How To Stay Motivated During Bar Prep

Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising, a law school and bar exam prep company offering services ranging from LSAT tutoring and application assistance to bar exam tutoring, courses and seminars.


Studying for the bar exam is one of the most challenging things you will ever do.  It is easy to become overwhelmed and lose your motivation to stay focused.  However, allowing this stress and anxiety to control you is detrimental to your success.  Preparing for the bar is all about mind over matter.  Here are five tips on how to overcome the pitfalls and traps of bar exam preparation and stay motivated until the end!


1 | Take breaks.

One of the most important keys to success on the bar exam is staying healthy – both physically and mentally.  A great way to maintain your strength throughout this grueling process is to take breaks!  Studying nonstop day after day will do you more harm than good in the long run as your body and brain will wear down.  Find an activity that relaxes you and takes your mind off of the stress.  Periodic exercise is a great way to keep yourself in shape and keep your mind fresh.  Even spending time with a pet is an excellent way to spend a study break.  Do whatever you need to do to keep yourself in a healthy physical and mental state leading up to exam day.


2 | Maintain social connections.

Isolating yourself during this time will only foster loneliness and anxiety.  Find a couple of hours to go out with friends and talk about anything other than bar prep.  Go to a good restaurant or see a new movie.  Let your friends and family distract you for even just a little while.  Don’t completely shut yourself away from the world and get lost in your own head.  You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel after just one night out!


3 | Change your routine.

Doing the same thing day after day, week after week, month after month during bar prep is going to get a little boring.  It is also mentally draining.  If you find yourself losing the motivation to get up every day and keep plugging away, change your routine!  Try studying in a different location.  The change of scenery will help keep you fresh and interested in the world around you.  Try studying at a coffee shop for a while to feel connected with others, or even study outside to interact with nature.  You can also try changing your daily study routine. If you have always answered MBE questions in the morning, try writing essays instead. Do whatever it takes to keep that desire and motivation strong.


4 | Let your goals for the future drive you.

Whenever you feel like you just can’t do it anymore, take a moment to step back and remember what you’re working toward.  Look at how close you are to becoming an attorney!  Reflect on your journey and think about how many great things you have to look forward to. Everything you’ve worked so hard for is within your reach. Remembering this, in and of itself, can be a great motivator!


5 | Keep things in perspective.

It is important not to put too much pressure on yourself! Remember that failing the bar exam isn’t the end of the world. There is no lasting shame in it, and many of the most successful lawyers and political figures in history needed multiple tries to pass the bar exam. The bar exam is a test you can retake if necessary! Approaching the bar as though it is mandatory you pass on your first try can needlessly increase stress.  Trust that everything will work itself out in the end, because it will!


Related Articles:

3 Steps To Improve Your MBE Score

How much time is needed to study for the bar exam?

How to avoid the 3 biggest mistakes first-time bar exam takers make

A three-step plan for those who fail the bar exam


You can follow Ms. Heidemann and the JD Advising team on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. Additional resources (including a blog which is updated daily) are available on JD Advising’s website at