Taking the bar exam soon? Here we give you 22 quick and essential bar exam day tips and last minute reminders!
Bar Exam Day Tips for the Morning of the Bar Exam:
• Set alarms, wake up calls, and have a family member or friend call you to make sure you wake up in time (this is for peace of mind)!
• Leave early for the exam so you have plenty of time if you run into traffic problems, parking, or finding where you are supposed to be.
• Get in right mindset. Use visualization and bar exam affirmations!
• Bring ear plugs! Even if you don’t plan on using them during the exam, bring some just in case.
• Dress in layers. Most testing centers are cold. Wear long sleeves and shoes with socks (rather than sandals).
• Do a final “check” of the security list for your jurisdiction.
• Don’t drink too much before any of the sections unless you are planning to take a bathroom break.
• Be smart about what you eat. Don’t eat undercooked meat or food you do not typically eat. Don’t drink too much between exam days!
• Don’t eat a large meal of carbs right before you take a portion of the exam as you may feel extra fatigue.
Bar Exam Day Tips for the Exam Itself:
• Make your answer easy to read and follow. Use plenty of headings and a rule-analysis-conclusion format.
• Bold or underline words to make it easy for the grader to see you deserve points!
• Use paragraph breaks and headings to make it easier on the grader’s eyes.
• If your jurisdiction has two MPTs, don’t spend too long on one MPT and run out of time for the other sections. This is one of the most common timing mistakes we see. Limit yourself to the allotted time (usually 90 minutes) for each MPT.
• If you don’t know the law on an essay, you are probably not alone. Just “fake it” and write like you know it. You may surprise yourself! Don’t write just one sentence and make it obvious you don’t know the answer. And don’t leave anything blank.
• Fill in every bubble on the MBE, even if you run out of time.
• If you find yourself getting fatigued, take a 30 second break to stretch and close your eyes. Or take a bathroom break if you have time.
Bar Exam Day Tips for the Time Period Before, During, and After the Exam:
• Once a portion is over, stop mulling over it! Move on even if you don’t feel great about it!
• Remember you do not need an “A” to pass the bar exam. (You need a D in most jurisdictions!)
• Don’t engage in conversation with others about what they wrote. Examinees get themselves all riled up for no reason when they do this!
• Avoid toxic people! These are people who are excessively anxious, who talk about their answers to bar exam essay questions, or who will try to use you to get ahead. It is better to stick to talking to family members and friends who aren’t taking the bar exam.
• Avoid bar exam forums if possible.
• Mind your bar exam manners.
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