Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Discussions related to the bar exam are found in this forum

Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:09 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby mjmjmj » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:17 pm

I just want to give hope to future takers. I thought I totally screwed up my exam. I completely misread an essay question to the point that my response was entirely irrelevant. Some of my other essays were better than others, but I kept seeing on posts that people freaked out if they missed ONE issue in an essay. I missed many issues across most of the essays. On the MPT (NY exam), I did not really follow the instructions properly and wrote more of an objective style memo as opposed to a persuasive brief which was the assignment. TBH, I am a good writer so where I hit the points I probably did compensate for some of the mistakes. What shocked me is not that I just passed the essay portion, but I scored nearly perfect on the essay portion.

I also knew I screwed up so many of the MBE questions. I knew for a fact (bc I looked up the answers after) that I got at least 25 questions wrong. Again, I scored very high on the MBE section. Now I did not know which were experimental, but still. My point is, don't worry, and don't give up your summer months stressing about the exam. I was certain I failed and I passed by so many points.


Posts: 33
Joined: Fri Feb 19, 2016 2:27 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby OneShot2009 » Wed Oct 24, 2018 5:56 pm

My horror story now that I know I passed...

First, I almost forgot my laptop the first day. Actually I did forget my laptop, but luckily a family member was able to drive it to me. But this put me in a really freaked out panicky place to start.

I get chronic migraines and I had a horrible migraine the first day of the NY bar. I felt incredibly ill through the whole exam and almost unable to focus entirely for the afternoon session (6 essays). I spent two hours writing them before calling it a day. I left an hour early (meaning I spent 20 minutes on each essay.) I left so early people heard about it in other rooms. I left so early someone recognized me while I was boarding the plane for my post-bar trip to Greece and identified me as the girl who left an hour early.

I passed. I passed by a lot. Keep your chin up, everyone reading this. You'll be okay.

User avatar

Posts: 185
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 11:52 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby foxes » Wed Oct 24, 2018 6:41 pm

I was so exhausted I LITERALLY fell asleep on Day 2 (i spent twenty mins in the bathroom trying to wake up), and I had stress induced hives in Day 1 and still managed to pass by a lot. I also literally had no clue as to a good percentage of MBE questions bc Barbri hadn't covered those topics and even if they had, I only got to like, 75% completion. Sooo... You can still pass even if a bunch of things go horribly awry haha.


Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:57 am

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby WVTax21 » Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:41 pm

On a cold February day, I took the exam for the first time. I had taken two weeks off of work and studied nearly 14 hours a day trying to focus on the MBE and let my elegance of BSing take the wheel for the essays. I focused on what Barbri said you should for the Pennsylvania essays mind you, and I left trusts, partnerships, and those more trivial areas of law for a rainy day because I knew I wouldn't get to them. Needles to say, one partnership, one trust, and a migraine later, I failed the first time. 13 points on Friday the 13th.

So I immediately apply again. I retained a lot from my first battle, so certain areas were coming easier than others in my initial prep way out from the actual exam. I get my ticket for the exam. It says Philadelphia. But wait, I live in Pittsburgh. I signed up for Pittsburgh. Why isn't it Pittsburgh!? I call the office for the bar examiners, and I am told "it filled up, you should have applied earlier." Well I didn't intend on failing the first time, now did I!? So...I start planning for a Philly exam. I get the hotel, get the EZpass for the tolls, and I am feeling pretty good. Another 2 weeks off work, and I recognize again that I know nothing Jon Snow. My girlfriend drives us to Philly as I frantically review every area of law for the essays and even reread old PTs.

I get to the exam and boot up my computer. I try to log into Examsoft, and it says error. But wait, I downloaded this package. Why won't you work, machine!? Come to find out, my old examsoft managed somehow to override my new examsoft. I have a pen. I am now a writer. Kindly grandma proctor says, "It'll be just fine. I had to hand write it when I took it. You'll do great." Alright Granny proctor, you're right! I can do this! The essays aren't bad, and I actually feel good until I get to the PT. I don't know how to draft whatever they wanted me to, and the example isn't great. Best effort forward! The day ends as I wring my hands trying to regain feeling.

The MBE, well it's the MBE. It sucks. It's 200 questions of yeah you can't convict on any of these charges, but what's closest? No one finishes the MBE and says, man that was excellent.

The patience game in progress. Finally, the day comes. They make you wait until 4pm in PA for some reason this time, but I wait at work. I refresh. I refresh. I do this because PA is brutal and lists the passers names and leaves off those who failed. And there it is. My name.

My friends, horror stories are meant to be terrifying. So I will not finish this tale there. I look at my scores when they arrive. Wow. I barely passed. Right on the do....t? Wait. These scores don't add to the requisite score. Oh dear God. A clerical error. They rounded incorrectly. I can do math, math is my friend. THESE ADD TO ONE POINT TOO FEW! Oh the shame. Oh the anguish. But, then I recognize PA weights the scores differently and I actually do pass. By .0009. It's a horror story where I left alive, barely on wounded knee. But if I can study a grand total of basically 4 weeks and pass, then you'll be fine.

User avatar

Posts: 9
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 2:48 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby spartan_ » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:21 pm

This is not a horror story.

I heard that you had to complete over 75% in *insert whatever bar review*, study 10 hours a day, no days off, blah blah blah. I heard it ALL. I have never been the studious type. I put about 6 hours a day, took at LEAST one full day off/week, completed about 50% of Themis (but just marked full outlines as read without reading them, writing one sentence on most essays), worked out everyday, and so on. Studying for the bar was great because it was completely void of the real world responsibilities that being a lawyer creates.

During the two days of testing, I know I killed the MPT, I felt like I was in Kindergarten with those MEE's, like seriously how could they be asking such simple questions?? Two glasses of wine with dinner that night. Second Day: left Both sections of MBE at least 30 minutes early. Did I pass? Yes, with flying colors for every jurisdiction.

My advise: Keep stress down. Did I have any freak out moments pre/post Bar, uh yeah of course I did, I am human after all. I also looked over Critical Pass more often than Themis because I wasn't learning or remembering anything with Themis, so figure out works best for you and go with it. Don't break you routine, if you workout everyday, keep doing it. I feel as though that 1-2 hour/day not only kept my stress down, but it was the time of day I could interact with other humans, I loved it.

Takeaway: Don't listen to what everyone else is doing, do what works for you, stay calm, and murder the UBE.


Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:10 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby texasattn18 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:22 pm

This thread gave me hope while I was waiting to find out if I passed the bar, so I will share this in hopes it can give someone else peace.

I took the Texas bar in July, and went to a law school in a different state. I used barbri and completed like 70% (I will admit I checked some things off, and I still enjoyed my life somewhat during the summer. I think ultimately this did help me stay sane and keep my stress levels down. I took off the night before the 4th of July, and all of the 4th.). I really didn't focus like I should on essay topics I had never studied at all prior to the summer. I pretty much gave up on secured transactions and commercial paper at the end (literally could not comprehend commercial paper so it was a waste of time anyway), and knew the bare minimum of Texas property law. I finished the morning essays, and one really confused me and I thought it was secured transactions, so I wrote what I knew about secured transactions (knowing it was likely irrelevant). Over lunch I found out that it was actually a Texas property question and not even secured transactions. The really nice guy beside me during the exam told me he could see how I thought it was secured transactions, but I think he was just trying to make me feel better so I could finish the exam lol. This really threw me, and on the real secured transactions question, I panicked and only wrote a few sentences, and then later found out that I could have just written about agency law (a topic I actually knew about). I did feel confident on probably half of the essays that I had at least a passing answer, but this didn't feel like enough to pass to me. SO - given all of that, I was convinced that I failed. When they called time I wanted to cry because I thought thats what it felt like to fail the bar exam and I never wanted to be in that room again. Cried off and on all evening the night before results. I was in shock when I found out I passed. I also really did not have an impressive MBE score at all. So when people tell you that they are really forgiving on essay answers, believe them, because it is true!


Posts: 1581
Joined: Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:22 am

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby dabigchina » Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:52 pm

Checking in.

I took the CA bar. I got 0 (read: none) hours of sleep the night before the MBE because of nerves. I even drank some tequila at 4am to try to put myself to sleep, which did not work. Got to the test center all woozy. Barely stayed awake for the PM session.

I still passed in CA.


Posts: 135
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:30 am

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby bacillusanthracis » Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:53 am

In July, I was so nervous that I actually did California Evidence, which was the #2 essay first, but typed it in the #1 essay page. I didn't realize the mistake until I'd typed out the Contracts essay where the California evidence essay was supposed to go. So they were both on the wrong page. No big; I'll just do a copy and paste job and move on.

The first time I tried to copy and paste CE onto the other page, it didn't work. Then I tried it again. It still didn't work. Same results the third time. Then I tried it in reverse and it worked. But I'd somehow erased about the lower 1/3 of my Contracts essay in the process, so I had to re-do it.

I don't know how I passed, but I did.

I think it was because I refused to allow myself to get freaked out.


Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2018 11:38 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby phonylawyer2017 » Thu Nov 29, 2018 4:21 pm

bacillusanthracis wrote:In July, I was so nervous that I actually did California Evidence, which was the #2 essay first, but typed it in the #1 essay page. I didn't realize the mistake until I'd typed out the Contracts essay where the California evidence essay was supposed to go. So they were both on the wrong page. No big; I'll just do a copy and paste job and move on.

The first time I tried to copy and paste CE onto the other page, it didn't work. Then I tried it again. It still didn't work. Same results the third time. Then I tried it in reverse and it worked. But I'd somehow erased about the lower 1/3 of my Contracts essay in the process, so I had to re-do it.

I don't know how I passed, but I did.

I think it was because I refused to allow myself to get freaked out.

For future takers: get familiar with ctrl+z (undo function). I didn't have an issue with this on the bar, but in law school it saved me a few times.


Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2018 2:02 am

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby cabartaker92 » Mon Dec 03, 2018 8:22 am

Posted this in another thread, but this is more detailed.

I passed the July 2018 CA bar, but DEFINITELY almost failed (proof below). During the PM session of the MBE, we started approx. 20 minutes late, and I forgot to take note of this. I had a clock in front of me keeping time, but it was set to match real world time–not the time we actually started. After 25 questions I look to my clock and realize I am WAY behind on time (which I wasn't, since I didn't account for the 20 minute late start). I figured I needed to increase my pace dramatically, so I just started jotting down first glance answers and guessing. After 50 straight questions I look at my clock again and remember... oh shit. We started late, I'm actually fine. So I tried to go back over a few of those questions at the end but the damage was already done. There was nowhere near enough time to correct those answers. I only got to review 5 of those 50 questions, and didn't even change those answers. After the exam, I felt no relief whatsoever like my classmates seemed to be feeling. Just pure anxiety. After 4 agonizing months of waiting, and weeks of reading this review board, results were posted. I lost my file number to access the official results (which panicked me WAY more than necessary), but I eventually stumbled across the website where I applied to take the bar to see if it was on there and BRIEFLY I saw a little line on my account that I fulfilled the requirement for passing the July 2018 CA bar exam. F*ck. At that moment, I finally felt relief.

Three days and three handles of vodka later, I was curious to see what I actually scored on the MBE. So I requested my MBE score advisory (CA doesn't release exact scores), and apparently I scored between 145 and 150 scaled on the MBE. In California you need to average 144, so I BARELY passed. As a point of reference, I was scoring about 165 in final practice, so I got at least 30 more questions wrong on the MBE than in practice, which is significant. I'm just so glad I did well enough to pass.

If there's any words of wisdom I can give, please read below:

1. ONCE THE PROCTOR SAYS START, SET YOUR CLOCK TO THE ORIGINAL PLANNED START TIME. Don't fail because you made the same dumb mistake I did and didn't know how much time you had left.

2. Your law school grades have no effect whatsoever on bar results. I graduated bottom 25% of my class at a T4 law school. 2.7 GPA. My self confidence about passing the bar was so low after graduating, but that's a different story. The bar is a clean slate, and if you need to wipe it clean after you graduate, then by god wipe it clean. Be a different person if you have to. If you devote your entire life to the bar for 2-3 months, and constantly reevaluate whether you're studying effectively, you're gonna pass. Nothing beats hard work, determination, and obsessively Googling how to pass.

3. You can make large mistakes and still pass.


Posts: 164
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:11 pm

Re: Horror Story...Yet Still Passed?

Postby Smiddywesson » Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:55 pm

As most of us sweat it out, this thread should prove useful, it was exactly what I needed to read.

Return to “Bar Exam Prep and Discussion Forum?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Cloture19, Google [Bot], hastingsgal and 65 guests