When it comes to studying for the bar exam, drastic changes to your study style and routines can be counterproductive.
But the bar exam is a unique test unlike any other you’ve taken—so it’s valuable to hear the stories and tips of previous takers to help you design an approach that’s right for you.
We polled a few successful bar passers to get their number one tip when studying for the Bar and here’s what they had to offer:
Treat Your Bar Study Like A Job.
“My number one tip is to treat the bar exam like a job,” says Aaron M., now an intellectual property attorney. Coming up with a schedule and routine that you repeat day in and day out is essential to making sure that you’re not under- or over-studying. You’ll run into trouble if you “wait until the last minute, or try to cram it all into a couple of weeks”—and you’ll burn out fast if you start pulling all-nighters, too. “Start on time, put in the work, and it will pay off.”
Take Care Of Yourself.
“It’s important to remember to take care of yourself—eat well, sleep well, and exercise,” says Hannah Y., a first-year litigation associate. “As difficult as it might be, and as guilty as you may feel, allowing yourself the time to take a real break away from the materials will help you feel more relaxed, clear-headed, and focused when you return to work.” Protecting and taking this time away from studying is essential. “Studying for the bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Don’t Get Caught Up In The Stress Of Other Test Takers.
“Studying for the bar can get intense, and some people deal with stress by constantly talking about it and telling others how they are staying up all night or using crazy study methods,” says Anne P, an employment litigator. “At first listening to others made me feel like my study routines might be wrong—but eventually I stopped listening to this chatter.”
Don’t let other people’s stress or routines impact your study habits or your plan for the summer, and avoid conversations where others are unloading their stress onto you. “Stick to your plan and have the confidence that you are well-prepared.”