How to Best Prepare For the Bar Exam

How to Best Prepare For the Bar Exam

Preparing for the bar exam is something most people dread due to the amount of work required and how grueling the material is. You can’t expect to sign up for the exam, show up, and pass without any preparation ahead of time. Here are five ways to help prepare you for your upcoming bar exam.

Focus on all sections:

The exam consists of three different parts, and you need to have a minimum score on each section to pass the overall exam. The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), essays, and Multistate Performance Test (MPT) are all critical for your success. The MBE is definitely crucial and requires plenty of studying, but don’t push essays or MPT to the side or you’ll be in for a big surprise when you receive your results. If you’re weak in one area, being strong in another can make up for your shortcomings.

Know your class placement:

It’s a proven fact that if you’re in the bottom half of your graduating class in law school, then you are more likely to fail the bar exam. Instead of accepting this, prepare yourself by taking a supplemental program in addition to a bar review program. The programs can help you apply the law to different scenarios and enable you to utilize these skills on the exam.

Get a tutor:

If you have any doubt about how you’re going to perform, take the opportunity to hire a tutor. You’ll gain an advantage and have access to someone who knows what the test entails and methods that are effective to help you pass. Memorizing facts alone isn’t going to be enough to pass this test.

Allocate your time effectively:

The myth used to be that if you were studying for your bar exam that your work, family, and hobbies fall to the side. This might have been true when you needed to attend classes in person to learn the material, but with online courses and alternate ways of learning, preparation doesn’t need to dominate your life completely. Try to allocate as much time as possible to prepare yourself, but don’t overdo it. Make a schedule for set times that you’re going to study to help keep some balance in your life.

Take a break:

Designate one day a week where you’re not going to do any studying. Studying takes almost, if not more, time than a full-time job because there is so much to know and practice in preparation. Go out for a day and give your brain some time to rest. You’ll appreciate the break and a fresh look at the material for your next study session.

The bar exam isn’t a walk in the park. It takes plenty of preparation, time, studying, and a drive to do well. Implement these tips in your preparation to improve your performance and increase your chances of being successful the first time you hear the proctor say “you may begin.”


Jay Sekulow is an American attorney and is the Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ).

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