We have had multiple emails over this weekend from students wondering how to make the most of their last ten days of bar exam study! Here is the best way to spend your time — and not spend your time — the ten days before the bar exam.
10 Days Until the Bar Exam – What Should I Do?
1. Stop making flashcards and stop writing your own outlines.
You don’t have time for this anymore. You need to switch to the “memorize & apply” mode now. The absolute thing you do not want to do in the last ten days is waste time. For most people, we can also add “stop listening to lectures” to this list. If you are behind on lectures and you don’t find them super helpful, stop listening to them.
Right now, the best thing you can do is actively review your outlines so that you have the highly tested portions memorized–and then apply what you know. Which brings us to our next tip!
2. Start (or keep) memorizing.
Start (or keep) memorizing the law. With 10 days until the bar exam, this is the #1 thing you can do to increase your score on the MBE and essay portion of the bar exam. Focus on the highly tested MBE topics (and if you are in an MEE state, check out our highly tested MEE topics guide. Focusing on the highly tested topics will be the way to ensure you are studying efficiently. You don’t want to spend hours on the rule against perpetuities (RAP) to get the potentially one MBE question correct that tests RAP. Instead, you want to spend your time on negligence, hearsay, relevancy, free speech and other highly tested areas.
If you want tips on how to memorize your bar exam outlines check out this post.
3. Don’t answer 100 MBE questions a day.
Some students go crazy with MBE questions–spending three hours answering them and then another few hours reviewing their answers. While it is of course great to be exposed to MBE questions (especially real MBE questions) answering 100 questions a day is not a good use of your time. With 10 days until the bar exam, you need a better approach.
Thus, it would be a much better idea to answer a smaller number of questions (e.g. 10-20) and do them very “well” –that is, answer them one by one and use a methodical approach to make sure why you are answering them correctly or incorrectly. Check out our real MBE questions here if you are looking for actual questions as opposed to questions made up by a course.
4. Bullet point essays.
Many people ignore essays because they worry about the MBE and think that they will be able to “BS” a bar exam essay. Don’t make this mistake! Set aside time each day to bullet point essays. (We recommend you do them as you memorize the law for that subject – so if you are memorizing Torts, Agency, and Partnership in the morning, then bullet point essays on these subjects in the evening.) This will go a long way to increasing your score, especially if you have not paid much attention to essays until now.
When you go through the essays, pay close attention to format and structure. After you bullet point an essay, check your answer against the model to see if you spotted the issues, stated the appropriate rules, analyzed them, and concluded correctly. Also look at your structure and format. Make note of if you, for example, challenge the facts or argue both sides (as most state bar exam essays do not expect you to do either!)
As a bonus tip, don’t just “read” the essay questions and answers. This is a losing strategy. If you simply read the questions and answers you will not retain very much. It is a much better idea to do something active, like write or bullet point answers.
5. Work on the MPT section!
The MPT is often the most overlooked part of the bar exam! But, you do not want to ignore the MPT! We recommend that, if you have not already, familiarize yourself with MPT formats. And set aside time in your schedule to work specifically on the MPT. You will thank yourself on the bar exam day!
Please check out our last minute tips for the MPT here, if you are one of the many examinees that procrastinate studying for the MPT!
6. Boost your confidence!
With 10 days left until the bar exam, this is one of the things that can make the biggest difference in your score. We recommend that you practice visualization, hang around positive people, and learn about how getting excited to take the exam can actually increase your score. (Read all about that here!) Every bit of confidence that you gain will get you that much closer to passing the bar exam!
As an optional note, some students find it very helpful to get a bar exam tutor during the last ten days of bar prep. Some students want to go over specific concepts, MBE questions, or just have someone to ask questions! If you are interested in this, please contact us.
Good luck on the bar exam!
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