I’m overwhelmed by bar exam essay material! How do I learn all of the essay material that I need to know for the bar exam?
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of bar exam material you have to learn, you may want to know how you can reduce what you focus on for the essay portion. You cannot learn everything (nor do you need to know everything). Instead, it is best to study smart! Here are our tips:
Overwhelmed by Bar Exam Essay Material – What Should I Do?
1. Focus on the highly tested subjects.
For example, if you are in a Uniform Bar Exam or MEE jurisdiction, some subjects are tested more than others. Conflicts of Law and Criminal Law/Procedure tend to be tested less. And Civil Procedure tends to be tested a lot. (See our MEE frequency chart here.)
If you are in Michigan, see our Michigan bar exam frequency chart here.
You do not want to completely neglect any subject, but the highly-tested subjects are worth your time.
2. Focus on the highly tested topics within each subject.
While anything is technically “fair game” for the essay portion, the examiners tend not to “reinvent the wheel” every exam. Instead, they tend to test some topics over and over again! If you can get familiar with these topics, you will be maximizing how you use your study time!
You cannot learn everything! Nor do you need to!
How do you find the highly tested topics within each subject? You can discover these in a few ways. If you are in a UBE/MEE jurisdiction, it is worth it to purchase our MEE one-sheets as these will lay out the highly-tested topics in one page each. Focus on memorizing these over memorizing a 30-page outline for each subject!
If you are taking the bar exam in Michigan, it is worth it to purchase our How to Pass the Michigan Bar Exam book with one-sheets in the back.
We also offer an essay course for the UBE/MEE and Michigan which focuses more extensively on these topics; however, if you are reading the post at this point in bar prep, then the one-sheets will be your best bet!
If you are in a different state, take some time every day to bullet point essays. You will be able to find the highly-tested topics by doing this!
3. Bullet point essays.
Once you feel as though you have a handle on highly tested subjects and topics, go through essays and bullet point them. This will get you exposure to how material is tested. It should also make you feel better and less overwhelmed by bar exam essay material!
You do not just want to know the law; you want to know how it is tested!
4. Don’t neglect timed exams.
If you are going to fail the bar exam, fail it because it is hard. Do not fail it because you ran out of time! In other words, do not neglect taking timed exams!
We recommend you start by taking a one-hour timed essay exams (2 MEE questions). Next week, increase it to two hours (4 MEE questions). Then increase it to three hours (6 MEE questions). You can also follow a similar pattern for MPTs and MEEs if you are in a UBE state.
This will make you feel more confident walking into the essay exam and if you have timing problems, you will know sooner rather than later.
If you are overwhelmed by bar exam essay material, we hope this helps! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us any time!
How do I purchase the Bar Exam One-Sheets?
If you are in a UBE or MEE jurisdiction
To receive a high-quality hard copy of the one-sheets at your door via priority mail you can order them here. In many cases, you will receive them the day or two after ordering them.
The MEE jurisdictions are as follows: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine (beginning July 2017), Massachusetts (beginning July 2018), Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Virgin Islands
If you are in Michigan
You can purchase our book on How to Pass the Michigan Bar Exam here.
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