February 12, 2008 – A few weeks to go!

Hello Everyone,

What should you be doing in these last couple of weeks before the bar exam? Well, studying of course. But, how should you study? One of the most important things to do over the next two weeks is to keep a positive attitude while you are studying. Tell yourself before you study a topic that you will be able to remember it on exam day. It really makes a difference if you approach your studying with a positive mind set. You will remember more and remember more easily for doing so.

Having a study plan is really critical at this point. Therefore, if you do not have one put together, get to work on it now. Take the remaining days, up through the bar exam, and plot out your time and where you will focus.

You will naturally want to review and memorize every subject. However, how will you do that? Give it some thought and develop a plan for doing it. This might sound easier said than done, but you can do it. Simply divide up every day into sections, a morning section, an afternoon section and an evening section and determine what you will do during each section.

I recommend that you fill your morning and afternoon sections with the most difficult work (like doing MBEs or reviewing and memorizing the law) and reserve the evenings for more passive, less strenuous work (like studying essay exams and answers).

Whatever you decide to do, definitely develop a plan of action and stick to it. One of the biggest mistakes students make during the last couple of weeks is to simply study blindly without any particular purpose. Instead, be proactive and create a plan for yourself. Pace yourself in such a way that you move through assignments throughout the day. If you do this, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and feel more positive about taking the bar exam.

If you do not create a plan for yourself (and I mean setting out tasks to do throughout the entire day, hour by hour) you will likely feel less in control, less satisfied at the end of a study day and less confident about taking the bar exam.

So, make a plan, do it now and follow it. You will feel in control because you are taking control! And, you will increase your chances of success by taking charge of your own future and having the confidence in yourself to do so!

Good luck to you in the next few weeks and on the exam days!


Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(562) 799-5581


  1. Hello George,

    First of all, thank you for visiting.

    I am currently in the midst of grading my students’ three simulated bar exam. I will be returning their exams tomorrow and as a result do not have a great deal of time to respond today. However, I will post a list of possible topics that I think could be particularly likely – given their absence on past exams. Check back on Monday or Tuesday and I should have some information up then.

    Until then, here are some of my thoughts: Criminal Procedure perhaps crossed with another topic (like Evidence) or simply just Criminal Procedure all by itself.

    Civil Procedure is pretty high on everyone’s list of predicted topics (I would guess that most bar review companies would be predicting Civil Procedure), simply because it has not been tested in some time. Add to the fact that it has not been tested in a while and that there are a few California additions (as of July 2007) now being tested, and I think most anyone in the bar review business would predict Civil Procedure.

    Corporations also has not been tested in some time and is another likely subject. However, it is really important to recognize that you need to know every subject and know it well because the California bar examiners have really designed an exam that is nearly impossible to predict. In fact, the examiners actually employ statisticians to make sure that the frequency and pattern of subjects chosen for the exam are not predictable.

    Here is a warning that I give all of my students – do not think that because something was just tested on the prior exam that it will not be on the very next exam. You CAN NOT discount these topics or presume that what was on the last bar exam will not be on the next. A perfect example of this are the past two bar examinations (February 2007 and July 2007). Both of administrations tested Constitutional Law First Amendment Speech. Yet, most people presumed that since it was just tested on the February 2007 bar exam that it would not be tested again on the July 2007 bar exam. In fact, many topics have repeated three times back to back from one bar exam to the next.

    If you were to review every past bar exam over the past 25 years in California you would see that nearly every bar round there is a repeat of 3 subjects from one bar exam to the next. Often these show up in the form of a cross over on the next exam where the topic repeats. For example, you might see a full blown First Amendment Speech essay (as we did on the February 2007 bar exam) and then it is followed up on the next bar exam administration as a crossover (we saw this in July 2007 where Criminal Law Murder was one call of a two call essay question and First Amendment Speech was the second call of that essay question).

    I hope this helps for now. I will do my best to put up more about topics I think are likely. I would use this information as a way to include additional review on certain areas – but, NOT as a replacement for studying and reviewing all areas. I am sure that you realize this.

    Thank you again for you comment. If you wish to contact me directly you may do so at pass@barnonereview.com

    Please bear in mind that I will be pretty swamped for the next few days. However, we try to respond to every email as quickly as possible.

    Good luck to you!


    Lisa Duncanson
    Program Director
    Bar None Review