How To Prepare For the February 2021 California Bar Exam
The year 2020 will definitely be a year that people look back on and wonder what the human civilization did to deserve such a difficult year. The coronavirus pandemic swept throughout the country almost and brought a host of changes to people’s daily lives. One of those changes was the introduction of student remote learning and online test-taking. By now, you most likely know that the February 2021 California Bar Exam will be administered online. You may be wondering how this radical departure from the traditional California Bar Exam administration will play out. You may also wonder how this will impact your learning and study strategies. Don’t worry! Below is an overview of online bar prep courses and the study tips you should be implementing to get the most out of them.
UPDATE: California passed an order on January 28, 2021 that allows examinees who narrowly passed the California Bar Exam between July 2015 and February 2020 to be admitted to the state bar after completing 300 hours of supervised legal work (no second bar exam is required).
How To Prepare For the February 2021 California Bar Exam
Online Bar Prep Courses
As a result of the coronavirus, companies that focus on preparing individuals to take the February 2021 online California Bar Exam have moved all bar exam classes online and have temporarily suspended all in-person classes. Sadly, students no longer have the option of purchasing bar prep courses that include in-person classes. At first, this might seem like a gamechanger but in reality, it is not. Most, if not all of the major bar prep companies, have traditionally offered self-paced digital versions of their courses that are almost completely identical to their in-class counterparts.
In addition to offering the same materials and resources, the digital self-paced bar prep programs are almost always offered at a reduced rate and offer complete flexibility in allowing individuals to structure where and when they study. Many students absolutely love this aspect of online bar prep courses. Like to sleep later and start studying later? No problem with online bar prep courses.
For many of you who recently graduated from law school during the coronavirus pandemic, you may be familiar with how online classes and remote learning work. For those of you who don’t, fret not! To start, you won’t be attending a classroom and listening to an instructor during the online bar prep process. You should prepare for a mix of pre-recorded and live videos that cover every aspect of preparation for the February 2021 online California Bar Exam. If you’re panicking about the possibility of missing a live video lecture because you accidentally started watching Netflix, calm down. Live lectures are generally recorded for you to watch at your own leisure. In addition, your practice essays, practice tests, questions, and assignments will be submitted online using each company’s respective bar prep platform.
Studying At Home
The thought of studying for the February 2021 online California Bar Exam may sound glorious in concept. However, make no mistake, studying at home can be challenging and presents a host of different issues. For example, you may find yourself distracted by family members, pets, and public enemy number one – your cell phone. On top of all that, the thought of a global pandemic may bring with it anxiety and additional unwanted stress. Tighten your sweatpants, brew another cup of coffee, and get ready to learn what you should be doing to maximize your at-home online bar prep courses and studying strategies.
First, have a dedicated study space that is separate and apart from areas in your home that you associate with relaxation or leisure.
Create a boundary between your study area and relaxation areas. We find this can greatly increase your focus when studying from home. It will allow you to mentally separate the stress associated with studying from other aspects of your life.
Second, let others around you know that you will be studying.
Unless you live under a rock, most people know just how intense and serious bar preparation is. Usually, a gentle reminder is all it takes to achieve peace and quiet. If this doesn’t work, let those around you know that you really don’t want to be bothered. Everyone is invested in your bar exam success. People likely won’t mind accommodating you.
Third, try and create a routine for when you study and do your best to stick to your routine.
Think about bar preparation at home as if you were actually attending physical classes. For example, have a dedicated time you wake up, start studying, and take study breaks. The structure a routine provides will make you more comfortable and confident the more you adhere to it.
For more great ideas on how to get the most out of your online bar prep courses, check out some of our other articles with tips for attending online classes, how to pay attention in an online class, and how to study for the California bar exam from home!
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