Only seven more days separate you from the biggest exam that you will ever have to take. How will you spend them? For many upcoming examinees, the next week will be devoted to cramming as much information into their short-term memory as possible and feeling overly stressed out. As for others, the opposite approach is taken, and seven blissful days of self-pampering and relaxation will take the place of studying.
Is one approach to the week before the bar exam better than the other?
The truth is, both studying too much and too little before the bar exam can negatively impact your score. Therefore, both approaches are far from ideal, and a happy medium between the two is most desirable. Achieving such a balance, however, is much easier said than done. That’s why AdaptiBar put together these 7 last-minute tips to help you maximize your time one week before the bar exam.
- Stop Cramming – It’s impossible to learn the law in a week! Instead of memorizing as much information as you possibly can, focus now on applying law concepts and taking practice MBEs and essays. This method of learning will prove to be much more effective in converting information into long-term memory that can be retrieved on exam day.
- Change Your Mindset – Being in the right state of mind before the bar exam is critical to your success. What is the right state of mind? Confidence is king! To ease overall anxiety and stress, remind yourself while studying of the hard work that you have put into your bar prep over the last few months. When in doubt, remember that success is a staircase, and worrying will do nothing to improve your situation.
- Tune-Up Your Testing – It’s okay to study one week before the bar exam, as long as you are studying in an equally effective and efficient manner. Begin by simulating real exam conditions while studying. This includes timing yourself while taking practice MBEs and essays, or assessing your timing performance in AdaptiBar. Also be sure to study within the hours that your test is administered, typically between 8:30a.m. and 5p.m., to train your mind and body to fully concentrate at that time.
- Confirm Your Arrangements – Double-check that your living, food, and travel arrangements are set for the bar exam by making a few brief confirmation phone calls. The bar exam is stressful enough now, so why not prevent additional stress from arising in the future? See here for a complete before-the-bar checklist to further ease your mind.
- Limit Caffeine and Sugar – Your energy level should remain consistent throughout the day, which is why it’s best that you consume only a small to moderate amount of caffeine and sugar the week before the bar exam. This will train your body to depend more on nutrients and less on temporary substances for its energy, which will in turn promote better-sustaining physical, mental, and emotional health and alertness on exam day.
- Don’t Forget to Rest – Make it a priority to dedicate at least 2 hours each day to relaxing activities that you enjoy. Your brain won’t be able to think as sharply on testing day if it has been working nonstop the week before! Do yourself a favor and get the rest you need to ensure that you perform your very best on the bar exam.
- Give Yourself a Pep Talk – Don’t be afraid to remind yourself of all your accomplishments, from graduating law school to staying committed to becoming a lawyer. These things will remind you that one score isn’t going to define you or determine how successful you will be. No matter what happens, remember that life goes on after the bar exam…and so will you!