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Tips for Surviving the California State Bar Exam

Tips for Surviving the California State Bar Exam

The California State Bar Exam is widely regarded as one of the most difficult bar exams in the United States. The test itself is hard enough without having to worry about external circumstances that might make your test taking and preparation more worrisome. The following are some collected tips from people who have passed the California State Bar Exam on what they did to survive.

Learn Bar Law Using BARBRI

The BARBRI Bar Exam Courses are the best test prep courses for the California State Bar Exam. These courses prepare students and test takers for what people who have taken the test commonly refer to as “bar law,” the complicated portion of the multistate exam that utilizes many principals you likely will not have actually learned throughout the course of your law school study. Just as many students take prep courses for the LSAT or even, these days, for the ACT and SAT, it is recommended to take a prep course for the Bar Exam even beyond those offered by your particular law school. This tip comes courtesy of Eric Goldman, who is now an adjunct professor at the Santa Clara School of Law.

Be Prepared That There is Something on the Exam You Might Not Know

The California State Bar Exam is difficult and comprehensive. There is a large chance you will not know the answer to every single question present on the test. According to the Ms. JD blog, it was important to realize this and be prepared to, in that case, simply make a reasoned case and write like a lawyer.

Take Practice Tests

The Bar Exam will likely be unlike anything you’ve quite done before, even with the large amount of standardized tests and legal exams you will have had once you get to this point. It is important to take practice tests to get a handle on test structure, the types of questions that you’ll be asked, and the time period allowed to complete certain portions of the test.

Manage Stress

Nearly every guide to surviving the bar exam notes that managing stress is one of, if not the, most important things. This can be different for different people, but what it most boils down to is being able to enjoy life outside of studying for the bar exam. If you let studying for the bar exam consume you, you’ll worry even more. Treat studying for the bar exam like another job, with dedicated hours and dedicated time off. You’ll likely think about the exam when you’re not studying—that’s natural. But don’t constantly talk about it with your law school friends, try not to lose any sleep over it, and know that if you are dedicating time to study, you will be just fine.

Forget the Exam Once It’s Taken

Once you have completed the exam, you will likely feel both relief and disappointment. The first thought many people have is “I didn’t pass,” but that is usually not the case. Once you’ve completed the exam, don’t worry about it until the results come in. You’ve dedicated quite a bit of your life to it up to that point. Feel free to celebrate that it’s taken care of, at least for now.

Abraham Lincoln University is an online distance learning institution offering a Juris Doctor degree program that prepares students to sit for the California State Bar exam.


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