McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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Mimic the Bar Schedule

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on July 16, 2017

Now that the bar is just around the corner, it’s a good idea to start mimicking the bar schedule each day so your body can fall into good habits now, making it much less difficult to do so next week.


  • Wake up and eat breakfast when you plan to do so during the bar exam.  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 and/or between 1:30 and 3:30.  If you plan to complete MBEs, do so between 9:00 and noon and/or between 1:30 and 4:30.  (You can simulate more at other times as well, if you’d like, but start getting into those habits now.)
  • If you plan to drive to the bar and did not attend the Convention Center Meet-Up last week, drive to your test center on Tuesday or Wednesday at the same time you will do so during the bar to scope out traffic and parking.
    • You probably will not be able to get inside the test room, but we were lucky that it was open when we were there.  I took the photo below:
Exhibit Hall Photo

All furniture pictured here is for an unrelated event and may not be the same as that used during the bar exam.  The temporary wall shown on the left side of the photo will be removed, making one giant space.  Usually* bar takers sit two per typical banquet-style folding table, all facing in the same direction, and usually the chairs are metal folding chairs.  There also will be a LOT more tables and chairs in the room than is depicted here.  [*subject to change]



  • Eat lunch between noon and 1:30, and try to eat similar things to what you will eat during the bar (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, so 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 a family member 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!
  • If you plan to simulate a PT, do so between 3:30 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 27 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 during the bar exam, you will help train your mind and body to be as prepared as possible.

be adequately prepared(1)


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