Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Washington State Bar Exam: Some Tips and Comments

The WSBA Logo
Studying for the bar exam is one miserable way to spend the summer. With so much staked on the outcome of one test, studying for the bar can be one of life's most tedious and stressful events. Having taken the bar in Washington last summer, I offer the following list of five helpful tips and some ways that the library can help.

1. Outline- early and often.

Create an outline for each subject that may be tested on the bar. There are around nineteen subjects that may be tested on the Washington State exam and it is a good practice to create an outline for each one of them. In outlining, it may be helpful to review some of the bar preparation materials available in the library. The library has recent materials from the most popular bar exam prep courses, including Rigos and Barbri.

2. Don't give up.

Having enduring three years of law school, you are likely not the kind of person who gives up easily. Like many aspects of law school and legal practice, the bar exam presents a great deal of uncertainty. Studying for the bar is often not a confidence building exercise. Don't let poor scores on the bar review practice exams discourage you. Even if you are not getting passing scores on the practice exams, you can still pass. Devote extra time to outlining and practicing your non-passing subjects.

3. Practice as many questions as you can.

Practicing actual exam questions is an excellent way to help you prepare for the exam. Start off by practicing questions individually and work your way up to sets of three. By the time that I reached the final weeks of preparation, I was writing nine to ten questions per day. Gallagher has nearly thirty years of old Washington bar examinations, available at KF303.W37.
Always have proper supervision!

4. De-stress before the exam.

I destroyed a fence in my back yard during the weekend before the exam. If you don't have anything to break, consider a walk or some other type of stress-relieving exercise. Physical activity is a nice way to break up long periods of concentration and it can be essential to maintaining your sanity during the bar exam preparation process.    

5. Prepare for exam conditions.

Meydenbauer Center during a convention.
Those taking the bar exam in Western Washington will encounter a unique set of exam conditions. Locally, the bar exam will be administered at the Meydenbauer Center. In case you have never visited, expect a cavernous room with the sound of over 500 laptops typing. The rules are strictly enforced. No cell phones are allowed in the exam room. Also, before entering the room, you must take everything out of your pockets and place it in a small plastic bag. It is wise to strictly comply, as the last thing that you want during the bar exam is more stress.

Good luck to all of you who are taking the bar exam this summer. If you study hard, avoid self doubt, and follow the rules, your name is sure to be on the pass list in October!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

FYI the bar exam is at the Tacoma Convention Center this July...