McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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Prep Tip: Mimic the Bar Schedule

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on July 14, 2016

Now that we’re about two weeks out, it’s a good idea to start mimicking the bar schedule:


  • Wake up and eat breakfast when you plan to do so during Bar Week.  If you work out in the mornings and plan to keep that up during the bar, add that in, too.
  • If you plan to simulate essays on a particular day, do so between around 9:00 and noon.  (You can write and review more later as well, if necessary.)  If you only planned to write one or two essays that day, practice some MBEs during this time, too.
  • If you plan to drive to the bar and did not attend the Convention Center Meet-Up this week, pick a day to drive to your test center at the same time you will do so during Bar Week to scope out traffic and parking — preferably on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday.


  • Eat lunch between noon and 1:30, and try to eat similar things to what you will eat during Bar Week (i.e., if you wouldn’t eat a heavy, sleep-inducing meal then, don’t do so now).
    • It’s not a bad idea to pack your lunch during the bar, if possible.  That way you do not have to stand in the looong lines at nearby restaurants, or move your car and drive somewhere (adding unnecessary stress to your day with traffic, parking, etc.).  You can leave it in a cooler in the trunk of your car or in your hotel room, or perhaps if a family member will be nearby s/he can bring it to you.  You are permitted to leave it in the main hallway outside of the exam room, but it will not be monitored.
    • If you do choose to walk somewhere and buy your lunch, do NOT talk about the exam or listen to anyone else talking about the exam!  True story:  Certain attorneys who work nearby find it entertaining to go to a restaurant during Bar Week, stand in line with frazzled bar takers, and loudly share made-up stories about mythical hidden essay issues.  (“Did you notice the Torts crossover in Question 2?” “Yeah, I almost missed it but thank goodness I didn’t! I bet it was worth half the points!”)  Don’t listen to other people!
  • You do not need to simulate a PT every day, of course, but if one is in your study plan — or perhaps more MBE practice is — complete it between around 1:30 and 5:00.
  • If you are a smoker, adjust those breaks to accommodate the bar, too.  Now is not the time to change habits (wait until July 29 to quit!), but you won’t want to take 5-10 minutes away from your exam time because your body is craving a cigarette.


  • After 5:00, use the time as you’d like — dinner, exercise, more practice, flash cards, etc.  The most important thing you can do now, and probably the hardest thing, is to go to bed when you plan/hope to go to sleep during the bar.  Being fresh and able to focus is one of the most important weapons in your bar pass arsenal, and making yourself go to bed at a particular time (even if you can’t fall asleep right away right now) will make it more likely that you will be able to sleep at that time during Bar Week.

By waking, eating, practicing, and sleeping at the same times now as you will later this month, you will help train your mind and body to be as prepared as possible.

One and done!!




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