If you are taking the Michigan bar exam, here are five practical tips to keep in mind as you prepare for the bar exam. These are not focused on the exam itself–these are focused on the practical aspects of taking the exam. Following this advice can make a big difference!
Five Practical Tips for the Michigan Bar Exam
Below are our five practical tips for the Michigan bar exam.
1. Book your hotel room EARLY.
This is a handy tip, especially if you like to stay at the place where the bar exam is administered.
THE PROS OF STAYING AT THE HOTEL CONNECTED TO THE BAR EXAM VENUE ARE:
- You do not have to worry about driving each day. This can be especially stressful if you are taking the February bar exam.
- You don’t have to worry about parking each day. Parking adds time to your bar exam day and extra costs.
- You don’t have to worry as much about rushing or being late or forgetting something! As long as you set an alarm, you can virtually eliminate the risk of being late. (Further, if you forget something you can just head back to your room.)
- You can sleep a little more as you are cutting out a commute and parking.
- The hotel is usually quiet. There are normally other bar exam takers staying in the vast majority of the rooms, so you don’t have to worry too much about having interrupted sleep.
- You can go to your room during lunch. If you want to avoid hearing bar exam takers talk about the bar exam questions, this can be a huge plus.
THE CONS OF STAYING AT THE HOTEL CONNECTED TO THE BAR EXAM VENUE ARE:
- It can be stressful for some to stay in an environment filled with bar exam takers. Sometimes students feel like they cannot “get away” from other bar takers. If they stay at a venue that is farther away, they can get more of a break.
- The rooms sometimes fill up fast so you may be stuck on a waiting list or with a regular room (when you may prefer a suite or a room with special accommodations). It might be easier to get a suite or a fancier room (if that is your preference) at a different hotel.
If we have forgotten any pros or cons, please comment below.
Booking your room EARLY (even REALLY early) will save you money. Oftentimes, hotels hike up their rates then provide “discounts” to bar exam takers. If you book your room early, you will likely get your room at a lower rate than the discounted bar exam taker rate (though we do not make any promises!).
2. Study the list of permitted and prohibited items.
The Board of Law Examiners will send you a list of items you are allowed (and not allowed) to have. For example, you are not allowed to bring a watch to the bar exam so you should also not plan on studying by using a watch to time yourself.
A few items that are not on either list are the following:
- highlighters – upon information and belief, these are permitted in the exam room
- feminine products (tampons or pads) – upon information and belief, these are permitted in the exam room (you need to put them in your clear ziploc bag with everything else)
3. Remember that the exam room is cold.
We constantly remind students of this because it can be so miserable for students who are unaware of how freezing the exam room can be! The air conditioner is often turned up very high in the exam room. You will be stationary so you won’t be moving around and generating heat. We highly recommend you wear the following to the Michigan bar exam:
- socks and shoes
- layers (long sleeve shirt and sweater)
- a sweater (but not one with a full zipper as sometimes the examiners have considered that to be a “coat”)
- if your hands get really cold, consider fingerless gloves and handwarmers!
Prepare yourself ahead of time to dress warm (even if you are taking the July bar exam!)
4. Make sure you have your admissions ticket!
You will get an admissions ticket sent to you about a month before the exam. This ticket is very important!
The Michigan Board of Law Examiners is very serious about the fact that you are required to have your admissions ticket on exam day. In the past, they used to allow people to sit without it occasionally, but now you will not be permitted to sit if you do not have our ticket. This is stated clearly on the Michigan Board of Law Examiners website.
A student was kicked out of the July 2018 Michigan bar exam because he did not have his admissions ticket.
So please double and triple-check that you have your admissions ticket handy as you will need it!
5. Upload your answers the same day and make sure they have uploaded properly!
Occasionally, a student has a problem uploading their answers. Sometimes they fall asleep and forget. Other times, they think they properly uploaded their answers when in fact they did not. Make sure you upload your answers the same day and that you receive proper notification that hey have been properly uploaded.
Otherwise, you will have to file a formal statement and affidavit with the Board explaining what happened. More often than not, your essays will still be graded. But you can avoid this altogether by making sure you properly upload your answers in a timely manner!
We hope you enjoyed our practical tips for the Michigan bar exam!
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