How do Magicsheets and Approsheets fit into your other bar exam study materials?

There are a LOT of study supplements, resources, and outlines for bar prep. As time passes, more and more get added to your potential repertoire.

Sometimes, the sheer overwhelm causes bar takers to load up on all sorts of materials, attend every workshop, DM everyone offering something — spreading themselves so thin that they end up not using any of it!

The materials collect digital dust, and bar takers end up restarting at square one, exhausted. But “the great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” (Herbert Spencer)

I, too, offer study materials for the California Bar Exam and the Uniform Bar Exam. Here’s my answer to questions about them, including HOW to use them. This will be useful whether or not you use my material.

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Stupid Simple IRAC

Everyone says “just IRAC” when it comes to writing essays on the bar exam.

That drives me crazy too. I’ve heard that since I was a 1L. And it kinda makes sense until you ACTUALLY TRY TO DO IT.

It’s supposed to be one of the most basic skills in law school (and on the bar exam), but it’s frustrating when you have no idea what you’re writing.

Coming up with things to write is hard! Know the pain of creation. But you don’t have to suffer.

Let’s break down “IRAC” so it finally becomes simple and the least of your concerns. We’re going for the win!

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The Value of Redoing Questions (You’ll See Them Again on the Bar Exam)

“How do I do MBE questions faster?”

“The way to approach these questions is not staying with me.”

“If I study a subject really well and circle back around to it after studying the others, I’ve forgotten half of the first subject.”

Have you ever felt that?

There is a SIMPLE and UNDERRATED way to fix this: Redoing questions.

“But wait,” you say, “I have seen and remembered those questions and answers before. Should I be worried because I am not practicing new questions?”

There’s only a limited number of ways they can test you, so it’s actually GOOD if you recognize fact patterns. If that’s not the point of preparation, what is?

We can’t expect to “get” something after reading or doing something once. So when it comes to preparing for the bar exam, should you really limit yourself to just doing things once and dusting off your hands?

That’s what causes you to forget. The more you cycle through the subjects, the more you’ll retain next time.

If you had to choose between anxious uncertainty about retaining the material vs. routine boredom, which would you pick?

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Dominating the Essays: Organize Issues and Prioritize Rules to Know on the Bar Exam

Ever wonder how you’re supposed to juggle everything in your head? How do you prioritize the rules to know for the bar exam?

How are you supposed to learn all this when time is tight? How do you tackle the massive body of rules to know?

How do you know you’ve completed the essay in full? Did you even talk about the correct issues? Are the graders going to give you the points? Are they even going to read your prose?!

You’d love to start practicing essays but feel like you just haven’t learned enough law yet. It’s overwhelming to even begin from scratch.

If you’re a bar taker struggling with coming up with what to write, essays are the bane of your existence. Your rambling paragraphs start to blur. There’s just so much to know (or so you think) and say.

Let’s breathe. We can simplify the essays and make them less scary…

Key takeaways:

  • Learn not just the rules but also how to present and organize the issues (with examples below)
  • Highest-priority issues and rules are those that have appeared in the past (there are two other categories)
  • There are efficient and effective ways to hit both of the above at once
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101 Rules for Bar Exam Preparation

Here’s a list of 101 quick bullets on preparing for the bar exam.

Your answer is probably somewhere in here if you ever feel like asking the worst questions in the world:

  • “Do you have any advice?” (only if there’s enough context)
  • “Can you help?” (can you help?)
  • “Thoughts?” (a minimalist reply seems rude but tempting)
  • “HELP!” “Let’s connect” (?)
  • Anything with more than one question mark in a row unironically

If you have the Magicsheets & Approsheets suite, you already have access to the exclusive pocket guide “17 Strategies to Get Un-stuck and Un-frustrated by the Bar Exam.”

I tried something even more straight to the point.

Why 101? I wanted to do something contrived like 100 and ended up with 1 more (say hi to your OCD for me). I’ll probably update this in the future. This is an amorphous and evolving draft. Nothing is set in stone. Things change. Things get better. Same with your bar prep.

Feel free to disagree with any point. Advice is autobiography. Advice is never one-size-fits-all. Take what you like and leave the rest.

If some rules seem contradictory, that’s where interesting things happen.

Let me know which parts you agree with, parts you disagree with, or contradictions you thought about on your own and resolved.

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