How To Start Bar Prep Early With A Tutor
You’ve surely heard by now what an extensive (and exhaustive!) task preparing for the bar exam is. There’s a lot of material that is fair game on the exam, meaning that there is a lot you need to memorize in a short period of time. To make this task easier, it is a great idea to start bar prep early! Understandably, those who are still in school have a lot of other responsibilities to handle, which certainly complicates things. However, it is not impossible to start your bar prep early while you’re still in school!
How To Start Bar Prep Early With A Tutor
One great way to start bar prep early is to begin working with a tutor. In this post, we detail the two biggest advantages that a tutor can offer if you start bar prep early!
Advantages of starting bar prep early with a tutor:
1. Learn the skills.
One significant hesitation people have with starting bar prep early is that they are afraid they will not be able to remember the material they learn at the beginning by exam time. This is an understandable fear – starting bar prep early means there is more time to forget things in between “now” and exam day. However, while there are still benefits to starting to learn actual material early (see the next point), there is much more that a tutor can help you with. Starting bar prep early gives you the time to work on developing the skills necessary to answer the questions presented on the bar exam.
There are plenty of strategies you can learn that will help raise your score on the multiple-choice portion before you even start with the law. A tutor can help you develop the best approach to multiple-choice questions. You can also learn valuable timing strategies, as well as tips for managing your stress and panic. A tutor can even help you discover how you learn. Are you a visual learner? Auditory? Kinesthetic? Once you understand how you learn, then you can implement strategies most beneficial to you when you go to actually learn the law. Lastly, many examinees do not realize how different law school essays are from bar exam essays. If you start bar prep early with a tutor, you can learn the differences between law school essays and bar exam essays. This includes format, structure, and specifically what bar exam essay graders are looking for.
Starting bar prep early allows you to form a good base of skills that will put you ahead of the game when you go to begin practice problems.
2. Build a foundation with highly tested material
As mentioned earlier, the fear of forgetting material by starting bar prep early is very understandable. However, you can work around this by continually reinforcing what you learn as you move along. A tutor can help you learn to study smart. This means recognizing that all bar exam subjects are not treated equally. The seven MBE subjects (civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts and sales, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts) have significant value on the exam because they show up on both the MBE and the essay portion. This means there are a lot of points on the table if you can learn these rules very well.
A tutor can help you learn some of these highly tested rules during early bar prep. You can revisit them throughout the rest of your studying. By repeatedly working with these highly tested rules, you have a good chance of knowing them well by exam time. The faster you recall these rules, the better you can answer questions applying them. You will then have time to work methodically through questions on harder material.
Starting earlier also gives you more time to get through everything. We always say that it is pretty much impossible to have every rule memorized. And this is true! But when you start bar prep early with a tutor, you can create a personalized study plan that gives give each section the study time it deserves. Often, we see students cramming in subjects at the end because they ran out of time. Working with a tutor early and creating a schedule will prevent this from happening. Not only does this ensure you aren’t skimming through material without really learning it, but it also helps alleviate the panic and anxiety that such cramming will cause.
LAURA SIGLER, WHO GRADUATED MAGNA CUM LAUDE FROM WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY LAW SCHOOL, IS A JD ADVISING LEGAL RESEARCHER AND ESSAY GRADER.
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