Timing the Ontario Bar Exams

Time is of the essence for the Ontario Bar examinations. For in-person exams, you have 3.5 hours in the morning to answer 120 multiple-choice questions and another 3.5 hours in the afternoon to answer the remaining 120 questions. For online exams, you have 2 hours to answer 80 multiple-choice questions and another 2 hours to answer 80 more multiple-choice questions, with a break of up to 30 minutes in between. Once the morning (or first) writing session is over, you don’t have the opportunity to work some more on the answers you provided; each writing session is independent.

For online exams

The key is to set yourself a firm target of answering 48 questions an hour. If you read the section on in-person exams, you’ll notice that online exams need to be written faster than in-person ones. This means that you have on average 1.25 minutes to answer each question which leaves you 20 minutes at the end to take a second look at the questions which you weren’t so sure about. In most cases, the people who don’t get through the Ontario Lawyer Licensing Examinations are those who weren’t able to manage their time strategically. There is no use to fussing over a question; just take a guess and jump to the next one. Only when you have answered all of the questions should you go back to previously answered questions. Nothing hurts your chances more from passing the exams than leaving questions blank or guessing answers without having read the questions first, all for want of time. Stick to the 48 questions an hour rule!

The key is to set yourself a firm target of answering 48 questions an hour.

Start practising answering questions at this rate when you are working on practice exams. I found a TimeTimer to be particularly helpful in this regard as I would set it to ring after an hour and the decreasing red disk allowed me to keep track of my progress. Once the hour expired and the buzzer rang, I would drop my pencil no matter whether I had time to finish answering all of the questions or not. And to be fair to yourself, don’t jump ahead to the next group of 48 questions until the buzzer rings in order to train yourself to work at the speed of 48 questions an hour. It also goes without saying that an in-depth index is crucial to allow you to answer the questions within that timeframe. Time is everything.

For in-person exams

The key is to set yourself a firm target of answering 40 questions an hour. This means that you have on average 1.5 minutes to answer each question which leaves you 30 minutes at the end to take a second look at the questions which you weren’t so sure about. In most cases, the people who don’t get through the Ontario Lawyer Licensing Examinations are those who weren’t able to manage their time strategically. There is no use to fussing over a question; just take a guess and jump to the next one. Only when you have answered all of the questions should you go back to previously answered questions. Nothing hurts your chances more from passing the exams than leaving questions blank or guessing answers without having read the questions first, all for want of time. Stick to the 40 questions an hour rule!

The key is to set yourself a firm target of answering 40 questions an hour.

Start practising answering questions at this rate when you are working on practice exams. I found a TimeTimer to be particularly helpful in this regard as I would set it to ring after an hour and the decreasing red disk allowed me to keep track of my progress. Once the hour expired and the buzzer rang, I would drop my pencil no matter whether I had time to finish answering all of the questions or not. And to be fair to yourself, don’t jump ahead to the next group of 40 questions until the buzzer rings in order to train yourself to work at the speed of 40 questions an hour. It also goes without saying that an in-depth index is crucial to allow you to answer the questions within that timeframe. Time is everything.

(Vous avez 3.5 heures le matin pour répondre à 120 questions et 3.5 heures l’après-midi pour répondre aux 120 questions restantes. Les personnes qui réussissent mal les examens du Barreau de l’Ontario sont généralement celles qui gèrent mal leur temps. Il faut répondre aux questions à choix multiple au rythme de 40 questions à l’heure afin de terminer tout l’examen en 3 heures; ce qui vous laisse 30 minutes pour réviser vos réponses.)

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