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What to Do in the Last Weeks of Your Bar Exam Prep

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By Casey C. Sullivan, Esq. on June 22, 2016 11:58 AM

There are just over four weeks left until the July bar exam. That's four weeks to get your pneumonic devices straight, four weeks to master IRAC, four weeks to figure out what the deal with mortgages is and why no one ever taught you about them in law school.

That is to say, there's a lot to be done. Here are some tips to help you through it.

1. Identify Your Weaknesses

You've had a month to study now. At this point, you've probably worked your way through con law, evidence, contracts, and much more. You've (hopefully) taken plenty of practice MBE questions and completed sample essays.

So you should have an idea where you're struggling. It may be with a particular subject area (really, what is the deal with mortgages?), it may be with a particular testing style (bombing MBE questions, for example), or it may be with testing skills (like never completing essays in time). Self-assess, then get ready to tackle those weaknesses.

2. Reevaluate Your Study Strategies

Once you know where you're falling behind, it's time to refocus your study strategies. Do you need to focus on black letter law? Get out those flash cards; start handwriting your outlines. If you're struggling with multiple choice strategies, review any prep materials you have. The same goes for essays.

And if you're just struggling with studying generally, focus some energy on improving your time management skills.

3. Take a Full Exam

A lot of bar prep programs offer one or two full exam-like tests, a day of six hours of testing. These things are marathons, worse than any law school exam. And like a marathon, you've got to prep, which means practicing more than once or twice. If your prep course doesn't allow sufficient practice at full exams, download an old exam (a simple Google search should do), sit down for a full day and power a day's worth of it. You'll be better prepared for the real thing as a result.

4. Get Your Travel Plans Set

A few bar takers will be lucky enough to live right by their exam site. Congrats to them! The rest of us will have to travel. If you're coming from far away or from out of state, you'll want to make sure you have all your plans set in advance. That means booking airfare, a hotel, or a rental car if needed. Get these things done now, so you don't have to worry about them when the real stress starts hitting in about three weeks.

5. Don't Worry About Admission Tickets, Etc., Just Yet

There are plenty of hoops to jump through before you can actually sit down and take the bar exam. These include things like obtaining your admission ticket, certifying your laptop, and downloading exam software. Don't stress about this stuff yet. After all, in many states, you can't do anything about these requirements until mid-July, so set a reminder for a few weeks from now and forget about them for now.

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