Are flashcards worthwhile during bar prep? If so, should you have a big stack or a little stack? Everyone has an opinion on flashcard use while preparing for the bar exam. It is among the great debates of bar prep. But the reality is that there is no objective answer to the flashcard debate. What really matters is whether making (or buying) flashcards will help you pass the bar exam. This post will cover some of the pros and cons of bar exam flashcards and how you might choose to incorporate them into your bar prep. [Read more…] about Flashcards vs No Flashcards for Bar Prep
Decompressing from the uniquely exhausting experience of preparing for and taking the bar is tricky. Bar Exam Toolbox contributor Jennifer Warren accurately describes the “strange mix of emotions” following the bar exam – “relief that you don’t have to study anymore, excitement that you completed the test, exhaustion from the hours you’ve spent concentrating over the last few days, fear of how difficult the questions were, and anxiety about whether it was enough to pass.” (Read Jennifer’s post – Still Thinking about the Bar Exam? 5 Tips to Help You Decompress.) While waking up to a post-bar exam life is liberating, it is an awkward freedom. All bar examinees share the uncertainty of not knowing whether they passed or failed. Many face the stark reality of a suspended job hunt. Some will advise a relaxed decompression period focused on catching up on sleep and recreation. I don’t judge the approach—everyone is different—but for me, peace of mind means keeping busy. If you are like me, here are some effective ways of channeling your post-bar exam energy into productive outlets to jump start your legal career or cope with bad news come results day. [Read more…] about Now What? Channeling Post-Bar Energy Effectively
There are many things about the bar exam that you cannot control, but bar exam logistics are something you can and should give thought to in advance. One logistical aspect to think about is what you should do with your evening (or evenings) between bar exam days. I submit that the best use of your bar exam evening is to find a friend or family member and go out for a nice, sit-down dinner. It may sound foolhardy, but here are six reasons why it could help more than you think. [Read more…] about The Case for Dinner Out Between Bar Exam Days
An important part of preparing for the bar exam is developing a healthy mindset that will allow you to deal with the inevitable stress and perform your best on the exam. One good way to shape your approach to the bar exam is to treat it more like an athletic competition than an academic test. In reality, the bar exam is much more like a big game day following an intensive training period than a test of your ability to regurgitate law you have memorized. In a previous post, Keri Bischoff Clapp discussed training like an athlete for the bar exam. She writes that it is important to adopt a training plan, trust the training, focus on small steps, remember to cross train, and have a mantra. This is great advice, but I would extend it to its natural conclusion. If you train like an athlete, shape your mindset for the bar exam as if exam day is game day. Preparation is only the first step…. [Read more…] about Bar Exam Day Is Game Day
When you start to prepare for the bar exam, everyone will have opinions on everything from which bar to take to what to eat for breakfast before the exam. Some advice may make sense to you and some may not, but for facts about the bar exam itself, going straight to the source is a wise strategy. (Also advice you could ignore, but I wouldn’t recommend it.) Along with your jurisdiction’s bar, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) is a key primary source.
The NCBE website, ncbex.org, has the information you will need to orient yourself at the beginning of your bar prep. For most applicants, some of the components of your exam, if not all, will be addressed by this site. The NCBE administers the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). Along with telling you which jurisdictions have adopted which components, the website provides important hard facts you will need to craft a smart bar prep study plan. [Read more…] about Take It From The Examiners: Make The Most of NCBEX.org
Beginning to prepare for the bar exam can make anyone anxious, but breaking from your classmates and preparing for the bar exam in a state where your law school is not can ratchet up the anxiety. The Uniform Bar Examination has resolved this struggle for many, but not all. If the jurisdiction you want to take the exam in has state-specific sections, many questions will nag at you – Can I learn the state-specific subjects? How much different is that state’s law? Can I compete with in-state applicants?
For me, as a 3L in Washington, D.C., planning to take the Texas bar, thoughts of oil and gas law and a three-day exam frequently filled me with dread and self-doubt. But don’t second guess yourself. Plenty of great reasons can lead to being an out-of-state applicant, whether personal or professional. If you are already committed or just considering taking the leap outside of your law-school state, hopefully, this post will give you at least 5 reasons to shake the unproductive anxiety and strengthen your resolve to conquer the bar of your choosing! [Read more…] about 5 Reasons To Be A Confident Out-Of-State Applicant for the Bar Exam