Emond Exam Prep: Exam Writing Strategy: Play to your Strengths

A key component of writing your Ontario licensing exam is endurance. When you are writing, it is important that you keep moving and do your best to avoid getting flustered or stuck on a single question. On the Ontario Bar Exams, there are approximately 240 questions per exam (120 questions per 3.5 hour period). This means that you have about 1 minute and 45 seconds to answer each question, so every moment counts.

One effective strategy to maximize your efficiency during the licensing exam is to play to your strengths. As with any strategy, you should test it for yourself on a practice exam to find out whether it improves your performance and overall score. Not every strategy will work for every person, so it is important to try different approaches to find the one that suits you best.

How to Apply the Strategy

  1. Your first time through the exam, complete only the questions that you can answer without referring to your materials. As you go, draw a circle next to the questions that you think you would be able to find the answer to fairly easily in your materials, and an “x” next to the questions that you think would take longer.
  2. Once you have completed all of the questions that you could answer without your materials, return to the beginning of the exam and complete the questions you marked with a circle.
  3. Once you have completed all of the questions marked with a circle, go through the exam a third time tackling the tough-to-crack questions marked with an “x”.

The Pros

If time runs out, you will be able to rest assured that you haven’t missed out on any easy points, and that you have accurately completed all of the questions that you knew the answers to.

The Cons

More time is spent reading questions, since you are skimming through the exam more than once. The usefulness of this strategy to you will depend on your reading speed and skill.

Applying the Strategy

Try this technique out for yourself on one of our timed practice exams. Since the practice exams are administered online, it would be wise to have a piece of paper beside you with the numbers 1 to 130 listed. Mark down your circles and “x”s on the paper, beside the relevant question number so that you know which questions to come back to.

Practice Exams

Barrister/Solicitor Practice Exams
Paralegal Practice Exam


Barrister Exam: Tuesday, November 5, 2019  |  Solicitor Exam: Tuesday, November 19, 2019