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What are the Best Tips for Taking the Bar Exam?

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  • Written By: Dee S.
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2016
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For people who have graduated from law school, the next big step is taking the bar exam in the region in which they would like to practice law. The majority of the work is done in the months leading up to the bar exam, but there are still some tips that will make it slightly less stressful. These tips include selecting a good place to stay the nights before the examination days, knowing what to bring to the exam, and knowing how to be as comfortable as possible while taking the bar exam.

Bar examinations are given periodically throughout the year and schedules vary by country and sometimes even by region. The bar examination in the US is held twice a year in each state and everyone taking the bar exam at that time must convene at single location. As a result, some people may find the exam is being offered in their hometown, while others may discover that they must travel hours from home to the exam location.

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Regardless of where the test is scheduled to take place, one of the best tips available to exam takers is that they should stay in a hotel near the exam site, even if they live 30 away. By staying in a hotel, some of the stressors of the examination mornings, such as traffic, parking, and car trouble, can be avoided. For most exam centers in the US, the examination is held in a convention center or large hotel meeting room, the majority of which provide a hotel on-site, making this option quite convenient.

Other tips for people taking the bar exam involve the night-before-the-test preparation. Generally, there is not much studying that can or should be done the night before the test. It is best to try to relax, watch a movie, or catch up on some television shows. A good night of sleep can really help the test taker retrieve the information when taking the bar examination.

In addition, a good breakfast is essential. The morning of the bar examination, however, is not the time to experiment with new health foods, such as flaxseed. Frequently running to the bathroom with an upset stomach may hinder the test taker and may result in a lower test score. It is best to stick with food that is easy on the stomach, yet filling. These foods include fruit, oatmeal, and scrambled egg whites.

Another good tip is to bring more pencils and pens into the examination than necessary. Preparedness is key for people taking the bar exam. In addition, most testing centers have strict rules that must be adhered to during the bar examination. Some places allow snacks and drinks to be brought in and consumed during the test, while others do not. If snacks are allowed, a helpful tip is to make sure all items are unwrapped and ready to go. This could save valuable time during the test.

An important tip for all people taking the bar exam is to be comfortable. This can mean dressing in comfortable clothes, such as sweatpants and t-shirts. It can also mean dressing in layers. If the examination room is too hot or too cold, it may be distracting to the test taker. This problem is easiest to fix by putting on a sweater or taking off a jacket.

With many people taking the bar examination in one room at one time, there is plenty of extraneous noise. As a result, one of the most useful tips is wearing ear plugs during the exam. They will block out plenty of sound, such as coughing, nose blowing, lip smacking and other distractions.

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