July 2011 Bar Exam Tips -- Quick Start Guide

At the beginning of each bar exam cycle, I like to re-post a revised and updated version of my Quick Start Guide.  This post provides a summary of what I believe are the most important and helpful posts on this blog.

In my opinion, the bar examination is a test that is as much about your state of mind as it is about how much and how well you have studied black letter law. It is my belief that you need to understand yourself and figure out how to remain calm during the preparation and test-taking process. You need to understand the process of diligent preparation for the act of taking the test before you can study appropriately to learn the information needed to pass the bar examination.

Recommended Reading:

I recommend that you read my posts about general mental preparation before you read the posts about studying for particular segments of the bar exam.

First, read my posts on (1) diligence, (2) anticipation of conditions, and (3) stress reduction. I suggest that you digest the contents of these posts for a week or so before reading anything else.

Second, once you have begun to implement the ideas and suggestions contained in these three posts on mental preparedness, read the posts about studying for the discrete segments of the bar examination: (1) MBE study and test tips, (2) essay writing tips, and (3) performance test tips. (Also, if you are taking the Oregon bar exam or the California bar exam, you might want to check out my free Oregon bar exam outlines or my free California bar exam outlines.)

Third, be sure to read my posts about why practice tests matter and lessons learned from analyzing the reasons someone failed the bar exam.  If you are feeling overwhelmed just by reading this "quick start" guide or because you have just started studying for the bar exam, you should read my post about how the feeling of being overwhelmed will subside as you work your way through your bar exam preparations.

Finally, a few weeks before the start date of the bar exam (and before you make your hotel reservations), I suggest you read my post about how to make the actual test-taking experience a successful one.

Thank you for reading and good luck!

[Photos by cornflakegirl, ricardo.martins and DAEllis.]


Babs said...

I'm bookmarking your site as I begin prep for the July Bar (CA). I've decided to study on my own, and since I am older than most (maybe slower but have more self-knowledge) I want to get all my ducks in a row early. I am emphasizing my remaining coursework at first, since I still have to take finals in those classes, but I have my outlines and issues checklists for all 12 subjects. After reading your quick-start guide, I am taking some time to work out a reasonable schedule for myself for the next 4 months. Mostly, I'm excited

Bar Advisor said...


Congratulations and good luck studying on your own. I hope that the contents of this site can help you in some way. If you have any questions not answered by this blog, feel free to contact me directly by email. Just click on the "Contact" button at the top of the page.

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