Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

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AntiHuman
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Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby AntiHuman » Tue Jun 25, 2013 3:35 am

Barbri CA bar course: Currently at 46 percent and we are studying civil procedure and remedies this week. I know 46 seems like a lot, but I checked off all the AMPS(only did half of them) and already checked off all the videos(checked off every single video we are required to watch except the lectures even checked off the future videos).

I just cant seem to concentrate and I barely am productive all day. Today all I did was watch the civil procedure lecture and did maybe 1 hour of evidence studying. Should I start going to the lectures in the classroom? I feel like each lecture takes me 5-6 hours to watch. I feel like I can only concentrate on this boring stuff for 20-30 minutes at a time. Any tips on focusing would be great.

Finished all the work for torts and con law, but for the rest of the subjects all I did was set 1 and outlined the first 2 essays.

Question: Can anyone tell me what is ABSOLUTELY necessary in the paced program so I am sure to do that? I currently stopped doing AMPs and I stopped watching all the videos(except I still watch lectures). I feel like I won't be able to complete everything, so I might as well do whats most important.

I might even cut off doing sets 5 and 6 because people tell me they are super hard? Just focus on doing sets 1-4 and writing out full answers for 2-3 essays per subject? Also do all the 100 question(and full length) MBE practice tests and simulate/outline 5-6 Performance Tests?

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby MCL Law Dean » Tue Jun 25, 2013 11:30 am

AntiHuman wrote:Barbri CA bar course: Currently at 46 percent and we are studying civil procedure and remedies this week. I know 46 seems like a lot, but I checked off all the AMPS(only did half of them) and already checked off all the videos(checked off every single video we are required to watch except the lectures even checked off the future videos).

I just cant seem to concentrate and I barely am productive all day. Today all I did was watch the civil procedure lecture and did maybe 1 hour of evidence studying. Should I start going to the lectures in the classroom? I feel like each lecture takes me 5-6 hours to watch. I feel like I can only concentrate on this boring stuff for 20-30 minutes at a time. Any tips on focusing would be great.

Finished all the work for torts and con law, but for the rest of the subjects all I did was set 1 and outlined the first 2 essays.

Question: Can anyone tell me what is ABSOLUTELY necessary in the paced program so I am sure to do that? I currently stopped doing AMPs and I stopped watching all the videos(except I still watch lectures). I feel like I won't be able to complete everything, so I might as well do whats most important.

I might even cut off doing sets 5 and 6 because people tell me they are super hard? Just focus on doing sets 1-4 and writing out full answers for 2-3 essays per subject? Also do all the 100 question(and full length) MBE practice tests and simulate/outline 5-6 Performance Tests?


I hate to be so direct, but did someone misinform you that preparing for the CA bar exam, the most difficult bar exam in the country, with about a 55% pass rate . . . would be easy? I get that you are burned out . . . but you are on a direct "go to FAIlL, don't pass GO" path. What is ABSOLUTELY necessary was to do the program as designed . . . but of course you are way past that point. I'll be blunt . . . your best bet would be to skip July and actually do the prep necessary to pass February. You will save the wasted time from now to July and not sit around waiting for a Thanksgiving "miracle" on the lightning strike chance of passing . . . and then not have enough time to actually prepare for February. You are on path to be taking the July 2014 exam as a third-time repeater.

All of this said, the answer to your question is to hope that you actually learned the substantive law in law school (above 70's in every bar-tested subject) and immerse every single waking minute from now to the July exam on practice exams, essays, MBEs, and PTs. Write essays, review, and RE-Write . . . take MBEs, grade, look up wrong answers and re-take. Do everything in timed sessions, preferably in an exam setting . . . not on your bed or dining room table. If you can refine your exam-taking skills, and you did more work in law school than you have done so far in BarBri, you might just pull it off.

blong4133
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby blong4133 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:02 pm

Like the previous poster, and not wanting to sound too negative, but I think you're in some trouble if you don't get your stuff together pretty soon. For me, the fear of not passing has been enough to keep my nose in the book and doing practice questions. I've hardly seen my fiance for the past month, and virtually no contact with anyone other than family members and a few of my neighbors.

The moral of the story is that you have to put aside whatever it is to get this done. You don't want to have to take this again. I know that I hope I never have to go through this again. But if I do, I certainly don't want it to be because I didn't put in the work to prepare myself. Now, if I fail because I just had a bad day, got too anxious (which should go away as I become more familiar/confidant with the various subjects), that's a different story. But NEVER allow yourself to not succeed at something because you were too lazy.

You've invested too much time (and maybe money) to get to this point. Do you really want to subject yourself to another round of the bar exam because you didn't put in the time? Just remember all that you've done to get to this point.

Foosters Galore
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby Foosters Galore » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:36 pm

Meh. Don't listen to these people. Its not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to do the program as designed, considering the consensus seems to be that almost no one keeps up with the green arrow.

I stopped doing amps a few weeks ago and have only outlined essays after writing out the first one. The key is memorization, which takes time. I watch the essays, and take notes while doing so. For me, having a 80 page lecture handout overwhelms me and makes it far more difficult to commit the material to memory. By taking notes during the lecture, It forces me to pay attention and leaves me with a 12-20 page outline for each subject. I plan on making note cards starting this week so that I will have material to review once the lectures end and we have a few weeks to actually study. The exam is simply a massive memorization test. All of these amps, MBE questions, handouts, etc. all exist to accomplish the same goal - to get you to memorize the material. There is still a month to commit the info to memory. The other key is understanding how to write an essay for the bar. Its simple IRAC. Which, once again, comes down to memorization, and in my mind, the analysis and issue spotting is less demanding than what I did in law school.

How are you doing on the MPQ1s? Did you take the 200 question MSE? You can get a pretty good estimate of where you stand and what you need to improve on.

blong4133
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby blong4133 » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:21 pm

Foosters Galore wrote:Meh. Don't listen to these people. Its not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to do the program as designed, considering the consensus seems to be that almost no one keeps up with the green arrow.

I stopped doing amps a few weeks ago and have only outlined essays after writing out the first one. The key is memorization, which takes time. I watch the essays, and take notes while doing so. For me, having a 80 page lecture handout overwhelms me and makes it far more difficult to commit the material to memory. By taking notes during the lecture, It forces me to pay attention and leaves me with a 12-20 page outline for each subject. I plan on making note cards starting this week so that I will have material to review once the lectures end and we have a few weeks to actually study. The exam is simply a massive memorization test. All of these amps, MBE questions, handouts, etc. all exist to accomplish the same goal - to get you to memorize the material. There is still a month to commit the info to memory. The other key is understanding how to write an essay for the bar. Its simple IRAC. Which, once again, comes down to memorization, and in my mind, the analysis and issue spotting is less demanding than what I did in law school.

How are you doing on the MPQ1s? Did you take the 200 question MSE? You can get a pretty good estimate of where you stand and what you need to improve on.


I agree with this statement completely. However, my point wasn't about whether or not he CAN do it, it's whether or not he WILL do it. You can absolutely memorize everything you need to know (or at least a good chunk of it) within the next month before the exam. My point is that he's not going to get anything memorized if he can't focus.

He's got to find some sort of motivation. I don't think it's necessary to follow the pace program to a tee. But that's what I've been attempting to do that way I have have some form of organization that I know has worked in the past for others. If you can organize your studying in such a way that you can get everything down, but different from what Barbri/Kaplan says, then that's perfectly fine. But again, the issue is actually sitting down and doing it, not whether he has the ability to do it. Everyone has the ability to do it.

I know of people who hardly studied until the beginning of July, locked themselves in a room for the next month, then passed. I can definitely be done. You just have to have the motivation to actually do it. That's the issue here.

Foosters Galore
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby Foosters Galore » Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:24 pm

blong4133 wrote:
Foosters Galore wrote:Meh. Don't listen to these people. Its not ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to do the program as designed, considering the consensus seems to be that almost no one keeps up with the green arrow.

I stopped doing amps a few weeks ago and have only outlined essays after writing out the first one. The key is memorization, which takes time. I watch the essays, and take notes while doing so. For me, having a 80 page lecture handout overwhelms me and makes it far more difficult to commit the material to memory. By taking notes during the lecture, It forces me to pay attention and leaves me with a 12-20 page outline for each subject. I plan on making note cards starting this week so that I will have material to review once the lectures end and we have a few weeks to actually study. The exam is simply a massive memorization test. All of these amps, MBE questions, handouts, etc. all exist to accomplish the same goal - to get you to memorize the material. There is still a month to commit the info to memory. The other key is understanding how to write an essay for the bar. Its simple IRAC. Which, once again, comes down to memorization, and in my mind, the analysis and issue spotting is less demanding than what I did in law school.

How are you doing on the MPQ1s? Did you take the 200 question MSE? You can get a pretty good estimate of where you stand and what you need to improve on.


I agree with this statement completely. However, my point wasn't about whether or not he CAN do it, it's whether or not he WILL do it. You can absolutely memorize everything you need to know (or at least a good chunk of it) within the next month before the exam. My point is that he's not going to get anything memorized if he can't focus.

He's got to find some sort of motivation. I don't think it's necessary to follow the pace program to a tee. But that's what I've been attempting to do that way I have have some form of organization that I know has worked in the past for others. If you can organize your studying in such a way that you can get everything down, but different from what Barbri/Kaplan says, then that's perfectly fine. But again, the issue is actually sitting down and doing it, not whether he has the ability to do it. Everyone has the ability to do it.

I know of people who hardly studied until the beginning of July, locked themselves in a room for the next month, then passed. I can definitely be done. You just have to have the motivation to actually do it. That's the issue here.


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nevdash
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby nevdash » Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:53 pm

Huh? I'm totally confused by what everyone is saying ITT. OP, to answer your question, the only necessary material is contained in the lecture videos. That's it. Anything else you may need to do above that is dependent on how well you can learn that material from the lecture alone. To figure that out, you need to do some practice MBE sets and practice outlining a couple of essays. If you do well, then chill and just continue watching the lectures and do some practice Qs/essays once the lectures end. If you don't, then you need to consider what the other posters suggested.

If it makes you feel any better, I'm only at 35% for CA and it sounds like we're on exactly the same schedule (though I'm only checking off what I've actually done). I don't do the AMPs and I only outline one or two essays per subject without fully writing any of them out. I'm still killing the practice questions on every subject and I always spot every issue on the practice essay questions. It is possible to pass with as much work as you're doing, but everybody learns differently. You just need to evaluate where you are.

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Tangerine Gleam
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby Tangerine Gleam » Wed Jun 26, 2013 3:58 am

I'm at 26% and am far from freaking out. We have five weeks. Go hard, keep your head down, and it can be done.

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worldtraveler
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby worldtraveler » Wed Jun 26, 2013 6:48 am

Yeah the first responses in this thread are a bit hyberbolic. You have over a month yet. Take a couple days and destress and then gun to the end. That's my plan.

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MCL Law Dean
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby MCL Law Dean » Wed Jun 26, 2013 12:27 pm

OP. You can take comfort in the advice of your colleagues, of course keep in mind that not one of them has actually sat for the CA bar exam, or has any idea whether their individual strategies will result in passing. It doesn't mean they are not correct, it merely means that they have no actual basis for being informed. The advice that you should go with your own learning style strength is spot on . . . but your post describes behavior of being bored, distracted, ineffectively spending time, and looking for short-cuts . . . if a few days to clear your head and get back in the game works, go for it . . . paying attention to the diagnostics is also great advice on how to spend your limited time. However, I would still caution that relying on passive learning (watching videos), purportedly memorizing the law (really . . . all of it?), and avoiding the hard work of practice exams (essay, MBEs, and PTs) is not good advice.

hiima3L
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby hiima3L » Wed Jun 26, 2013 10:58 pm

I took Barbri and passed the CA bar last year, and I know I didn't just barely pass because I got my MBE score. (I know it's possible to do really, really well on the MBE and bomb the essays but still pass, but I know that didn't happen. I am confident I only messed up one of them significantly whatsoever.)

Barbri is complete and utter nonsense.

I won't get into their substance or materials, but their expectations are patently ridiculous. They scare the shit out of you and say you need to study 10x more than you do* and grade your essays so harshly it's laughable. I realized this after a few weeks and ended up just studying on my own.

I would strongly suggest you not rely on Barbri and just track your own progress. You will know where you are weak/strong and how to adjust accordingly. You are fully capable of understanding all the material* and memorizing it, which is essentially all you need to do.

*Unless you did terribly at law school, you'll pass with a decent effort. Pass rates are very, very, very strongly correlated to a combination of your law school performance and your school's ranking. You could know the law inside and out and still be entirely unable to write an essay that gets a 62. In that case, I don't know what to suggest.

TL;DR Don't study according to Barbri's tracking system. It is impossible to keep up and not necessary to do so.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby Mick Haller » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:17 pm

Work hard, focus on the core MBE subjects as at least half your essays will be on these subjects as well. Most commonly seen Cal subjects are wills, trusts, community property. PR is always on at least one essay.

If you need motivation just look at 5-10 essay prompts. Every time I saw a tough question I panicked. Don't quit like others suggested. You can pass

c3pO4
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:33 am

Just wow at some of the first responses in this forum. You can start on July 4 and work hard and pass. Here's my advice. Use BARBRI as a resource, not as a schedule at this point.

You need to do two things:

1 - Drill MBE's
2 - Practice (Outlining) Essays

If you just drill MBE's every day and study the answers and the explanations for all the wrong and right answers you will be able to do well enough on the MBE to give yourself a cushion. I've done about 650 MBE's just by doing all the MPQ 1-5 sets in each subject that have been assigned so far and have done about 300 of those twice. I did watch all the lectures and am on pace but i have to admit dude i got almost nothing out of those lectures... its just now how i learn. i can barely remember what I read in the CMR. I tried making flashcards and that didn't work. Just by re-reading the MBE answer explanations slowly and in detail and just drilling the questions, I was able to learn the MBE well enough in less time than we have between now and the exam. This method is totally doable in the time left and will get you a good score on the MBE--- probably 150 at least.

With essays, just outline 3-4 per day and then look at the answer to make sure you spotted it, try to memorize the specific rules for the spotted issue. I've found Tara Shah's essay lecture videos to be an awesome way to reinforce an essay. Instead of wasting an hour writing out an entire essay (I assume you can do basic IRAC and know how to massage the facts in a fact-pattern by now), just spend 10-15 minutes outlining it, and then spend 20-30 minutes looking over the sample answer and listening to TShah's sweet analysis while doing pushups.

Also, just practice the MPT. Like, do 4-5 between now and the exam timed and fully write them out (because it's a good place to grab some easy points and it can be time pressured).

If you get 130 raw on MBE and 70's on each MPT, you can get 60 on every other essay and pass.

These first two guys sound scared as fuck. If you actually followed Barbri to-date, you would probably be ready to take the Bar within this week or the next. I feel way overprepared having done everything and actually I'm kind of burnt out from pulling 8-12 hour days for the last month. You can actually draw on all that fucking around that you've done and propel yourself to just drill MBEs/Essays. It's not about memorization in a vacuum. It's about memorizing in the context of drilling.

Good luck to us all. I think you are TOTALLY fine and everyone needs to chill out. 75% of Barbri takers pass the bar. The 55% figure is a red herring. If you went to a top law school, the stats are even better. The point is that the stats will not pass it for you, just what you do from here until the exam.

All of us can pass, by being smart and working hard. The green arrow is bullshit. You're better off doing it your way.

*Disclaimer -- i'm only talking based off advice i've received from many many friends who have been through this gauntlet. Like I said, I've been keeping up and feel overprepared but maybe that is just a false sense security. Maybe you're screwed inevitably and will fail. Maybe i will too. Maybe we all will! Who gives a shit about predicting the future, I'm just giving you some realistic advice on what I think matters from here to the bar exam to maximize being prepared.

AntiHuman
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby AntiHuman » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:25 pm

Thanks for the input everyone. It really is game time. Time to stop studying at home and get distracted and go to the carrels in the library where all the successful people are at haha. Time to put in 10-12 hour days minimum come July 1. I will be taking the 200 MBE diag this sunday, so I hope to get an idea of where I am at that point. Hoping for 105+

-->If 3 or more of the essays are MBE subjects, might as well focus most effort on MBE subjects obviously. I'm just so frustrated with civpro and evidence and all their distinctions with CA. How can anyone possibly memorize all these rules and even the issue checklists? This really seems to be a memorization test. Someone told me CA evidence not likely to be tested and CA civpro has never been tested? Focus mainly on federal rules?

--> gameplan: MPQ1 sets 1-4 for each subject, outline 2-3 essays per subject, simulate 1-2 essays per subject, and simulate/outline at least 5 PT's...but most importantly...do all the simulated practice tests/essays and MBE full length tests available under strict time conditions.

Hopefully going hardcore starting July 1 won't put me over. Someone on TLS keeps asking why everyone is getting stressed before July 4th lol..Bronx guy or something.

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TaipeiMort
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby TaipeiMort » Thu Jun 27, 2013 2:32 pm

I wouldn't panic. I have a friend who has English as a second language. The NY bar denied her UG school as not eligible. She appealed, and only found out 14 days before the exam that she was eligible. She hadn't studied at all up to that point. She just studied for 6 hours, 14 days, and passed the exam with English as her second language. NY isn't CA, but really, you should be fine.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby Mick Haller » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:00 pm

105 on the MBE is kinda shitty. You should be aiming for more like 65-70%.

I'm not gonna tell you the real MBE is harder than the prep course questions, but it is different. You need to know the commonly tested material cold because there will be at least 10 or 15 test day questions that will seem bizarre.

c3pO4
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:12 pm

Mick Haller wrote:105 on the MBE is kinda shitty. You should be aiming for more like 65-70%.

I'm not gonna tell you the real MBE is harder than the prep course questions, but it is different. You need to know the commonly tested material cold because there will be at least 10 or 15 test day questions that will seem bizarre.


Fear mongerer! 108 was the average on the barbri simulated MBE. 40-50th percentile in a course where 75% pass is not shitty. Gunners lose their minds for the bar exam! It's a minimum competency test guys. PS 10 of the test-day questions are experimental and not counted. PPS you will fail because you posted on TLS!

run26.2
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby run26.2 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 3:42 pm

hiima3L wrote:I took Barbri and passed the CA bar last year, and I know I didn't just barely pass because I got my MBE score.

How did you get your MBE?

run26.2
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby run26.2 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:00 pm

As someone who passed the CA bar last summer, here's my advice (others may disagree, but I offer it as food for thought for OP).

OP, How well do you do time management on actual exams? This could greatly influence your ability to pass. If you are good at managing your time, and a decent writer, you should be able to exploit these skills on the PTs (which are between 25 and 30% of your overall grade).

Also, you can pass by doing well on the MBE, even though it is only roughly 1/3 of your overall grade. The reason is bc the CA essays are usually graded within a narrow band. As such, it takes a disproportionate amount of effort and skill to do better here than on the MBEs.

As to the Civ Pro, my advice would be to know how to analyze these questions under the federal rules very well. This will very likely be a part of any Civ Pro question, if one appears. You should read, but probably not memorize, the CA differences. When you read the prompt, it should jog your memory enough to come up with a reasonable statement of the difference. This should be sufficient to get you through the question.

The above is meant to encourage you to think about developing strategies that play into the way the exam is graded and the return on investment for each of your study activities. You need to focus on what will get you the most points now. Good luck.

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Mick Haller
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby Mick Haller » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Um, the average raw MBE score needed to pass the Cal bar is roughly 120-125 out of 190. That's about 65% correct. Setting your goal at 52% a month out is not advisable.

c3pO4
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby c3pO4 » Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:14 pm

Mick Haller wrote:Um, the average raw MBE score needed to pass the Cal bar is roughly 120-125 out of 190. That's about 65% correct. Setting your goal at 52% a month out is not advisable.


U obviously are not doing Barbri. The average BARBRI practice MBE was 108. The average person who takes the Barbri simulation increases 15-20 by test date. That means the raw MBE for an average barbri student who has an average increase ends up being 125. OMG math!

If you are below average, and have an above average improvement, you can even hit 130-140 raw on MBE. 50% on Barbri's simulated MBE a month out is right. on. track. to passing the bar. Why are you so scared?

run26.2
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Re: Falling really behind in CA Barbri course--need advice

Postby run26.2 » Fri Jun 28, 2013 4:21 pm

c3pO4 wrote:
Mick Haller wrote:Um, the average raw MBE score needed to pass the Cal bar is roughly 120-125 out of 190. That's about 65% correct. Setting your goal at 52% a month out is not advisable.


U obviously are not doing Barbri. The average BARBRI practice MBE was 108. The average person who takes the Barbri simulation increases 15-20 by test date. That means the raw MBE for an average barbri student who has an average increase ends up being 125. OMG math!

If you are below average, and have an above average improvement, you can even hit 130-140 raw on MBE. 50% on Barbri's simulated MBE a month out is right. on. track. to passing the bar. Why are you so scared?

Haller took the bar last summer. It looks like he's offering advice regarding OP's position. Some people can kick it into gear in the last month and pass, but others procrastinate too much, and it catches up with them. I witnessed both sides of this coin with people in my Barbri class last year.




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