Bar Exam Packing List - Excellence in Law School and Beyond
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bar exam packing listBar Exam Packing List

Are you traveling somewhere for the bar exam? Wondering what to put on your bar exam packing list?

In this post, we talk about what many students put on their bar exam packing list.

You should always check with your jurisdiction to see what is permitted and what is prohibited. However, this is a nice general bar exam packing list to review prior to traveling to the bar exam to make sure that you do not forget anything important. (If we forgot anything, by the way, please email us or put any suggestions in the comments below!)

Bar Exam Packing List

  • Alarm clock (always be prepared in case your phone alarm doesn’t always wake you up)
  • Eye cover (in case it is too bright to sleep at night)
  • Earplugs to bring into the exam room and to wear at night if necessary 9make sure to check with your jurisdiction what is and is not allowed)
  • Plenty of pens, pencils, highlighters. (check what your jurisdiction allows)
  • Your admissions certificate, identification, or whatever you need to get into the exam room.
  • A plastic bag (if your jurisdiction requires that you carry all of your pens, pencils, etc. in a large, clear bag—as many do.)
  • A sweater (note: some jurisdictions require that it be without a hood).
  • Any other layers in case the testing center is too hot or cold.
  • Clothes for each day that conform to the dress code requirements (look out, Virginia!).
  • A watch(UPDATE 7/20/15: After the release of the Apple watch, some jurisdictions no longer allow watches in their testing centers. Check the bar exam security policy in your jurisdiction to see if watches are allowed.)
  • A clear water bottle to take into the testing area, depending on your jurisdiction.
  • Your laptop and laptop charging cord (if you are taking any part of the exam online)
  • Healthy food (proteins such as nuts and seeds, quality carbohydrates).
  • Coffee, tea, energy drinks
  • Bar exam materials to review (We generally recommend that you do not plan on studying too much. If anything, you can review. I only recommend you take materials because many times students feel comfortable knowing that the materials are there to consult if they think of a question!)
  • Something relaxing to do in the evenings: DVDs, a book. Do not study the day before your bar exam or on bar exam days if you can help it!
  • Gym shoes if you are planning on exercising or going on a walk to relieve stress.
  • Toiletries.
  • Medicines: Ibuprofen, pepto bismol. Just in case. It is best to have medicines readily available.
  • Any home comforts that you take with you when you travel.
  • Hand warmers, foot warmers, and “fingerless gloves” for those whose hands and feet get cold. (Fingerless gloves and hand warmers saved me for my bar exam!)

Other things that you will want to do before the exam:

  • Confirm whatever method of transportation you are using to get to the testing center. If you are having a friend take you, make sure they still have it marked in your calendar. If you are driving, make sure your car is in good shape. Map out your route.
  • Confirm your hotel reservations if you are staying in a hotel (try to get a late checkout if you can so you do not have to worry about checking out at lunch!)
  • Check your jurisdiction’s requirements for the items that they require and the items they prohibit.
  • If you will be taking the essay portion of the exam on your laptop, make sure to download and test the exam software ahead of time.

If there is anything else you think should be added to the bar exam packing list or anything you are including on your own bar exam packing list, please feel free to state it in the comments below.

Good luck!


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