Just started reviewing for bar exam...

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amk110
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Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:48 pm

As the title indicates, I'm extremely far behind in the bar review process. About 7% in the BARBRI pace program. I need some advice on how I can best utilize the remaining time to maximize my chances of passing the exam.

At this point, I've only completed the lectures, but have not yet reviewed any of the lecture outlines, made any review materials, or done any practice problems.

What does everyone recommend? Should I start making flash cards? I'm a bit concerned about this, because the general rule is not to try something new when you're reviewing for the bar, and I never made flash cards in law school. During school, I usually just condensed 100+ pages of notes from lectures/readings into a 30-50 page outline, and most of my exams were open book, so there was little memorization involved. I never did particularly well on the few closed book exams I had to take, and my memory is not particularly good.

I did however make flash cards in undergrad, and found it useful for memorization. So I know the system works for me.

That said, I'm still not sure if it would be better to make flash cards, smaller, condensed outlines, or neither, and just start doing practice MBE questions and essays.

Some have suggested I only do flashcards for MBE topics? What would I do for the remaining topics?

I've also heard perhaps I should just focus on practicing the MBE questions, and not practice any MPT or essay questions?


Any advice is appreciated.

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BaiAilian2013
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby BaiAilian2013 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 2:55 pm

What state?

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 3:02 pm

OR.

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tstyler98
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby tstyler98 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:10 pm

amk110 wrote:As the title indicates, I'm extremely far behind in the bar review process. About 7% in the BARBRI pace program. I need some advice on how I can best utilize the remaining time to maximize my chances of passing the exam.

At this point, I've only completed the lectures, but have not yet reviewed any of the lecture outlines, made any review materials, or done any practice problems.

What does everyone recommend? Should I start making flash cards? I'm a bit concerned about this, because the general rule is not to try something new when you're reviewing for the bar, and I never made flash cards in law school. During school, I usually just condensed 100+ pages of notes from lectures/readings into a 30-50 page outline, and most of my exams were open book, so there was little memorization involved. I never did particularly well on the few closed book exams I had to take, and my memory is not particularly good.

I did however make flash cards in undergrad, and found it useful for memorization. So I know the system works for me.

That said, I'm still not sure if it would be better to make flash cards, smaller, condensed outlines, or neither, and just start doing practice MBE questions and essays.

Some have suggested I only do flashcards for MBE topics? What would I do for the remaining topics?

I've also heard perhaps I should just focus on practicing the MBE questions, and not practice any MPT or essay questions?


Any advice is appreciated.


I would recommend doing practice questions. If you want to make flash cards, make them based on the answers to the MBE questions and sample essay answers. Or you could make a word document of the rules of the questions you missed or aren't as comfortable with. Then, each day, review those.

But, it might be best to stick with what worked for you during law school for a closed exam.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:12 pm

Should I bother reviewing my lecture outlines? I can barely recall most of the information in some of them. I've heard memorization is key for the bar exam. I feel like if I were to start practicing without even reviewing the lecture outlines, I'd have no idea what I was doing.

I just spent about four hours reading through one of the outlines, highlighting rules and such I plan to transcribe to flashcards, but I feel like this might be a very lengthy process. Any tips to speed it up?

As for what worked for me in law school on closed book exams? Well, not reading my gigantic outline. Generally, if I couldn't have an outline with me, I was looking at a C or C+. This I attribute largely to my poor memory. Flash cards have worked for me when I used them in undergrad. I memorize very well by handwriting. Less so by reading and typing. I dare say making the flash cards would be sufficient for me to memorize the subject without needing to review them extensively.

About how long should it take to read through and review one lecture's outline? BARBRI says 60-90 minutes, but this seems low. Granted, I had to keep looking things up in the CMR.

On average, how long should it take someone to transcribe the rules from the outlines onto flash cards?

I'm guessing that it's likely going to take a full day to do each of the MBE subjects. I'm currently just planning to do the MBE subjects, and Civ Pro, as that's very heavily tested on the essays. I'll have to type up some condensed outlines for the other subjects or something.

I'm also blowing off tax altogether. Haven't even watched the lecture. Apparently it hasn't been on the exam in several years, and only shows up on the essay portion anyway.

My goal is to have all these flash cards and condensed outlines done by 7/22. This leaves 8 days to devote to practice.

Any advice on where to focus practice? Essays or MBE? I'm leaning more toward focusing on the MBE as it's the most heavily weighted, since the essays are only 25% of the score, and you can't really practice the MPT (the other 25%).

But really, any tips or recommendations are appreciated.

Green Crayons
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby Green Crayons » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:55 pm

I found that typing up the lecture handouts into a word document in outline format (took about 1-4 hours depending upon the subject) helped me digest the material in a way that was much more productive than simply reading the handouts. After doing that, I would take the practice essays they assign, which reaffirmed all the material in my head while it was fresh.

Now when I want to refresh my memory on a topic, I can generally just look over my typed out outline (and if need be retype until re-memorized for certain segments) and feel much more comfortable in remembering what I had forgotten.

It's the best tactile-type method of learning this material that I've discovered. It's tedious and time consuming, but "no shit" and "well duh" is the best I can tell you on that front. Good luck.

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Agoraphobia
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby Agoraphobia » Wed Jul 17, 2013 12:14 am

I vote for focusing on the MBE. You have limited time and seeing the types of questions and rules generally tested will serve you the best. If you know how to IRAC then that's pretty much what you are going to be doing for the essays. Focus on learning the law for now. If you notice problem areas (mortgages? accord & satisfaction? hearsay?) you can review whatever that area is. Good luck!!!

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shepdawg
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby shepdawg » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:00 pm

Just do study smart mbe. Do every question. Then outline every essay. Do not waste time doing passive study.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:51 pm

What exactly does it mean to "outline" an essay, by the way? I keep seeing that on BARBRI's website, but am not entirely sure what it means.

Also, I didn't mention in my original post, but I've not watched any of the workshop lectures. I kept hearing they were a waste of time. Is this the consensus?

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Agoraphobia
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby Agoraphobia » Wed Jul 17, 2013 6:58 pm

I'm doing Themis, but here's one I just did. Note, I'm getting lazier and lazier as time goes on b/c I know how to put this in IRAC. just issue spotting. For the real test I'll IRAC but in the outlines I just state the rules & facts. Also for the real test I'll check spelling, punctuation, etc. This took me about 10 minutes and that's all I'm spending anymore.

1. Did the judge err in overruling the objection to Field’s testimony about the conversation between Ramirez and Onway? Explain.

No, this is admissible. Although this is indeed hearsay, it is admission of a party-opponent. R is the defendnat in this case. These are statements against his interest but he was present in court so not this exception. Admission of PO works though - thus they are admissible.

2. Did the judge err in overruling the objection to Field's testimony about his statements during the Rule 212 deposition? Explain.

Deposition testimony is admissible. It is under oath and the W could be cross examined. It was also reviewed and signed. It can be used for substnative evidence or to impeach. Sounds like the judge here said just impeach. That is fine. You can impeach your own witness.

3. Did the judge err in sustaining the objection to the introduction of the DSS report? Explain.

This is OK also. It is hearsay but falls under business records excetion. To qualify as a br it must be kept in the oridinary course of busines & not in anticipation of litigation, Here it was actually written before the accideent AND filed properly, as it was always done so in the files of the company. So fine.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Wed Jul 17, 2013 8:56 pm

shepdawg wrote:Just do study smart mbe. Do every question. Then outline every essay. Do not waste time doing passive study.


What's the difference between the study smart MBE and the MBE questions in the books? I was just planning to use the books, because if I'm at the computer, I don't seem to get any work done.

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shepdawg
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby shepdawg » Thu Jul 18, 2013 1:24 pm

amk110 wrote:
shepdawg wrote:Just do study smart mbe. Do every question. Then outline every essay. Do not waste time doing passive study.


What's the difference between the study smart MBE and the MBE questions in the books? I was just planning to use the books, because if I'm at the computer, I don't seem to get any work done.

StudySmart will track your performance on each specific sub-topic, so you can focus on stuff you have difficulty with. It will also give you your nationwide percentile so you can tell whether or not you will get fd on the scaled score.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:54 pm

UPDATE:

Greetings again. I am in need of more advice.

I've made an impressive comeback in the last few weeks, having reviewed and memorized all of the MBE subjects, and civil procedure/business entities (as these eight subject areas appear most frequently on my state's essay portion of the exam). I've barely had an opportunity to do any practice yet.

I need input on whether I should withdraw my application to sit for the bar, and simply take another stab at this in February. I feel quite poor about my chances of passing with perhaps, two weeks of full-time study under my belt, if that. Were I to withdraw, I could receive a partial refund of my application fee, which would also be nice, as I am currently without means to pay my rent in five days.

An additional consideration is the MPRE. I did not pass the April exam. I lacked financial means to sign up for the August or the November exam, and thus, cannot take the exam again until April 2014, so even if I pass the July 2013 bar exam, I'm still not eligible to practice law.

Then there's the stigma, if any, of not having passed on the first attempt, which I could very likely avoid if I put in more than 100 hours of prep time.

Of course, I could always just take a shot at the exam.

What does everyone think?

clashjones87
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby clashjones87 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 9:58 pm

You should do some practice exams under timed conditions to see how you're performing.

yeff
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby yeff » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:32 pm

how's your MBE? as has been discussed in other threads (don't waste your time reading them), a good enough MBE means you can choke pretty hard on essays and still pass. this varies by state depending on how they weight things.

I think your ability to pass in Feb. if necessary would be aided by giving it a shot.

clashjones87
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby clashjones87 » Sat Jul 27, 2013 10:41 pm

yeff wrote:how's your MBE? as has been discussed in other threads (don't waste your time reading them), a good enough MBE means you can choke pretty hard on essays and still pass. this varies by state depending on how they weight things.

I think your ability to pass in Feb. if necessary would be aided by giving it a shot.


I've heard this encouraging news as well. What does "choke" mean on the essays? What if, say, for half the essays I don't know the applicable rules, but I make up a reasonable one, use IRAC, write clearly, and reason my way to a conclusion?

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:06 am

My MBE is about as good as you would expect after having done only 18 evidence and 18 con law questions. I got 11/18 on evidence and 8/18 on con law.

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Bikeflip
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby Bikeflip » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:18 am

amk110 wrote:My MBE is about as good as you would expect after having done only 18 evidence and 18 con law questions. I got 11/18 on evidence and 8/18 on con law.


How much of a partial refund are we talking about here? Personally, since you need rent money now, you're (probably) too late to sign up for the August MPRE, you can't afford the August MPRE and you're under-prepped sway me to think you should withdraw. As for the stigma of not passing your on first attempt, that is less about passing on your first attempt, it's more about why you didn't pass (or take) the July bar after graduation. That stigma will still be there even if you passed on your first attempt, but your first attempt was in July 2015.
Last edited by Bikeflip on Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

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romothesavior
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jul 28, 2013 12:20 am

What do you plan to do with all that time before you are licensed? Might be better to wait it out if you really don't think you can pass and you need that money now.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:14 am

It's about 50% of what I paid to register for the exam. I'm not sure what I'd do until December, or whenever the February BARBRI course starts. My biggest concern would be how I'd be able to handle paying back school loans while simultaneously trying to save money to be able to take January and February 2014 off to study.

Fact remains, the key to passing is practice, and I simply have not done so. I'd feel better about the exam if I were a naturally good standardized test taker, but I'm not. I did poorly on the SAT, the LSAT, got mediocre law school grades, and didn't pass the MPRE on the first attempt.

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romothesavior
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby romothesavior » Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:37 am

Do you even want to be a lawyer? How did you put yourself in this position? You do realize that your odds of finding legal work are pretty low until you've passed the bar and gotten licensed? And if that doesn't happen for another 8 months, your odds of finding legal work will be even lower.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:26 pm

Yes, I want to be a lawyer. I had some personal issues that prevented me from studying productively until about the time I started this thread.

I'm okay with doing non-legal work for 6-8 months until passing the February bar.

So what's the consensus? If one is relatively unprepared for the exam, is it better to wing it, or to postpone it?

dudeman2014
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby dudeman2014 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:28 pm

amk110 wrote:UPDATE:

having reviewed and memorized all of the MBE subjects


If you've memorized the whole thing then you should be good to go.

09042014
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby 09042014 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 4:33 pm

What state?

Take a simulated MBE off the NBCE sight or off bar bri. If you suck on it, withdraw.

amk110
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Re: Just started reviewing for bar exam...

Postby amk110 » Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:08 pm

I should clarify. By "reviewed and memorized" the MBE subjects, I meant that I distilled each down into a 10-20 page outline of the bare essentials. I have a pretty impressive recall of a lot of this information if asked, but am not very good at spotting which areas of law are implicated by each question.

And I forgot that I'd not yet reviewed contracts at all.




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