Preparing to take the patent bar examination requires a healthy amount of dedication. As with any higher education test, developing good study habits and time management skills will really go a long way in passing the assessment. The patent bar exam is certainly no exception to this as it’s no walk in the park. Thankfully, there are a few great tips you can follow in order to successfully pass this exam and get started with your career in patent law.
Repetition Makes Perfect
In order to stand any chance of passing the patent bar, you’ll need to familiarize yourself with the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure, or MPEP for short. This material is where the all the questions in the exam are based. It’s imperative that you read and re-read this material until you feel comfortable with everything it contains. A patent bar review course will definitely help you get familiar with the MPEP and in far less time than just reading the MPEP on your own.
Once you’ve achieved a confident level of understanding with this material, one way to prepare yourself for the actual exam is by creating your own multiple choice questions. Though this may take a bit of time, it’s great practice to put yourself in the shoes of the people tasked with writing the questions and answers for this test. By creating your own questions and answers, you’ll be better able to get a solid grasp of the important topics that will most likely show up on the actual exam. It’s also a good idea to take actual practice exam questions simply to get a feel for how these sorts of questions are worded and to get more comfortable with questions they might ask.
Another tip to pass the patent bar exam is to plan and begin preparing well before the actual test date. This exam is not easy and will take weeks, if not months, to adequately prepare for. If you plan on pulling an “all nighter” in order to cram all the information necessary to pass this exam in your head you will certainly have trouble.
It’s best practice to map out specific blocks of time where you’ll do nothing but study for this test over a period of a few weeks, this will allow you to gather and retain all the information gradually so you won’t be overwhelming yourself. Studies show that studying the same information in small chunks of time, or spaced repetition, can result in better retention of information later. This does require a fair bit of time management and dedication, especially for those who are trying to accomplish this task while already adhering to a very busy schedule.
Study At Night
You can also study before you go to bed as your brain tends to strengthen memories you create right before you sleep. You may also remember information for longer, as studies show that the deterioration of memories is slower if those memories where created right before going to sleep.
Leave the Screens at The Door
With that said, never bring your computer or iPad into bed with you to study, as blue light can disrupt your sleep. In fact, ditching the screens altogether may be a good idea when studying. The urge to check social media can be a constant distraction and television in the background will have your attention divided.
As far as tips to use when taking the actual exam there are a few things that you should keep in mind. These tips can also be used when taking any multiple choice exam as they are fairly proven strategies.
The first of these tips is that with multiple choice exams like the patent bar exam answers are rarely found in absolutes. This simply means that if you run across answers that have the words “never” or “always” in them they are typically not going to be the right answer. Conversely, if you come across answers with the words “sometimes” or “often” they are more likely to be correct. This is especially true with the patent bar exam as there are more commonly a variety of solutions to issues in regards to this subject. Of course, that’s not to say that answers dealing in absolutes are always going to wrong, but if you are unsure of an answer and you find one of these options as a choice it’s best to choose otherwise.
Cast a Wider Net If You’re Unsure
Another thing to keep in mind when taking the patent bar exam is that if you find an answer to a question that has the words “all of the above” in it, this may be your best bet if you are unsure of the answer. These types of solutions are more likely than not to be the correct choice.
With that in mind, if you come across an answer with the words, “none of the above” in it, then, more often than not, it is the wrong answer. Multiple choice tests, especially the patent bar exam, won’t make things easy on you and choosing a “none of the above” answer is usually a trick.
Don’t Linger If You’re Stuck
A few final tips are to not take longer than a couple minutes on a single question. If you find yourself stuck for an extended period of time simply skip the question and come back to it later. Also, if you absolutely must guess on an answer, it’s best practice to pick one of the middle responses such a “b” or “c”. These middle answers are more typically shown to be the correct response as opposed to “a” or “d”.
Hopefully, these tips will help both your studying practices and test-taking abilities. Investing in the Patent Education Series review program or one similar to it will give you all the resources needed to successfully pass the patent bar exam.