It’s Two Weeks Before the Bar Exam. Help!

Today!

The bar exam is two weeks away. Say it ain’t so! You’ve hunkered down and studied for the last six or eight weeks, but the test is quickly approaching. In all likelihood, you feel like you don’t know the material or that you haven’t studied enough. The good news is that this probably isn’t true. So, what do you do with yourself in those final two weeks before the exam?

Begin Your Review Period

With all hopes, you have completely been through all of your material at this point, and you are approaching your review phase. If you’re an AmeriBar student, this should sound familiar to you based on our sample study calendar recommendations. Give yourself a few days to briefly go through all the material. This includes both essay and MBE subjects. If you have a very good grasp on a subject, don’t spend a lot of time on it. You should spend some time doing practice questions. Also, read the essay answers and analyses that you didn’t get a chance to complete.

Don’t Panic

If you’re getting questions wrong during your review period, don’t panic. There’s no way that you’re always going to get 100% of the questions right. If you’re consistently getting 70-75% of the questions correct, you’ll be in a good position for the exam. If you feel that you’re not doing well, make sure you review the areas of law that you’re missing.

Memorize Anything You Don’t Know

At this point in your study period, you probably know your weak areas. If you don’t comprehend something, try to memorize it. Use mnemonic devices or whatever tactics that help you memorize information the best.

Practice Under Test-Like Conditions

The room where you take the bar exam isn’t going to have a comfy couch or bed, and the exam isn’t going to happen at 11:00 PM. If you’ve been studying crazy hours, make sure you get your schedule right. Unfortunately, you’re going to have to be at the testing center early. It varies by jurisdiction, but you should make sure that you are able to wake up early enough to eat breakfast and not have to rush around. You’ll need to hit the hay early to be well-rested.

Don’t Compare Yourself to Others

At this point you might be panicking enough to scour the internet for advice. (Hi, there.) At some point, you’re probably going to come across a post about someone who only studied for two weeks and passed the exam. (Maybe that’s true or maybe it’s not.) Or maybe you’ll even see a post from a classmate on social media where they talk about how ready they are for the test. (They’re probably not either, but does it really matter either way?) The bottom line is that those people aren’t you. They’re not taking the test for you, and they don’t know the same things as you.

Believe in Yourself

There’s an insane amount of information covered on the bar exam. It’s not uncommon to panic at this point, but relax. If you’ve been putting in dedicated study time then you’ll be fine.

Do you have a question or issue that you would like for us to address on our blog? Send us an email at support@ameribar.com.

MPRE Information (& FREE course)

MPRE INFOFor the majority of you, taking the MPRE is unavoidable. Unless you’re taking the Maryland or Wisconsin bar exam, the MPRE is required. You might be able to avoid it if you take a professional responsibility course in lieu of the exam in Connecticut or New Jersey. If you’re in any other jurisdiction, unfortunately, you’re going to have to take it.

The deadline for the March 19 exam is January 28, so you have a little over a week to decide if you’re going to take it this time. The fee is $84, but if you wait to sign up at the late deadline, which is February 4, the cost doubles to $168. More importantly, the test is only offered three times a year—March, August, and November, so it’s incredibly important to get it out of the way if you’re planning on taking the July bar exam.

Make sure you check your jurisdiction’s requirements to ensure that you’re taking the MPRE within the prescribed amount of time. If you take it too early, sometimes the score will lapse. If you take it too late, then you won’t be sworn in right away after you pass the bar exam. Some states won’t even let you take the bar exam until you’ve passed the MPRE.

The passing score required by each jurisdiction also varies, so make sure you check those while you’re looking at the requirements. Some states, like Alabama and Texas, require a score of 75 to be considered passing. Other states, like Minnesota and Oregon require a score of 85.

Here’s the skinny about the MPRE:

  • It’s a 60-question multiple-choice exam.
  • You have two hours to complete the test.
  • Only 50 questions are scored. Of course, you will not be able to discern the scored questions from the pretest questions.
  • Your score is based on the number of questions that you answer correctly. This means that you should answer every question.

We have an awesome FREE online MPRE course. If you want to sign up for it, go here. (http://www.ameribar.com/registermpre.htm).

If you want to get a set of optional FREE books, please let us know. Email denise@ameribar.com by February 1, 2016.

Next week, we’ll give you guys some great MPRE tips! Make sure you follow us so that you don’t miss them.

 

 

 

7 Ways to Get Your Professor to Love You

Professor

School is starting back for many law students this week. If you’re in the second semester of your 1L year, congratulations! You’ve made it through the hard part! Now that you’ve gotten into the swing of things, you are probably wondering how to get into good favor with your professors. This information is valuable to anyone in law school, so keep reading even if you are beyond your 1L year.

On The Office, Michael Scott once asked, “Do I want to be feared or loved?” His response was almost genius–“Um…easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.” Now, maybe you don’t want your professor to love you that much, but it is important to make a good impression.

So, how do you do that?[separator headline=”h3″ title=”It’s important to go to class prepared each day. “]

You’re not going to be well liked by your professors if you’re always unprepared for class or never have a decent response for questions. You have to do the assignments, read all of the cases, and brief your cases so you’ll be ready when you’re called on. It’s our experience that if you’re always unprepared, you’re going to get called on frequently and not for the right reasons. So, go into class each day like you’re prepared for battle.[separator headline=”h3″ title=”Since you’re already prepared to be called on each day anyway, answer the questions when no one else will answer.”]

That’s going to earn you great favor with your professors. Professors dislike looking into a sea of blank faces as much as you hate being in the hot seat.[separator headline=”h3″ title=”Contribute to the class discussions.”]

The whole point of the Socratic Method is to get ideas flowing. If an impromptu debate crops up in class, contribute some healthy and constructive banter to the mix. Your professor will notice.[separator headline=”h3″ title=”…but know when to stop talking.”]

You don’t want to be the only one talking all the time. That’s almost as bad as not talking at all. Know when to answer questions and when to stop. You can usually tell if you’re talking too much if you hear a collective groan in the room every time you start to speak. [separator headline=”h3″ title=”Go to your professor’s office hours.”]

The office hours are in place for a reason. Take advantage of them any time you need clarification on a concept that you don’t fully grasp or when you need advice. It’s good to set up a line of communication because your professors will be your references for employment when you don’t have a lot of practical experience, and they provide excellent letters of recommendation for your jurisdiction’s Office of Bar Examiners.[separator headline=”h3″ title=”Continue taking the classes of the professors you enjoy.”]

Once you get past the 1L auditorium classes, your elective classes are going to be much smaller. Your professor will notice you in the class either way though. Trust us. The smaller classes lend themselves to in-class discussions and less to the rapid-fire questioning that you’ll see in your 1L classes. Contribute well-thought arguments to your classes over time and your professor will love you even more.[separator headline=”h3″ title=”Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something.”]

I would worry more about understanding the concepts in the material than what your classmates think of you. Your professor understands that it’s not always easy to ask questions, so they won’t mind if you have to ask one in class. If you’re shy about it, you can always go to their office hours.

We are full of great advice. Utilize AmeriBar’s complete courses to learn how to tackle the bar exam. We give great tips for studying, writing essays, tackling the MBE, and so much more.

Not quite there yet? Try our free trial and see what AmeriBar’s courses are like.

Questions? Email us at support@ameribar.com, or give us a call at 800-529-2651 if you have a question about AmeriBar’s courses or if you would like us to address a specific issue in our blog.

Advice for Repeat Bar Exam Takers

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If you are a repeat taker, you should be into the swing of preparing for the bar exam. (We recommend that repeat takers start studying 8-10 weeks before the bar exam.) It is possible that you have encountered issues in preparing in one of the following areas during previous exam attempts. You should develop and execute a plan to address each of these potential problem areas.
[separator headline=”h4″ title=”Knowledge of the Law“]

You can improve your knowledge of the law by refining your outlining process. AmeriBar has great lectures that address the importance of active outlining as well as the various approaches to be most effective while outlining.

[separator headline=”h4″ title=”Legal Analysis“]

You can improve your analytical skills by working through past exam issues from MBE and essay questions. AmeriBar has over 1400 National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) released MBE questions from past exams and 1300 AmeriBar-created MBE simulated questions in addition to essay questions from past bar exams.

[separator headline=”h4″ title=”Reading Comprehension“]

You can improve your reading comprehension skills by reading slowly and carefully and making notes on the question paper.

If you find yourself still struggling with your study approach, study-calendar creation, or any aspect of the preparation process, please give us a call. We have spaces available in our 6-week and 5-week tutoring programs for some jurisdictions. Please call us to check availability, enroll, or ask questions about any of our tutoring programs. Our number is 800-529-2651. Best of luck and happy holidays! 

When Should You Start Studying for the February Bar Exam?

The bar exam is just 10 short weeks away. If you’re signed up for the February exam, there is a good chance that you are already studying. However, since this study period lands over the holidays, there are some people who are waiting until January to start their studies.

So how do you determine when you should start studying? The short answer is that there is no predetermined amount of time. As each student is a unique individual, so is the length of study time. Most students can benefit from 6-8 weeks of full-time study for the exam. This is good news for you because we are quickly approaching that time frame. So how do you know if you should study longer than that generally prescribed period? You should consider these things.

[separator headline=”h5″ title=”Are you working during this time?“]
If the answer is yes, then you should probably start sooner. You will get burned out and extremely exhausted if you try to work full-time and study full-time concurrently. It is more doable if you are only working part-time. Students who work full-time can benefit from an extended study schedule. Full-time workers can benefit from our AmeriBar study calendars that exceed the typical 60-day calendar. That being said, if you are working full-time and haven’t started studying yet, it would probably behoove you to do so now. There are just at 10 weeks left until the bar exam. Chop-chop!

If the answer is no, then 6-8 weeks is probably ample time.

[separator headline=”h5″ title=”Do you have an extended vacation planned over the holidays or at any portion of January or February?“]
If the answer is yes, then you may want to start early so that you don’t have to spend a significant amount of time studying over your holiday. Plus, the likelihood of you committing a great amount of time to studying on your holiday is low, so if you don’t account for this in your study schedule, you’re probably putting yourself at a disadvantage. Again, building this time off into one of our AmeriBar sample study schedules will vastly improve your chances of staying on schedule.

If the answer is no, then 6-8 weeks is probably ample time. 
[separator headline=”h5″ title=”Did you just graduate?“]
If the answer is no, then you may want to study earlier.

If the answer is yes but you’re working full-time, see the first question in this list.

If the answer is yes and you can study full-time, then you probably don’t need to spend more than 8 weeks studying. Of course, if you had any issues in law school or you feel that you need to study longer, then do so. If you haven’t already chosen your bar course provider, try out our AmeriBar no obligation free trial. We think you will enjoy our program.  
[separator headline=”h5″ title=”Do you have significant obligations outside of studying? This would include family obligations, work, or anything else that takes up your time.“]
If the answer is yes, then you may want to study earlier.

If the answer is no, then 6-8 weeks is probably ample time. 
[separator headline=”h5″ title=”How comfortable are you with your knowledge of the law?“]
If you are very comfortable with the law, then 6-8 weeks is plenty of time for you to study.

If you struggle with one or more areas of the law, then you may want to start studying earlier. You may also consider tutoring in addition to increasing your study time. If you’re interested in AmeriBar tutoring, be sure to let us know.

Again, you know your strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. You should start studying when you feel comfortable, but keep in mind that we do not recommend studying any fewer than six weeks for the bar exam. If you have any questions for us, feel free to give us a call at 800-529-2651.

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8 Tips to Keep on Track Studying for the Bar Exam During the Holidays

Bar Exam Studying During the Holidays

The holidays are an amazing time. You get to spend time with family and loved-ones and do all sorts of fun and exciting things. The holidays are also a time when people get derailed from their study plans. While you’re enjoying your time with your family, it is a lot easier to forget that you’re neglecting your studies. One minute you’re hanging decorations and wrapping presents, and the next minute you realize that February is just around the corner. FEBRUARY!?!? HOW!?!? Weren’t you just eating turkey?
This isn’t going to happen to you, though, because you’re going to go into the holidays mentally prepared for the exam and armed with the tools to keep yourself on track. Here are some things you can do to make sure you don’t let the holiday season derail your study plans.

Make a Study Calendar

If you haven’t already made your study calendar, go ahead and build in time for the holidays. If you have made your calendar, but you didn’t account for time off during Christmas and New Years, amend it now. If you don’t, you will be behind. There is little chance that your family will be ripping open presents while you’re curled up with your MBE outline. Build in this time off now so that you aren’t scrambling to be prepared for the exam when February rolls around. This doesn’t mean to take time off carte blanche. You will still need to study some during these periods.

Warn your family about study time

Since you will have to study some, go ahead and let your family and friends know this ahead of time. They will be far more accommodating with your study time if you explain this to them beforehand. Also, unless your family has gone through a similar experience, they won’t understand the gravity of sticking with a study plan for the bar exam. That’s why you should explain it so they can appreciate the importance of your study time beforehand.

Accountability is key

Make yourself accountable. You plan on studying…at least some… during the holiday, so you need to make sure that you actually follow through with it. Tell your parents/spouse/sibling/friend that you’ll be studying for the next “X” minutes. You will be more likely to follow through.

Limit distractions by finding your “quiet place”

Limit distractions during your study time. Since you will need to set aside some time to study, find a quiet place to go that is distraction-free. When you have a lot of family in a small space, this will be a little more of a challenge. (I am picturing the Home Alone house here.) If you study when there are a lot of distractions around, you won’t retain as much as the information. You’ll waste your time.

Account for travel time

Make sure you adequately account for travel time. Some people have to fly or travel by train to their destinations. Make sure you have your computer and whatever study guides that you are studying from at that juncture. Don’t bring EVERYTHING if you’re going on a short (3-5) day trip because you’re probably not going to get to it. If you’re going home for a month, you may consider bringing most of your materials.

Organize your days and establish a routine

Try to be as organized and systematic as possible. It will go a long way when you’re traveling or studying outside of your comfort zone.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on your calendar

Be mindful of your timing. There are just over 8 weeks between Christmas and the bar exam. There are a little over 7 weeks between New Years and the bar exam. So have some fun, but not too much fun.

Relax

Relax…a little. It’s important to give yourself some time during the holidays. Go watch a movie with friends. Bake some cookies. Enjoy yourself and your time with loved ones. But make sure you keep on track! 😉

Happy Holidays from all of us at AmeriBar! Please let us know if you have any questions about your bar exam preparation. Our phone number is 800-529-2651.

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