Have You Developed Effective Bar Exam Routines?

Regardless of when you're taking the bar exam this year, developing effective and consistent study habits is critical, especially before you get a month or two out from your exam date.

This is especially true when it comes to test-taking routines, such as your habits the night before an exam, the morning before an exam, and during an exam.

Identify what helps you. And what doesn't.

Figure out what helps you gain your mental sharpness in the morning. How do you keep yourself focused and relaxed during practice exams? What foods make you feel best? How much caffeine is too much?

This might seem like the least of your concerns at a time when you're trying to wrap your head around all the material you need to learn, not to mention memorize. But it's important to start developing the mental and physical form you want to have on exam day.

Start adjusting habits slowly.

Once you've figured out what helps you get in the best place to perform at the top of your game, you'll need to cultivate these new habits.

For example, if you've been doing a lot of late-night studying and waking up late, start adjusting your sleep schedule to get yourself up early. It's important to start this at least a couple of weeks before the actual exam. This helps develop a habit you don't think about as opposed to another item on your plate to worry about heading into Day 1 of the bar exam.

Think about time management.

Finally, it’s important to gauge your time management on practice exams. You should start thinking about taking at least one simulated three-hour MBE session. Moving forward, you should aim for at least one three-hour session a week, and try to do one or two six-hour, full day simulated MBEs before the real thing.

When you do simulated full or half-day MBE sessions, you should be incorporating habits you've developed. And afterwards, reflecting on whether they're helping.

The takeaway is simple: develop good routines now (while it's early) because in a month you will not have the bandwidth to do so. In other words: if you don't get started now on putting yourself in the best position to succeed, you won't have time to do so effectively later, when it counts.

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