Apr 6, 2018

5 Tips to Self-reviewing for the Bar Exams

The 2017 Philippine Bar Exams results will be released soon and I am sure,  the thousands who took it are all excited to see the outcome of their labor.

It is inspiring to hear stories of bar passers who made it through sheer hard work and perseverance despite the odds.

Last year, one new lawyer used to work as a janitor in a government office. Another is the story of a father dad who self-reviewed and passed the bar at the ripe age of 69 which brings me to the topic of self-review. This post is all about that.

If you chose to self-review, these 5 tips might be helpful.

1. Make a study plan and stick to it

Get an overview of the bar exams coverage by checking out the Bar exams syllabus.  Make an inventory of your resource materials and create a timetable to serve as your guide.

It is hard to put everything into writing but believe me, putting a time period will give structure to your self-review schedule.

Set weekly and monthly goals depending on the time left before the Bar exams. Reading 10 -15 hours a day is possible but prevent burnout. Set aside a fix number of hours each day to read a book, codal or any other review material.

It is hard but if you really want to reach that goal of passing the bar, your commitment to set aside time to read each day is very important. Make and stick to your self-review study plan.

2. Rent a place near a (law) library 

Be as near as possible to a  law library,  one where you can just access on foot or one ride away. Considering the traffic in the cities today,  you would be well-advised to stay in a location which would help maximize the efficient use of your limited time and resources.

Rent a room or condo share with similar bar reviewees. It is better to have a separate room for yourself. Having a place all to yourself where you can read in abandon without disruption is a great strategy to having a successful bar self-review.

3.  Pace your reading

Don't burn yourself during the self-review, pacing is your ally so put this in your study plan. If you find yourself too motivated during the initial phase of the review but later on lose steam along the way, you are in danger of a review burnout.  Allow breaks and relaxation days to prevent yourself from losing steam.

Prevent from over-stressing and overworking yourself.  Never force yourself to study when your mind refuses to take in any new material. You know that moment when you keep on reading the same phrase 5 times and it is still not registering in your brain. It will be counterproductive.  It is better to take time to release and relax your mind by taking minute breaks during the daily reading plan.

Give yourself a day in a week to just forget about the review altogether. Go out, linger and stroll in a mall, watch a movie, see your friends, have a day at a beach to take the stress of bar review off your mind. It will do great for the long term success of your review.

4.  Pool funds from all sources beforehand

You don't want to start your review only to give up due to low funds halfway through it.  Enlist the help of everyone including your family to gather all funds that will support until you finish the review. If needed, get passive income to help out with your review.

I write for an online platform since 2010.  It is not big but it has given me a steady of income for awhile now.  Getting your bar license can break your bank but if you have saved and prepared for it beforehand, the better.

Save as much as possible and pool all your resources before deciding to do your self-review.

5.    Online review may be an option

I hear you, I am writing a post on self-review BUT if you have access to an online review course just to update yourself of new materials, then do it. An online review course will be a good source of updated materials and will definitely not take away time from your self-review.

This way, you will be updated with new cases to read but still have control of your time to review the videos and lectures the course provides. I heard this local online review center will start by May 2018 so sign up now. This will be a great supplement to your self-review.

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