Fourth of July weekend is behind us. And we all know what that means: if you’re studying for the July 2010 bar exam, it’s time to buckle down and focus. There are just three weeks left until your date with destiny.
It pains us to say this, but for those of you taking the bar this summer, you should probably start rationing the amount of time you spend online (whether on Twitter, Facebook, or Above the Law). Use the prospect of web surfing to incentivize your studying. For example, let yourself surf the web for X minutes after you complete Y hours of study.
That’s just one tip for bar exam studying; there are many others. On our last post about the bar exam, in which Elie explained how you can fail the Bar/Bri “midterm” and still pass on the first try, this advice-dispensing comment was popular with readers (with over 20 “likes”):
(1) Use the BarBri/Pieper/PMBR study schedule to guide you. This will keep you from spending too much time on any given subject.
(2) Practice, practice, practice. Practice those essays. Practice those MBE questions. And better yet, time yourself when you practice.
(3) Stress. You’re supposed to stress. But stress just enough to keep fire under your a*s. Don’t stress so much that you black out or have an anxiety attack. E.g., a former coworker fainted the morning of the exam.
More bar exam advice, after the jump.
Here are three more tips from the same source:
(4) Eat well and stay healthy. Even if you don’t feel like eating, eat a balanced meal anyway (maybe smaller).
(5) Get enough sleep (6-8 hours per night). Your brain will shut down after a certain time and if you think you’re going to learn/memorize anything for the exam at 2 or 3 am, you’re wrong. And the worst is having dreams of what you last studied at 3 am.
(6) Believe in yourself. You will pass. You will pass. You will pass.
A few other commenters offered additional advice. Here’s another popular response:
Study as much as you need to study. You’ve been taking academic tests, presumably with some success, for 20 years, so presumably you know what it takes for you to get ready for one. If you’re a complete moron, study as much as BarBri recommends– they have every incentive to teach to the dumbest person in the room and make everybody else over-prepare. If you’re not a moron, put in a 5-6 hour day and take advatage of the closest thing to a summer off that you’re going to get before retirement.
And a third comment, which reflects how I prepared for the New York bar exam:
Here’s what I did:
1. Put every substantive point of law from the BarBri outlines on a flashcard.
2. Memorize them.
But everyone has their own way of preparing, taking into account their own specific strengths and weaknesses.
To those of you anxiously cramming, what questions and concerns do you have on your minds?
To those of you who have passed the bar exam before, what advice would you offer to current candidates?
Here’s an open thread to discuss. Have at it — and then get back to hitting the books.