McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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Starting Strong

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on May 17, 2017

The biggest, most common problem faced by all bar takers is time.  Even if you accept that no human being ever could know every single rule in every single subject–nor does one have to know them all in order to pass–you still will feel like there isn’t enough time to do everything you wish you could to prepare.


There are a few things you can do now, however, that can help ensure that you get off on the right foot this summer.  Even if it’s only by a few days, if you start reviewing early, “Mid-July You” will be so grateful!  These suggestions also apply if your commercial review schedule begins next week and the assignments in the study plan are lighter than expected.

PT Practice and Review:

Whether you attended the proctored session this week or not, you can write another PT or two on your own before getting too bogged down in substantive review.  PTs are closed-universe, so you do not have to have any law memorized to complete them.  You can find practice questions in your commercial materials; just check to make sure that you do not practice with a question that you are scheduled to simulate later.  You also can find free “MPT” (90-minute performance test) questions and Point Sheets (lists of what the drafters were looking for) here–scroll to the bottom of the page for the free packets.  And if you are not participating in the BEAT program, you also can write the PT assigned in the Extra Feedback Program and submit your answer for grading by May 31.

MBE Practice and Review: 

The MBE is a great place to start refreshing your memory of the substantive law.  For now, focus on one particular subject at a time, or even a topic area within a subject, and do not worry about timing.  Consider beginning with a subject that gives you more trouble than others, so you can start dusting off those cobwebs first and give yourself a little extra time with it.  It’s very important to read EVERY answer explanation, even if you got the answer right, because you may have gotten it right for the wrong reason.  If you encounter rules that you forget or that you find particularly confusing, consider making notes or flashcards (if they work for you) for those rules.

Outline Review:

If you’d rather not dive straight into MBE practice yet, you can start reviewing your substantive outlines.  You do not necessarily have to start memorizing them right now; just read through them to reacquaint yourself with the material.  As with MBE practice, consider starting with a subject that you find to be more difficult, and take notes or make flashcards for your weakest areas.  You also can begin to create short attack sheets for each subject that you eventually will commit to memory to aid with issue-spotting on the essays (and MBE).

These simple ideas can help you make the most of the time you have, and can make a big impact on your forthcoming preparations.


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