The Bar Exam is a Week Away!

A week awayWe’re certain that you don’t need us to tell you that the bar exam is just a week away. It’s probably something that you’re very aware of almost every hour of the day. You’ve probably started having the “OH NO, I OVERSLEPT AND MISSED THE BAR EXAM” nightmares. Trust us, you’ve got this. You’re not going to oversleep, you’re not going to drop your laptop into a giant puddle, and you’re not going to accidentally smuggle your notes into the exam room and get banned from taking the test.

Last week we gave you some tips on what to do the two weeks before the test. So how does that differ from a week before the exam or even a day before the exam? For one thing, you’ve probably memorized any of the areas of law that were giving you trouble. You’ve probably cycled through at least two panicky moments. We’re here to tell you, if you’ve really been studying for the exam, then you will be perfectly fine.

  1. Have a study schedule for the final week.
  2. Continue your review of the MBE and essay subjects.
  3. Continue doing practice questions and reviewing essay questions and analyses.
  4. Study multiple areas of the law you struggle with, but don’t get bogged down on any one topic. In other words, don’t spend six days figuring out the  Rule Against Perpetuities. The truth is, hardly anybody understands it! Just move on and get the low lying fruit.
  5. Set aside time to recharge by taking breaks. Go watch a movie. Take a walk. Pet your dog.
  6. Set aside time to create a logistics plan for the test. Think about what you will need to bring and eat, where you will be staying, when you will leave for the exam, and how you will get to the testing site. Hopefully you have all of this figured out already, but make a game plan and stick to it. Switching it all up the day or two before the exam is not a great idea.
  7. Get sufficient sleep, but don’t hibernate. You are going to have to get up early on the test days, after all.
  8. Eat brain food. Try not to sustain yourself off of sodas and coffee. Go get a nice dinner somewhere. Please just step away from the coffee slowly.

Good luck to everyone taking the bar exam next week from all of us at AmeriBar!

When Should You Start Studying for the July Bar Exam?

Start Studying
The bar exam is a little over three months away. If you are signed up for the July exam, you’re probably wondering when you should start studying.

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.

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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. The exam is still far enough away for you determine when you want to begin. If your target is studying 8-12 weeks, then you still have time before you should begin.

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

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If the answer is yes, then you may want to start earlier than 6-8 weeks out 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 vacation is low. 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 and passing the bar exam.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

What is the Socratic Method?

 

Goodfella Socrates

The Socratic Method is the way you’re going to learn law school subjects. If you mention the Socratic Method to many former law students, you might see them cringe a little. We’re not going to give you a lesson on Socrates, but we will tell you about his method of engaging his students. Socrates would continually question his students until he found a contradiction in a response, thus finding an error in the responder’s initial presumption.

The Socratic Method is utilized by many professors, not to humiliate students, but as a method to engage a large group of students in a discussion and to stimulate thinking. The intent is not to fill students with anxiety before entering class each day, but to get the students to evaluate and craft logical responses based on their class studies. You’ve probably seen movies and television shows where the professor questions the student continually until every bit of confidence has evaporated. It’s not always like that, but if you’re not prepared to handle a (potential) barrage of questions, you’ll feel pretty badly when you walk out that door. Be prepared to answer multiple questions over your lesson for the day if you’re called on. Trust me, slumping down and not making eye contact won’t save you from being called on.

If there is one bit of advice we can give you before attending a class where the professor utilizes the Socratic Method, it’s that you must do all of your reading before class each day. Not only will you be better prepared, but you also won’t feel nearly as anxious when you hear your name called across the lecture hall.

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