April and November are so special for bar exam candidates.
If you wish to apply for bar exam, what should you do first of all?
Prior to your bar exam application, you need to answer seven critical questions that will help you succeed on your bar exam.
In fact, these questions can either make or break your bar exam result.
This is what we’ll cover in this video post.
So, keep reading or watching the video above…
Bar Exam Application Requirements
Question number one: What are the bar exam application requirements?
To answer this question, refer to relevant examination authority, such as the New York Board of Law examiners (shortly, BOLE or Board).
Beware that requirements differ for foreign bar exam applicants. LLM graduates, in particular, may first need to pass a foreign evaluation of academic credentials.
This requirement, for instance, applies to the New York bar exam for foreigners. Such an evaluation is one of the toughest bar exam application requirements. So, fulfill this NY bar requirement first if you have no US JD degree and consider sitting for bar exam in the US.
Make no mistake: It’s the same bar examination but with harder requirements.
The foreign qualification evaluation requires you to submit supporting documentation. To save your time, from the outset, check the eligibility requirements, especially for the New York bar admission. Then, determine if you qualify to apply for bar exam.
The foreign evaluation takes a lot of time — in fact, several months following submission of all documents. So, complete this step as soon as possible. For example, I requested evaluation of my foreign academic credentials well over a year and a half before my New York State bar exam registration. As a result, the NY Board approved my qualification in over half a year.
For further details, go to nybarexam.org and, on the left-side menu, click “Foreign Legal Education”.
Bar Exam Dates
If you qualify for the bar exam application, next is question number two: When is the next bar exam?
Bar exams take place only twice a year: in February and July of each year. Usually, bar exams last for two full days, namely last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July.
For your reference, here’re the next New York State bar exam dates:
- July 25-26, 2023
- February 27-28, 2024
- July 30-31, 2024
- February 25-26, 2025
- July 29-30, 2025
That’s a lot of dates to please you.
By the way, which month would you prefer to take your bar exam in?
Just vote here and see the winner based on total votes of your peers:
For example, I chose the July bar exam because it’s usually the main option for all JD and LLM graduates.
You need to manage your time carefully. Make sure you have enough time to prepare for bar exam. Proper time management would decrease your overwhelm, reduce your stress, boost your confidence, and raise your chances to pass the bar exam. So, right timing is crucial.
To take a bar exam on any mentioned or subsequent dates, you must first register for bar exam.
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Bar Exam Registration Deadline
Once you choose the bar exam dates, up is question number three: When is the bar exam application deadline?
Every April and November, bar exam candidates decide whether they should register for a bar exam.
By April or November, you should determine whether you wish to file an application for the next bar exam. Specifically, in April, you apply for the July exam, while in November for the February exam.
For your reference, here’re the next New York bar exam application filing dates:
- April 1-30, 2023
- November 1-30, 2023
- April 1-30, 2024
- November 1-30, 2024
- April 1 – 30, 2025
Easy to remember, huh?
Having chosen your bar exam filing dates, registering for bar exam is pretty straightforward.
If you missed a bar exam deadline already, no problem: look forward to the next one…
Bar Exam Readiness
If the bar exam application deadline is around the corner, here’s question number four: Are you ready to sit for bar exam?
If you take a bar exam for the first time, your main goal is to pass the bar exam on your first try.
If you repeat it, your primary objective is passing the bar exam on the next try.
Anyway, your chief purpose is to nail the bar exam on just one try — once and forever.
Before you register for a bar exam, ask yourself: Studying for the bar exam, have you actually prepared well enough to take the bar exam?
If you aren’t ready yet, should you actually register?
Otherwise, you may encounter enormous overwhelm, stress, and anxiety throughout your bar exam preparation and on exam days as well. Such a pressure may kill your chances to succeed. This may ultimately lead to a bar exam failure.
Rather, you may be better off simply postponing your bar exam to the next bar exam date.
To determine if you’re ready to take a bar exam, review your bar exam preparation materials. Consider, for instance, how well you can answer the bar exam practice questions, especially the Multistate Bar Examination (shortly, MBE) questions. Do you, specifically, manage to answer correctly most of the MBE multiple choice questions within the allotted time? Also, think about whether you need to take any bar exam classes.
This all impacts taking bar exam.
Bar Prep Completion Time
If you’re almost ready to take a bar exam, you run into question number five: Will you have enough time to complete your bar exam preparation?
This greatly depends on your motivation, practice, and persistence. To avoid a bar exam prep burnout, prime your brain for the battle, organize your bar exam studies, and discipline yourself to the max.
Having chosen the best bar exam prep course, you need to finish not only such bar review materials as lectures, outlines, and flash cards, but also the bar exam practice questions. In my case, for example, I took the risk of using a less-known bar review course, but it worked because of its real bar exam multiple-choice questions. As a smart bar prep, it’s now one of the best bar prep courses.
Bar Exam Application Procedure
Having planned for your bar exam prep completion, you come across question number six: How to register for bar exam?
First, google for relevant bar examination board of your selected state, such as the New York State Board of Law Examiners. Some bar exam parts (like the MBE) apply to virtually any US bar exam.
Second, choose a bar exam filing period: either April for a July exam or November for a February exam.
Third, read all application instructions carefully. The NY board website, for example, contains comprehensive information on how to apply for bar exam. You can get all application forms online. Just go to nybarexam.org and, on the left-side menu, click “Forms”.
Fourth, consider how to complete and submit your online application to sit for the bar exam.
Bar Exam Registration Timing
Finally, once you know how to file for bar exam, you end up with question number seven: When should you apply for bar exam?
On one hand, if it’s April or November and you’re bar exam ready, you can file your bar exam application right away. This is particularly so if you’re completely prepared to take the bar exam and nailed one of the best bar review courses. In this case, you can fix your test dates now.
On the other hand, you can wait for a later date during the application month. This would help you ensure that you’re on track. If it later turns out that you aren’t, you can simply postpone your test.
So, your application timeline depends on your bar exam readiness.
By the way, when would you prefer to submit your bar exam application?
Just vote and see the overall results here:
For example, I applied on April 7.
Perhaps, because I believed that number seven should bring some luck, which I needed strongly.
Was I completely ready for bar exam?
Of course, not. Having run through some bar exam study materials in my New York bar prep course, I expected to finish my NY bar studies in time. That expectation, however, needed a powerful turbo boost…
Interested to pass a bar exam on your first attempt?
Feel free to get my bar prep course guide [infographic] here: