Many people are beginning bar study this week, though some began last week. In order to get off to a good start, it’s important to establish and assess your routine. You want to develop a study schedule that works for you. You want to do your most difficult tasks at the time that your brain functions best. If you’re not a morning person and your plan for the summer is to wake up and start studying at 6am, it’s going to be a struggle. You have plenty of time to get ready to wake up early on exam day. You can build up to that.
Bar study may feel easy in the beginning. All of those stories you heard about 10-12 hour days seem like exaggerations. They’re not. The first week or so will be slower. Things will pick up quickly. It’s important to get into a good routine now so that you have places you feel comfortable working, and know what tasks you prefer to do at what times of day. You can switch things up. Switching up locations in particular can be very helpful. But you still need a plan.
Remember that you want to do three things every day – watch lecture, make your study materials, and do practice. You don’t need to make your own study materials from scratch. It’s fine to annotate commercial materials. But you need to think ahead to the last two weeks when you will be focusing on memorization, and make sure that every day you have the materials you will use to memorize the material you learned that day. You won’t have any time to make materials later on.
You also need to do at least two hours of practice every day. That could be essays, MBEs, or MPTs. Ideally, it would be some combination of them. But don’t just do practice for the sake of doing it. You need to thoroughly review each answer and answer explanation and understand why you answered a question correctly or incorrectly. Then you need to do something about the question you answered incorrectly – clarify the rule in your outline, add the rule to your outline or a flashcard, write down a test-taking tip that you learned. Always keep moving forward, and always keep reflecting on everything you’re doing.