This is one of the most important rules for creating the best study environment: unplug. We're all smart phone and social media addicts, so turning off your phone or putting it away (on silent) is imperative to creating a work environment that encourages you to study. If you're using your laptop, use it wisely. If you're someone who is tempted to check your social media page every hour, use apps that block or limit the use of social media.
- Make sure that your study space is equipped with everything you need: pens, pencils, highlighters, post-its, snacks, water and any other tools you may need.
- Choose a space that provides you with enough room so that you can comfortably spread out all your studying supplies.
- Keep your study space clean and organized. If you choose to study in an environment that is disorganized, messy, and cluttered, chances are you'll be more focused on the mess than on your studying.
- An optimal study location is comfortable, but not too comfortable. You don't want to be unable to focus on your studying because the chair is too uncomfortable. Nor do you want to be studying somewhere too comfortable like in your bed, which may lead to an unplanned nap.
- Pick a location with minimal distractions. If you are studying where people will constantly be interrupting you, maybe you should go somewhere else. A library is the perfect environment to get effective studying done. Not only is it quiet and lacking in distractions, but everyone around you will most likely be studying, which will encourage you to stay on task.
- Pick somewhere that has good lighting. If the lighting is too dim, you'll strain your eyes trying to read. But if there is a lot of artificial light, you may get headaches after a while. Try to find a location that offers natural light.
- If you're studying in a public location, there may be some distractions. Even in a library you may be distracted by people walking by, someone rummaging through their papers, tapping on the table, or muttering out loud to themselves. Bring headphones to play background music to block out these unnecessary noises.
- Have a back-up spot. If you’re studying around other people preparing for the exam, being near them and their endless questions about topics you are not studying that day will create additional stress that you don’t need, particularly as the exam approaches. If they are stressing you out, move to another place like an undergraduate or public library. In the weeks immediately prior to the exam, you’ll be focused, so do whatever you can to avoid anyone that might have compromised your previously perfect study location.
Of course, you should do what is best for you. The best study environment is different for everyone, so realize what makes you most efficient when it comes to studying for the bar exam, and stick to it!
Now that you have the perfect study environment to prepare for the bar exam, to discover these tips for passing the bar exam the first time.