This is it — after 12 years of grade school, (at least) four years of undergraduate studies, three years of law school, and maybe even an additional couple years of graduate specialization, you are finally ready for the last exam you’ll ever take: the bar. Lawyers all over the country still shake at the idea of retaking the bar exam because for many of them, it was the absolute worst experience of their lives. Encompassing two whole days of rigorous testing, the bar is arguably one of the most difficult examinations in the country.
However, just like any other examination, people who pass are not necessarily smarter than those who fail; in reality, it is all about how aspiring lawyers study the material and practice the routine. After all that schooling — 20 or more years, in total — you should know how to study for the bar exam, right?
Just in case, here are the absolute worst things you can do to prepare for the bar.
You need to learn the material, so you figure there is no better way than just to sit down and power through the texts. However, after only a few minutes, your mind starts to wander, and after a few more minutes, your eyelids start to droop. Passive reading isn’t enough to transfer the crucial information from the page to your brain.
Some bar exam preparation guides produce audio tapes covering material expected to be on the test. These tapes can be exceedingly useful, but only as review after you’ve properly learned and studied the information. Listening to these tapes is most often just another tactic used by lazy law graduates looking to passively absorb material. The simple fact is that you cannot passively review information you haven’t yet learned. Read the rest of this entry »