You’ve studied law for three years and now the only thing standing between you and being a lawyer is the bar exam. Congrats on making it so far! Studying for the bar, however, is no easy feat. You need to make sure you have a solid bar exam study schedule in place to succeed.
Let’s take a look at why a study schedule is important, when to set your schedule, and how to organize your coming days and weeks. And remember, in a few months, you’ll be done studying forever!
Importance of a bar exam study schedule
First things first: let’s talk about why a bar exam study schedule is important. As you likely know, preparing for the bar exam takes months of preparation in addition to the three years of studying you completed for law school. You need to make the most of every day of your studying for the bar to make sure you pass the bar the first time. The only way to get the most out of every day is to have a bar exam study schedule that you follow very diligently.
A set study schedule will ensure that you have plenty of time to cover all of the topics you need. Most importantly, a set schedule will allow you to focus on your studying for a given day without worrying about all the future studying you’ll need to do. We’re all guilty of being distracted by worry, but there’s no time for freaking out as you prepare for the bar. There’s simply too much to learn!
Set your bar exam study schedule early
You have to schedule your bar exam studying way ahead of when you plan to start studying. For most bar exams, you’ll want to plan to study full-time for at least 8 weeks. Do not try to study for the bar while working a full-time job, and don’t try to cram your prep into a single month!
If your state bar exam is particularly challenging, such as the bar in California or Texas, you’ll want to study for at least 10 weeks. So, if you’re studying for the February bar exam, you’ll want to start studying in December, and if you’re studying for the July bar exam, you’ll need to start in May. So decide as early as possible when you’re going to take the bar, and then block off the two months leading up to the bar for studying.
Daily and monthly bar exam study schedule
The subject areas you’ll be studying during a daily and monthly study schedule will depend on whether you’re taking the Uniform Bar Exam or a state-specific bar exam. Either way your study schedule will involve studying 8 hours a day for six days a week, for eight to ten weeks.
You should plan to cover the MBE topics in the first weeks of studying, and then move to the essay topics or any state-specific materials in the last few weeks of study. Because you’ll need the greatest amount of time to memorize the details needed to get a good MBE score, you’ll want to dedicate the first few weeks of study to the core MBE topics.
Think ahead about where you’ll want to study and with whom, and start planning out your schedule now. Think about your lunch and dinner breaks now. I promise you’ll want all that brainpower for memorizing criminal law and torts.
And be sure to make the most of your last two weeks of bar exam prep—every week is crucial, especially the last two!
To pass the bar exam the first time, you need a solid bar exam study schedule in place before you start studying. You’ll need to study for at least six days a week for eight weeks to adequately prepare for the bar exam—even more time if you’re sitting for the bar in a state known for having a more difficult bar exam.
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