Michigan Bar Exam Timing Tips
Whether you’re in the middle of preparing to take the Michigan Bar Exam or just thinking ahead, it’s important to think about your timing strategy in advance. If you’re worried about answering the exam questions under pressure, we’ve got some good news: time management is an area you can learn to improve, just like any other subject! To help put you on the path to passing the Michigan Bar Exam, we’ve put together this list of tips.
Michigan Bar Exam Timing Tips
1. Know the Exam Format
Because the last thing you want on test day is a surprise, it’s important to know the Michigan Bar Exam format in advance. On the MBE portion of the test, you’ll have 6 hours to answer 200 multiple choice questions or around 1.8 minutes per question. As for the essays, you’ll have 3 hours in the morning to answer 9 essays, and then 2 hours in the afternoon to answer 6 more. So, plan to spend around 20 minutes per essay. Learn more about the format of the bar exam here.
2. Practice Under Realistic Conditions
While this tip seems obvious, you might be shocked to learn that there are students who will take the Michigan Bar Exam without ever practicing timing. Don’t be one of them — start working on your timing early one in your bar preparation process. We recommend approaching timing practice like you’re training for a marathon: start off with a limited number of questions (25 or so), and then work your way up!
3. For An Extra Challenge, Practice With Reduced Time
Once you have some timing practice under your belt, challenge yourself by reducing the time below what you’ll have on test day. This will help you hone your ability to spot key facts, write no more than necessary, and ultimately answer questions more quickly. This way, you’ll feel much more comfortable under timing pressure when test day arrives.
4. Practice your timing without a watch!
You won’t be able to rely on your watch when you actually take the Michigan Bar Exam. For that reason, as one of the last steps in mastering timing for the Michigan Bar Exam, you should start practicing without it. Check out a list of prohibited items on exam day here. Instead, make be mindful of your overall timing when you start and finish a practice test or section. By now, you should have a sense of the pace at which you should finish questions. Note that there will be clocks placed throughout the exam site so you’ll still be able to see the time but it may not be readily in view for you. You may want to practice with just a clock on the other side of the room so you’re not relying too heavily on a timer at the table.
When preparing to take the Michigan Bar Exam, it’s normal to be worried about answering questions under time constraints. These tips will help you improve your timing and gain confidence on test day.
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