Monday, June 30, 2014

Strategies for July

Students very often ask me whether they should be studying differently for the MBE in July than they were in the months leading up to the exam. Though it's difficult to generalize, the one piece of advice I do give to all students is that in July you should be focusing far more on practice questions than on reading substantive outlines. There is definitely a time for reading outlines, and doing so is an essential aspect of the bar-review process, but in the last month leading up to the exam, practicing applying the knowledge that you've already learned will often benefit you more than continuing to try to memorize the substantive law.

That isn't to say you should put the outlines away. As you work through questions you will often need to refer back to the outlines to clarify points made in the answer explanations to the questions you're working through. In other words, the outlines should become a reference rather than a primary studying tool.

It's still a balance, and throughout this final month you should continue to balance the two essential components of effective bar preparation: gaining a deep knowledge of the subject matter, and applying that knowledge to practice questions. But understand that just as it would be difficult to learn how to play a musical instrument by only memorizing the notes of a song, simply learning the law will not be enough to excel on the MBE.

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