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How to Roll with Your New Bar Exam Date

The bar exam has been administered twice a year, in July and February, since what feels like the dawn of time. But we have entered a new era. As you are well-aware, due to COVID-19, we are seeing the emergence of a national patchwork of bar exam dates. 

But try not to panic. AdaptiBar is here to help you (learn to) roll with it. 

Many states are hopeful about administering the July exam as planned (plus social distancing measures), with a STRONG disclaimer that they might need to postpone. Other states have already pushed the exam to September, while still others are allowing applicants to choose between the two. 

If you find yourself facing even the possibility of an alternative bar exam date, we want to help you adapt so that you are ready to hit the ground runningAnd hopefully, we can help reduce any anxiety you might have during this “just-roll-with-it” time in history. 

We suggest creating a new master study schedule just for you.

Get the info you need

Find out what the most current information is about the bar exam in your desired jurisdiction. And don’t forget to check back periodically for updates, as circumstances are constantly changing. The most reliable sources are usually the state supreme court and state bar association. 

Work backwards

Start by making a three-month study plan. Some people opt to subtract or add a couple weeks to that window, but let’s use three months because well, soon-to-be lawyers aren’t known for their math skills. 

Next, break it down. Start from your test date and work backwards. 


  • 3 months (12 weeks) out from exam = June 17 
  • 2 months (8 weeks) out from exam = July 15 
  • 1 month (4 weeks) out from exam = Aug. 12 

So, that means if you plan to take a Sep. 9-10 bar exam, aim to begin studying by June 17, 2020. In terms of a week-by-week breakdown, we suggest assembling all your materials and setting goals based on what you hope to accomplish by test day. For example, if you want to practice a certain number of state-specific essay questions by the time you take the exam, divide those up based on how many weeks you have. Then set a weekly and daily goal to help you focus on one thing at a time and reduce getting overwhelmed. 

Consult your substantive review course recommendations

For those of you taking a comprehensive review course, consult their materials for the week-by-week breakdown. Just apply their timeline to your new dates above and adjust it based on what you believe is most helpful for you 

If you’re supplementing your MBE prep with AdaptiBar, here is a guide of how to factor those practice questions in as wellWe recommend aiming for 25-40 MBE practice questions every day, depending on your schedule. 

At the end of the day, all of this is just a suggested list of best practices. Don’t forget: You know yourselfConsider the methods and strategies that you know are most effective for you. At the end of the day, AdaptiBar’s only goal is to help you pass the bar exam, either the first time or this time, whichever comes first.

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