Top 5 Last Minute Tips for Bar Prep
You’re down to the last minute and you want to know how to use your remaining time for bar prep? These five tips backed by research will tell you how to spend your remaining time.
You won’t know what you don’t know
If you are within 20 or fewer days from your bar exam, stop worrying about the topics you have struggled with. If you have studied future interests in land and you still don’t get it, you’re not going to improve that significantly in the time you have left. So stop trying. Instead, focus on topics you know pretty well.
Go to bed
You’ve heard how important sleep is, I’m sure. The deal is that new research comes out almost every week showing how absolutely critical sleep is to learning and memory. I am not just talking about the days of the exam itself, but also all the days and night of your bar prep time. And the closer you get to the bar exam, the more important this is.
Focus on what you think you do know
There’s knowing something, then there is KNOWING something. I’m talking about the kind of knowing where you know without even thinking about it. Quick: What’s your name? How long do you have to think to come up with that answer? So much of the bar exam requires speedy recall of memorized rules. Do flashcards with the most important rules and MBE questions. If you use your online bar prep’s MBE quiz or flashcards, make sure to set it up to give you instant feedback. Since we’re down to the last minute, focus on topic areas you know pretty well, and just reinforce the rules by repeated interactive practice. You are trying to lock in the important rules so solidly that you can recall them in seconds when you see a related issue arise on the exam. My resources page has some iphone apps with good MBE questions, but it’s always better to make your own flashcards if you can.
What not to do at the last minute
It is a total waste of time for you to write out full essay answers if you are within 5 days of your bar exam. It can be helpful to read the essay questions and then quiz yourself to test your memory of the rules implicated by the question. Don’t waste time writing full answers at this point. Another helpful strategy can be to just use the essay sample answers to create flashcards that focus on the relevant Virginia rules from the essay.
Zero studying within 24 hours before your bar exam
Do not study on the day prior to your exam. Your brain needs time to absorb all that studying, and your willpower is a finite resource. Take it easy on the day before your exam, do something you find relaxing. Some cardio exercise followed by a little Netflix and an early bedtime might be the perfect plan for the day before your exam.