When July strikes, panic ensues. Students begin to realize that they are in the month of the bar exam and that it is getting closer. Although this is true, there is plenty of time to work on things and to get stronger. What should you do now that July is here? Consider these two points right at the outset:
- Be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and your strengths. Look at your MBE scores, and look at your MEE and MPT performance. Are your MBE scores below target? Are you not practicing enough MEE and MPT problems? Look at what you really need to work on and incorporate into your final month of study.
- Make a PLAN for July. Write down everything you need to target. Sit down and plan your entire study schedule for the month of July. This makes students feel so much better once a plan of attack is in place. If you’re anxious, plans will definitely help you. Although there is a lot to be done in one month, making a plan helps you get there.
How should you now best utilize the month of July?
- Practice, Practice, Practice! It’s important to set aside time to memorize the law, but it’s also important to do a lot of practice. Simply knowing the law and being able to say it out loud is not enough – you need to be well versed and rehearsed in applying it. You should be doing MBE questions every day, writing at least one essay a day, and practicing 2 – 3 MPTs per week. If you’re struggling with stamina, then you should be setting aside time to work on this by practicing longer question sets and testing yourself for longer periods. July is the month to not only practice but to get ready for exam day. Most students make the mistake of minimizing their practice in July and they just focus on memorization. Do not fall under this common trap, as practice is as equally important.
- Wake Up Early and Mimic The Test Day! You need to be at your bar exam sites around 8:00 AM. If you haven’t already, it’s time to train yourself to be ready to go bright and early. Everyone should begin studying right in the morning by 8:30 AM every day to get mentally prepared for exam day. You should be studying without interruption or distraction in three hour blocks – that is how long you will be taking the exam for. It’s not only time to get more practice in, but it’s also time to train your body and your mind to be able to handle the periods of the exam.
- Know That It Is Okay To Take Breaks! Just because it is July, it doesn’t mean you cannot take breaks. You need them. You need to be in tip top shape on exam day. You cannot be burned out. Taking breaks and taking care of yourself this month is critical.
- Continue To Adapt Your Studying! It’s never too late to change your approach if something is not working. Every day counts. If you find one of your study methods is not working, then try something new. You’re evaluating yourself every day based on your scores and your performance – so you know what you need to do. Perhaps you need to incorporate more MBE practice, or try using flashcards to memorize law. It’s never too late to change what is not working and do something that will be more effective for you.
One of the biggest things not to do would be to quit and decide you cannot do this. You CAN do this. You have to have the right attitude walking into test day. Mentally prepare yourself for exam day, do not psych yourself out of it. Now is not the time to be mean to yourself and defeat yourself. Build yourself up this month. Each day, beginning today, write down two things that went well today. Do this every night. Focus on the good things that happen and your successes. This will help you mentally get ready for exam day.