You’re getting to the point in bar prep where you are going to begin testing yourself with higher volumes of questions – 50, 100, 200. These question sets serve a bit of a different purpose than small sets. When you’re doing a small set, you’re likely working on your subject performance and learning law. Or, you’re doing some short practice to et some MBE questions in.
When you’re doing longer sets, you’re testing much more than your knowledge of the law. You’re testing your stamina, your focus, and your test taking skills. This post focuses on what to look for when you’re doing longer question sets, and what to do after you score your test.
- Make a list of your subject areas from weakest to strongest. This is important. When you score a longer question exam, you should note which subjects gave you the most difficulty. You want to incorporate into your study a review and additional practice of the weaker subjects, while also looking at your stronger subjects. This will also help you allocate your time – more time should be spent on the areas that are giving you trouble.
- Look to see if and where you got a cluster of questions wrong. If you get a lot of questions wrong in a row, and do okay on the rest of the test, this likely means something. If you get a lot wrong in the beginning of the test but do fine later, that may mean you were overcoming test anxiety. If you get a lot wrong in the middle of a set, that means you have a focus problem – you lost focus after so many questions and you eventually regained it back. Finally, if you get a cluster of questions wrong at the end, it may mean you have a stamina problem – you run out of juice after so long. Pay attention to these issues and work on combating them if they happen to you (i.e., do more practice to overcome anxiety, and do more longer sets to improve focus and stamina).
- Do additional mixed practice. If a long mixed question set gave you difficulty – build yourself back up. Do some practice in each individual subject, and do smaller mixed sets of 25 to get you back up to a bigger set.
Your first large question set is a LEARNING tool. You learn from it – do not let it define you. Longer question sets at this stage in bar prep help guide your study – they tell you what you’re weak in, what you need to improve on, and what your strong in. Use them as an indicator of your course of study, not as an indicator of whether you are going to pass the bar exam.