How to: Schedule Bar Prep

Bar prep is crazy. It’s constant work and preparation for what will be the biggest exam of your life. Planning bar prep is critical to doing well on the bar and making sure you practice everything you need to know to set yourself up for success. Now, I don’t know about other states’ bar exams but for Ohio there are three days: MBE, Essays, and MPT. That means, I need to practice multiple choice, short essays, and legal writing. But, planning out how to get the most out of my days and learn all I need to was particularly difficult. Here’s what I came up with: Bar prep schedule 11. Every day, I have a Barbri lecture starting at 9am. Obviously that was the first thing to get put in my calendar because to me, the lectures are non-negotiable. I honestly believe that without lectures, I absolutely will fail the bar.

2. After putting the lectures on my calendar, I focused on making sure my time was divided between essays and MBE questions. For each topic on the Ohio essays, I made sure to schedule 4 untimed essays and 1 timed essay. For every MBE topic, I have at least 30 MBE questions on just that topic. I made sure that I’m writing the essays and doing the multiple choice questions within 3 days after I listen to the lecture.

3. Because I’m going to Ireland, I’m missing the first three days of bar prep (NO regret on that, btw). In addition to all the other work I’m doing, I have to schedule in makeup lectures to cover the topics I’m missing. Scheduling those as early as possible helps me stay on track with what I’m supposed to be learning.

4. Once I had all the items I needed to get done laid out, I made sure to schedule them in a way that gives me breaks. I plan to do a lot of bar prep at school, coffee shops, and as a last resort, at home. I’ll need breaks to go get food or coffee, use the bathroom, and chat with my friends. Even though bar prep is stressful and it’s tempting to work non-stop then take a long break, I know I don’t study the best that way. It’s easier for me to focus on something if I know that I’m getting lunch with someone after my lecture or I can go get coffee after my essay.

5. Finally, I scheduled in my other non-negotiables. I HAVE to go to to gym. It’s relaxing for me and gives me a nice break from the day to day work that I do. By scheduling the gym before I “start my day” I can feel good about being productive already and it sets me up to be productive the rest of the day. I also know that I have a husband and dogs that are going to hate me during bar prep. Every few weeks, I scheduled in one day a week that I take a break. In this case, Thursday after 3:30 all bar prep stops, no exceptions. Patrick and I will go to dinner, take the dogs to the dog park, etc.

Now, as for after vendor classes end, I have NO idea what to do. Thankfully, I have an awesome bar passage professor that can help me set a schedule for what I should be doing during that time so I can be as successful as possible.

How have you set up your bar prep schedule?