I tend to be a bit random in my thinking, so below is a list of factors I found important in my Bar preparation:
- NUTRITION: I experimented with different breakfasts, lunches, and dinners to figure out what would maximize my ability to focus and concentrate. Also, I wanted to avoid food coma or unnecessary sugar/insulin crashes.
- CAFFEINE: I played around with different sources and amounts of caffeine including caffeine pills, cold brew coffee, energy drinks, and found what allowed me to most optimally perform on the day of the exam.
- PAYMENT: (credit to a classmate of mine) Figure out how you will be paying for the Bar Exam and Bar preparation well before you begin preparing. You do not need unnecessary sources of stress during preparation.
- EMOTION: How you will feel on the day of the Bar is almost completely out of your control. During my preparation, I regularly practiced reaching emotional extremes (sadness, anger, happiness …etc.), coming back to neutral, and then taking an exam. Remember that the world will continue to spin while you’re preparing for and taking the exam, but you can prepare to deal with unexpected events that could throw you off your groove.
- DISTRACTIONS: It’s impossible to recreate test settings when taking practice tests. However, I did occasionally take practice exams in public settings like libraries, mall food courts, and parks. I was not 100% prepared for what the Bar would be like, but I was able to block out a lot of the distractions like people walking around, loud typing, proctors blowing their nose…etc.
- MENTAL REFRESH: The most exhausting thing for me with exams has always been mentally refreshing after every question. Putting aside the facts, law, your concerns about the red herrings, …etc., from the previous question and facing the new question with fresh eyes and an open mind. Remember, the MBEs are 200 QUESTIONS! Obviously taking practice exams back to back could train your ability to do this. I also experimented with things like speed networking and speed dating to further hone this; sounds crazy, but who knows you might meet some interesting folks.
- Time for my favorite part, closing remarks. Remember that you are not alone. Whatever you are concerned, anxious, or nervous about when it comes to Bar preparation, I can guarantee there is someone out there with the same exact thought or feeling.Also, things really did not click in my mind until a week and a half before the exam.Lastly, try to enjoy the preparation. This was the last time I had the opportunity to hang out and study and laugh (at least once a day) with my dear friends almost every single day.
Good luck and please feel free to connect with me via Linkedin with any questions or concerns.Linkedin profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robertim/Firm profile: http://www.greenhall.com/attorneys/robert-im/