Step Five of How to Pass the Bar Exam:
Make a Daily Bar Exam Study Schedule
Here, we discuss how to create a daily bar exam study schedule. Why is it important to have a daily bar exam study schedule in place? You may have heard, “the bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint.” In other words, what you do everyday matters and will make a difference in whether you pass the bar exam. Building positive habits from the beginning is important!
If you are taking a commercial course, you may have an overall schedule in place—i.e., the subjects you will be learning on certain days. However, you may struggle with what you should do each day. Here, we give you a sample daily bar exam study schedule, we tell you what to incorporate into your daily bar exam study schedule, and we tell you how your schedule may differ from the sample schedule.
Sample daily bar exam study schedule
Here is a sample daily bar exam study schedule. This schedule contains all of the components necessary to succeed on the bar exam. It will be discussed next. To make it bigger, you can click on it and it will open in a new tab.
What to include in your daily bar exam study schedule
As you can see from the above sample bar exam study schedule, there are a few items you want to include in your schedule on a daily basis:
- Lecture. Listening to lecture is a critical component of your bar review course. A lecture should help you understand the law (so you can best memorize it and apply it!)
- Memorize the law. Many students do not prioritize this! Do not put this off until your review period. Make sure that you are memorizing the law on a daily basis. It is best to memorize within 24 hours after you attend lecture. The material is freshest in your mind at that point! Start with the highly tested areas so you are maximizing your study time.
- Complete essays, multiple-choice questions, and Multistate Performance Tests (MPTs) (if your state bar exam has MPTs). It is critical to practice applying what you know every day.
- Exercise. Some students forego exercise so they can study more. But, you will study much more efficiently and find you are much more productive if you incorporate exercise into your daily routine. You don’t have to train for a marathon. Even something small, like going on a walk to clear your head, will do wonders for your ability to understand difficult concepts, focus, and retain information.
- Regular breaks. We advise you to take breaks every day (i.e., at breakfast time, lunchtime, dinner time, and to exercise). We also advise you to take longer breaks at least once a week. You can easily take a full day off every week during bar prep if you are spending the other six days studying effectively.
How your study schedule may differ from the sample study schedule
We don’t recommend that you just copy and paste the schedule above! Here are some ways your schedule may differ from the sample schedule above:
- You may study at different times. If you do your best work in the morning, 10:00 a.m. might be too late to get started. You may want to start studying at 5:00 a.m. and end much earlier. Tailor your schedule to when you do your best work!
- You may want to listen to lecture later in the afternoon. Some students find it more helpful to get their hard work of memorizing or answering practice questions done in the morning. They prefer to listen to lectures later since this is a more passive activity.
- You may want to spend six days instead of seven days a week studying. In fact, we recommend this! Breaks are important and often students find it helpful to have a day to clear their head and gear up for the next week.
- You may want to switch up your daily routine. Some people thrive with structure and doing the same things each day. Others want to mix things up! If you like to mix things up, you may want to flip-flop your schedules some days (i.e., complete essay and MBE questions in the morning, and lecture/memorization in the evening).
Your schedule may also look completely different than what we laid out, and that is okay! This is just a sample schedule.
The last note we want to make is that at some point during the week, it is a good idea to take a few minutes to reflect on what is working for you and what isn’t. For example, if you are spending a long time on lectures and don’t find them very helpful, is there a way you can spend less time on lectures—e.g., watch them on 1.5x or 2x the speed? Consider how you can tweak your schedule each week to make it the most efficient schedule for you!
Go to the next topic, Step Six: Study Smart for the Bar Exam.
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