As anyone who has taken the Patent Bar will tell you, passing this exam is not easy and never will be. Since you likely know this and if you’ve spent any time wading through the MPEP or study material, you also know the material is dense. It’s complexity is layers deep. So it’s very easy to find yourself putting off those study sessions to do … well anything else.
This article aims to help you overcome procrastination when it comes to studying for the Patent Bar exam.
Study Habits to Adopt:
- Eliminate distractions.
- Find the study technique that works best for you.
- Set deadlines.
- Study when most alert and efficient.
- Work to alleviate stress.
- Exercise and eat healthy.
- Ask for help.
- Find some motivation.
Eliminating distractions is the first and most crucial step to end procrastination.
Preparation for bar exams with friends is not a good idea. Interacting with others causes you to lose focus and fluctuate.
The progress of other patent law students can hinder you instead of being motivational. Team consultation is excellent when all participants have memorized the material or have a solid plan for locating information, however that’s not always the case.
Close your social media tab, put the phone on airplane mode, and study in an uncluttered space. A messy environment leads to messy thoughts.
Everyone learns differently.
Pick a style that works best. Some people draw mind maps or use bright stickers. Others like to listen to audio or video recordings and write long paragraphs by hand. Use a trial and error method to determine what works best for you.
People with photographic memories are visual learners. For them, reading more and pinpointing essential bits of information with markers or stickers makes sense. Auditory learners benefit from listening to recorded lectures over and over until the material is memorized. Some people find reading out loud to be effective.
Work within specific time limits.
You can track progress and are less likely to panic. Separate the work into equal benchmarks. Reward yourself each time you reach a benchmark. Make the work sections doable and realistic. Don’t allow more time than you need. The less time required, the more focused a person becomes.
Society seems to dictate waking up early is the only way to be effective.
Some people start work at noon and finish at 9 PM. Let your body clock dictate the best work time-frame for you. A few more hours of sleep may keep you alert longer later in the day.
When you feel unmotivated or are anxious, consider what will happen if you succeed or fail.
The outcome is not earth-shattering if you fail. That attitude does not mean you should not strive to achieve. Ask someone who failed what happened, and the answer will be “Nothing.”
Exercise and eating healthy are recommendations as old as time.
Facts are facts. Avoiding junk food and sugary drinks can boost performance because blood sugar levels are not spiking like crazy. Berries, whole grains, nuts, and fish are excellent choices for fueling your body.
The body welcomes any movement after sitting for a long time. Research has shown exercise has a positive impact on cognitive performance. Squeeze a half hour of exercise into to your everyday routine.
Studying with friends is not recommended, but asking for help from someone who has taken the exam is wise.
Ask for tips or any notes they might have to share. The aid can be a time saver. Take advantage of resources available through Patent Education Series.
Reading this article is not likely enough motivation to keep from procrastinating.
List positive consequences that will result from completing the patent bar exam. Keep them in mind. List outcomes that will spark your enthusiasm. Getting started is the hardest part. Don’t overthink the preparation, just do the work.
Tips Specifically for the Patent Bar Exam
The suggestions above are mostly general suggestions for any course of study. Here are some tips relevant to taking the patent bar exam. There are effective methods to aid in remembering the material or how to access information. The techniques include:
- Changing where you study
Psychologists have proven studying in untraditional environments promotes better recall.
Diversifying the outside climate allows information to be enriched and slows forgetfulness. Try reviewing flashcards in a coffee shop instead of a law school library. Write an essay in a neighborhood park.
People who use acronyms to assist recall have reported much of the material studied in preparation for the bar exam has escaped them except acronyms they used to remember the content.
Try creating acronyms to assist in recall. HOMES helps people remember the Great Lakes – Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior. Remember how to spell geography with the sentence; George eats old gray rats and paints houses yellow.
After each study session, create detailed cards that are based on the lesson.
As the exam draws closer, develop a checklist of key points frequently forgotten.
Writing answers to questions in essay form while preparing for the patent bar exam is helpful in remembering the elements of the law.
It is worth repeating that exercise helps reduce stress and anxiety.
Memory and thinking skills are improved. Go for a walk with your flashcards. You meet three objectives at the same time. You change your study environment, use flashcards, and get some exercise.
How to Use the MPEP
Mastering the use of the MPEP is crucial. Using the index as a reference tool is a mistake. Any topic you choose will have multiple references found in various MPEP chapters. You need to know which chapter the material is in and cannot waste time reviewing the index during the exam.
Read the table of contents for each chapter. It contains detailed information about the content of the chapters. When faced with a question, go to the chapter in the MPEP that likely includes the answer and see if you can find it.
Read the questions carefully. The Patent Office often asks questions in a manner that is tricky. Read each answer before making a choice. Sometimes ‘All of the above’ or ‘None of the above’ is the answer.
We hope this article helps you get started and gain some tips so you can pass the patent bar exam and get on the path to becoming a patent agent or attorney.