I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

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usuaggie
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I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby usuaggie » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:41 pm

I recently passed the uniform bar exam with a score of 330, well above what I needed. I thought I'd give some info on how I studied since I would have appreciated it when I was preparing for the bar.

Background: went to the U of Oregon, didn't have great grades. I was middle of my class, studied ~4 hours a week at home (meaning outside of time between classes, because I did study during those times) because I made the choice that spending time with my wife and watching Utah State football was more important than bumping up my class ranking. We'll see if I regret that in a few months if I don't have a job.



First, I signed up for Barbri. I would highly recommend it. It is expensive, sure. But it focuses a lot of information down to a daily set of tasks. I worried about that day of tasks and nothing else. It made the big picture a lot easier to handle.

If you're wondering how "hard" I studied, or how much I studied, to be honest, I didn't grind myself too much. I watched every lecture exept con law because chemerinsky, even though he saved me in law school, was a useless lecturer. I spent 6-8 hours on lecture days studying, did every MBE test, most of the essays, and spent 3-5 hours studying the last two weeks. I knew that I could handle the material and I was more worried about burning out than learning obscure rules about codicils or something, so I focused more on refreshing major points than learning things I didn't know. If I didn't know it after 6 weeks, I wasn't going to learn it in 2.


Second, I set goals for how I wanted to do on the bar. My goal was to get a 150 on the MBE and then I'd only need a 120 on the written portion. I focused on the MBE because it is easier to get feedback on if you did things right or wrong, whereas the written portion is a little bit more of a judgment call by graders and has too much gray area to consistently test improvement.

I picked 150 on the MBE because I felt it was obtainable, and the 120 on the written portion translates to the bottom 5% according to this (https://www.ilbaradmissions.org/Percent ... lentCharts). I knew I could at least do better than the bottom 20%.

The other advantage of studying for the MBE harder than the written portion is you are guaranteed to get some overlap. There will be 2 or 3 or 4 questions on the written portion of the UBE that deal with MBE subjects.


Third, I took a lot of MBE practice tests and questions. I did every barbri question twice. I started figuring out what answers were right or wrong just by the wording. I was worried this was a Barbri thing and that I was cheating myself because the real questions wouldn't behave like that, but it was pretty consistent.

I got a 135 raw on the Barbri practice exam. They said to expect that to improve 10-15 points, and I assume it did because I got a 163 on the scaled MBE, which roughly translates to a 145-150 raw.

I also bought one NCBE practice test a week before the bar. I got a 170 scaled on it (I think that was my score, anyway). Pretty close to the real thing, so I feel like it was useful. Even then, I felt like it was useful. Maybe if I bombed it, the negative emotion would have been counterproductive. In my case though, it was nice to see my attack plan pay off on the practice test and it gave me the last bit of confidence. I was sure that I would pass the bar walking in, and I was sure I passed when I walked out.


Fourth, I made sure that when I was done studying, I was done. I didn't go back to the book to check answers to questions that popped up in my head while I was hanging out with friends (I am 100% the kind of person that googles everything I don't know because I can't stand waiting to find out the answer). Sometimes when my wife was asleep, I'd do some practice MBE questions on my iPad instead of playing angry birds, but generally, I studied when she was at work and when she was at home, I put away my books.


Lastly, and most importantly, I made up my own mnemonics for everything. I made it personal and vivid. Phrases included my sister picking up my mother's crusty stinky panties, my other sister slapping a clown and quitting her job, my alma mater starting a freshman QB, etc.

I made them personal because the traditional ones didn't help a lot. I kept some of the ones given to us in lectures because they were short.

To remember them, I made flashcards with an image on the front. For example, one property mnemonic was "END CRAMP" so the flashcard had "how to destroy an easement" with a photo of midol on the front. The back had ENDCRAMP with what each letter stood for. I did this for every card on my ipad. Then when I could do them all, I took off the photos.

It became so instinctual that I didn't even have to recite the mnemonic. I wish I did this for law school. It became easy for me to recall a test based on the cadence of the elements.



I also read TLS a lot. There were a lot of good questions with good answers. There were a lot of crappy questions about minute points that didn't matter and people spending pages debating why they were right or wrong. I avoided those. But it is a good place for feedback on how you are doing. Just assume everybody is inflating their scores by 5-10% and you'll feel a lot better.



Most importantly, remember you just have to pass. You don't have to ace it. You just have to be smarter than the 25% of idiots who are in the room with you. Look at all those old people hand writing their answers. The guy next to you has six kids and didn't start studying until 3 weeks ago. The guy behind you was top of his class and thinks he knows everything already. DESTROY THEM. Or just stay within yourself, follow a set pace of studying, and make sure you have a plan for the entire summer of studying.



If you have any questions about what i did, how i did, why i did, PM me or ask here. I'm pretty open.

helfer snooterbagon
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby helfer snooterbagon » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:56 pm

I passed too. Take a prep course, do the assigned work and you will pass. End thread.

mvpforme
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby mvpforme » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:05 pm

Really helpful, Thanks!

Mal Reynolds
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby Mal Reynolds » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:06 pm

You scored well above what you needed to on a test that is only judged on passing and didn't study for law school? This seems dumb.

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IAFG
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby IAFG » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:22 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:You scored well above what you needed to on a test that is only judged on passing and didn't study for law school? This seems dumb.

He really blew his shot at Eugene Biglaw

BeenDidThat
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby BeenDidThat » Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:24 pm

Mal Reynolds wrote:You scored well above what you needed to on a test that is only judged on passing and didn't study for law school? This seems dumb.


You came on a thread about passing the bar, and you decided to criticize OP based on things that happened months ago that aren't really related to the bar? You seem dumb.

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hichvichwoh
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby hichvichwoh » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:12 am

Mal Reynolds wrote:You scored well above what you needed to on a test that is only judged on passing and didn't study for law school? This seems dumb.


Yeah, I don't think a thread touting a needlessly high bar score is sending the message you want to be sending...

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laxbrah420
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby laxbrah420 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:50 am

Holy fuck, responders are dickwads. Thanks for the data point and congratulations.

NYstate
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby NYstate » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:06 am

Congrats OP.

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5ky
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby 5ky » Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:34 am

Like 1L (and the million threads about how to "succeed in 1L!"), there's no one right way to study for the bar. Different things work for different people.

I strongly recommend that people 'find their own way' and do what they think will work best for them, even if they are unsure.

Myself
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.

Postby Myself » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:06 am

.
Last edited by Myself on Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:11 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Bronx Bum
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby Bronx Bum » Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:56 am

LOL thanks for telling us how you passed the bar.

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usuaggie
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby usuaggie » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:02 pm

IAFG wrote:
Mal Reynolds wrote:You scored well above what you needed to on a test that is only judged on passing and didn't study for law school? This seems dumb.

He really blew his shot at Eugene Biglaw


Lol this is basically my frame of mind. I never wanted big law and don't want to live anywhere that even offers it. I live in a town of 50k people and plan on prosecution, so grades really didn't matter to me. My wife and I lived 1,000 miles apart my 1l year so I made the decision to focus on our relationship more than school, and I'm completely sure it was the right choice.

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usuaggie
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby usuaggie » Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:03 pm

And for all the people with negative responses,if my post doesn't help you, then fine. But like I said, I would have loved some advice since I was studying alone for a different states bar exam. Didn't know a single person in Oregon who was studying for Utah or even the UBE

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CG614
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Re: I passed the bar. I thought I'd weigh in on how I studied.

Postby CG614 » Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:37 pm

So, this whole thread just to tell others to take BarBri? I can't believe you spilled the secret.




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