During bar prep, you will all face the harsh reality that there are only twenty-four hours in one day. These same twenty-four hours have seemed endless while sitting through your law school course lectures. In fact, these are the same twenty-four hours that never seem to end when waiting for exam results or waiting to hear back from your doctor. However, while studying for the bar, you will quickly learn that these same hours go by in a flash. Where does the time go? Twenty-four hours goes by pretty quick when you spend each day trying to process tough material during bar review. Unfortunately, these hours will go by even quicker when you’re testing this knowledge during the actual exam. But there’s no need to worry because I’ve put together, a few time management methods to help you along the way!
Planning Your Time During Bar Prep
Establish a Daily Routine
Establishing a daily routine will undoubtedly help with your time management. If you know ahead of time how you will spend each hour of your day, then you won’t have to wonder where this time went when the day is all done. I know this may seem a bit excessive, but planning when you will wake up in the morning and when you will take a shower, and go to sleep, can make a huge difference.
For example, during bar prep, I woke up by 7:30 am each morning and I made a point to begin working by 9am. This part of my routine was perhaps the most important aspect because it conditioned my brain to begin getting active at around the same time the actual bar exam would begin. Therefore, by the time I got around to sitting the exam, I was already alert at start time. My routine also allowed me to get in at least 10 ½ hours of work for the day and also time for the gym and relaxation. I also made a point to get to bed by 11:30 pm each night which allowed me to get at least 8 hours of sleep which is extremely important!
Planning Your Time During the Bar Exam
As you get closer to the bar exam it would also be helpful to put in place a game plan about how you will handle the logistics of that day and how you will efficiently answer all the questions on the exam. Planning all of this beforehand will save you a ton of time!
Do a Bar Exam Dress Rehearsal! (Logistics)
As you get closer to the exam I would recommend doing a bar exam dress rehearsal a few days before, just to ensure that the logistics of that day will go smoothly. What does a bar exam dress rehearsal entail you ask?
- Do a run through of your commute- If you’re staying at a hotel by the exam center do a run through of how long the walk or even the Uber trip will take to the exact location. Also, if you’re staying even further away from the exam center, I would recommend doing an actual drive to the location at the exact time you plan on heading out on exam day. Keep in mind that the world does not pause on bar exam day and you will have to deal with traffic or possibly even an accident on the highway to get to your location. So plan ahead!
- Plan your breakfast and lunch- It is also important to plan exactly what you will eat on exam day. Before the bar exam, I did an actual run through of the breakfast I would make that morning. I opted for a high protein breakfast that I knew would keep me energized and full up until lunch time. I would also recommend bringing your own lunch or planning to purchase your lunch from a trusted vendor that you have tested beforehand. During my exam, I opted to eat the free lunch that my school provided through a vendor at the examination center. Unfortunately, I was one of several students that suffered food poisoning as a result of this decision. Yes, this really happened. So plan ahead and don’t let this be you!
The bar exam is a total of 12 hours to answer 200 MBE questions several essays and possibly a Multistate Performance Test. This may sound like a lot of time but trust me it is not. Prior to the exam, it’s crucial that you have mastered a plan of attack to get through the essays and the MBE within the allotted time. During bar prep, I developed a MBE plan of attack that I would utilize on exam day.
- I tried my best to spend no more than a minute and a half on each MBE question.
- I also prepared myself to take a mental break after each set of 30 questions. This break would include anything from simply looking up from my exam for a few seconds and taking a deep breath or taking a quick trip to the restroom to get my blood flowing. Taking a break can help you to avoid fatigue during the exam and also help you to maintain focus.
- Finally, I also developed a strategy in which I guessed the answers to some of the really long questions (yes, I’m talking about Real Property) and tried my best to circle back to these questions at the very end only if time permitted. It’s more strategic to answer every question on the exam and risk getting some wrong as opposed to not answering all the questions and risk missing some easy giveaways that you would have definitely gotten correct.
Give these time management tips a try and you’ll be surprised how efficient your days will become!
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Memorization Techniques to Help You in the Final Days
- How to Be Great at Taking the Bar Exam with Deliberate Practice
- Strategies for Common Performance Test Issues
- Memorize This! Five Memorization Techniques That Will Help You Succeed at the Bar Exam
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