Should I study while I am waiting for bar results?

One of the common questions examinees ask is whether or not they should study while they wait for their bar exam results. My answer depends upon two things: 1) whether you took the July bar exam or the February bar exam and 2) whether you are a worrier or not.

JULY vs. FEBRUARY: If you have taken the July bar exam and are currently waiting for bar results, then my answer to you would be that it is safe for you to put your books away and wait for bar results. Here is why: because of the timing of the July bar exam results (November 16th) those who find out they did not pass the July bar exam, will know enough in advance to still adequately prepare for the next bar exam (the February bar exam). Since results come out on November 16, 2007, examinees who find out they failed the July 2007 bar exam will have almost 3 and 1/2 months to study for the February 2008 bar exam.

However, if you are awaiting results from a February bar examination, then your results will come at the end of May – only about eight weeks before the next July bar exam. This does not leave a lot of time to study before the next exam. As a result, my advice to February examinees is to study some in advance of the results so that in the event you do not pass the February bar exam you have already hedged your bet for the next bar round by reviewing early.

WORRIERS: For those of you who tend to worry more than others (and don’t get me wrong, worrying about your bar results just comes naturally, but some of us worry a lot more about things in general than others do) then it will just make sense for you to study at least some while you are awaiting your results.

So, what did I do when I took the bar? Well, after I packed up my bar review materials, lugged them back home after I took the last day of the bar exam, I didn’t turn another page in those books again. BUT, the week before bar results I tortured myself over the fact that I didn’t continue studying after taking the bar exam . . . what if I failed?

Well, fortunately I passed. But, I look at it this way: if you are worried about it, then go ahead and review your outlines for the MBE topics and even take a few MBE practice questions. If you receive passing results in November, you won’t be angry with yourself because you wasted a few hours studying while you waited for bar results. On the other hand, if you find out in November that you did not pass the bar exam, then at least you have a jump start on your studies.

In any event, I wish you the very best of luck to those of you who are waiting for bar results!

Bar Exam Guru