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Bar Exam Wisdom from BarBri Instructors

The bar exam is a few days away.  All of our work for the last 4 years to get into law school, through law school, and through bar prep will come down to a 2-day test (3 days for some people).

Virginia Bar Exam

Image by Philip Larson via Flickr

I reached out to two of my favorite BarBri instructors and asked them to share some final works for wisdom about taking the bar.  Here’s what they had to say:

“Keep your wits about you, and always always put your faith in the curve.”
Douglas Moll, University of Houston Law Center Professor and BarBri instructor

“Bring earplugs – 2 sets.   1 set because you know you’ll be sitting next to someone with tuberculosis and the other set just in case someone ate a burrito for lunch.  Those suckers also can fit up your nose.

“Don’t carb out for lunch unless you want to take a nap in the middle of the afternoon session. Don’t drink a pot of coffee with breakfast unless you want to become a resident of the restroom.  For dinner, eat like a pig.  Carb out like crazy so that you get tired and can fall asleep, despite the anxiety you may be feeling.  In case of emergency, take half a Sominex.

“Bring a pocket flashlight!  True story: On my last day of the California bar, the lights went out during the final performance test for about 2 minutes.  Fortunately for me, someone had told me to bring a tiny pocket flashlight and I did.  Needless to say, I didn’t miss a beat while others around me were quietly cursing me for having one.

“On the morning of the MBE, do 10-15 questions before the test and make your mistakes then.  By the time the exam rolls around you will be properly warmed up.  This advice is gold for those in the parenthetical category.

“Finally, face the bar with a clear mind, a strong will and an open heart (for the hippies!).  It’s just a test.  Beat the living heck out of it.  God bless all of you taking the bar exam this summer, even the non-believers.”
Chuck Shonholtz, BarBri Instructor

Good luck to everyone taking the exam!  As my coach  would say, “Do what you know how to do.”

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  1. Addy says:

    Good luck Ruth!! You’ll rock it!

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks! That’s the plan!

  2. Brian says:

    Ruth, once you get seated in the exam room, pay attention to the signals your body gives you. Take a moment to assess how your body feels. We can sometimes tense our muscles without knowing it. If your pulse is racing, take a few deep breaths. Relax. Don’t let the moment overwhelm you. Kick ass.

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks! I keep thinking of what my coach used to always say at competitions: “Do what you know how to do.” That advice hasn’t failed me yet.

  3. laura wilson says:

    Ruth, I’ve been following your blog; I think it’s great. I’m taking the bar exam Tue/Wed here in Vermont. It’s been a rocky up and down road. Thanks for your blog, good luck to you and to us all…Laura

    1. Ruth Carter says:

      Thanks and good luck on your test!