The best advice that I can offer future California Bar takers is: 1) take as many Bar classes as possible, 2) take a commercial Bar Exam preparation course, and 3) study every day during the summer before the bar exam
First, I would recommend taking as many Bar classes as possible while in law school. You are expected to learn all of the Bar subjects over the course of 2 months. That is, for most of us, an impossible task. Taking Bar classes insures that you won’t be seeing a lot of the material for the first time. I felt like it was a lot easier to struggle to remember Constitutional Law than it would have been to learn it in two months.
Second, I invested in a Bar prep course. The course I company I chose was a really good choice for me because its strong suit was on the essays, and I was already confident in my ability to succeed on the multiple choice portion of the exam. Ask people who have taken the Bar which Bar prep course they took and why. The courses are really expensive and I really didn’t want to pay for it. Ultimately, I decided that it was worth the money if it was going to help me pass the first time. My Bar prep course gave me a study schedule that I could work with, in-person classes, hundreds of multiple choice questions, essay prompts, and three graded essays. I don’t believe that I could have put all of that together myself.
Finally, and most importantly, I studied every day. I attended the in-person lectures every morning. After the Bar prep session ended, I stayed at school and studied until around 5 p.m. On weekends, I still started studying around 9 a.m. and continued for several hours. Studying every day was helpful for two major reasons: 1) I was rarely overwhelmed by the amount of work that I had to do because I was current with my course schedule; 2) I was able to build stamina for test taking. The Bar is exhausting. Even on the days that you feel like you did a decent job, you are still drained at the end of the day. Committing to study 8 hours a day, even when you don’t want to, helps prepare you for that fatigue.
Study hard and often! It is okay if you get overwhelmed. Realizing how much you don’t know is part of the process. No matter how stressed out you get just keep moving forward.