If you’ve never heard of the Baby Bar, chances are you don’t have to take it.
Like its name, the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSE), most commonly referred to as the Baby Bar, is a required exam for California law students that have finished their first-year studies and are enrolled at an unaccredited law school. While the exam’s purpose is to ensure that these students are on track with their studies, it is not uncommon for California students from ABA-approved and accredited law schools to take the exam for class credit or to challenge their standing knowledge of the law.
However, any upcoming first-year examinee knows that studying for the Baby Bar is incredibly stressful. If the 25.3% overall pass rate for October 2014 examinees isn’t intimidating enough, taking classes while simultaneously completing Baby Bar prep is a constant balancing act that requires seemingly infinite amounts of energy, patience, and time. Knowing this, it is important to recognize that the key to passing the Baby Bar isn’t just knowing what to study, it’s also knowing how to study! Use AdaptiBar’s Baby Bar tips below to help you develop a personalized study plan, then recall them daily using the acronym FYLSE to stay motivated.
Find a routine that works. When it comes to studying for the Baby Bar, it can be dangerously easy to fall into the trap of putting off your prep until a later time or date. That’s why developing a study schedule that you can commit to each day is crucial to ensuring that you remain productive and do not fall behind on your studies. Keep in mind that staying consistent doesn’t require you to sacrifice all of your free time! In order to stay motivated for the exam, it is essential to develop a system that corresponds with your needs, whether that means making time to spend with family and friends on the weekends or ending each study day watching Netflix.
Yield measurable results. The more you study, the more results you should see. However, in order to truly see your results, you must first keep track of them. After all, how can you truly know if you are improving in a subject if you have no records or data to base that conclusion off of? In order to ensure that you are yielding positive results through your studying, keep a chart of how many practice questions you answer correctly at a time. Or, click on ‘Performance’ to choose from a variety of personal timing and performance statistics in AdaptiBar. This method will ultimately indicate whether or not you are studying both efficiently and effectively enough to pass the bar exam.
Learn the basics. So you know you’re going to be tested on Criminal Law, Contracts, and Torts. But do you really know what to study? According to the California State Bar, a general knowledge of the legal theories and principles in these subjects is required to pass the Baby Bar. This statement benefits you, as it indicates that you don’t need to study every small detail of the law in order to receive a passing score. Rather, you can spend your time more valuably by attaining a broad understanding of the fundamental principles in each subject.
Stop studying, start applying. Simply studying for the Baby Bar won’t be enough to pass. Instead of memorizing the information that you will need to know on exam day, you must begin finding ways to apply the law and convert it into your long-term memory. How can this be accomplished? Start by answering practice MBE questions, and don’t move on to the next one until you can explain in your own words why you answered that question correctly or incorrectly. Just as well, seek ways that you can relate each law definition or concept that you study to an event that you saw on the news, a discussion you had in class, or an aspect of your own life. Simply put, looking for ways to apply law in the present will help you recall more information in the future.
Eliminate unnecessary stress. A small amount of stress isn’t a bad thing, as it can drive you to accomplish what you need to throughout the day. However, prepping for the Baby Bar can oftentimes lead students to experience unhealthy amounts of stress that negatively impact overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being. To avoid this, do not take on any more responsibilities than you already have, and prioritize your needs over others for the time being. Finding ways to make life simpler throughout the day will ultimately help you focus on what really matters before the Baby Bar.
Whether you are planning on taking the Baby Bar this October, next June, or sometime in the future, the key takeaway to preparing is to start. It is never too soon to start studying. The longer you give yourself the more you will be composed, organized, and ready to pass the Baby Bar and full Bar after graduation!
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