Daniel Garrett writes in with a guest article on how to start studying early for the bar exam. Daniel provides expert tutoring for the California Bar Exam and the Uniform Bar Exam at BarWinners. Stay until the end for a special offer to work with Daniel.
If you plan on taking the bar exam several months out and want to get a jump start on your studying, there are a few key areas to focus on as you begin your studies in earnest.
When preparing for the bar exam, set up clear goals you can follow.
Say someone asks you what you want. You say that you want to pass the bar. Great, a north star that you can reach toward!
But the end goal itself doesn’t tell you what to do at any given moment. It often makes you feel good about the future end result, but it doesn’t mean you will do the needed things in between now and the desired result.
For example, a new year’s resolution like “I want to lose weight” gives you a nice self-affirmation and a burst of motivation.
However, 80% of such resolutions fail by February. There are many actions required, such as watching your calories and macros, exercising, and doing so consistently. Simply jumping in with a new gym membership is a recipe for your goal getting ghosted.
There are a million approaches for the bar exam. Indeed, you should find a way that works for YOU. As I always say, you’re the dean of your own studies.
All you have to do is understand the material and know how to use it, right?
If it were only that easy.
The bar exam covers a ton of concepts, including exceptions, jurisdictional differences, over a dozen subjects. There’s a LOT to know at once. Questions are difficult to answer unless you understand the key concepts.
The bar exam is not EASY.
But preparing for it is SIMPLE. Bar prep doesn’t have to be complicated.
There are really only three things you need for successful bar preparation:
Source materials (outlines, questions to practice with, sample answers)
How-to knowledge (which I cover)
Action from YOU to do the things that matter (practice and feedback)
You’re filled with determination to study and get this thing over with… but how? Where do you even begin?
You may be lost and not sure where to start heading from here. Like you just ran into a dead-end in an unfamiliar part of town and your phone’s about to die (which is why I finally got a charger for my car after months of denial about how good my phone’s battery actually is).
Just as what’s enjoyable is personal, bar prep is also personal. Your study plan and schedule are personal.
Here’s a first step that will narrow down your routes and simplify the sudoku of choices…
First, you need a study plan. Plan before you need to. If it’s not in your bar study plan, it’s not happening.
I’ll show you how to craft a flexible timeline that works for you. Not the other way around. Not a strict preordained prophecy you must realize to open the iron gates into the bar.
Because if a study schedule is for everybody, then it’s for nobody.