Virginia Bar Exam Blog
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
  Response to Comment Posted 5/24
Here is the question:

Probably something brief like "how I passed the NY bar exam and what test takers should look out for". Whenever you get a chance to reply -- no rush.

How I passed the NY bar exam:
1. I took Pieper's class live (evening class). I honestly think that he is the best course out there because:
a. Unlike Barbri where each subject is taught by a different prof (sometimes not even from the jurisdiction where you are taking the exam), Pieper teaches all the classes himself.
b. Because Pieper teaches everything himself, he is able to combine subjects when doing hypos in class, like the bar exam itself. (Example: Family law and Wills of Family law and Property - Divorce and Property distribution). I found this very helpful because it got my mind out of "the subject of the day" mode and made doing essays that much easier.

2. I did both the 6 day and 3 day PMBR.
a. The 6 day is great because it jump starts your bar review studying. It generally is before Barbri or Pieper starting. It also helps because by the time you get to the 6 MBE subjects in whatever class you are taking, you have an idea on the subject (I certainly did not remember civ pro from 1L year).
b. The 3 day is great because it is generally right before the bar exam and is a great refresher and teaches more "tricky tricks" of the MBE. Also, it's another chance to do a full length MBE exam.
c. DON'T just get the books or go to the 3 day just to do the exam. GO to all the classes. They teach substantive stuff and tricks which are very helpful.
d. I think that the MBE is more about learning HOW to answer the questions than really learning.

3. DON'T stress!! Stress is only the product of bad planning and preparation. Just do what you need to do and you won't run out of time. I PROMISE!
a. Go to lecture everyday
b. Do 50 MBE questions everyday
c. By the 2nd month, issue spot at least 2 essays everyday
d. DO take a day off a week the 1st month

4. Active learning is the way to go. Don't just read outlines... can you retain 200 pages of an outline? If yes, then you are a champ. For me, forget retaining 200 pages, I can't even focus for 2 pages! That's why I issue spotted and read as many sample essays as possible. What you get wrong from the essays, go back to the outlines and read that part of the outline.

What test takers should look out for:
Not really sure what to say on this. I guess, don't compare yourself to other people taking the exam. I NEVER followed the suggested study schedule. You have been through 3 years of law school and you KNOW how to study... Don't let people psych you out... The above info is just how I study the best...

Also, this is a marathon and not a sprint. DON'T burn yourself out. I think that one of the hardest things for me was being constant and studying so hard for 2 months. By July 4th weekend I was like, can I take the test already? Slow and steady wins the race really applies to the bar exam.

Make sure that you have your hotel reservations and car service ready for the exam. You don't want to be scrambling the week or night before the exam.

Oh, the day before the exam, I quit at lunch time. Books AWAY! If you don't know by then, you are NOT going to know it and you will just stress yourself out and you will forget what you really do know. I got a massage and a well needed manicure the day before the exam. I rented my favorite movie and watched it. And EARLY to bed!! You have to be fully functional and awake from about 8-5 for 2 days straight. Get your ID and pens/pencils ready the night before, along with your sweater and put them by the front door.

Also, about 2 weeks before the exam, I studied during exam hours. Example, I pretended that I was taking the exam. Up at 7AM, studying 9-12, lunch 1-2, studying 2-5 (just like what I would be doing on exam day).

Hope this helps. If there is anything I missed, let me know.

GOOD LUCK!!
 
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