Am I Really Ready For The Bar Exam?
As you are getting closer to the bar exam, you may be wondering whether you are actually prepared to take the exam. In this post, we give you some tips to determine whether you are ready to take the bar exam!
Am I Really Ready For The Bar Exam?
1. You have covered all the material.
Did you actually spend time learning each and every subject that could be tested on the bar exam? Did you do more than just watch the lecture, such as actively memorize the substance, and understand it in a way that you are able to explain it to someone else? If you can answer yes, that is a sign that you are ready for the bar exam.
Some students end up skipping subjects as they are preparing for the exam. Sometimes the students run out of time and simply don’t get to every subject. Or they took a class in law school and think that they know enough material for the exam. Then, they don’t spend time going through that subject. Being adequately prepared for each and every subject increases your chances of being able to answer MBE questions quickly and providing clear, competent, responses to essay questions!
2. You have written many practice essays.
One of the biggest mistakes unsuccessful students make during bar prep is not writing practice essays. Writing full essays under timed conditions is a key part of success on the bar exam. Ask yourself if you have written a substantial number of essays on each topic in preparation for the exam.
Many bar exams test similar issues over and over. If you have written many practice essays, there is a good chance that you will have already seen and written about a particular issue that appears on your bar exam. That will make it much easier for you to tackle that essay and know exactly what to write as you are sitting for the exam!
3. You have been scoring well on practice MBE questions.
Students ask us all the time, “what score do I need to be getting on practice MBE questions to pass the bar exam?”
First of all, it is crucial that you use real MBE questions as you are practicing for the bar exam (check out our post on Why You Should Use Real MBE Questions).
If you are using real MBE questions, you need between a 58% and a 65% raw score (with the exception of California, which requires approximately 67% correct to pass), depending on your jurisdiction, to pass the exam. So, as you are practicing, to ensure that you are going to achieve that score on the exam, we recommend that you aim for approximately 65-70% correct on your practice questions. If your practice questions fall into that range, you are in a good spot and that is a sign that you are ready for the bar exam!
4. You completed practice performance tests.
Many jurisdictions, including UBE jurisdictions, include a performance test on the bar exam, which requires examinees to complete a lawyerly task. This aspect of the bar exam is often overlooked. Students think that they can apply common sense and the writing skills they learned in law school to achieve a high score on this portion of the exam.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always that easy. Completing the performance test is often much trickier than it sounds. The number one obstacle in performance tests is time. Therefore, it is crucial that you complete practice performance tests under timed conditions to make sure that you have a solid plan of attack for the PTs you face on the bar exam. Completing practice PTs will also help you understand the types of assignments you are likely to see. They will also help you to figure out the structure of your task. Practicing these skills in advance is going to be incredibly helpful when it comes time to tackle the performance test on the exam.
5. You are mentally and physically prepared.
In addition to preparing for the substance of the exam, ask yourself if you are mentally and physically prepared for the long days ahead of you. Sitting for the bar exam is physically exhausting. The days are long, they require immense focus, and the conditions can be stressful. Taking the time to complete full practice tests and getting yourself on a good exercise and sleep schedule will ensure that you can make it through those days without your mental or physical condition creating a bar to success on the exam.
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