This last week was STRESSFUL and it is just going to get worse. Who put “time” on fast forward? I cannot even believe that two weeks from today I will be getting ready for my bar exam week. Suddenly I feel like I need more time!
I have just two final days of Barbri (Civil Procedure) then my Barbri circle of friends and I will have to go our separate ways until after the bar exam. 😦 We’ve already promised to keep tabs on each other (via email) these last couple of weeks and keep sharing encouragement for the toughest part of this journey. I really don’t think I would have made it through the drudgery of bar review without these girls to commiserate with; really, they made it fun.
What was decidedly NOT fun this last week was our simulated MBE…200 questions in the same mixed subjects that are tested on Day 2 of the bar exam: Property, Contracts, Torts, Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Constitutional Law. It was as close to a testing experience as we’ve had so far. It took all day (just as Day 2 of the bar exam) with 3 hours of testing (100 questions) in the morning and another set in the afternoon. My head felt like it was stuffed with oatmeal at the end of the day and I had a headache. I only felt confident about a handful of questions and the rest of them were anyone’s guess.
As we compared notes afterward, everyone in my circle felt the same way. Even though the Barbri people keep telling us to “Stop thinking like “A” law students and realize that you aren’t going to tackle this exam the way you did in law school.” Easier said than done. All of us still want to excel and this exam just doesn’t allow for much of that.
Although my MBE simulated score was not what I wanted, it did confirm my weakest subjects, so I’ve got to focus on getting better in those. I don’t have time to master them, and luckily the bar doesn’t require that I do that, but if I can get just a few more right in each section and keep getting better in my strong subjects, I think that’ s my best shot!
I’ve spent the last two days going over those 200 questions (and I’m still not done!) in excruciating detail. Barbri has a 2-hour online video review of each subject area and although it takes an ENORMOUS amount of time, these lectures have given me some of the best tips and tricks for the exam that I have seen so far. I sort of wish I had gotten this information sooner!
Today I got my last MPT back from one of my law school advisers that has been reviewing these for me weekly. It was one of the best ones I’ve done so far 5- on a 6 point scale! If I can do that on the bar, I’m golden on this area!
I didn’t do any studying today, but instead did a ton of organizing. I have condensed all my study materials in to three binders—one for each day. I’ve put everything I have to study in its appropriate binder, labeled it and tabbed everything. That way I’ll be able to shift back and forth between all the 4 different test areas with ease.
I did audio versions of rule statements for three of my most difficult topics and then burned them onto a CD that I can play over and over in my car as I’m driving or when I’m going to sleep. I will also add those files onto my MP3 player so I can listen to them no matter where I am. I’ve got more rule statements to record for the remainder of the essay subjects, but for now, I’ll start working on the most challenging ones.
*Sigh* I feel like I’m going 675 (Ha ha, get it…675…the passing bar score) different directions and I am…but if I can just hang on for a few more weeks…hopefully this will all pay off.
Tuesday I’m changing venue and going back to Dallas where I’ll stay up to and through the bar exam. It will be good to be back where I am comfortable studying since the MOST difficult part of bar prep here at home has been finding a good place to study. I never did find “the” place because most places didn’t stay open as late as I needed, didn’t have guest internet, or both. Also, I found that outside of academia it is quite difficult to find places where people study for extended periods of time and in relative quiet. With everyone having cell phones now, nobody thinks anything of just busting out in long, loud conversations right in the middle of the library.
Maybe the fact that I’m nearing my saturation point with studying is making me even more edgy. Yes, that’s probably true. But also, I just don’t understand so little consideration for others around you.
So, my suggestion to anyone considering going away from their school to study for the bar exam: find a place to study that will work for you. Find it early and make sure that you check it out several different times at different times of the day to see if it fits your needs. Otherwise, stay close to your home campus and utilize facilities with which you are familiar and you can skip the drama of studying like a nomad.
I’m all tapped out of anything more this time around. It’s been a rough week. Still I clocked 50 hrs. I have a feeling that next week I’ll look back at THIS week and long for having studied “just” 50 hours. Wish me luck and send me prayers!!! Pleeeze!