How To Stay Focused During The Bar Exam - JD Advising
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How To Stay Focused During The Bar Exam

It’s no secret that the Bar Exam is a long and grueling test that requires more than just substantive knowledge. More specifically, stamina plays a major role when taking the Bar Exam. How long you can stay focused and at what level are two important factors often overlooked during preparation. Much of bar prep focuses on making sure students understand and memorize substantive law, and for good reason. However, full-day bar prep practice tests only occur once or twice, which leaves students without a gauge of stamina.

How To Stay Focused During The Bar Exam

We at JD Advising have heard students comment on the length of the Bar Exam on numerous occasions. Many students who are fully prepared substantively for the exam realize how important stamina is after taking the exam. With that being said, we’re here to offer our favorite tips for staying focused during the Bar Exam. These tips will allow you to manage concentration levels more closely during the exam, which can lead to higher scores! Let’s take a look.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Science has proven time and time again just how powerful a good night’s sleep can be. The amount of sleep you get during the Bar Exam will directly impact your level of performance during the test. While you may have an urge to pull an all-nighter right before the Bar Exam, avoid doing so. Whatever last tidbits of knowledge you’re trying to jam into your brain don’t compare to the benefits of sleep. Everybody requires different amounts of sleep to function at a high level, so there’s no one size fits all amount. Generally, we recommend trying to get between seven to eight hours per night.

A Mini Break During The Exam

If you feel yourself glazing over during the exam or feeling flustered because of a question, your concentration will suffer. If you feel this happening during the exam, which is normal given the length of the test, try this: Simply close your eyes and let your mind wander for between thirty seconds and one minute. This will allow your brain to rest and your thoughts to flow freely. You can also take this time to remind yourself of some important considerations. The Bar Exam is only a test and one that you can take over and over. While it may seem like everything is riding on the outcome, it’s not an end of the world scenario. Remind yourself that no matter how tired or checked out you may be, your goal is to pass the test.

Check out this article for more tips if you panic during the bar exam.

Move Around

Your body will be sitting for between six and seven hours during the Bar Exam. That’s a long time! In order to keep your concentration at a high level, don’t be afraid to get up and stretch. Physical fatigue can often cause the brain to feel sluggish and foggy. A quick stretch or bathroom break during the exam can get your blood pumping and help you feel revitalized. Once you sit back down to resume the test, you’ll notice a difference in clarity and sharpness. Do this as many times as you want during the exam, being mindful to avoid distracting other test-takers.

One Step At A Time 

Getting overwhelmed on the Bar Exam is a normal sensation that most applicants experience at some level during the test. A common reason for this is because students think of prior questions while working through the test. “Maybe I should go back and change that question to answer choice C.” Sound familiar? This takes away from your concentration levels and has your brain doing two dances at once. Focus on the question in front of you and save any revisions for the end of the exam. A good way to keep track of questions you plan to revisit is by marking them with a symbol. After you’re done with the test and have some time left over, you can look at what questions to revisit.

Learn more about how to relieve bar exam stress here.

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