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Tips for First-Time Bar Takers


If you are in law school, you might be starting to think about the bar exam. If you are, that is great! The bar exam can be daunting for many, so it is best to have a strategy before starting bar prep.

Here are a few easy tips and tricks you can start thinking about and working on now, and make sure to join our webinar on April 19, 2023, when we will go over many more tips for first-time bar takers!

1. Work on Memorization

Many commercial courses do not emphasize memorization. One of the biggest mistakes we see first-time bar exam takers make is that they go right from lecture to practicing problems. Instead, you should set aside time each day to memorize your bar exam outlines. Review our tips on how to memorize your bar exam outlines.

While this may seem like a simple tip, it is one of our best pieces of advice for first-time bar exam takers. It is often overlooked, and many students spend a lot of their time inefficiently because they have not yet memorized their bar exam outlines.

2. Speed Up Your Lectures If You Are Not an Auditory Learner

Most students watch video lectures as part of their bar review course. And many watch these lectures from home. Most commercial courses have hours upon hours of lectures to listen to. This is fine if you are an auditory learner, and the fill-in-the-blanks style works well for you. But most law students are visual learners and do not find the lecture style helpful. If you fall into this category, watch the lectures at 1.5 or 2x the speed. This way, you can spend more of your time studying in a way that is productive for you.

3. Memorize One Outline Per Subject

Some courses give outlines, mini outlines, lecture handouts, etc., and students try to memorize three or five outlines per subject. For example, they will review the Real Property mini-outline. Then the 200-page long Real Property outline. Then they’ll go to the lecture and review their Real Property lecture handout. Or they try to combine all three of these into one outline. That is simply not efficient. One of our biggest pieces of advice for first-time bar exam takers is to use one outline per subject. Stop cross-referencing four different outlines. You will drive yourself crazy.

If you want to learn more tips for first-time bar takers, join JD Advising’s webinar on April 19, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. ET! Sign up here.

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