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Although you may revisit other related articles at this website regarding the new change coming to the California bar exam this July – this article is just to re-emphasize the need to re-strategize your preparation time to succeed.

The written portion of the bar will include the essay and performance test sections – comprising 50% of your total scaled score. The MBE section will comprise the remaining 50%.

 Therefore, assure your best chance to succeed – given the new configuration of points – by proportionalizing the time you dedicate in preparation to each section. If, for example, you spend 70% of your overall preparation time on just substantive review, you won’t be doing this. There are different kinds of exercises that will more precisely upgrade your writing and MBE strengths – than just reviewing the law – so be sure to integrate them into your study strategy.

 “Time-management”, then, becomes crucial in scheduling the host of exercises that will lead to more exacting and competitive test-taking skills for each section of the exam. Here at Cal Bar, we program literally every hour of your estimated study time in assuring that the candidate “builds” these kinds of exercises into his or her daily study schedule.

 Further, this is also important if you feel you need to bolster either (or both) of your testing skills for the writing or MBE sections of the exam. In other words, “balance” is important in working to mitigate your weaknesses – but also as noted in boosting your testing strengths. If, for example, your perceived strength lies with the MBE section of the test, don’t spend 70% of your time working to further upgrade it. Shift your emphasis accordingly.

In a nutshell, “study smart” – and especially in making it reflective of the new percentages about to be the new reality on the California bar. All success!


Paul Pfau © 2017 All Rights Reserved

Paul Pfau is a retired Los Angeles County deputy district attorney and the owner of Cal Bar Tutorial Review, which has been customizing bar review programs for 40 years. For more information about Cal Bar Tutorial Review, call (800) 348-2401 or (800) 783-6168. Web site: