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…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.