Planning a Bar Prep Study Schedule (Quick Overview)

Wondering how to plan and begin your studies for the bar exam? The order in which to arrange the subjects? What a study schedule could look like?

I like to recommend this general approach. You’ll go through at least 3 cycles:

  1. MBE subjects, and then optionally essay-only subjects
  2. All subjects (you can repeat this more than once)
  3. Final crunch (1-2 weeks max)

More details below.

MBE subjects

1) Pick three of your worst MBE subjects. You’re going to hit these subjects twice in one cycle.

  • Dedicate 1-3 days per subject depending on the length of the subject and your comfort level. Do not do something like a week per subject. You want to be repeating every subject multiple times so that you don’t do one subject and then 10 weeks later you forget it all.

2) Sandwich the other subjects between the worst subjects.

  • So if you’re worst at Property, Torts, Contracts… Then it will go like this: Property, Torts, Contracts, [all the other MBE subjects], Property, Torts, Contracts. Note the actual order doesn’t matter, just that you hit your worst ones again to reinforce your understanding.

Optional: Go through essay-only subjects but no need to consider the weakest. Any order is fine. Alphabetical if it makes it easier.

All subjects

3) Repeat a similar cycle as you did for MBE subjects, except you reevaluate your then-weakest links with all subjects and try to hit those twice.

4) Repeat a new cycle at least once more, time willing.

Final review before the bar exam

5) Crunch time is going through as many essays/outlines, MBE questions, PTs as you can.

You’ll need to juggle everything in your memory at once! Consider “cooking” your essays to be efficient, which is essentially outlining issues and rules within the first few minutes. Getting the issues down is most important. Rules and the rest will follow suit.

Here’s an actual example schedule for 12 weeks (DC UBE).

Passer’s Playbook includes sample schedules (1-10 week schedules), more examples from actual bar takers in various jurisdictions and timeframes, detailed guidance on how to put together each day.

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