However, it is not impossible to study for the bar exam and work full time. We have several successful students who study for the bar exam while working full time each and every administration . . . you are not alone!
If you are studying for the bar exam and working, we generally recommend that you take as much time off as possible − however we recognize that it is not always possible to take a significant amount of time off of work to study. If you are looking for some tips for studying for the bar exam while working full time, read the tips below. These tips have helped several of our students (and in fact, many of them came from our successful students who study and work full time!).
Tips for Studying for the Bar Exam while Working Full Time:
- Start early! This is especially the case if you are working full time with no option to take time off. Start preparing for the July bar exam in March. Start preparing for the February bar exam in November. Starting early is the absolute best way to ensure that you make the most of studying for the bar exam while working full time.
- Make the most of your “best” time of day. If you are a morning person, get up early. If you work best at night, stay up late. Find the time to put in the time. One of our students used to get up at 4:00 AM every day and study for three hours before he left for work. Then he studied for a few hours after work. It is true that he did not see his girlfriend much nor did he have much of a life outside of work and bar prep, but he did increase his score by over 20 points and pass the bar exam!
- Ask your employer for some time off. If you work in a legal field, your boss may already understand the importance of time off. If you do not work in a legal field, it may be best to start by explaining what the bar exam is, why it is so difficult, and why you need time off. See if you can use vacation time or if your boss will allow you to work less hours closer to the bar exam.
- Ask for the support of your family members and friends. Tell your family member and friends that you are studying for the bar exam and ask for their understanding and support. Some family members or friends may wonder why you are not going out as much and may resent you for it. To avoid any misunderstanding, it is best to tell them ahead of time that you are planning to devote many of your free hours to studying. This will hopefully eliminate or lessen any negative feelings toward you while you are trying to study.
- Clear your schedule. Don’t plan any big trips or take on any big commitments. Many students who study while working full time tend to get stressed out at the idea of taking a trip or undergoing any other kind of commitment during bar prep.
- Take care of yourself. It is cliché, but it is very important that you sleep a sufficient amount, eat healthy, and exercise. By taking care of your body, you will make it easy to understand material. It will also help you to concentrate when you are studying, and retain information. You are fighting an uphill battle if you try to skip out on exercise or sleep in order to study more!
If you have any tips for studying for the bar exam while working full time, please do not hesitate to share in the comments section below!
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