Bar Study Advice from Your Classmates: Should You Follow It?

There’s one annoying thing that we can promise will happen to you during your long summer studying for the bar exam: you’ll hear a lot of chatter amongst your classmates about how best to approach bar studying.

You’ll hear theories on how to study, how much time others are studying, and what subjects matter the most.

Some of this chatter is well-intentioned. But as the summer goes on, listening to the advice of classmates can be more detrimental to your progress than helpful

Here’s why: studying for the bar exam produces a natural tendency to feel anxious about whether you know enough and whether you’re studying the right way. When you overhear classmates talk about how they’re studying, you’ll start questioning whether your approach is effective. This kind of second-guessing can totally impede the study plan you’ve outlined for yourself.

So as the summer approaches, think about these four things before you get wrapped up in your classmates’ advice:

Know the messenger. Remember that when you get advice from a classmate on how to prepare for the bar exam, you’re getting advice from someone who has never studied for the bar exam before. If you’re looking for advice, we suggest taking it from your Bar Exam Mentor, your school’s bar exam advisor, or any other successful bar passer.

Avoid conversations about study habits. We made this mistake a lot: getting into long conversations with classmates that digress into drawn out explanations of study strategies. These conversations are really about each person seeking validation of their own method. In other words, these conversations drain your energy and leave you questioning your approach.

Don’t let anxiety influence your decision. It’s easy to feel like there’s safety in numbers--and at a time when you’re feeling anxious about how to approach the exam, the idea of following the techniques of someone else can be an inviting proposition. But don’t let your feelings of anxiousness drive you to try a technique that’s completely new or feels unfamiliar. Stick with the plan you’ve outlined.

Know thyself. As we always say, at the end of the day, settle on the approach that works best for you. Feel confident in your preparation and rely on the study instincts that got you through the past nineteen years of schooling.

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