The current pandemic, COVID-19, is likely changing your bar exam plans. Big time. Not only may have it changed when and where you can sit for an exam, but it’s changed your personal study plans. You likely envisioned studying in a library or at your favorite spot at your local coffee shop. Now, you have to study at home due to the many social distancing guidelines and restrictions. Let’s talk about how to set up your study space at home to put you in the best position for success.
Create a Designated Study Spot
Choose one spot that is your own just to study. Designate it as your study spot and for nothing else. When you study from home, you want to be able to step away and move to the other areas in your house to relax and get peace. It can be hard to separate the two out, so having a designated spot can help you with this issue.
Keep Your Space Organized
When you’re studying for the bar exam, there are a lot of materials to use. An organized study space creates an organized mind. Have your books, flashcards, post-it notes, and notebooks all in order. You want this study space to be used exclusively and only for bar preparation during this time, so make sure it’s a place that’s organized where you can start studying once you sit down.
Because you are home, you are not only faced with more distractions but also the temptation of giving in to those distractions is higher because you are in the comfort of your home. To combat this, it’s important to eliminate distractions as much as possible. When you’re in your study space, put your phone somewhere else. Try to study in a place with no TV, or never turn the TV on. If you’re living with family or friends, put a sign on your door every time you are studying so those you live with are mindful. Make a list of your potential distractions at home, and put a plan in place to minimize each one.
Even though you’re at home, be sure to stay connected to anything your law school is doing for you during bar preparation. If your law school is doing virtual workshops or classes – attend them. Work with the academic success professor at your law school still. Set weekly venting zoom sessions with your law school friends who are also preparing for the bar. Immersing yourself in studying can be extremely isolating, and now that you are at home, that feeling of isolation could increase. Staying connected with your law school and fellow bar takers, even virtually, can give you the support you absolutely need to get through this.
Don’t Forget About Self Care
Even though you’re at home, you still need to take regular breaks, eat healthy, and exercise. Take your breaks away from your designated study space. Studying for the bar exam in and of itself is stressful where self-care is absolutely crucial. Now that your plans have changed, and you are studying for the bar exam in the stressful climate of a pandemic, you have to take care of your body and your mind.
Now, it’s time to plan. Planning when and where you are going to study will help you. In the uncertainty of a pandemic, one thing is certain: you can do this. With a designated study spot and a good plan in place, you will be ready to tackle exam day.