Sample Bar Exam Study Schedule

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How To Create The Ideal Bar Prep Study Schedule

If your question isnt answered below, please feel free to contact us and were happy to help.

When can I start the Self-Study Program?

The Self-Study Program can be started at any time because the materials are online, on demand. The template study schedules are set up for 16 weeks of part-time study, 8 weeks of part time study + 2 weeks of full-time study, 10 weeks of full-time study, 9 weeks of full-time study, and 8 weeks of full-time study.

Heres what a study schedule looks like . Youll also learn how to easily import your study schedule into Asana or Trello, where you can track your progress.

Can someone make my study schedule for me?

Yes! If youd like the experts at the Bar Exam Toolbox to make your study schedule for you, select the Gold or Platinum levels, which include a custom study schedule. We will ask you to fill out a detailed questionnaire and will create a schedule based on your needs.

Id like to work with a tutor for personal support. Is that possible?

Yes! If youd like additional personal support, select the Platinum level, which includes one hour of call time with one of our excellent Bar Exam Toolbox tutors plus written feedback on one substantive essay and one California performance test.

What is the Brainy Bar Bank?

The California Brainy Bar Bank collects over 15 years of real California bar exam essay questions, more than 180 questions total. Each essay question is categorized by area of law and one or more topics and subtopics .

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Master Your Legal Doctrine

Easier said than done, right?

The bar exam tests your application of legal doctrine, so knowledge of doctrine is the essential starting point. Mastery of the legal doctrine covered in the JD program will put you in a good position to take the bar exam. Taking that approach involves a continued seriousness of purpose and a level of focus that leads to genuine mastery of the doctrinal material, and this is central to your ultimate success not only on the bar exam but also as a lawyer.

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What Will I Do During Barbri Bar Review

During BARBRI Bar Review, ISAAC assigns more than 7.5 million learning activities. Dont worry, thats not for an individual student. That covers the tens of thousands of students studying for the bar exam with BARBRI.

Lets dig into the data.

Check out the chart below and see, on average, youll spend about 24% of your total bar review course study time learning the law with lectures. About 30% of your time working multiple-choice practice questions. And about 19% of your time in our Directed Essay Grading process . Most importantly, each of these align with the top activities correlated to increased points on the bar exam and, ultimately, bar passage.

Thats interesting, yet its not just about the type of assignments you do, but also the sequence and timing in which you do them. The chart below shows how the assignment types will progress and change during your bar review course.

Notice the yellow line early on in the course, youll spend the majority of your time with lectures, acquiring knowledge from the best U.S. law professors and legal experts.

Then, you see from the teal and dark blue lines, you are reading and reviewing your notes and also start to ramp up on multiple-choice learning and practice questions.

Then notice the light blue and pink lines later a few weeks into the course, which indicates movement into our Directed Essay Grading process and practice essays.

Creating Your Study Plan

How to Create a Fall Bar Exam Study Schedule

Now that you have some basic principles in mind, how do you convert them into a detailed plan you can actually implement? One option is to find a blank calendar and plot it out by hand. Another option is to use an online tool, like 7Sages study planner, that allows you to experiment with different time frames and approaches.

Either way, you might find the sample schedules weve created useful as a guide. They incorporate much of our advice about how to structure your time to accomplish the three study-plan goals: emphasizing what matters mastering the exam itself, as well as the information and ensuring you peak when test day arrives.

The sample schedules assume nine weeks of study at 35-40 hours per week. One of our strongest recommendations is that you take regular breaks from bar prep to recharge and regroup, so each schedule includes time away. The first one is based on a six-day study week and the second one allows for full weekends off.

Both versions of the schedule recommend that you divide up the nine weeks in the same way: five weeks for dedicated MBE prep, two weeks for the MEE, two days for MPT practice, and approximately two weeks to review and practice for all three components. The final 72 hours before the exam should be reserved for targeted triage of concepts that you consider either high-yield or challenging.

Lets dive deeper into these scheduling suggestions and the strategies behind them.

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Second Figure Out How Much Time Youll Need

Maybe you have too little or too much on your hands. Work expands to fill the time you have available. How should you draw boundaries for your study plan and avoid burnout?

How do you know if youre spending too little time or too much time? Generally speaking:

  • You want to get to a point where if you see a question, it looks familiar to another question youve seen. If it starts to feel repetitive, thats good. Thats the point. Its not necessarily about the number of hours but the amount of intuition youve gained.
  • To avoid burnout, 4 months maximum full time is probably as long as you want to go. You could make do with less than this if you focus and dial in on essential activities.

Ultimately, the length of your preparation depends on your personal situation, particularly whether youve taken the exam before, and your strengths and weaknesses. Your focus and your willingness to expose your ego to bruises are also key.

Less of a factor in my eyes is how many hours per day you have available to study.

Lets compare guidelines for first timers and retakers:

Find A Good Study Spot

Before you attempt to study, isolate a location where you can really focus. Since you have less time to study than the average test taker, you must ensure that those hours you do spend on studying are actually spent studying, not trying to get you back in focus.

If you have kids, you might need to leave the house or have them leave during your study time. If your boss doesnt mind, you may be able to stay late in the office and study there.

Your ideal study location should be quiet and free of distractions. You may also need to have an internet connection and decent lighting. However, it shouldnt be so comfortable that it lulls you to sleep. While you might think your local law library or your law school may be an ideal location, if there are groups of other people there or your law school friends may bother you, you might want to consider an alternative location.

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Learning The Mpt Format

Start your MPT prep by reading the bar examiners rules and expectations here: . Its a pretty thorough summary of what to do and what not to do when completing your tasks. Youll have access to these rules on test day as well, but you dont want to be learning them for the first time while the clock is ticking.

Then, review prior MPT materials to familiarize yourself with the format. You can access free tasks and scoring sheets from 10 previous bar exams here: . That link will also take you to summaries of the MPT tasks from more recent bar exams. Those can give you a sense of the tasks that were assigned and the analyses the bar examiners expected. You can also purchase more recent MPTs and practice tasks in the NCBE store .

When you review old MPTs, your main objective should be to understand how to use the materials provided to complete the assigned tasks. You want to read enough task memos from supervising attorneys to know what the tasks entail and how theyll be explained to you. You also want to get a sense of the kinds of factual sources that show up in the client files and the legal authorities that comprise the library. The goal is to have no surprises when you open your own MPT materials on test day. You should feel at home with the various components and be able to extract the key ingredients from each one to accomplish your task.

Barbri Equals More Points On Exam Day

What To Include In Your Bar Exam Study Schedule

BARBRI students score up to 25 more points on average compared to students who take another bar prep course. Just choosing to prepare with BARBRI provides a significant advantage.

Additionally, about 9 out of 10 BARBRI Bar Review students who do the average amount of work pass their bar exam.

BARBRI equals more points on exam day. And every point matters on the bar exam. This is why, year after year, the vast majority of graduating law students choose BARBRI Bar Review.

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Whatever Your Situation This Is Why You Want A Plana Bar Prep Study Schedule To Know How To Allocate Your Time Thoughtfully Instead Of Doing Random Things

Templates and schedules made by someone else are a good place to get ideas and kickstart your own.

There are several sample study schedules and several example student schedules in Passers Playbook 2.0. Heres one such example schedule, designed for 9 weeks of study . Heres another example, designed for 16 weeks of study .

Use them as inspiration if you want, but ultimately make a flexible plan for yourself and charter your own schedule so you know where you are headed on this personal journey.

Remember, productivity comes from clarity . So lets get a better idea up front of how we should spend our time. Not based on what someone else tells you but based on what makes sense to you.

Find Time To Take Study Breaks

Taking breaks while studying serves to give your brain a moment to digest what you have just been cramming in there for the past few hours. Without that time, you will not be able to convert newly learned information into long term memory for the exam which means you will just have to go back and redo some of the work to learn what you have already covered. And that can lead to unneeded frustration and additional stress.

Overcomming BAR Exam Stress

Heres how a Kaplan BAR Regional Manager found a way to deal with the stress of studying for the BAR exam:

I took the Florida and New Jersey bar exams at the same time a few years ago. I attended all of the live lectures and followed every direction given to me, yet I was still not seeing the scores I thought I should. That caused me to study and stress more which meant I was sleeping less and stressing even more. None of these things are things that helps a student be more efficient at studying.

I carried on this way for a long time and finally I hit a wall and fell apart. I had worked myself to the point of not being able to process things I was reading. I thought I was finished and had no hope of passing the bar exam. That was when I called a mentor of mine who had taken the exam previously and passed.

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Prepare For All Parts Of The Exam

Master all aspects of the exam, including the performance exam, essay writing, and multiple-choice questions. The skills required for each component of the exam differ. Your study and practice should include plenty of each of the components:

  • Practice multiple choice questions by doing sample questions in online sources and study books or through commercial bar reviews, youll get used to the format and see which areas of law commonly show up. You can find more information on The MBE from the National Conference of Bar Examiners website.
  • Prepare for essay writing by practicing essays in each subject. You can find these in books and online resources with past essay questions and sample essay topics. The written portion of the bar exam is important to your overall score in every state, so its essential that you take your preparation for this component as seriously as you do the multiple-choice portion.
  • Learn and practice the Performance Exam . The performance exam is unique in that the law is provided you dont have to memorize anything for this part of the exam. But that does not mean you cannot prepare. Study and practice prior exams, to learn the process for tackling these questions and the types of documents youll be required to produce.

How To Create A Daily Bar Exam Study Schedule

Sample Bar Exam Study Schedule

Are you having trouble creating an effective bar exam study schedule? Below we provide a sample week-long schedule that you can use as a guideline in creating your own. Additionally, we provide some tips that will help you maximize the time you spend studying for the exam.

How to Create a Daily Bar Exam Study Schedule

1. Listen to the lecture in the morning .

The first thing you should when reviewing a new subject is listen to the lecture. Lectures for MBE subjects are often multi-day lectures make sure you keep on track. If you are a person who actively reviews best in the morning, it may be a good idea to listen to the lecture the night before you intend to begin memorizing your outline and doing practice questions. If you are a person who actively reviews best in the afternoon and evening, it is probably better to listen to the lecture in the morning.

2. Actively review your outline.

If you are looking for more tips on how to learn your bar exam outlines, click here.

3. Set aside time to do practice essays .

4. Consistently practice MBEs.

5. Set aside time for practice exams in your bar exam study schedule.

The same applies to essays and MPTs. Start doing one or two essays timed, then move your way up until you are completing, say, the entire morning portion of your exam.

6. Include time to exercise and relax.

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Choose A Law School With Consistent Bar School Results

St. Francis students consistently perform better on the California First Year Law Students Exam and California General Bar Exam than students from several other law schools. These include some that are accredited by the Committee of Bar Examiners of the State Bar of California and sometimes even those approved by the Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar of the American Bar Association .

St. Francis School of Law allows you to take control of your career by offering an innovative JD curriculum online. Prepare for success on the bar exam and beyond at St. Francis. Apply now.

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