Bar study advice comes in many forms. Here are my recommendations for those who are now making decisions about bar prep courses and bar readiness plans:
1. Pick a bar course and study plan that suits your learning style and your budget. Dont purchase a more costly course, if you'll have to take on an extra job during bar study to pay it off. You can't benefit from the bells and whistles of a high-dollar prep program, if you are too stressed from financial worry, or working too many hours to utilize them.
2. Remember that no two successful bar takers are alike, so a tool that works for one student, may not work for another. Take peer recommendations with a grain of salt, and trust your instincts.
3. Plan ahead for success. If you are taking a bar exam in 2018, you should know your application deadline, the fees, the costs of a bar review course, the subjects tested and the format of the test in your state.
4. Utilize the academic support and bar prep resources made available by your law school. If you are a repeat taker, see if your school provides tutoring, essay grading or workshops for alumni. If you are taking a bar exam in a state where you did not attend law school, ask your academic support director to introduce you to the academic support team at a law school where you are studying. Many schools share resources and seek reciprocity.
5. Accept and admit that you are powerless to prepare for the bar alone. In my experience, comments that you "study best alone" "don't need support" or "know what [you] need to do to pass" are typically uttered by a candidate at risk of failure, who does not recognize his or her own risk factors.
6. Use critique and corrective feedback to better you. When you receive poor scores on a practice exam or have seemingly endless written comments on a practice essay, don't be deterred. Find value in the opportunity to see your mistakes before the actual exam, and take correct steps to correct the deficiencies identified.
7. Be willing to deviate from familiar courses. If you need to take a class in Oil & Gas law, because it is tested on your bar exam and your friends all want you to join them in another elective course, have the courage and wisdom to do what will most increase your likelihood of passing the bar. The same goes for decisions about which bar course to enroll in.
8. Don't let naivety cloud your common sense. Bar study myths that any one outline, bar course, etc. is what you need to pass . . . or that doing 100 questions per day, or a practice test per week, are exactly as reliable as every product ad that promises to deliver weight loss and allow you to eat all you want and not exercise.
To the bar candidates faced with these myths I say, don't believe the hype . . . be the hype! With sound financial planning, and self-focused decision making, you can chart the course for your own bar exam success.