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Bar Exam Productivity Tips

The bar study period is usually shorter than three months, and given the increasing failure rate of would-be attorneys across the nation, there is no excuse for not giving it 100%. Many students lose steam around the 1/2 way point, so now is an excellent time to remind bar studiers about how to be most productive on the bar exam. Here are my top 5 bar exam productivity tips to get through the final stretch!


1. The Timer is Your Friend

Not only should you be using the timer to complete practice tests under exam conditions, but the timer can also be useful to keep you focused and productive during study time. Press pause when you take a study break and make a note of how many hours you are actually studying. If you are not actively studying for the recommended eight hours a day, make adjustments so that you are.

2. Take advantage of the morning hours

Research shows that our minds are at their best within two hours of waking. Instead of using this time to scroll social media, use this time to do your hardest learning.

3. Rest is important.

Be sure that you take short breaks every could of hours when you study. Plan a more extended break once a week. Ensure you are getting enough sleep. Your brain encodes memories in your sleep, so bar study is NOT the time to deprioritize getting zzz's.

4. Don't forget the type of student you are.

Remind yourself of how you have learned well in the past-- are you a visual learner? Would it help to make some charts and outlines at this point? If you are an auditory learner, are you coming up with rhymes and mnemonics to help you remember? Don't fall in the trap of mindlessly doing bar "study" that isn't helping you!

5. Eliminate distractions.

So many retakers end up confessing that they cut corners, were distracted by Netflix or Facebook, or that they could not find the motivation to study when it mattered the most.

Be honest about what is keeping you from focusing on bar study. If you need to leave your phone in another room, do it. Studies have shown that merely having the phone in the room with you can be distracting, even if you can't see the alerts. If you are getting distracted by social media, maybe you should have a friend change your passwords until after the bar. Whatever it takes, figure out what is getting in the way, and do something about it.

Ultimately, it is up to you to pass the bar. Learning how to maximize your time and productivity will help you pass and be a more successful practitioner.

Amanda Bynum