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AdvocateFinch

Solicitor and Barrister Exams - Tips

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I am writing the Solicitor and Barrister exams for the first time in March and am (1) looking for the best tips or advice you have, and (2) where would I find the best practice questions that resemble the real exams? 

I have done the practice questions on the LSO website, but there are unfortunately not many of them. Thank you!

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There's probably a big thread somewhere around here with tips. I would say that the following worked for me and I think makes sense:

  1. I used the Table of Contents provided with the materials as my main index for looking things up. I prefer this to the index as it is logically organized, as opposed to the index method, which is alphabetical. Makes much more sense to me to look at a question, and be like, that's about "X topic", and go to the Table of Contents, rather than trying to figure out what "keyword" it would be in the index.
  2. That said, I would still make an index, with a group. The index is what I used as a fallback if the Table of Contents wasn't helpful.
  3. Keep in mind that each question is worth the same on the exam - although I think you do need to pass each part/subject area, IIRC?
  4. Find a timer spreadsheet. It gives you an idea of at what point in time you should be on what question in the exam. This is super, super helpful as it lets you know during the exam if you're falling behind, if you can afford to take more time, etc.  
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1. Use an Index: I used Ontario Law Exam, which I found helpful. Paid $175, which included an index for both the barrister and solicitor, as well as a practice exam for each. I still had to update the index myself, but I saved a lot of time this way. Otherwise, start a group to update an old index. I wouldn't bother trying to make your own index from scratch.  

2. Make that index your best friend: Sure, there will be questions that you know the answers to, but by and large, the bar exams are a test of how quickly you can locate information. You have less than 2 minutes per question. You should be able to look at most questions and very quickly have an idea of what term you will be searching for in your index. 

3. Use a time sheet: the bar exams are long, and it's very easy to lose track of whether you're falling behind

4. Do plenty of practice tests: If you know someone who has written in the last few years, ask if they might send you the practice exams they used... there are plenty floating around (some better than others). The more practice tests you do, the more familiar you become with your index (see above). Writing complete, timed practice exams also helps you get accustomed to staying focused (which can be a challenge after 5 or 6 hours). 

5. Finish every question: I feel like this goes without saying, but if you don't answer a question, you can be 100% sure you got it wrong. When I had about 20 minutes left in each exam, I bubbled in an answer for all the remaining unanswered questions, then continued to write the exam.. this way, I knew I wouldn't lose track of timing and miss the last few questions.  

 

 

 

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