Although the performance test portion is my favorite part of the exam (because you need to know absolutely no law to be successful), it can be frustrating for many people. One common complaint I hear from students is that there is just simply too much paper to keep up with. This is especially true in California where the performance test packet can be 60 to 70 pages long!
I recommend to my students (as many others do) that you tear apart the performance test packet to make it easier to reorganize the material and make it manageable. Of course, then you have paper everywhere on your workspace, which can be infuriating and confusing. So what are you to do?
Well, in California at least, you are actually allowed to bring paper clips into the writing portion of the bar exam (you can review the list of what you can bring in here but always make sure you check the most up-to-date information—before the test).
Could a paper clip actually help you pass the performance test?
For some students, I think it can! You can use paper clips to bind the cases together and create some organization for yourself. You could even use different color clips to create some sort of organizational scheme. By creating some sort of order on your desk, it is likely that you will feel that there is more order to your thoughts. (Have you ever walked into a messy room and felt that you just can’t get anything done because it is too chaotic?)
But remember, don’t try anything new on exam day.
If this sounds like an awesome idea, that‘s great. So run to the office supply and stock up on paper clips. You need to start practicing using paper clips now. Don’t try to use them for the first time on exam day. It may seem silly, but you want to make sure that you aren’t changing up anything on exam day, but instead just going through well-practiced motions.
Also, be sure to print out performance tests and practice them in hard copy.
I love trees and I try to save trees whenever possible by conserving paper. However, I don’t recommend practicing the performance test using electronic files. This can make the work more difficult for you and actually stand in the way of doing well. You need to go ahead and print out the exams and practice taking them on paper so you can take notes on the page, just as you will do on exam day. (You can recycle the paper or use the old performance tests for scratch paper after the fact.)
And check your individual state requirements for what you are allowed to bring into the exam.
Different states will have different rules—and even different days may have different rules. (California is much more strict on what you can bring into the room on the MBE day.) So check the documentation from your bar administrators prior to exam day so that you know exactly what you are allowed to bring into the room. You don’t want any unnecessary drama (especially over something as simple as paper clips!).
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- The Key to the Performance Test: Find Your Approach
- The Performance Test: Why You Should Be Studying Now
- We Do We Have to Write Out Practice Answers?
- Are You Evaluating Your Work? You Should Be!