My Tactics for Bar Exam Prep

Well, I am almost done with my third week of bar prep and I am starting to get a routine down I think. I can say that it is not the most fun thing I have ever done but it is also not the worst. I am in my third week and I am 20% through my program already. Below I am outlining what I am doing, how it is working and what I am using to make it happen.

My Study Space
My study space is simple but effective. My husband and I turned our extra room into an office. I have a desk, bookshelf, filing cabinet, printer and it works out just how I need it too.

Two really helpful things I have in my space is a laptop riser and book stand. Both of these help to keep me from bending over and straining my neck. I have linked them below:


Time Management
I will say, this is something I need to keep improving on. It is very appealing to sleep in a bit and just make up for the time later in the evening. But I am making a point to try to make better use of my time. Throughout the day, I work steadily on my bar prep assignments but I also fit in some breaks so I don't get burnt out. For example, I will write out a practice essay and then go fold a load of laundry. I will finish a set of videos and then go play ball with the dogs for 10 minutes. Just little things to give my brain a rest and to break up the boredom of sitting at my desk all day. I have been studying every day, including weekends.

I usually finish up bar prep soon before my husband gets home or I am almost done when he gets home. In the evenings, we relax together, watch TV, have dinner and do some projects around the house that need to be completed... and work on planning things to do when we go to HAWAII in August!!

On the weekends, I usually do most of my bar prep throughout the afternoon while my husband naps, does yard work or plays video games. This way we get to wake up and have breakfast together before I confine myself to my office and we also get our evenings to relax and spend time together.

I am finding that it is SO important to take breaks and balance out the time between studying and relaxing. Your brain can only focus and work for just so long effectively. By breaking it up, I feel more motivated, less annoyed by it and more refreshed.

As for actually studying, I am primarily following the Themis directed study calendar. Every morning I log in to the Themis portal and it tells me what is on my list to do that day. I love that I don't have to add deciding what to study to my already very full brain space and workload. It takes away a lot of stress by telling me exactly what to do (Thank you Themis!!!).

The study schedule usually has me doing things like watching lecture videos, practice multiple choice exams, reading outlines, practice essay questions and reviewing notes/outlining/flashcarding.

While watching the lecture videos, I fill in the provided handout and add in any extra examples or notes that I find helpful from the video. When doing practice questions, I make note of any big problem areas that I am really struggling with and make it the top of my review list for my next review time slot. For the practice essays, I practice outlining my answers on a little notepad so that I can get faster at that process and can utilize it on the bar exam.

My review process plan is to do what worked for me in law school: make a comprehensive and synthesized outline in my own words and then put that outline on flashcards to study. This is a time-consuming process but I KNOW it WORKS because it worked best for me in law school.

Thoughts So Far
I am only 3 weeks in but I am already seeing big improvements. The constant repetition of the material is really helping to force the concepts and rules into my brain. Contracts has never been a strong suit of mine but I am seeing steady improvement on my practice test scores and feeling more confident about the law.

I met up with my mentor from law school this week. She passed the Ohio bar exam last summer and had some really good advice for bar prepping: take breaks, work hard and trust the process. So that's what I am doing.

Good luck to everyone else bar prepping!

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