Predictions for the Bar Exam (What to Focus On for Efficient Study)

Before every exam, a handful of people come out of the woodwork and shamelessly ask about subject predictions for the bar exam.

“Does anyone know the essay predictions?”
“What do you think will be tested?”
“I don’t think ____ will appear on the exam.”
“Anyone think ____ will be tested?”
“I know we’re not supposed to listen to predictions, but…”
“What are ____’s predictions?”
“Here are my MEE predictions!”

Whose predictions are you going to listen to?

If you’re like many bar takers, or if you’re a repeater, you say: “Haha of course I’m not going to rely on the predictions. I shall adequately study all the subjects. You should too!”

And then you panic and look at the predictions anyway.

Did you want me to tell you, “Aww poor baby, don’t worry. It’s normal and happens to the best of us 🥺”?

You SHOULD worry if you’re secretly tempted about relying on predictions… because this kind of thinking is entirely predictable and avoidable. Sweating about predictions is not a good place to be and requires intervention.

Also, remember when subjects actually leaked for the California exam in 2019 and people got mad over it? Do you want to know the subjects ahead of time or not? Make up your minds!

Maybe you’re too young to remember ancient history. I’ve been dealing with you people for too long.

Here’s why you should look toward essay or MEE subject predictions only for entertainment value and morbid curiosity (and 3 things you can focus on instead):

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Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to Learn the Law for the Bar Exam

A bar taker asked me to explain supplemental jurisdiction with an example. At 1:27 in the morning.

I was able to send a response at 1:36 AM (9 minutes later)—without having a working knowledge of supplemental jurisdiction, and without flipping through outlines or Googling hypos.

How? I’ll show you below. (With examples using supplemental jurisdiction and rule against perpetuities.)

The problem: When someone asks me about some law, I have to research it and explain it.

Or if you’re confused about how a rule works, you have to make sense of it theoretically and look at examples and hypos. How are you going to memorize (and use) the rule without understanding it?

This takes time. And I didn’t have the energy this late at night. Plus, I’m not a tutor and it’s not my role to do this (but I have a soft spot for people struggling with this death ritual).

Here’s an idea you can try for yourself if you’re stuck and not understanding a bar exam rule:

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101 Rules for Bar Exam Preparation

Here’s a list of 101 quick bullets on how to prepare for the bar exam.

Your answer is probably in here if you ever feel like asking vague questions like:

  • “Do you have any advice?” without any context
  • “Can you help?”
  • “Thoughts?”
  • “HELP!” “Let’s connect” (?)
  • Anything with more than three question marks or exclamation marks in a row unironically

If you have the Magicsheets & Approsheets bundle, 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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What to Do in the Final Month of Bar Prep (“I’ve fallen into the trap of relying on what Barbri tells me to do”)

A question about what to do in the final month of bar prep after sitting through Barbri:

“I have fallen in the trap of relying on what Barbri tells me to do. I am 200 hours in and have watched all the videos for the 7 main MBE sections. I know basics, but I feel vastly unprepared to tackle this exam and kind of hopeless. Now that I have your materials, do you have any advice on what I can do to master all this material will four weeks left? Sitting through hours of lectures did nothing for me. Thank you so much for preparing all these materials.”

Sound familiar?

The Plan isn’t working. Panic sets in, and cold sweat oozes down your unkempt hair.

First off, this understandable and common. Still, in years past, many people have made it out in the final month and even in the final two weeks.

So right off the bat, know that you can do this (as cliché as it sounds). You are capable. And you will make it out, even if you don’t believe so right now. You have to make it out, to be exact.

No pressure, right? The thing to do right now to regain your sanity is to take stock of what you need to do and have at least a rough idea of what to do from here. Create a plan of attack if you don’t have one yet.

Here are some areas to prioritize and some pointers on how to spend the remaining few weeks (and when to stop relying on notes for closed-book practice):

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How to Study for the Bar Exam While Working Full Time

Studying for the bar exam is no easy feat. It takes a lot of time, energy, and focus to make it happen. But if you’re juggling work on top of all that studying, it can feel even more overwhelming.

Preparing for the bar exam is costly not just in time but also financially (and mentally, and emotionally, and…). If no one else is supporting you or your family, then you’re probably working and cramming your studies, if you even have the energy left. Yikes, even the thought of that is dreadful.

But other bar takers have done it. And they were able to blow the exam out of the water. How did they balance a job and studying for the bar exam? It’s not impossible to do both at the same time, but it does require some creativity and discipline.

The first thing to keep in mind is that constraints force you to get creative and focus on what moves the needle. You’re not going to have much time or attention to waste on stuff like sitting still like a statue while the lecturer rambles for 4 hours. So you gotta make the most of your time.

This can be a blessing in disguise because you won’t be wasting time. Let me share some tactics for studying efficiently while working full time, with examples from past bar passers.

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