Good Law Student

Should I Study the Day Before the Bar Exam?  

Many students ask us, “Should I study the day before the bar exam?” We always used to advise students not to study much, if at all. Why not? Studying the day before the exam tends to make students more panicked…which causes them to lose sleep and perform more poorly on the bar exam. Thus, trying to study the day before the exam can be more hurtful than it is helpful. Further, in general, you are not going to learn that much more the day before the bar exam. If you don’t know it by now, there is a good chance you will not learn anything that helpful in the remaining hours left before the bar exam.

Should I Study the Day Before the Bar Exam?  

Instead of studying the day before the bar exam, we generally recommend that students do the following:

  • Make sure you have everything ready to go in the morning, including your admissions ticket and any writing utensils or laptop software you need.
  • Take a night off. Rest your brain. Watch a movie. Take a warm bath. Do whatever you need to do to relax so that you can fall asleep at a decent hour and focus the next day!
  • Talk to positive and supportive people (preferably those who are not taking the bar exam!). They will remind you how much you have prepared and that you are ready for this test.
  • Practice positive visualization. This can help decrease panic and help to ensure that you go into the bar exam with a positive mindset.

What if I have to study the day before the bar exam?

Experience has taught us that some people get more stressed out if they do not study the day before the exam (even if they are not actually retaining that much information when they study). If you fall into this category of students who feel as though they must study the day before the bar exam, then we suggest you do the following:

  • Review what you already know. Look over your “attack” outlines or mnemonics you have invented. Focus on cementing the information you have already learned.
  • Do not do new multiple-choice questions and do not quiz yourself on new essay questions. This will only cause you to panic. If you need to do something, then review questions you have already looked at.
  • Make it a goal to finish studying at a reasonable hour – preferably a couple of hours before you plan on going to bed so that you have time to destress, use some of the tips above (like visualization), and get ready for the following day.

Whether you study the day before the bar exam or not, good luck these next few days!  If you have any questions about what the bar exam or last-minute preparation, feel free to post below or to contact us!