McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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A Week in the Life of a Bar Applicant

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on March 23, 2016

Some students have expressed concern recently about planning ahead for their post-graduation bar prep, wondering what a typical week may entail.  You will receive a detailed schedule from your bar review company soon, and you should use that as your planning foundation; but to give you a general idea of what your schedule might look like, I compiled information from past years to create a couple of examples.

Some caveats to consider first:

  • These are only examples.  Your own schedule may be quite different.


  • Each week in your prep period will change, depending on the date (e.g., early or later in the prep period), your commercial company’s assignments/simulations/lectures, etc.


  • You can adjust your bar company’s schedule to meet your personal needs, within reason.  For example, if you have a family function on, say, June 15, you can plan ahead and move that date’s assignments into the preceding and following days to allow you to take that day off.  Just do not take a day off and not account for those missed assignments.


  • Some students who saw these mock schedules already were surprised by how “light” they seem. Bear in mind, though, that they represent a seven-day-per-week commitment for over two months, and each includes 8-10 essay simulations, a PT simulation, and 150-170 MBEs.  That is a lot, and since self-care is a vital component of effective bar prep, you should have at least a little downtime each day — again, within reason; taking a full day off every week might not be the best idea.  (We recommend an approximate total of at least 45-50 fully simulated essays, 5-6 simulated PTs, and 1500-1800 MBEs during the post-graduation prep period.)


  • Related to that point, this schedule assumes strong focus and effective completion of each scheduled task, which then permits that downtime without sacrificing your preparation.  If you spend an hour answering and reviewing MBE questions, but during that time you’re distracted by other things (the Internet, a phone call, daydreaming, etc.), then that hour was not very effectively spent and may necessitate more time for that task.


  • Each person learns and studies differently, so some of these time blocks may not work for you.  For instance, it may take you 90 minutes to simulate and review an essay, or it may take you more than two hours.  (You might consider creating your own schedule in 30-minute increments instead of hour-by-hour.)


  • Each person also has different strengths and weaknesses.  If you struggle with effective essay writing, for example, or a particular substantive topic, then you might want to add more of that into your personal schedule.


If you have questions or would like to discuss your own schedule, please do not hesitate to contact me.

A Week in the Life of a Bar Applicant

A Week in the Life of a Bar Applicant2


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