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No One Wants to Take the Bar Exam More Than Once

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After three long years of law school, you’re almost near the finish line. Congratulations on making it through a marathon of reading, briefing, and late nights studying. But you’re not done yet, there’s still one last hurdle to overcome: passing the Bar Exam. With July test dates just around the corner, now is the time to dig in because no one wants to take the Bar Exam more than once.

Now is the time to dig in because no one wants to take the Bar Exam more than once.

Even if you’ve already signed up for a bar prep course you should attempt to answer as many extra practice questions as you can handle to maximize your potential for success. You also need some smart strategies to help you better prepare for the exam so you can be one and done.

  1. Remember the clock is already ticking.
    If you haven’t already, get out your calendar and set up a study schedule. Students taking a bar prep course should try following the one typically provided. Don’t be afraid to adjust your schedule as necessary. For example, you may find you regularly hit a wall after three hours of studying and you’ve set a goal of four; if so, re-chunking your time could be wise.
  2. Practice makes perfect.
    The length of the Bar Exam makes it a race against the clock for test takers. Beyond the essays, you will be faced with 200 multiple choice questions that will require you to answer each in under two minutes to complete the test within the timed limit. To succeed, you will need to be able to quickly analyze questions and pinpoint traps – especially when two of the potential answers seem correct on the surface. It’s also a good idea to take at least one practice exam under timed conditions to learn how to pace yourself and see how you do.
  3. Steve Emanuel has got your back for extra prep.
    Chances are Steve Emanuel helped you get through law school, and his bar review materials can help you prepare for one of the most important events of your life, too. Here’s how:

    Strategies & Tactics for the MBE is a great resource for those looking for up-to-date advice on how to analyze Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions. You will learn how to handle each MBE subject, specific, step-by-step strategies for analyzing different question types, tips about how subtle differences in wording can completely change the meaning of an answer, and strategies for "rewording" questions in your mind to make them easier to analyze. Strategies & Tactics for the MBE also provides hundreds of questions and a full-length practice exam for additional review.

    Strategies & Tactics for the FINZ Multistate Method provides students with access to over 1,200 multiple-choice questions and answers written in the Multistate Bar Exam style, not available anywhere else, an MBE-style practice exam, and an in-depth guide that shows how to handle MBE and MBE-style multiple-choice questions, with detailed answers that explain not only the correct choice, but why the others fall short.

    Emanuel Law in a Flash for Multistate Bar Exam (2-part set) is another popular series. Great for studying on-the-go, this comprehensive flashcard set is coded by topic and poses a hypothetical question on one side of the card, with the answer provided on the other. Students can review the whole deck, break out specific topics to focus on, or do last minute brush up on black letter law by studying the cards designated for quick review.
  4. Know when to let it go.
    As you study, flag the material that you find most difficult so you can focus on learning what you need to know. However, sometimes an arcane point of law will continue to elude you. Rather than continue to beat a dead horse and waste precious time, acknowledge that you need to move on.
  5. Boost your brain power.
    Research shows that your brain assimilates information better when you take better care of yourself. During intensive studying, it’s easy to subsist on junk food and forget to exercise, so make it a point to allot time for a well-balanced meal and gym break. Forget the all-nighters, too, which can lower cognitive function and impact your performance. Instead, let your subconscious do the heavy lifting of storing information while you sleep so your memory banks are full when needed.
  6. Get the lay of the land.
    If you have to travel to take the Bar Exam, plan ahead. Find a conveniently located hotel that offers easy access to the test site. Consider checking in early to avoid feeling stressed or rushed. Scope out dining opportunities nearby so you won’t waste time trying to decide where to eat. Keep in mind you’ll only have a short break for lunch during the exam, so look for places that offer quick service and ample seating capacity.
    Bonus: Day of Exam Tips
    Don’t waste time trying to parse multiple choice questions you don’t know; skip over them and move on.
    Don’t talk about the test with other candidates the day of the exam, as this will only breed insecurity.
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