Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

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normalien
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Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby normalien » Wed Oct 30, 2013 10:13 am

I never post on this board anymore, but this information might be useful to some out there, because in my experience (i.e., me and all my real -- not online -- friends), it's the least amount you can study and still be OK. Going into my summer of bar prep, that was the number one question I had. What's the least amount of work I can do and still pass? Some context: I'm very smart but not scary smart, 170 LSAT/3.5 GPA; multiple T14 offers, historically a good to great standardized test taker. Currently a big law associate at a V30. I don't love the law. Not a born memorizer. Here's what I did:

BARBRI
Test Date: July 30;
Did not visit the website / open a book until July 2nd;
Completely lost the weekend of July 12-13 playing two gigs/concerts at a club (shows were 10:30-2:00, plus afterparties both nights; I'm a musician on the side);
That puts my prep time 26 days exactly;
Watched all the Barbri videos once at 2.3X-3.0X speed, depending on the natural speaking speed of the lecturer (14-16 hours/day);
Made my own outlines, irgnored the black Barbri book outlines;
Did the self-test application software on the Barbri website MBE, about 40 questions for each topic; by then I had hit the Barbri targets;
Spent the two days before the exam listening to the NY Practice and Wills lectures on my iPhone at 2x speed.
Wrote two practice essays the night before the exam (they're just like law school essays but more to the point -- this wasn't smart; I should have done more practice essays);
And that's it.

The test was harder than I expected. I thought it was 50/50 until I got the results.

Passed with an MBE score of 144.

Not recommending this approach so to speak, but for people that don't want to lose an entire summer to the NY bar exam, it can be done.

Would be interested to know if anyone here studied less and passed. For July takers, Congrats to those who passed -- get it next time to those that didn't!

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby Bronx Bum » Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:03 pm

I agree. I would also recommend NOT doing barbri. I'm no genius and I only got a 168 LSAT. There are people here who got 175s who can do less than me.

I passed the NY bar with a 150 MBE.

I did a ton of MBE practice questions and didn't touch essays until July 10th. I ordered Seperac Master outline for $350. Best thing I've ever done. Gives you canned answers for SMALL SUBTOPICS with % chance it will be on. His "high priority" was on the money.

Here's how to pass NY with minimal study. DO NOT stress the essays. Almost everyone gets a 5 and it's almost IMPOSSIBLE to get higher than a 6. And if you do, you probably spent too much time on the essay. Also, on the essays, you're competing with a lot of the foreign students who can't write so you can "fake" your way to the top 80% (essentially a 5). Essentially, you need to be above the bottom 20% of EVERYONE in NY, including foreign takers, Pace grads, etc.

The MBE is much harder. Focus a lot of time on the MBE. I did over 2500 questions and wrote down the rules for the ones I did wrong. Can't really fake the MBE.

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normalien
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Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby normalien » Wed Oct 30, 2013 4:30 pm

I think that's right. For native English speakers, the first time passage rates are in your favor right off the bat. I can't substantiate this, but I have the suspicion that even if you get the law wrong but are in the ballpark, you can wrack up enough points to get by if you're a good legal writer.

Also practical portion of the exam, the MPT, I knew I crushed that and I think it helped.

Concentrate on the MBE, learn as many NY distinctions as you can, don't worry too much about the essays if you're on a condensed study schedule (your law school training will carry you on test day), and really try to hit it out of the park on the MPT.

For those of above average intelligence, the full BARBRI program is a ridiculously painful, and largely unnecessary waste of time.

(This is not a knock on BARBRI, they're doing it right for what they set out to do; the point is just that abilities vary widely and with that, necessary study time also varies. The key is to figure out where you fall on the bell curve and tailor your approach accordingly, at least if you're worried about keeping some of the summer to yourself...)

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englawyer
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Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby englawyer » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:34 am

For the NY specific subjects, you mentioned Wills/Trusts, which is definitely worth studying since its a guaranteed essay on the exam. I would also mention studying family law because there are like 2-3 tests and its very fluffy/common sense.

fanlinxun
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Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby fanlinxun » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:56 am

I think there is a risk in assuming that one person's minimum study time will work for everyone. I am currently at a V5 firm and graduated really high in my class, but I still followed the Barbri program to the letter. I know this was overkill because I got over 170 on the MBE and I am sure I averaged at least 8 points per essay, but it is hard to overestimate the peace of mind that comes from 100% knowing the answers to the essays. I walked out of the exam with complete confidence that I had passed and I never thought about the exam again until the night results came out.

I understand that there are a variety of approaches and the numbers show that most of them work (86% pass rate for first time takers this year). I personally felt the exam was important enough to put a full two months into and I have no complaints about the process or results. I simply could not justify leaving the last exam of my life to chance. (For example, what if OP had gotten sick for a week in July?) Other people are completely comfortable cramming everything into four weeks and the pressure motivates them to succeed as well. However, I would definitely set your "minimum study time" to a standard that you think works for you rather than the standard that worked for OP.

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Bronx Bum
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Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby Bronx Bum » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:11 am

fanlinxun wrote:I think there is a risk in assuming that one person's minimum study time will work for everyone. I am currently at a V5 firm and graduated really high in my class, but I still followed the Barbri program to the letter. I know this was overkill because I got over 170 on the MBE and I am sure I averaged at least 8 points per essay, but it is hard to overestimate the peace of mind that comes from 100% knowing the answers to the essays. I walked out of the exam with complete confidence that I had passed and I never thought about the exam again until the night results came out.

I understand that there are a variety of approaches and the numbers show that most of them work (86% pass rate for first time takers this year). I personally felt the exam was important enough to put a full two months into and I have no complaints about the process or results. I simply could not justify leaving the last exam of my life to chance. (For example, what if OP had gotten sick for a week in July?) Other people are completely comfortable cramming everything into four weeks and the pressure motivates them to succeed as well. However, I would definitely set your "minimum study time" to a standard that you think works for you rather than the standard that worked for OP.


I agree 100% that if you have the time and money, do barbri to a T. Someone like you, who had a V5 lined up, would have looked like a fool if you failed. So it was in your absolute best interest to make sure you did everything necessary to pass.

I think the OP was targeted at people who have limited time/resources. For example, I have a shitlaw job lined up. LOL at my boss paying for my bar prep or giving me a stipend. So in order to survive, I had to do Themis. I also had to work a few days a week.

JulyNYbar
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Joined: Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:00 am

Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby JulyNYbar » Wed Jun 10, 2015 2:04 am

I subscribed to Seperac for the Feb. 2015 NY Bar Exam, and the materials were extremely helpful. Since I bought one subscription, I have decided to sell only one set of Seperac materials (from Feb. 2015).

I will sell the complete set of Seperac notes for $90 (or the best offer received), via paypal.
Email me if you are interested: JulyNYbar@gmail.com

Good luck to all those preparing and studying.

westphillybandr
Posts: 150
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2012 9:52 pm

Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby westphillybandr » Mon Jun 22, 2015 11:55 am

normalien wrote:I never post on this board anymore, but this information might be useful to some out there, because in my experience (i.e., me and all my real -- not online -- friends), it's the least amount you can study and still be OK. Going into my summer of bar prep, that was the number one question I had. What's the least amount of work I can do and still pass? Some context: I'm very smart but not scary smart, 170 LSAT/3.5 GPA; multiple T14 offers, historically a good to great standardized test taker. Currently a big law associate at a V30. I don't love the law. Not a born memorizer. Here's what I did:

BARBRI
Test Date: July 30;
Did not visit the website / open a book until July 2nd;
Completely lost the weekend of July 12-13 playing two gigs/concerts at a club (shows were 10:30-2:00, plus afterparties both nights; I'm a musician on the side);
That puts my prep time 26 days exactly;
Watched all the Barbri videos once at 2.3X-3.0X speed, depending on the natural speaking speed of the lecturer (14-16 hours/day);
Made my own outlines, irgnored the black Barbri book outlines;
Did the self-test application software on the Barbri website MBE, about 40 questions for each topic; by then I had hit the Barbri targets;
Spent the two days before the exam listening to the NY Practice and Wills lectures on my iPhone at 2x speed.
Wrote two practice essays the night before the exam (they're just like law school essays but more to the point -- this wasn't smart; I should have done more practice essays);
And that's it.

The test was harder than I expected. I thought it was 50/50 until I got the results.

Passed with an MBE score of 144.

Not recommending this approach so to speak, but for people that don't want to lose an entire summer to the NY bar exam, it can be done.

Would be interested to know if anyone here studied less and passed. For July takers, Congrats to those who passed -- get it next time to those that didn't!


How many hours a day did you study?

plurilingue
Posts: 150
Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:58 pm

Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby plurilingue » Fri Jul 01, 2016 8:11 pm

I wanted to bump this for the benefit of others.

I passed the NY exam in July 2015 with a 150 MBE having studied about 80-90 hours total, and doing around 20% of Barbri. I purposely studied as little as possible so that I could walk out of the exam feeling reasonably confident that I passed, but also not having overstudied since there is zero marginal benefit to doing so. I drilled 1,200 MBE questions and reviewed the answers for the questions I got wrong. I also reviewed the lectures and the Conviser Mini Review for those subjects where my knowledge was alarmingly deficient. I generally think that one can ignore the lectures altogether and just drill the MBE to 65-70% per subject and be pretty set for the exam. Knowing the nuances that can get you above 70% is completely unnecessary. I never got above 70% on any Barbri practice exam and I think it would require an inordinate amount of time to get there.

The MPT requires zero preparation, and one can pass NY with minimal to no knowledge of local distinctions.

tl;dr -- I highly recommend that people who are doing well at a top law school and have a high law school GPA + a high LSAT not freak out about the exam and just enjoy studying a few hours here or there. It's not a difficult exam by any standard.

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thesealocust
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Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:50 pm

Re: Minimum Study Time for NY Bar Passage

Postby thesealocust » Fri Jul 01, 2016 10:41 pm

Everyone is different, and some people need structure. I procrastinated like crazy and self studied and it worked well enough though -used baroutlines.com and started studying after July 4th. Maybe not the most well-rested I've ever been in my life, but it worked :lol:




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