What to Do the Week Before the Bar Exam (And What NOT to do…)

Ashley HeidemannThis is the final week of studying for the bar exam!  Your priorities this week should be reviewing (and memorizing the law you do not yet know), taking some timed exams, and also physically and mentally preparing for the bar exam in another week.

Below we suggest some things you should do the week before the bar exam – we also have some suggestions for what you should not do the week before the bar exam! We hope that these checklists help you maximize the use of your time this final week of bar exam preparation. 

What to Do the Week Before the Bar Exam:

  • Review your outlines. If you have not started already, start a major review of all of the highly-tested areas of law. Try to memorize the important details that you do not already know.
  • Complete some timed exams. Don’t go crazy trying to do a full exam every day but make sure to add a couple of quarter-day, half-day, or full-day exams into your schedule. This will ensure that you have your timing down and it will build confidence for the actual exam day.
  • Submit your essay feedback to your commercial bar review course grader (or to us!) for last-minute feedback. There are probably some last-minute changes you can make to your writing style to maximize the points you will receive on your essays. (Here are some last minute essay tips for those taking the Michigan bar exam.)
  • Make sure your routine is beneficial. If you are going to bed at 3 AM every day, it is time to change it now! You do not want to feel fatigued on the day of the exam.
  • Start a bar exam packing list and make sure you have packed what you need. Look over the security policy to make sure you are not bringing any prohibited items into the testing room. (We have a great bar exam packing list here if you are looking for ideas!)
  • Confirm your hotel reservations and transportation for the bar exam.
  • Practice visualization to help you remain positive and confident when you go into the bar exam. Visualization is extremely important especially if you are the type to walk into the bar exam with a lot of anxiety or feeling like you can’t do it.
  • Look forward to what is after the bar exam. Whether it is a post-bar exam vacation or a nice dinner, or something else, remind yourself of what you will be doing once the bar exam is over. This can keep you motivated your final week of bar exam prep and it can reduce your stress level.

What NOT to do the Week before the Bar Exam:

  • Do not take a full timed exam the weekend before the bar exam. This is generally a bad idea because it will stress you out if you do not get a high score. If you want to take a full exam, do it early on in the week!
  • Do not try to review twenty subjects a day. Stick to just a few. Reviewing too many will make you feel anxious and will not help with retention.
  • Do not focus on the subjects that will likely not be tested. We see way too many students focus way too much time on subjects that are hardly ever tested. It is not to say that you shouldn’t review these subjects at all, but do not make them your focus!
  • Do not skip out on sleep, exercise, or eating right. You need these things now more than ever.

Good luck your final week of bar exam preparation! If you see any useful tips that we forgot, please post them below!

Ashley-Heidemann-Profile-382x356Ashley Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011. She, as well as a team of tutors offer private one-on-one tutoring for law students and bar exam students nationwide as well as small-group courses and seminars for the Michigan bar exam  For more information about her Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) or Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) tutoring services, please click here. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions or concerns.