Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My experience studying for the bar: the month before the bar exam

The month before the bar exam is the craziest month of all. I felt completely overwhelmed and stressed for a good chunk of the month. This is because you have about 10 Barbri books, a few of which you have to get through in order to feel good about the test.

The best thing I did (in my opinion) was make flash cards. Let me show you my stash:
My stash of flash

The only way I kept up with this was to make them as I went along during the month of June. By the time July rolled around, I had a few left to finish, but I had the majority complete. And then I memorized them. I didn't get all of the cards memorized, but I got a good majority of them memorized.

Another good thing that I did was to make practice essay tests with the rules on them a few weeks before the bar exam. I made myself take these "tests" where I simply wrote down the rules on the blanks. This really helped me memorize the rules.

During July, I studied all. day. long. Here was my typical day:
- 6:00 - wake up, run, exercise, etc.
- 7:00 - begin studying
- study, study, study
- 12:30- eat lunch and watch Barefoot Contessa
- 1:00- study
- 6:00- eat supper
- 6:30-9:30- study

Seriously, I studied like crazy. During the week, I left the house to go to mass and to go to yoga. Yes, it was crazy. I got off of Facebook and stopped reading my law friends' blogs. I just did not want to know about other people's studying. So, I made a little bubble for myself in my study room at home.

Did I need to go this hard with the studying? I don't know. Obviously I passed and I am sure that a lot of people who studied less than me passed. But the thing was that I did not want to have any regrets about the amount of studying I did. I wanted to be confident when I walked into the study room and took the test. In fact, I made a little study sign based on advice from my mom that said:

Make yourself feel good when you walk into the test room.

Whenever I felt like my head was going to explode, I looked at this sign. It reminded me that the goal was really a mental game: I needed to feel confident when walking into the bar exam room so that I did not collapse into tears at the sight of my test. It reminded me that it would all be over in a few weeks, that either way I would be finished for at least 6 months, and that I needed to study then so that I did not have to study later. I did not want any regrets.

1 comment:

Kathy said...

Golly, Abbie, you are giving such good advice! Your mom did, too!