Law School Academic Support Blog

Editor: Amy Jarmon
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Survivor Advice: Words from Successful Bar Takers

Yearly, I ask former students who successfully passed the bar exam to share last minute advice with bar exam studiers gearing-up to sit for the bar exam. I look to individuals who have recently successfully passed the bar exam because I know that at this point, my current bar studiers “listen to me but do not hear me.” I know however that they will “listen to” and “hear” individuals who are closer to the bar exam experience than me. This is a great opportunity for me to seek out alums who are excited to share advice because they know I value their opinions and will share their opinions with others. Alums also add tidbits about their own challenges and triumphs throughout this preparatory process. Below are a few of the suggestions from my alums that a bar exam taker can implement at their own risk.

Pause from studying

“Stop studying by 12(noon) the day before the exam. 3 PM max. There is nothing that you can cram into your head past 3 PM the day before the bar exam.”

“Get your full hours sleep the night before the bar exam.”

“You should not be cramming the evening before day 2 either… light review only.”

Know your surroundings

“Get to know the area where the bar exam is scheduled to be taken, if you have time, so you’ll know where you need to be and about how long it’s going to take to get there”

Eat

“Eat a good breakfast that day.”

“Eat! But don’t eat too heavy for lunch- a good salad will do.  We don’t want to be sleepy during the test.”

“You can’t do your best tired and hungry.”

Don’t forget

“Ear plugs… [Writing day] can be pretty noisy with everyone typing.”

Overall strategy

“Trust your instincts! Do not second-guess yourself.  Move on if you’re unsure and come back to it later.  Don’t waste time!”

“I started with the question I felt I knew well- it helped to build my confidence as I progressed to more challenging questions.  What I couldn’t remember eventually came back to me (weird lol).”

“Sometimes you have to warm up to the exam.  Meaning, if you are not sure about on the first essay topic, move on and start with one you know.  For me, I got better and more confident as I answered more essays.  So, do not get stumped on the first essay if you are not sure about it.”

“[After each session], don’t discuss your responses with anyone.”

“Monitor your fluid intake before and during the exam or you might make several trips to the bathroom…Please stay hydrated of course.”

MBE strategy

“For questions you are not sure about, eliminate the choices you know are wrong and then come back later and choose between the close calls- or choose one and put a star next to it and come back later to review.”

“If you are unsure about a question, make your best guess and keep moving.  This is to ensure that you have a response that can be graded and you are not losing time or points.  The correct answer might come to you later on in the exam or you might have made the correct guess.”

Regroup & focus

“If you mess up or something happens, take 30 seconds to be upset, and then move on. (My first essay was deleted by [the exam software] and I had to redo it within the time between essays.  I started to cry but realized crying was taking too much time.)”

“Relax- nothing good happens when you are nervous.”

 “Don’t panic.  However, if you do panic- stop, take 5 seconds to recompose and get your bearings and get back to the task.”

“… Trust yourself and be confident.  You got this!”

See the light at the end of the tunnel

“Smile because that terrible summer will be over in about 16 hours!”

“Be confident! You made it through undergrad, LSAT, Law School, exams, etc.….”

“Pray, and don’t panic.  You know what you know.”

In sum, everyone has an opinion and advice but your voice and your needs should be paramount.  You know what you need, you studied hard, and you know how to take tests.  You can do it! Cheers! (Goldie Pritchard)

 

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2017/07/survivor-advice-words-from-successful-bar-takers.html

Advice, Bar Exam Issues, Bar Exam Preparation, Bar Exams | Permalink

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