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March 10, 2009


  • Do not socialize. If you arrive early, don't interact with other people. What are they going to tell you that's going to make you feel better? After all, they're probably as nervous as you are. Listen to music, read a book, write in your journal or take a (short) walk. Eat lunch by yourself. Talking to other people will probably make you more anxious, especially if they're feeling competitive or panicky themselves.
  • Structure your time. Take a few seconds to look over each section and see how much time you'll need for each question. Map it out according to your watch. You want to have an idea of where you're supposed to be at all times. You can also decide which questions you want to answer first. (Note, however, that on the MBE there are 200 multiple-choice questions, so you won't have time to skip around too much.)
  • Stay organized and calm. Read each question carefully and jot down a few notes or an outline for essays. Use subject headings whenever possible. Eliminate unlikely answers and be as neat as possible.
  • Answer all questions carefully. Don't leave anything blank and be sure to answer each question just as it is asked. Don't get bogged down on tangential details or stray off the topic.
  • Don't rush. The bar exam days are very difficult and you'll probably want to get out of there as soon as possible. But if you don't want to have to come back, you'll make use of every second available to you now!
  • Beware of snowballing. One of the worst mistakes people make is letting one error or problem snowball until it becomes a great big problem. Don't let one mistake shake your calm or your confidence. If you think you've messed up one essay question, let it go, and move onto the next one. Don't obsess about a particularly hard multiple-choice question you answered 15 minutes ago.
  • Use abbreviations wisely. Abbreviations are only useful if you make it clear what they mean. If you find yourself having to make a long list to explain them, then you've used too many.
  • Don't cite cases or statutes. Unless a case has made a rule of law famous or set a standard, don't worry about citing it.
  • Consider your reader. A real person is going to read your exam. Write neatly, keep your sentences short and persuasive, and don't get carried away in your statements. Even with all the legal knowledge crammed into your head, you still need to use your common sense.


Filed Under: Education

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