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

Don't let yourself get stressed out by your classmates

There's an annoying thing that will inevitably happen to you while studying for the bar exam: you’ll hear a lot of chatter amongst your classmates about what you should or shouldn't be doing during bar prep.

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 listening to the advice of classmates can be more detrimental to your progress than helpful.

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 hear classmates talk about how they’re studying, you’ll start questioning whether your approach is effective. This kind of second-guessing can impede the study plan you’ve outlined for yourself.

Sorting through bad vs. good advice

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. Conversations with classmates that digress into drawn out explanations of study strategies aren't helpful. 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-making. 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 anxiety 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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