Michigan Bar Exam Takers: Tips for Planning Your Bar Exam Experience
This post is specifically for Michigan bar exam takers. It contains advice for planning your bar exam experience. Below we list some important things to consider. We also reproduce the bar exam security policy so you can make sure you are abiding by it.
Advice for the Day of the Michigan Bar Exam:
- Consider what you want your bar exam experience to be like. Do you prefer to be in the hotel directly next to the center where the exam is administered or do you prefer to be away from other test takers? Some examinees prefer to stay in an Air BnB instead of a hotel.
- The Breslin Center, where the July exam is administered, is often very cold. (The Lansing Center, where the February bar exam is administered, is also quite cold.) Do not wear sandals or shorts. Bring layers.
- Make sure you have your admission certificate and photo identification on the day of the exam.
- Review the security policy and exam instructions closely. You will see that certain items (e.g., a watch of any kind, a coat) are prohibited.
- About a month prior to the exam, study during hours that mimic the hours the exam is administered (9:30 – 12:30 and 2:00 – 5:00). This is especially important for those who study best at nontraditional hours (e.g., late at night).
- Consider bringing a family member or loved one to attend the exam with you. They can be a source of comfort and can also help make exam day easier (e.g., pick you up or drop you off at the testing center, reserve a table at lunch, etc.).
- Take the MPRE prior to the bar exam if possible. You can only take the bar exam once without passing the MPRE and character and fitness. Having a passing MPRE score ahead of time will relieve pressure later.
Michigan Bar Exam Security Policy:
Note: Make sure to check the Michigan Board of Law Examiners website for the most updated security policy.
Applicants are not permitted to bring any items into the examination room other than a clear plastic food storage type bag (maximum size one gallon), which may only contain:
- Admission Certificate
- Government Issued Photo I.D.
- Earplugs (not the big earphone/headphone type)
- Pens, pencils, erasers
- Medication and medical items (see paragraph below about special accommodations for those with medical conditions or disabilities, or for lactating mothers)
- Facial tissue
- One clear plastic bottle of water per exam session (the contents must also be clear)JD Advising Note: Examinees have been permitted to bring highlighters and feminine hygiene products in the past (these must appear in your clear Ziploc bag).
The following items are strictly prohibited and will not be permitted in the exam room or the testing area, which includes the examination room, restrooms, and hallway:
- Coats or jackets
- Hats, hoods or any other headgear (except items of religious apparel). If wearing a hooded sweatshirt or a “hoodie,” the hood must remain down at all times.
- Duffle bags
- Tote bags
- Scratch paper
- Books, magazines, newspapers, or any other reading material
- Bar review or other study material in any format or media
- Electronic devices such as cell phones, calculators, pagers, cameras, radios, recording devices, hand-held computers, any type of personal digital assistant, wireless e-mail devices, fitness trackers, etc.
- iPods or similar devices
- Headphones or headsets
- Imaging devices
- Any type of wireless communication device
- Weapons of any kind, regardless of whether you have a permit to carry
- Watches or timepieces of any kind
- Flip flops
- Sunglasses or glass cases
- Any other item not specifically allowed
Be prepared to demonstrate that your clothing does not contain prohibited items.It is best not to even bring the prohibited items to the examination site because they will not be permitted into the examination room and there is no place to store them. The Board will not be responsible for the loss or damage to personal property, so it is strongly recommended that any such items be left at home, in your hotel room, or in your car.
Possession of a prohibited device or item at the examination will be treated as a cheating incident and you may be immediately DISQUALIFIED AND EJECTED from the examination.
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