Bar Exam Diaries

Bar Exam

Introducing the Bar Exam Diaries, a collection of first-hand stories written by students, for students.

Read about a variety of different experiences with the Ontario Licensing Exams, what the candidates learned, and what they wish they had known. A great read for students and licensing candidates.

Five Strategies for Mastering Midterms

Midterms can be a daunting and stressful period and, outside of reading week, balancing the demands of classes, assignments, and extracurriculars can be overwhelming. I’m going to share some techniques that I use every semester to get through this period, and I hope they’re useful to you as well.

Navigating the New Year: Setting Law School Goals and Resolutions

To start semester two off on the right foot, I’ve been reflecting on the things I did (or didn’t do) in previous semesters that I wish I had done and am setting those things as my 2024 resolutions. If any of these things resonate with you, I’m happy to have your company in keeping these resolutions!

The Benefits of Taking Bar Exam Prep Courses

Self-studying worked for me at the beginning. Now, I appreciate taking the Emond bar preparation course as an excellent investment. I know many candidates are struggling with work, families, and studying. Do not despair; you can get help from many sources to pass the bar exams.

How to Prepare for Remote Licensing Exams

Writing exams remotely may seem stressful at first because it brings a new list of things to consider and of the potential issues that can arise. Taking the time to prepare your space and familiarize yourself with the process can help reduce the stress and avoid last-minute troubleshooting.

Writing On-site Versus Writing Remotely

Writing the exam in 2020 remotely seemed like a nightmare but was actually a blessing in disguise! I wrote my Bar exam in March 2020. It was in person, a full 8-hour day. Due to Covid-19, my Solicitor exam was done remotely.

How Emond Resources Helped Me

The challenge for me then was, due to COVID-19, my 2 kids were home schooling, and, as an essential worker, I still had to go to work so I had very little time to study.

I relied on my Emond videos, which I played over and over again at work, while doing chores, during my commute. I practised the questions over and over again until I was confident. I also tabbed my Emond materials, and on the day of the exam, I used the Emond PowerPoint summaries to easily locate the right answers faster.

My Advice To Students

2020 has been a year unlike any other. It has impacted every aspect of our lives, including how we would prepare for and write the Ontario Bar exams.

I had graduated from law school in Spring 2018, and, rather than complete my Articles immediately, I secured a Policy job with the Canadian Federal Government. In 2019, I decided that it was time for me to try my hand at law.

Be Prepared, Not Scared!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing restrictions, I wrote both exams from home on my personal computer. The exams were different from prior years in the way that they were administered and in the way that they were presented. Instead of sitting in a large conference room with other writers, I sat on a plastic table in my parents’ basement.

Managing My Time

As a mom to a toddler during a pandemic, I was very nervous to write the Bar Exams. Studying seemed impossible while we were cooped up in a house with no childcare and no family or friends to help. I signed up for the Emond Exam Prep Online Course and watched the videos on my phone while I puttered around the house, waited at a drive-through, or fed the baby.

Benefits of Writing the Exam Remotely

This was my first time writing, so I have nothing to compare it to. However, not having to attend the exam in person was a huge benefit. This saved me so much time and stress on the morning of each exam. Rather than having to get a hotel nearby or waking up very early to get to the exam in time while waiting in a line of anxious students, I got to wake up later and sit in the comfort of my own home with no other students around me.

My Apprehensions and Writing Experience

I wrote my Barrister Exam back in March 2020 but was impacted by the cancellation of the Solicitor exam a few days after the COVID-19 outbreak in mid-March. I was so frustrated when this happened as I was only days away, and I spent the new few months worrying that they would never reschedule and that I would never be called to the Ontario Bar. 

Tips and Strategies for Studying at Home

At Emond Exam Prep we are dedicated to providing students with the support and resources they need to prepare for their professional licensing exams. During this period of uncertainty, you may be feeling anxious about preparing for your exams, which you will have to write on a date that is yet to be determined. The best way to handle this situation is to stay focused on the next stage in your career and to develop a study plan that will help you reach it.