How To Make Bar Prep Less Stressful
Bar prep is inherently stressful but there are steps you can take to make the entire process more manageable, for your success and your sanity! In this post, we discuss five simple things you can do to make bar prep less stressful!
How To Make Bar Prep Less Stressful
1. Breakdown your study sessions into small segments.
The thought of trying to memorize everything from contracts to secured transactions can be intimidating and terrifying. It’s easy to panic thinking about it all. Remember, just take it one day at a time! If you start feeling overwhelmed by all the rules, reset your focus and just think about one topic. Spend 20 minutes focusing on just one concept like contract formation. Focusing on one concept can make the bar seem more manageable. Through this process, you will start stacking concepts on top of each other. Your knowledge will build, and you’ll begin to feel more confident as you approach each topic.
TAKEAWAY: The bar requires you to learn a lot of information, but you don’t need to do it all at once! Focus on small tasks each day and take it one task at a time. When it comes to the bar, slow and steady wins the race.
2. Take the time to review questions you got wrong on the MBE practice sessions.
When you answer a question wrong, do not become stressed or discouraged. See it as an opportunity to learn and ensure you answer it correctly on the real exam. After taking a practice test, people will review the answer choices, but often do not review the answer explanations. Read the full explanation for each answer. It will help you gain a deeper understanding of not only the law but testing patterns and pitfalls. You’ll also learn how to approach various types of MBE questions more confidently. For more tips on answering questions, check out How to Answer and MBE Question.
TAKEAWAY: Taking significant time to review your answers is part of the study process. Build in time to understand your work! The bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint. You are not expected to know all, or even most of the answers while you study. The goal is to see improvement as you progress over the course of your studies.
3. Talk to other test-takers
Many people treat bar preparation as a solo exercise. They lock themselves in a room, alone, for hours on end each day. While you are required to take the bar alone, you do not have to study alone. Find other test takers and form a study group. Talk about topics that confuse you and vent to each other about studying. It should be noted that it’s important to know how you best study. If study groups don’t work for you then set up coffee breaks with others so that you aren’t isolated. Being around others who understand what you are going through can help reduce your stress. Meet up, talk, have meals together! When doing so, check out our Tips for Bar Exam Food.
TAKEAWAY: You are NOT alone. Studying for the bar is hard and finding others going through the same process can help ease the burden.
4. Do not pull all-nighters trying to learn the material.
Getting enough sleep is crucial for studying success. If you start feeling stressed about learning everything, the worst thing you can do is stay up and try and cram everything into your head. Your brain processes material better on a good night of sleep. If you are having a bad day of studying and it seems like nothing is going well, take a deep breath, get some sleep, and approach the next day refreshed and ready to go. See more advice on How to Sleep Before the Bar exam here.
TAKEAWAY: Sleep is your friend. You learn and retain information better when you are well-rested. If you wake up each day refreshed, then you will be less likely to feel stressed as you begin your day of studies.
5. Keep up with your hobbies.
Do you work out? Then keep working out while you study. Do you enjoy cooking? Then come home early and prepare a nice dinner. You do not have to sacrifice the things you enjoy while studying for the bar. Keeping your hobbies part of your routine will provide a balance to your schedule. In fact, creating a daily schedule that incorporates your study plans as well as your extracurricular activities can ensure that you take time for yourself. If the schedule says to take a workout break at 2 pm, then take that workout break. Your brain will appreciate the time away from the books. If you need help creating a daily schedule, check out our post How to Create A Daily Bar Exam Schedule here.
TAKEAWAY: Just because you are studying for the bar does not mean you cannot have fun and relax. Take time each day to treat yourself. You are working hard and deserve some downtime to do what you enjoy.
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