My Weekly Bar Prep Schedule

I've been studying for the bar for about a month now, and I figured it's time to share my Bar Prep Schedule. Not gonna lie, it has been very difficult to get into a good study routine because of everything going on with COVID. As of now, it still seems uncertain as to whether I will be taking the bar in July. In addition, I planned on studying at my apartment back at school, but like many other students, I went home in March, and I haven't gone back to school (except for a few days to get more clothes). At school, I had so many places to study, and I planned on using all of them. I had the law school library, the main campus library, about 5 different coffee shops I love, the Union, some study spaces at the gym that I use all the time, and my apartment. But being home, I only have my house to study in, as most coffee shops are not open for in-person seating yet (plus, I would feel bad taking a table for HOURS at end when the shop can only have 25% occupancy) and neither have the local libraries. So getting into the groove of studying has been a challenge. Plus, being home, I want to spend time with my family and dog, so that is tempting as well. 

I have a couple different calendars I use to keep track of my studying. First of all, I am doing Barbri Bar Prep, and their Personalized Study Plan is great as it tells me what the next thing for me to do is. Based on what my Personalized Study Plan says, I keep a running excel sheet that breaks every week down into days. Each day has 7  blocks of time: 8-9 am, 9 am-12 pm, 12-1pm, 1-4 pm, 4-5pm, 5-7:30 pm, and 7:30-10:30 pm. Everyday, I take a break for lunch from 12-1pm, and take a break for dinner and to workout from 5-7:30 pm. From 7:30pm until whenever I decide to get ready for bed, I review outlines or my Critical Pass Flashcards. For the rest of the blocks, I fill those in based on what my Barbri Personalized Study Plan says I need to do next. So for example, if I have a four hour lecture on civil procedure to watch, I will schedule that for 8 am - 12 pm. Then let's say that the next thing to do is 3 learning quizzes that will take an hour each, so I then schedule those for 1 pm - 4 pm. I tend to plan about a week out, so I always know what I will be doing on that day, the following day, and the day after that. I've included a picture of a sample week below.

At the beginning of each week, I look at my excel sheet and using that, I fill in a weekly whiteboard with my plans for each day. I find that this is generally easier to look at, as I keep it right next to my desk. It's easier to glance over at my whiteboard instead of pulling my excel sheet up while I am watching an online lecture. Once I finish something, I cross it off on my whiteboard. Once reason why I love this weekly whiteboard is because it is so easy to change. If I decide to do something different than I had planned one day, I just erase what I had down for that day and fill in what I decide to do that day instead. It allows me to be flexible, but also to make sure that I am staying on top of my studying.

I also have a monthly whiteboard, which I use to keep track of the days, as well as maintain my master list of things to do. This list doesn't contain items from my Personalized Study Plan, but rather studying I do to supplement my plan. For example, typing up my notes from lectures and topics I need to spend some extra time with are on this list. Lastly, I have a written planner that I will write my "bar prep to do" at the beginning of each day. I like to wait until that specific day to write in everything in, just in case my plans change. Once I complete each activity, I check it off. I find that having the excel sheet, my planner, and weekly whiteboard allow me to see what I need to accomplish each day and week clearly. Yes, it's a lot of planners, but it helps me go into each day with a clear plan of what needs to be done and how long it should take.

Keep in mind that this is my ideal schedule. In no ways do most of my days look like this. Most of them don't look like this. I usually start around 7:45 or 8 am each day, and I usually take a lunch break around 11:30 or 12 pm. However, I typically finish my afternoon work around 3 pm, so I will go for a walk and workout then. Then, I eat dinner. Afterwards, I will review outlines or my flashcards. Some days, I finish my work even earlier and will run some errands. Other days, I will finish everything on my to do list and decide not to review things later. However, I do want to start reviewing more, so that is my goal for this coming week. 

Well that was a long and complicated post, but I feel like that sums up studying for the bar pretty well! Drop a comment below with how your bar prep is going and your schedule for it!


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