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5 Tips for Faster Bar Exam Essays That You Should Put into Practice

Timing is one of the biggest factors that come into play, when it comes to bar exams. Generally, the essay questions included in the exam aren’t that complicated. Writing those essays is a more straightforward task, only when a time limit is not involved.

There is an additional pressure on the students when they have to keep up with the clock. While practicing for your exams, you can definitely use 5 tips for faster bar exam essays.

A lot of people fail their bar exams because they are unable to finish their essays. Spending too much time on early essays leaves them short of time for the later ones.

Even when you are aware of the timing factor, you may find yourself rushing through the essays to keep up. However, doing so eventually leads to you leaving out valuable points. Either way, if you write too slowly, it can cost you too much.

Before you go through 5 tips for faster bar exam essays, you must remember that efficiency is the key. While improving your speed is definitely important, it should never come at the cost of efficiency. You may run into completely different problems.

When you are rushing through, you are more likely to make silly errors.  While small grammar or spelling mistakes wouldn’t be too harmful, some silly mistakes can be fatal for your exam. Efficiency is as important as speed.

  • Look into the call before the fact pattern

First and foremost, you need to determine what the subject is. You would need to read call of the question for that. That way, you know what you have to look for in pattern. You may even try reading the paragraph that precedes immediately after that. When you begin with the call of the question, you get an idea of the information that would be relevant to the question.

The 5 tips for faster bar exam essays would be useless to you if you waste time at very beginning. You won’t be able to identify what is more important if you jump straight to the fact pattern.

While looking through facts, you may end up making an analysis that is completely irrelevant to the question. By the time you complete reading through the pattern, you would realize you have missed out on the topic completely.

While going through the fact pattern, do not be in a hurry. Try to understand everything that is present in the question. Speeding though can result in you missing out on a sentence. That would harm your overall analysis of what’s being asked.

  • Use time limit for structuring your essay

There is a specific time allotted by state bar exams for each essay. It can range from 20 minutes to 60 minutes. Get to know how much time is allowed in your state. You can use the allotted time to form a basis for the structure of your essay. It is the most helpful of the 5 tips for faster bar exam essays.

Stay conscious of your time limit and make it your priority to keep up with it. When you do so, you have a clear idea when to start each of your essay. You also know by when you are supposed to finish it.

You should not just keep a time limit for each essay, but also for each paragraph. Based on the length of your essay, every paragraph takes around 6-8 minutes. You will end up having more efficient structure.

  • Start fast

When you are looking for 5 tips for faster bar exam essays, you’ find that starting fast is reiterated point. After reading the call and fact pattern, you should have an outline ready for your essay. Next, you should think through the essay quickly and start with the writing as soon as possible. If you spend too much time reading the question or preparing for the essay, you will miss valuable minutes.

For instance, you may consider taking some additional minutes for listing down all the facts before you start writing. Do not do that.

Never spend too much time on your outline or making notes or rewriting facts. It is ultimately the time that you can use to actually writing your essay.  Do not fester, simply start! Stalling initially inevitable leads to failure in completion. Make a conscious effort on starting ahead.

  • Be concise

You need to train on being concise while writing your essay. Writing concisely is one of the 5 tips for faster bar exam essays that would also help with essay quality. Try being precise and to the point with your writing. Legal writing requires everything to be in active voice rather than passive voice. ‘The police caught the criminal red handed’ is preferable over ‘the criminal was caught red handed by the police’. Also, limit the modifiers you use.

To train yourself to write concisely, you need to think that way too. You can read the reports on newspaper and try to paraphrase it. See if you can make a summary of the case holdings. Concise writing also makes you efficient in terms of time. You use fewer words and write exactly what’s required. When you don’t beat around the bush, there isn’t much time wasted. You achieve your ultimate goal of completing essays on time.

  • Practice

Lastly, the 5 tips for faster bar exam essays are only helpful if you put them into practice. When you initially begin practicing, you may find yourself going over the time limit each time. That is completely natural. There is no need to lose hope. Keep practicing, and you will eventually end up writing everything within time.

There is no short-cut method. Do not be in haste, as you are more likely to leave out some valuable information if you are in hurry. Your sense of timing is bound to improve, but only if you keep practicing. Of course, when you are practicing, you should keep all the above-mentioned tips in mind.

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