The Four Phases of Bar Exam Preparation

As with all journeys, bar exam prep time contains its high and low points. As much as we would like to be able to smash through our homework, with consistent focus, each and every day, the reality is we are human, and our energy levels fluctuate. Here is a breakdown of the four different phases that you might encounter during your bar exam preparation and how to deal with each phase. Each phase may last between two and three weeks, depending on the person. For you track and field runners, let’s analogize bar exam prep to running the 400-meter race CISM exam.

Bam! The gun goes off, and you’re coming out of the gates. You are new, fresh, and excited (or not so) about going for it and passing this bar exam! Yes, most of you probably just finished finals, but your mindset about bar prep is still fresh. This is a very good and important phase and like track and field, getting a good, strong start is key.

You want to be able to get a good look at the important materials while you are fresh. In barbri, we went over the six MBE-covered topics during this phase, doing practice multiple choice questions and essays during the first two and half weeks. I recommend starting like this to everyone because you are essentially killing two birds with one stone. While you are fresh, you are not only covering six of the 13 essay topics, you are covering the entire MBE section! Booya!

During the course of your bar prep, you will likely be going over each topic multiple times, like layering on a cake, until you finally reach the cherry at the top. This is the perfect phase to really build a solid foundation of about half your exam subject material. Try best you can to keep up with the practice essays and practice MBE’s during this time. The foundation, knowledge, skills, and mindset you build here will help you in the later weeks.

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