2015 February California Bar Exam

aretoodeetoo
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby aretoodeetoo » Sat May 16, 2015 1:47 am

won't be joining the july crowd :D

best to all in the future

kdesq
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby kdesq » Sat May 16, 2015 1:51 am

Passed on my second try too! My score last July was 1380 and I was devastated throughout my whole prep for Feb exam. With my age of 49, 4 kids, financial situations, I had very thin hopes of passing. I still cannot believe this. If anyone is too discouraged, don't let this exam define you. I am willing to share my experience if you PM me. Congrats to all the passers!

arizzle
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby arizzle » Sat May 16, 2015 2:04 am

Passed. Thank you baby jesus, baby buddah, baby [insert deity here], etc.



So do you only get a breakdown of your score if you failed? Or does the mailing contain a breakdown for everyone?

underthirty
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby underthirty » Sat May 16, 2015 3:01 am

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Last edited by underthirty on Sat May 30, 2015 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

MBAtoJD
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby MBAtoJD » Sat May 16, 2015 3:42 am

I logged in at 11:30pm because I really thought I failed...so I thought I'll log in just as I'm about to go to bed to sleep off the nightmare.

I PASSED!

This was my 3rd time. 1st attempt 1432; 2nd attempt 1383.

My tip if you failed:
You'll hear it all but what really worked for me was printing out 2807's advise on how to write and IRAC. I made a lot of mistakes in Feb. but I believe how I wrote saved me. Yes, I printed out 2807's lengthy explanation and studied it like a Bible.

Thank you 2807! And to the guy in July who advised me not to hold off for a year and just take it again, thank you. Thank you to MURPH, A Male Human, Tito (for the humor)....thank you.

DO NOT QUIT! Do not give up! It's already yours; just take it! WE FIGHT! WE FIGHT! WE FIGHT!

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LawJunky
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby LawJunky » Sat May 16, 2015 3:59 am

Here is what you need to do to pass... Sign up for Jeff Fleming's course and work hard at it -- and value the feedback you get -- on both the essays, and the PTs. Over the next couple of months in preparation for July, do 25 timed PTs for grading. Do 40 timed essays and turn them in for grading. Also, do tons of MBEs per day. Do all MBEs written by Steven Emanuel/Finz/Barbri/and any released NCBE questions, including 1991/1992/1998. Adaptibar not required.

Using the above formula, you will pass the CBX.

I am a 56 years old, working full-time, and a law student part time. I am not the smartest law student on the planet. After July 2014, it was obvious that I needed help with fact-to-element analysis, and I needed help on PTs. But my MBE was stellar from the outset due to the authors mentioned above. If I can pass the CBX, anyone can.

And as the previous poster stated, 2807 was instrumental to my getting off on the right foot after learning I failed the July bar.2807 gave me quidance about how to write an essay, and then I turned to Fleming. 2807 may regret helping, as more people may ask for help now. Listen to 2807, but he is not a bar review course. Same thing for Murph... He is not a bar review course, but he really taught me a ton about writing a PT. The main lesson from Murph was.. write a ton of PTs until "you" know what method works for "you".

LJ

Biotech
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Biotech » Sat May 16, 2015 7:58 am

Here is what didn't work:

I have a full time job and two kids, well started with one added another in 2014.

Bought Barbri books off eBay for self study July 2013 Failed

Got Barmax for MBEs and Flemings PT course Feb 2014 failed

Added baressays for July 2014 failed

Hired a private tutor for $5k who made me go back to reading outlines, writing essays and a working new set of MBEs for February 2015 failed

I'm out of ideas and money and hope.

TitoSantana
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Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:51 pm

Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby TitoSantana » Sat May 16, 2015 9:23 am

2nd time taker, 2nd time passer. Took the attorneys exam so I can't give much advise for MBE day (which I'm terrible at multiple choice). What i can say is that the grading is somewhat luck however if you put the time in to study and have a good grasp on the hot topics, you'll pass. What I can say is don't get bogged down in the little stuff and really work on you PT's (which is what probably carried me over. If I can pass NY and 10 years later pass CbX then anyone can do it. Stay focused but don't get overwhelmed. And most of all practice old exams! The examiners run the same questions every administration. Best of luck to all who will conquer the next time.

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2807
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby 2807 » Sat May 16, 2015 11:25 am

Howdy Folks,

Came back once again to see the news.
Congrats to those who made it!

And to those who will go again... Stay the course, you can and will survive.
Not passing the test hurts your ego, but it will not hurt your future.
Just get up, get back, and stay focused.
I now have two friends who passed on try #3, and one who is likely headed to do the same...

If you did not pass...
You need to clarify obstacles at this point.
Seek out your weaknesses.
Know thy enemy.
Make a list of the things that are difficult for you.
Then attack them one by one.

Take a few days to mourn, its ok. You can't fix normal.
But, then its time to use that energy to its full potential....
You only have so much energy, you choose where you use it.
Choose wisely.

Keep in the loop with TLS to get clarity and an approach to the test issues.
There is good help in here for those who seek an approach.

Glad I could help some of you. I see some folks used old posts of mine and AMH and MURPH to study.
That is great. We really worked out a few things together.
Take our advice and make it work for you... your way.

Congrats again.

And good luck to those who prepare for battle once more.
To those about to rock, I salute you.

ONWARD !

2807

CoffeeTableCoaster
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby CoffeeTableCoaster » Sat May 16, 2015 12:45 pm

I passed the bar, thankfully.

I stumbled on this thread after the bar exam when I was Googling for whether one could pass the exam even if they ran out of time on the Performance Test (PT). In case anybody else is wondering whether you can still pass the exam even if "time's up" is called mid-way through a sentence on the PT, the answer is yes. Hopefully that calms the nerves of any future test takers who have the same issue. I couldn't find anything on the web about a test taker who passed despite not quite finishing the PT, so thought it would be helpful to post this just to let people know that it's not the kiss of death to not completely finish a PT.

A caveat, though: I wrote all but a full response to this PT, and only failed to write just 2-3 concluding sentences for a subsection of my response. So the bulk of my answer was there, and it was not as if I was unable to write half of the response. Additionally, I felt pretty good about almost all of the rest of my essays (though not the Wills one--I barely finished that one in time, and am sure I missed issues on it) and felt decently about the MBE as well.

For further context, I was working full time in BigLaw when I began my studies (though just started at a new firm, so was not swamped with work by any means), and was given 3 weeks off to study full time (plus the week of the exam itself). I was worried that not being able to have ~2 months off to study full time (like I did when I studied for (and passed) the NY bar exam right after law school) would mean that I would not pass -- but, again, for anybody else out there who is in a similar situation, you can still pass despite having a compressed period of study. Obviously it is not recommended, but just wanted to let anybody who has to face the same situation that it is possible.

Congrats to those who passed, and best of luck to those of you are gearing up to study.

AguasAguas!
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby AguasAguas! » Sat May 16, 2015 12:47 pm

For what it's worth for those of you who need to take this beast again...

What didn't work for me in July - Barbri and a study group. It just overwhelmed me.

What worked for me in February - hiring a tutor for $2,000 [you CAN hire a tutor for the same amount of $$ you would spend on a commercial bar company]. I used my Barbri Conviser and Barbri MBE questions. The tutor gave me essays and a very clear schedule, unlike Barbri, which is like drinking water from a fire hose.

My schedule was essentially: 2-3 days in a row of a topic, in those days -

(1) 3 hours of reading the Conviser Mini Review and/or my lecture notes on that subject (don't rewatch the lecture videos, even the Barbri guy I spoke with after I failed said this, it's a waste of time). If it was the 2nd or 3rd day on a topic I would create "topic lists." I am a visual learner, so just reading lots of text doesn't do it for me. I need to see how things connect. So, my topic lists were basically 2 columns. On the left were your "big" roman numeral-type topics [e.g. contract formation]. In the second column were things like offer, acceptance, consideration. I did NOT spend a whole lot of time memorizing rule statements (I know a lot of people do that, but for me it does not work). Basically these were more visual/flowsheet versions of A Male Human's "approsheets." BarSecrets has something similar to what I am talking about premade (but making it yourself is better IMHO). These topic lists were a huge help for me on the essays, because I had a visual checklist. And for a topic I was weakest in (that wills essay scurred me) I actually just took 5 minutes to rewrite my topic list - this can ensure at the very least you mention the "big topics."

(2) I would write 1-2 essays per day

(3) I would spend an hour on MBE questions, including reviewing answers. Typically this was 17-25 questions. As it got closer to exam time, I tapered off the essays (just looked at my topic sheets) and increased the MBE practice.

Other notes on the essays... the topic lists were also a huge boost because you need to remember that the graders are taking 2-5 minutes to SKIM each essay. They are looking mainly at your headers. The topic lists make sure you are not missing the big topics that go in your headers. Graders care less about rule statements because they just don't have the time. This would matter more on a second read. Other posters have really gotten into the formulaic process of writing.

I also think I did 3 or 4 full practice PTs. I got 55s on both PTs the first time. I probably should have even done more.

Sorry if the above is a bit jumbled. If you want to know more about my process feel free to PM me!

gaagoots
Posts: 212
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby gaagoots » Sat May 16, 2015 12:52 pm

Too all those that passed a big Canadian congratulations--eh!

I had a bad night, complete with anxiety attacks coupled with beating myself up knowing what I did wrong. I had celebratory wine in the fridge but I will save it for after the bar in July.

I just re-enrolled in Adaptibar, that really helped me pull my starting average from 55% in evidence to 76% same with the other subjects.

I know my demise and Monday's scores will point directly where I knew I had an **oh shit** they are testing those THREE things I blew off. No more shortcuts--in fact I will be prepared with another UCC essay just knowing they like to do that.

I know my PTs were bad, I had zero confidence in both of them. The problem with those is I have way too many chefs in my mental kitchen, one chef said I had to fold it origami swan style and matrix this and that. Another one, said read the library for an hour then book brief, then type for two hours while reading the fact patterns. This was my recipe for disaster, and I ended up cooking up some bad bubbles and squeak.

The time I waited for results I renewed my baressays account and just read PTs over and over and over--I think without the pressure of OMG the bar is in XX days panic, I was able to see them in a different light.

Most importantly I was mortified having to tell the lawyers I work with that I failed. They were not at all judgmental (as I had feared) and a few of them want more than anything to help me this time.

So, I booked my hotel and will deal with the July heat.

underthirty
Posts: 135
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby underthirty » Sat May 16, 2015 1:20 pm

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Last edited by underthirty on Sat May 30, 2015 10:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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reasonable troll
Posts: 199
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby reasonable troll » Sat May 16, 2015 1:23 pm

gaagoots wrote:Too all those that passed a big Canadian congratulations--eh!

I had a bad night, complete with anxiety attacks coupled with beating myself up knowing what I did wrong. I had celebratory wine in the fridge but I will save it for after the bar in July.

I just re-enrolled in Adaptibar, that really helped me pull my starting average from 55% in evidence to 76% same with the other subjects.

I know my demise and Monday's scores will point directly where I knew I had an **oh shit** they are testing those THREE things I blew off. No more shortcuts--in fact I will be prepared with another UCC essay just knowing they like to do that.

I know my PTs were bad, I had zero confidence in both of them. The problem with those is I have way too many chefs in my mental kitchen, one chef said I had to fold it origami swan style and matrix this and that. Another one, said read the library for an hour then book brief, then type for two hours while reading the fact patterns. This was my recipe for disaster, and I ended up cooking up some bad bubbles and squeak.

The time I waited for results I renewed my baressays account and just read PTs over and over and over--I think without the pressure of OMG the bar is in XX days panic, I was able to see them in a different light.

Most importantly I was mortified having to tell the lawyers I work with that I failed. They were not at all judgmental (as I had feared) and a few of them want more than anything to help me this time.

So, I booked my hotel and will deal with the July heat.


mad props for getting back on the horse with gusto. fwiw, blowing stuff off my first time around was also my downfall. slogging through and closing the gaps worked the second time. sounds like you know what you need to do. time to kick some ass!

cndounda1985
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby cndounda1985 » Sat May 16, 2015 1:46 pm

Biotech wrote:Here is what didn't work:

I have a full time job and two kids, well started with one added another in 2014.

Bought Barbri books off eBay for self study July 2013 Failed

Got Barmax for MBEs and Flemings PT course Feb 2014 failed

Added baressays for July 2014 failed

Hired a private tutor for $5k who made me go back to reading outlines, writing essays and a working new set of MBEs for February 2015 failed

I'm out of ideas and money and hope.




I totally feel you. I hired a tutor this 2nd time around and still failed. I'm hoping my scores improved at least. But im truly discouraged, I have passed Louisiana and it wasn't as hard as passing CA. I don't know what to do next time around, if working with a tutor didn't help.

PennJD83
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:20 pm

Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Sat May 16, 2015 2:49 pm

Maybe you didn't have the right tutor? My tutor improved my score almost 200 points (if not more). Feel free to PM me if you want their information. Thanks

injun
Posts: 64
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby injun » Sat May 16, 2015 3:11 pm

Hi Penn,

Congrats on passing! Unfortunately, I failed again for the third time in a row. My scores were 1284 (Feb 14) and 1315 (july 14). I'm really surprised by my results because, based on your posts here and all4jds, I thought we both had roughly the same responses. How did you feel about the PTs? This is truly my achilles heel and I'm just looking to see what others have done. I had to read through PTA and PTB a few times just to understand the case file. Anyways thanks again and congrats

BobbyBooBoo
Posts: 52
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 9:51 pm

Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby BobbyBooBoo » Sat May 16, 2015 3:13 pm


PennJD83
Posts: 53
Joined: Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:20 pm

Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby PennJD83 » Sat May 16, 2015 3:29 pm

injun wrote:Hi Penn,

Congrats on passing! Unfortunately, I failed again for the third time in a row. My scores were 1284 (Feb 14) and 1315 (july 14). I'm really surprised by my results because, based on your posts here and all4jds, I thought we both had roughly the same responses. How did you feel about the PTs? This is truly my achilles heel and I'm just looking to see what others have done. I had to read through PTA and PTB a few times just to understand the case file. Anyways thanks again and congrats


I appreciate the congrats, and I'm sorry to hear about your results. This test is so unfair and does not determine your intelligence in any way, shape or form. I'm sure our answers were alike in many ways...it probably all depends on the type of grader you get, which is unfortunate. Anyway, what I will say I improve a lot on this time around was my analysis. Even though I for sure missed a couple of major issues (Essay 3 and 6 pop up in my mind) I made sure to to go overboard with my analysis to make it at least look like I knew what I was talking about haha. As for the PTs, I felt good about PTB (it just seemed more straight forward to me) and felt not so good about PTA. I missed the little part that instructed us to choose an option. I just said the pros and cons of each option. I kind of found an outlining method that worked for me this time around for the PTs. If you'd like me to go in to detail, feel free to PM me and I can let you know what I did. Best of luck to you

arizzle
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 11:40 pm

Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby arizzle » Sat May 16, 2015 4:47 pm

For those who are mathematically and statistically inclined, what is the take away from this figure:

"The mean scaled MBE score in California was 1398 compared with the national average of 1362."

sportwarrior
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby sportwarrior » Sat May 16, 2015 4:58 pm

I didn't post here much before taking the February bar, but what little I did post and read helped buoy me through the final stages of prep. There were periods in that last month where I contemplated just not even sitting for the test. I was just spinning my wheels and felt like I was doing the same things I'd been doing before my previous failed attempts, and the first serious, long form panic attacks in my life were absolutely killing me. Finally, I somehow got myself focused and drilled through the final 2 weeks of prep constantly, morning and night, doing as many essays as I could.

Then the test arrived. I thought I did alright the 1st day, despite some misgivings about my 1st PT. The 2nd day went about as well as the MBE could. The first half of the 3rd day we were given 3 essays I felt I could absolutely rock. Then came the final PT... and it was a total disaster. I finished about 1/3 of it, but since I did it backwards it wasn't even the 1st third. About halfway into writing, I had a total breakdown and soon couldn't even tell which way was up. The rest wasn't even an outline. After 2 and a half days of good work, I'd blown it. All I needed to do was close out the 9th with a solid inning of work, and I gave up a grand slam. I came out of that test totally dejected, knowing that overcoming an entirely incomplete PT was next to impossible.

And then I checked yesterday.

I passed. And then I cried.

Congratulations to all those who logged in to see that beautiful green font.

And to those of you who saw red, don't give up. Please. You'll get there, and when you do it'll feel amazing.

sportwarrior
Posts: 15
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 7:32 pm

Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby sportwarrior » Sat May 16, 2015 5:05 pm

arizzle wrote:For those who are mathematically and statistically inclined, what is the take away from this figure:

"The mean scaled MBE score in California was 1398 compared with the national average of 1362."

As far as I know, it means the average MBE scores in CA were that much higher than the national average. So where as the average national test taker may have scored, say, a 124 raw, the average CA test taker scored a 128 raw. Those numbers are just guesstimated examples, but it probably means the curve was set higher here.

I'm no expert on how the test is scored or curved, though, so I may be wrong.

lawbosscalif
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby lawbosscalif » Sat May 16, 2015 5:52 pm

sportwarrior wrote:
arizzle wrote:For those who are mathematically and statistically inclined, what is the take away from this figure:

"The mean scaled MBE score in California was 1398 compared with the national average of 1362."

As far as I know, it means the average MBE scores in CA were that much higher than the national average. So where as the average national test taker may have scored, say, a 124 raw, the average CA test taker scored a 128 raw. Those numbers are just guesstimated examples, but it probably means the curve was set higher here.

I'm no expert on how the test is scored or curved, though, so I may be wrong.


I'm under the impression that the higher the MBE the more favorable the curve is. When the MBE is super low the curve is horrible.

sportwarrior
Posts: 15
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby sportwarrior » Sat May 16, 2015 6:01 pm

lawbosscalif wrote:
sportwarrior wrote:
arizzle wrote:For those who are mathematically and statistically inclined, what is the take away from this figure:

"The mean scaled MBE score in California was 1398 compared with the national average of 1362."

As far as I know, it means the average MBE scores in CA were that much higher than the national average. So where as the average national test taker may have scored, say, a 124 raw, the average CA test taker scored a 128 raw. Those numbers are just guesstimated examples, but it probably means the curve was set higher here.

I'm no expert on how the test is scored or curved, though, so I may be wrong.


I'm under the impression that the higher the MBE the more favorable the curve is. When the MBE is super low the curve is horrible.

Yeah, I mean, I really don't know. Generally speaking, you want a lower average pre-curve. That means the test was harder, but it also means it doesn't take a high score to do well. A higher average score means the test was easier, but it'll take a higher raw score to do as well on the curve. In terms of numbers, a 126 will probably pass where the curve is set at 124, but that same 126 will be graded lower if the curve is set at 128. You have to get 4-5 more questions correct to do as well on the curve.

It all depends on whether that scaled score is pre or post curve, though. I know next to nothing how the actual test is scored. I was speaking more in terms of how a curve generally works... which I guess means I shouldn't be speaking at all.

melvinIII
Posts: 45
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby melvinIII » Sun May 17, 2015 11:31 am

I took the California Bar for the first time in July 2014. Kaplan gave me their full course for free so I attempted to follow it to a T, assuming their method must be the best. I failed with a total scaled score of 1339 (1303 scaled written and 1406 scaled MBE), my highest essay score was a 60.

I decided to retake it in February, and the advice from this forum was instrumental in formulating my game plan. I was working in China while studying in January and then spent the month of February studying full time in California. The only materials I used to study were a baressays.com account, the CA leansheets, and I also bought access to the Barmax MBEs through their app. I believe the baressays.com account is absolutely essential, the leansheets are nice to keep you focused on the most essential points, and I liked knowing that the Barmax MBEs were real test questions but really any set of MBE questions is probably sufficient.

Here are my main pieces of advice:
  • Use the study methods that worked for you in law school. In law school the study method that helped me most was outlining, so I spent most of January outlining all the test topics, making lengthier outlines for the MBE topics. My outlines were loosely based on the leansheets. The first time I took the test I did no outlining and I think that hurt me. While I was outlining in January I also did 20 MBEs every morning and every evening.
  • Use the 2807 method on essays: Underline every issue and state the issue as a whether statement like Whether the Equity in the Mountain Cabin that H owned prior to marriage is community or personal property at dissolution? Then state your rule statement, apply it, and conclude. Start every conclusion with "Therefore, Because...." There's a whole thread about this somewhere on here, not sure where or I'd link to it.
  • Do every essay on baressays.com with a model answer (I think the model answers start in 2003, start there and work your way toward the most recent essays so you're doing them close to the test). You don't have to do them all timed, especially early on it's ok to outline them, just focus on identifying the correct issues and regurgitating perfect rule statements. You start to see patterns in the way they test things and doing all the past essays also keeps you focused on the topics that have been tested most heavily in the past.
  • I made flashcards of every rule statement I missed on quizlet. I went through these flashcards every morning with my morning coffee, handwriting the rule statements. I think you can see my flashcards at my quizlet account: https://quizlet.com/rdavis33
  • For the last few weeks before the bar exam I did four hours of four essays every morning from 8-12 replicating exam conditions as best I could (I printed out the questions prompts so I could mark them up, started promptly at 8 AM, and typed my answers with microsoft words filling the page to try to replicate examsoft) to build stamina and then compared them to the model answers.
  • I read this directive affirmation multiple times per day: "I passed the California Bar Exam. It feels great to have finally passed this exam. I have now completed all the necessary steps to become a licensed attorney in California. I prepared by practicing MBE and essay questions daily, memorizing the law, and improving my weaknesses. I rehearsed taking the exam, knowing the answers, and scoring well. I read and rehearse my Directive Affirmation daily. I passed the California Bar Exam." This helped improve my confidence and helped me from thinking that failing again was inevitable

Feel free to PM me if you have any questions, but I won't be checking this site often




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