So, you have been studying for what feels like a lifetime and you just took the practice MBE (ugh.). You have less than three weeks before taking one of the biggest exams of your career. You are having daily pig out sessions and eating any and all chocolate in sight (oh, was that just me??). You know what you know and kinda know what you don’t know… So, now what?
This is the question I have gotten from nearly every bar prepper I have worked with over the past week. It’s like running this huge, long, endless race only to be told “Oh wait! I have more for you to do!!” And it sucks. I know it does.
But the truth is, friends, you cannot give up the race now.
The next three weeks are crunch time. They can make or break your performance on the Bar. If you start slacking off now (and I totally know why you would want to!), you could lose valuable points and opportunities to impress the Bar Examiners that much more.
To help with some of the struggle, I have put together a mini outline of what I would suggest doing over these next few weeks. This is just an example of what to focus on and like all Bar prep posts, are totally customizable to fit your individual needs!
This outline is assuming two things: 1) You have been studying for approximately 4-5 weeks and focused primarily on the MBE; 2) You have taken a practice MBE, even if it was just a single 100 question set. If you have been focusing on other things, this schedule will not be for you. Also, if you haven’t taken a practice MBE yet, please go do so today. Right now. DO NOT WAIT!!! I cannot stress this enough!!! You will never feel ready to take an MBE. There will always be room for improvement and there will always be questions you are unsure of. That’s okay.
Perfection is not the goal on the Bar Exam. No seriously. Say it with me, “Perfection is not the goal on the Bar Exam.” Take the MBE and see how you do. There is no better way to actually gauge your results than just going for it. Based on my general calculations, if you are using Adaptibar and score a 63% or above, you are doing great and are almost guaranteed a passing score on the MBE. If your score is close to 63% but not quite there, I would spend time (as detailed below) focusing on the subjects you are still struggling with. If you are quite a bit below a 63%, I would get some help on the subjects you aren’t understanding.
Reach out to a mentor, friend, study group, or even me, and get the help you need before any more time passes!! This is crucial to getting your best score and passing the Bar Exam, the first time. If you took the Barbri practice test on Friday, I would take a 100 question practice exam on Adpatibar to better scale your score. While Barbri can compare you to their national scores, Adaptibar uses actual MBE questions, so you will better know how you will test that day. In my experience, the Adaptibar questions were VERY similar to the actual MBE test. While there were not exact copies, there were many similar fact patterns and answer choices.
Okay, with all that being said… Here is my suggested outline for the next 3.5 weeks:
- If you haven’t taken an Adaptibar 100 question practice exam for time, do so immediately
- As hard as it may be, STOP studying MBE material and move on the Texas Essays
- Use one day per essay pair to study the relevant black letter law (July 4-9)
- Continue using one day per essay pair to study the relevant black letter law (until July 9)
- Practice writing at least 2 practice essays per subject, with or without notes, untimed
- Make sure you are using the IRAC/CREAC method (message me for more help!) for reader clarity
- Make sure you are using headings and subheadings and following the “Under, Here, Therefore” format for extra points!!
- Check your answers on the BLE website or on Legally Katie (July 2016, Feb 2016 soon) and make corrections as needed
- Practice writing at least 2 practice essays per subject, without notes, timed
- Check your answers and make corrections as needed
- If you feel like you are struggling with essays across the board, reach out to a friend, mentor, or me to check over your writing format and give suggestions.
- If you are struggling with one subject or topic, watch an additional lecture or reach out for supplemental information
- Practice cutting your rule statements down to their simplest form
- Use this template to focus only on the rule of law, rather than application
- Remember to be as concise as possible in the rule section of IRAC/CREAC
- Find or create short outlines of the applicable black letter law for each subject
- Check out Legally Katie’s material for 1-2 pages per subject of easy to memorize info!
- Wrap up any loose ends with the P&E section (straight memorization!) or MBE section
- Schedule a review session if you feel worried about anything!
RELAX!!! You did it! You made it!!! You are done studying like a madman and you can finally rest for a few days. Breathe a sigh of relief. Grab a drink with your friends. Call your mom. Do anything to take your mind off the upcoming few days.
You may feel inclined to cram but do not do it!! If you have followed your study schedule and feel relatively comfortable (NOT PERFECT!!) with the material, you have more than earned a few days break.
So, if you have been asking, “now what?” like pretty much every prepper I know, try out this schedule and see how how you feel. Don’t be afraid to adapt or change your schedule as time allows. Today is the Fourth of July. If you have taken your practice MBE and feel good about your standing, enjoy your day. Relax. Watch some pretty fireworks. Get back to it tomorrow. If you haven’t taken your MBE, take three hours this morning and then take the afternoon to do the same as your counterparts. Everyone needs a break. You may not think it, but you totally deserve one.
Have a happy Fourth and keep on, keepin’ on team!