How to Keep Motivated While You Prepare for the Patent Bar Exam

Do you want to be a patent attorney, a patent agent, or get a start in the field of patent law? If so taking and passing the patent bar examination is the key to getting started.

The focus of preparing for the patent bar exam should be to overcome exam difficulties which include:

  • The long, detail-oriented questions.
  • Stress of time limit.
  • Complexity of material.

Having some insider knowledge about how to handle these obstacles will serve as a motivator for you to get started. The exam is difficult, but thousands of people pass it each year. There’s no reason to believe you can’t pass it too.

Worry About Only the Things You Can Control

Learn to recognize the things you can and cannot control. Refuse to worry about those things over which you have no control. Motivation is not magic but is something that can be tapped into and harnessed.

Inspirational authors, speakers, and life coaches have tips provided in seminars and DVDs regarding getting through something as difficult as law school and related subjects. There are some fundamental ideas they share that can be used whether climbing Kilimanjaro or studying for the patent bar exam.

You can hook up with one of the many forum admin sites that focus on multistate bar exams, practice exams, and other useful bar exam preparation and how to de-stress. Here are just a few tips we found:

  1. Set and visualize your goal. Often we get what we expect. Tell yourself you are going to pass the exam each and every day. As you study, project yourself into the future and envision what life will be like when you pass. The preparation and the test itself are just steps you must walk through to achieve your goal.
  2. List reasons why you wish to pass the bar examination. Studies have shown that writing by hand and connecting the letters manually engages the brain in the process.
  3. Break down material into sections or targets that carry a reward when each is completed. Breaking down a project into realistic steps and taking them one at a time releases dopamine in the brain’s reward center and makes you feel good. Knowing the topics that are the most heavily tested will help you prepare for the exam and structure the targets you set for yourself.

What You Need to Know

The test is a computerized exam made up of 100 multiple-choice questions taken from a large data bank. The exam you take may differ from other individuals’, even if taken on the same day. Therefore, no one can provide a 100% accurate breakdown of the exact topics you’ll see on your test.

The material on the test comes from the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP). You will have access to this manual on the exam. Since it is thousands of pages in length and full of legalese the last thing you will be able to do is learn every detail of this manual.

However, there are certain MPEP points registered patent practitioners must know to be even slightly competent in the practice of patent law and those points translate well to the most likely to be tested material on the exam. The chapters that are typically hit hardest include:

  • Application types (Chapter 200)
  • Content and parts of an application, including claims (Chapter 600)
  • Application examination, including prior art rejections (Chapter 700)
  • Patentability (Chapter 2100)

These four chapters contain material very relevant for patent practitioners. You can maximize your study time by reviewing these chapters in detail.

The Patent Cooperation Treaty in Chapter 1800 and Appeals in Chapter 1200 are also heavily tested. There are many questions from different areas as well. It’s wise to review as much of the MPEP as possible before taking the exam.

Dealing with Declining Motivation

It is very likely that at some point you may feel sheer exhaustion or temporary setbacks and need a boost. When a decline in motivation occurs, think about what you’ve done in the past to prepare for exams and what others have done to prepare for and pass an exam. Although the patent bar exam is difficult, it is still just an exam, and people who prepare well enough typically pass exams.

We have been helping people pass the patent bar exam since 2001 and have put together the best program for passing the exam quickly and conveniently. A program set-up with your best interests in mind will definitely help you keep motivated throughout your preparations.

The Day of the Test

Be prepared for a long and challenging day. The test is nearly six straight hours in duration. There is a chance that you will be the only person in the facility there to take the patent exam. People may come and go as they take other exams that require only 45 minutes to two hours to complete.

Call the test center ahead of time to determine the general temperature in the room where you will take your test. Twenty-five computers that pump out heat in a closed room can cause the temperature in the room to be rather warm. Knowing the room temperature allows you to dress comfortably.

To stay motivated, keep these suggestions in mind and follow the advice of Winston Churchill. In an inspirational speech to a group of students, he reiterated the word ‘ever’ six times when he said, “Never, ever… give up.”