Is A Bar Exam Study Partner A Good Idea?
When thinking about how you want to prepare for the bar exam, many takers wonder if they should work with a bar exam study partner. As with any study strategy, this choice has its advantages and disadvantages. Thus, it is important to consider your own plan and how you learn best before deciding to find a bar exam study partner. In this post we go over a few pros and cons to working with a bar exam study partner!
Is A Bar Exam Study Partner A Good Idea?
1. Good for verbal/auditory learners
Everyone learns material differently. Some people find that they retain information better when they see it. Others do better when they hear and verbalize the material. If you are a person who finds listening to lectures helpful and that discussing topics out loud reinforces them, then a bar exam study partner could be of great benefit to you! A bar exam study partner allows you to talk through problems. You can help each other memorize your outlines by quizzing each other on the important rules. These kinds of study tactics are hard to undertake on your own, and thus a bar exam study partner can help!
Studying for the bar exam is a strenuous task. It requires a lot of energy and stamina, and we see a lot of takers wear down as time goes on. When you have a bar exam study partner, the two of you can motivate each other to make it through to the end. While talking to your family and friends who aren’t taking the exam about your feelings can help, it’s not the same as talking to someone who knows what you are going through. Maybe your bar exam study partner has different coping strategies that can benefit you. The words of encouragement the two of you can share with each other could be invaluable in getting you through this.
3. “Two heads are better than one”
During the course of your prep you’ve probably come across a question that has you completely stumped. Reading the same passage in your outline over and over probably isn’t going to help you figure it out. If you have a bar exam study partner, the two of you might be able to work through the problem together. Your partner might have some insight to the question that you never thought of. Maybe they understand this topic quite well and can help you figure it out. Perhaps you can then return the favor on a question your partner is having trouble with.
1. Risk of feeling inferior or anxious.
While your bar exam study partner can help you figure out topics you don’t understand, there’s also the risk that you might start to feel inferior. It might start to get uncomfortable if your partner constantly has all of the answers to questions you can’t figure out. Your emotions are already heightened during this process, and you don’t want to add fear that you’re falling behind. Studying by yourself allows you to focus only on you and your progress. You don’t need to worry about if your friends are further along in their courses than you or if your friends are getting higher scores than you. Thus, being constantly exposed to someone who is progressing faster than you can mess with your psyche.
Further, sometimes students make each other more stressed out. Being around someone who is anxious can worsen any feelings of anxiety you might feel. Whether your study partner makes you feel anxious depends a lot on who you choose as a study partner as well as your baseline level of anxiety.
2. Wasting time
While you and your bar exam study partner will certainly have the best of intentions, it is inevitable that you start to talk about things that have no bearing on the actual exam. Short breaks from studying to socialize are certainly ok, but constantly studying with a partner brings the risk that too many hours will be spent in an unproductive manner. Thus, if you choose to study with a partner, make sure that you are very conscious about keeping yourselves on track.
3. Deviation from your personal study schedule
Having a personal study schedule is one of the most important tools for success on the bar exam. Your schedule needs to be customized to your needs so that you get through everything while devoting the right amount of time to your personal strengths and weaknesses. When you have a bar exam study partner, it is possible that you can deviate too far from your plan. If your partner wants to spend the session on something you already understand perfectly, this isn’t necessarily a productive use of your time. Your partner might also move at a faster or slower pace than you, putting your ability to get through the material in jeopardy. It is ok to be selfish when you are studying for the bar exam, as your main goal is to make sure that you are prepared on exam day.
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