Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

2TimesTheCharm
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby 2TimesTheCharm » Sun Nov 20, 2016 2:27 pm

I took the CA July 2016 Bar.

Day 1 was a disaster. I was betting on the BarSecrets predictions and went in expecting Crim, Conlaw, PR, Corporations, Wills, CP and Property. So when I found CA civpro and contracts, I almost broke down and cried. I had been working full time and never even looked at CA civpro, and I hadn't look at FRCP in weeks. I got the rules for service and venue wrong, and I spent two paragraphs talking about the difference between state courts and federal courts on a practical level (irrelevant.) Realizing I had 1hr and 45 min left, I switched to property, and found my worst subject: easements. Again, I scribbled something down, went on a tangent about the different kinds of easements, blended the merger issue into the tangent, answered the wrong part of call 2 with "7" (instead of 6) warranties, then proceeded only to describe 3 of them. Finally, with 40 min left on the clock, I started reading the contracts prompt, wrote a long essay holding the wrong guy liable for breach. I was so upset during lunch that I didn't get to review the PT book. Afternoon turns around, I went in trying my best not to cry, had no idea what the issues were, reread everything three times, then finished it only because I paid for the exam.

Day 2, I felt like a kicked dog. The morning MBE was fine, good enough that I remember mentally thanking the Adaptibar guy every couple questions. It was more or less the same as Adaptibar. I almost dared to hope I might have a shot until I saw the afternoon MBE: more civpro than I expected, more subtopics of property I didn't know. I really considered going home that night and resigning from my firm the following day.

Day 3, I got some confidence back after the Conlaw essay, only to lose it again for CP. I couldn't remember all the rules on prenups, so I made up some stuff that sounded right, then realizing I had only 40 minutes left, I went on to PR, churned out something I don't remember, went back to CP, tried to cover BOTH SIDES, failed, deleted the side I thought was wrong. With 30 seconds called, I tried to revise my concluding sentence in one part, mistyped "is CP" to "is CLP", and had time called before I could change it.

I spent these last three months applying to different consulting jobs up and down the California coast. I even went to interview with McKinsey. The night of, I got drunk, cried to my boyfriend, cried to my girlfriends, attempted to take home my neighbor's dog because it gave me so much comfort, before finding out I passed...

I don't know how it happened. I don't want to know either, but apparently you can do all of the above and still pass.

aunt_pearl
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby aunt_pearl » Fri Nov 25, 2016 10:33 pm

CA bar, 2nd time taker

I used the wrong law for Civ Pro. I used the FRCP allllllll the way through, with a few "and in CA it's the same." (Spoiler: no, it's not.)

I didn't spot the merger issue at ALL on the property essay. I didn't write about it.

I didn't mention modifications on contracts.

My strongest was historically the MBE. The guy sitting next to me was coughing and sneezing the entire way through; it was so bad I actually got permission to be moved for the afternoon session. I can't concentrate when there is excess sound and this was SO. LOUD.

I was certain I was going to fail. I read the statistics (17% pass rate for repeaters!!! FREAKING 17%!!!!). I still passed.

Floridaman1985
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby Floridaman1985 » Mon Dec 05, 2016 2:28 pm

I passed both the July 2010 Florida Bar Exam and the July 2016 Virginia Bar Exam with bad migraine headaches:

I woke up for the first day of the Florida Bar with a migraine. Medication didn't really help, and I had to deal with it through the entirety of the first day. Fortunately, I slept it off and felt fine for the secone day. I'm sure it had some impact on my focus, but I passed.

As soon as the first day of the recent Virginia Bar ended, I felt that distinct aura that can only mean one thing, the imminent arrival of a migraine. It was a bad one, and a night of sleep did nothing to reduce it. Again, medicine did not help much. I think it was worse to have one during the MBE because you have very little time for each question, and have to be fairly focused and efficient. Anyway, the headache definitely harmed me in that regard. Somehow, I passed.

tiymay
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby tiymay » Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:24 am

I was a re-taker. I felt OK about all possible essay topics except income tax and secured transactions. Guess which 2 topics ended up on the exam? I got very caught up trying to remember things and write the best I could, I almost ran out of time.

During the break, I also heard multiple people talking about one of the issues- and they all got the same answer as each other, and I didn't get that answer at all. I likely missed that question entirely.

I'm pretty confident I completely missed 1 essay, and good chance I also missed the other one I didn't feel confident it. But I still passed.

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rcharter1978
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby rcharter1978 » Wed Dec 14, 2016 9:16 am

tiymay wrote:I was a re-taker. I felt OK about all possible essay topics except income tax and secured transactions. Guess which 2 topics ended up on the exam? I got very caught up trying to remember things and write the best I could, I almost ran out of time.

During the break, I also heard multiple people talking about one of the issues- and they all got the same answer as each other, and I didn't get that answer at all. I likely missed that question entirely.

I'm pretty confident I completely missed 1 essay, and good chance I also missed the other one I didn't feel confident it. But I still passed.


LOL, I took the CBX in Feb '16 and I specifically remember saying "if these assholes put CA Evidence on this exam I'm going to fake a heart attack or pull the fire alarm"

I think it was Question 3, and I was so salty about the entire thing. Still passed.

Kalani111
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby Kalani111 » Wed May 17, 2017 4:36 pm

My horror story started in 2016, two and a half weeks before the Feb bar. I was denied accommodations, which I was granted to in law school for a compound fracture that resulted in nerve damage that led to my wrist and hand. I knew I had no chance of passing the written portion of the exam but decided to take it anyway as a very expensive practice exam.

Fast forward to Feb 17. For a year I practiced getting my typing speed up and issue spotted 200 essays to overcome the panic feeling I had for the essays. I blatantly neglected the MPT's because I had passed them during graded Themis prep course. VERY bad idea. During the real exam, the essays went well but apparently I forgot a game plan for the MPT. My outlines were ridiculous, information all over the place. Threw the first MPT together at the last minute butchering even my sub-heading. My analysis was completely wrong--I could feel it. The second MPT I added a conclusion for no reason, when the directions asked for only finding of facts and law. I couldn't believe I did that. I was certain I failed after the MPT's even if the MBE went well.

Passed, but just barely. Do not neglect those suckers :shock:

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vivala
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby vivala » Wed Aug 02, 2017 10:24 am

This isn't so much a "horror story" question, but wondering if anyone realized they made a huge mistake of the law on a couple of essays and still passed? I realized that I called what was clearly a content-based statute content neutral and analyzed it as content-neutral, and also analyzed something as an accord and satisfaction when the debt was not disputed. Ugh. How many of these types of mistakes can one make and still pass?

SFSpartan
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby SFSpartan » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:06 am

vivala wrote:This isn't so much a "horror story" question, but wondering if anyone realized they made a huge mistake of the law on a couple of essays and still passed? I realized that I called what was clearly a content-based statute content neutral and analyzed it as content-neutral, and also analyzed something as an accord and satisfaction when the debt was not disputed. Ugh. How many of these types of mistakes can one make and still pass?


Yes. I passed the CA Bar last year despite making the following major mistakes:

1. Analyzing a due process question completely incorrectly (leaving out several major steps of the analysis, which changed the outcome) on an essay about due process.

2. Analyzing a contracts question about breach completely backwards (including mixing up parties and what they did)

3. Spending so much time on the first 2 essays on Day 3 that I only had 20 minutes for the final essay, resulting in me missing a bunch of major issues.

Sorry I can't provide more specifics - the test was a year ago, so I'm kind of fuzzy on the specific mistakes I made. But the point is that you can make major mistakes and still pass.

DurhamNC2017
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby DurhamNC2017 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:20 am

I don't know if the circumstances surrounding my exam experience constitute a horror story, but I think my situation was certainly atypical:

I used Kaplan the first time, did not like Kaplan, and did not pass (missed by 1 point). I used Themis the second time, really liked it; I completed about 72% of the course. I went to a pretty good law school, graduated top 30% of my class, went to school at night, and had a pretty demanding job in the day.

Preparing for the first exam (July exam), I had a lot of other things going on (e.g. moving, looking for jobs, family stuff) and I just never really got to trust the way Kaplan was doing things and frankly going and sitting in a class was not what I needed. I prepared for about 2 months, generally followed the course, but did not do all the MBE questions. To the extent that I did not understand an issue, large or small, I made a note card. I probably did about 70 essays and maybe 600-700 MBE questions. I averaged a 6/10 on my essays and got a 135 on the MBE in terms of my actual bar score.

The second time (Feb. exam), I actually had a lot more going on (e.g. my wife and I had a child around Jan.1, we had a lot of family stuff to take care of, including a death in the family and another family member with whom I am very close becoming seriously ill, and I had a job that depended on me passing). I was only able to spend about 6 weeks fully engaged in studying. I did about 85-90 essays and about (I think) 950 multiple choice. I used my old note cards and made new ones too. For the last week or so, I focused a lot on memorization. Just reviewing outlines and drilling myself on notecards. I really wanted to be able to tick through rules on my essays and get as many "free points" on the MBE, which I thought of as particular rules or issues that I just knew cold. For the 6 weeks or so I studied, I only worked a little bit (a few hours a week at most), tried to put in at least 8 hours a day actually studying.

Despite all of the stuff I had going on in my personal life and taking a little less time than recommended to study, I passed. The exam I took had a very low pass rate (in the 30% range), and I saw the rates before I got my results so I was not feeling very confident. My state does not release scores for those who pass, so I don't know by how many points I passed.

Prior to me getting my letter regarding passing, the aggregate scores leaked, including stats from in-state law schools. The stats were horrible. One school had a 0% pass rate and for people who had taken a bar exam previously and not passed from an out of state school (my situation), I think that the overall passing rate was about 28%. I was convinced that I failed, but I passed.

redsox550
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby redsox550 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:30 am

State Bar had the following format: 3 essays + MC in morning, 2 essays + MPT afternoon.

First day morning goes decently well. As they call "Time" I close my book a little relaxed until I see "Essays 1, 2, and 3" and say to myself, that's weird that they typoed that and listed three essays when they only provided 2. I check my booklet and sure enough there were 3 essays, I only thought their were 2 and didn't even look at the third or write a single word. Time was already called.

Sure enough, I freaked out, ran to my hotel had mini fuck-up attack, almost didn't return to test. Told myself well my flight isn't for 2 days and I might as well do the rest for practice for next bar exam. Every Q I had for the rest of the test I thought to myself "if I get the rest right maybe i'll pass ... FUCK, I don't know this one, now I definitely failed".

After the test I accepted defeat and 100% assumed I failed, wasn't even stressed about it. I open my scores waiting to see the inevitable, and with complete shock I found out I passed.

Felt like I won the superbowl.

PS got a 150 on MBE and believe I also crushed the State MC which saved my ass.

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esq
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby esq » Thu Aug 03, 2017 3:20 am

rcharter1978 wrote:
tiymay wrote:I was a re-taker. I felt OK about all possible essay topics except income tax and secured transactions. Guess which 2 topics ended up on the exam? I got very caught up trying to remember things and write the best I could, I almost ran out of time.

During the break, I also heard multiple people talking about one of the issues- and they all got the same answer as each other, and I didn't get that answer at all. I likely missed that question entirely.

I'm pretty confident I completely missed 1 essay, and good chance I also missed the other one I didn't feel confident it. But I still passed.


LOL, I took the CBX in Feb '16 and I specifically remember saying "if these assholes put CA Evidence on this exam I'm going to fake a heart attack or pull the fire alarm"

I think it was Question 3, and I was so salty about the entire thing. Still passed.


Somebody did pull the fire alarm in Ontario Feb. '16... hmmmm :wink:

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a male human
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby a male human » Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:25 pm

The good news is that the more prepared you actually were, the less you feel like you passed (you know what you don't know). The bad news is that the other way isn't necessarily true.

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cron1834
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby cron1834 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:19 am

I appreciated the bump here. Some of these were reassuring.

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vivala
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby vivala » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:39 am

cron1834 wrote:I appreciated the bump here. Some of these were reassuring.


Yes, thank you to all who answered! I might not be as bad off as I thought, but I guess I'll just have to wait for a few more months to find out. :?

Estecontre
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby Estecontre » Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:52 pm

vivala wrote:
cron1834 wrote:I appreciated the bump here. Some of these were reassuring.


Yes, thank you to all who answered! I might not be as bad off as I thought, but I guess I'll just have to wait for a few more months to find out. :?


It doesn't sound like you had a "horror story." I'm not sure what state you were taking, but as long as you made a sound argument and structured it well you'll still get points. Could be worse, I know a couple of people in my state that didn't even answer some of the essay questions.

9xSound
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby 9xSound » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:24 pm

Over the last 20 years, I have had a cup of coffee every single morning of my life except maybe four or five times. Unbelievably, the morning of the February 2015 CBX was one of those times. I had gotten a hotel and as I headed to the exam site, I could not find a convenient coffee outlet anywhere. And God forbid that I should try asking somebody. As a result, I went into the test the first morning feeling mentally numb, not sharp and wide awake from my usual caffeine jolt. That was disaster No. 1. Okay, not a "disaster," but definitely bad news.

Secondly, the third essay that morning was civ pro with 7th Amendment and physician-patient issues. I completely bombed this essay. This time, the word disaster fits. I forgot that there is no physician-patient privilege under the FRCP, and I simply didn't know the applicable rules regarding when the right to a jury trial must be exercised before it's waived. I analyzed logical and legal relevance like it was an evidence essay. I mean, everything I wrote was so far out in left field on the issues and rules compared to the model answers that I could only have gotten a 50. I had to make up rules based on reasonableness. The fact is, I wrote a sack of total crap, hitting non-issues and using made up rules. And yet I passed. The overall pass rate for that exam was only 39.5%.

The takeaway is that passing doesn't require perfection. If you bomb an essay, it isn't necessarily fatal, especially if you do well on the MBE — which I think I did. If you feel like you blew it on an essay or PT, don't kill yourself over it. You're not out of the running so long as you did okay on the rest of the exam.

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oxie
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Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby oxie » Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:35 pm

I found this thread very reassuring when I was having post-bar anxiety, so I figured I would bump it now that results from July are coming out.

I didn't have as rough of a time as many of the folks on here, but there were a few things that went awry:

- I didn't get much sleep before either day -- probably 3 or 4 hours a night. I was super anxious about everything but didn't want to take a sleeping pill because I was worried about sleeping through my alarm. And my cat decided to start climbing all over me at 4 a.m. both nights.

- The morning of the first day was two MPTs back-to-back. I totally screwed up my timing. I spent way too much time reading the materials for the first MPT, freaked out when I realized that, tried to rush through writing the first one but got sort of stuck in a sunk-cost cycle (I spent so much time reading the material, I should at least make use of it). I ended up spending about two hours on the first MPT and just had one hour for the second one. I ended up at least writing something for both parts of the second MPT, but it was extremely rushed and incomplete.

- I spent lunch the first day trying to convince myself not to freak out about my timing issues and was too anxious to eat much. Ended up being really hungry during the afternoon session.

- I thought the MEE went OK, but there were definitely some legal points that I realized later on that I had missed.

- I had been doing pretty well with the MBE while studying, but the actual questions seemed much harder. I felt unsure about a much higher percentage than I had while studying. And I felt really poorly prepared for the Civ Pro questions -- there were so many topics that just hadn't come up while studying.

Just found out I passed. Don't know my exact score yet, but just wanted to put out another story of someone who had moments of feeling really uncertain and ended up being fine.

Good luck to everyone still waiting on their results or taking the bar in the future!




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