Last Minute Tips for the Bar Exam

The next administration of the bar exam is less than 2 weeks away! For those of you prepping for the bar, I know you are wrapping up and are going to absolutely kill it! Below are a few tips  that will help you finish strong.

Don’t Second Guess Yourself! 

This was probably one of my biggest struggles during bar prep: You decide on an answer and then you start doubting yourself. Don’t do it! Of course there will always be those questions that you aren’t 100% sure about. Don’t spend too much time dwelling on it. If you’re really torn, circle it and come back to it. Otherwise follow and trust your instinct and keep it moving. 


For some people, essays are their weakness. I remember sitting there on exam day and thinking, “I really have no idea what they want from me with this question.” But don’t fret! If you can’t remember anything else, you know the format of your answer. I used IRAC (issue, rule, application, conclusion) for my essay answers. What I would do is simply type:

Subject Matter

I – The issue here is

R – The applicable rule is

A – In this case,

C – Therefore,

If you use this simple trick to get your wheels turning, it may help! It definitely helped me. It will help you organize your thoughts if you start freaking out. It will also provide you with some solace in knowing that you’ve at least started answering the question, whether you know the answer or not. 

Bring a WATCH (if you can)

Depending on your jurisdiction, you may or may not be able to bring a watch with you. If you can, bring one! Don’t depend on having a clock in your testing center and don’t depend on the program you use to write your exam. Also, try to use your watch as a timer by setting it to 12:00 so that it is easier to tell what time it is and how much time you have left.

Remember to BREATHE

There were a few times during the exam where I had to take a few seconds to “gather” myself and breathe it out. If you need to take a minute or so to regroup, do it. It’s better to take a few seconds to get your mind right than try to push through and lose focus. Try to keep your mind as clear and focused as possible. Consider taking a long walk before arriving at the testing center and listen to your favorite relaxing/motivational music.


Pack the items you will take with you to the exam a couple days before so you’re not scrambling to get everything together. If you have to travel to take your exam, have everything packed 3 days before and only bring the minimal amount of items with you. Make sure you have all of the required materials with you for test day (ID, pencils, water, erasers, earplugs, etc.) well in advance and NOT the night before. You need to be zen AF leading up to the exam. 

Have Faith in Yourself

You have worked hard to get to where you are. You’ve put in a lot of hard work. You’ve sacrificed spending time with friends and family. You’ve spent SO much time, energy, and money (lawd) to get here.  Visualize yourself going in that testing center and absolutely killing it! You can and you will make it! You deserve to pass the bar and you will!

Good luck and I will say a special prayer for you all. The struggle is REAL and you are sooo close to the finish line. You got this!

xoxo Ash


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