2015 February California Bar Exam

arizzle
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby arizzle » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:29 pm

For the MBE, has anyone considered taking 5-10 minutes at the beginning to quickly scan through the questions and identify what subject each question relates to, and then answering the questions by subject?

So you mark all the questions, and then do all the contracts Qs, con law Qs, etc.

Obviously you have to be careful to make sure you are marking the answer for the right question, but there seems to be something appealing about being able to focus on one subject at a time.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:38 pm

arizzle wrote:For the MBE, has anyone considered taking 5-10 minutes at the beginning to quickly scan through the questions and identify what subject each question relates to, and then answering the questions by subject?

So you mark all the questions, and then do all the contracts Qs, con law Qs, etc.

Obviously you have to be careful to make sure you are marking the answer for the right question, but there seems to be something appealing about being able to focus on one subject at a time.

That's an interesting strategy and ultimately one that I didn't do because I wanted to use all the minutes I had answering questions. But could categorizing beforehand make you even more efficient? I don't know if anyone has actually tried this in a real setting.

CourtneyElizabeth
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby CourtneyElizabeth » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:50 pm

I plan on doing a sim. MBE within the next couple of weeks. I could try that and see. I think ultimately it might be a waste of time BUT hey what the hell, can't hurt in practice...

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby JJDancer » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:53 pm

arizzle wrote:For the MBE, has anyone considered taking 5-10 minutes at the beginning to quickly scan through the questions and identify what subject each question relates to, and then answering the questions by subject?

So you mark all the questions, and then do all the contracts Qs, con law Qs, etc.

Obviously you have to be careful to make sure you are marking the answer for the right question, but there seems to be something appealing about being able to focus on one subject at a time.

I know this wouldn't help me at all and would probably freak me out considering there were more than a few questions I remember reading on the July bar and not even feeling confident whether I knew which subject they were. I passed but still...

Also, messing up the #/order is a HUGE timesuck/nerve rattler if it happens. This only happened to me 1-2 times when I skipped Qs and I noticed it right away (within 1-2 answers) so it hadn't gone too far. But it could...
Last edited by JJDancer on Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:55 pm

The only time I skipped a question was when I saw it was about civ pro, which was not yet an official subject. I came back and did them last in case they counted.

CourtneyElizabeth
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby CourtneyElizabeth » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:03 pm

JJDancer wrote:
Also, messing up the #/order is a HUGE timesuck/nerve rattler if it happens. This only happened to me 1-2 times when I skipped Qs and I noticed it right away (within 1-2 answers) so it hadn't gone too far. But it could...


Yeah I didn't think of that. Good point. I'll just read each question as it comes, and freak out that I don't know them regardless of the subject.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:14 pm

You could think of the MBE as one huge subject.

Each subject has smaller subjects or main issues within them anyway.

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Elms
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Elms » Mon Feb 02, 2015 8:39 pm

CourtneyElizabeth wrote:
JJDancer wrote:
Also, messing up the #/order is a HUGE timesuck/nerve rattler if it happens. This only happened to me 1-2 times when I skipped Qs and I noticed it right away (within 1-2 answers) so it hadn't gone too far. But it could...


Yeah I didn't think of that. Good point. I'll just read each question as it comes, and freak out that I don't know them regardless of the subject.


Yeah, I agree. I never ever skip a single question because of this. If I'm unsure of a question. I fill in the bubble for my most likely choice, if I have one. If I really just have no freaking clue, I fill in a "C". Then I mark the question to come back to if I have time. This way, you don't accidentally mess up bubble order (in theory, at least! :) ), and you have a mark on the question, so you at least have a shot at a point even if you never end up having time to come back.

Just make sure you have a good eraser :)

arizzle
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby arizzle » Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:56 pm

JJDancer wrote:
arizzle wrote:For the MBE, has anyone considered taking 5-10 minutes at the beginning to quickly scan through the questions and identify what subject each question relates to, and then answering the questions by subject?

So you mark all the questions, and then do all the contracts Qs, con law Qs, etc.

Obviously you have to be careful to make sure you are marking the answer for the right question, but there seems to be something appealing about being able to focus on one subject at a time.

I know this wouldn't help me at all and would probably freak me out considering there were more than a few questions I remember reading on the July bar and not even feeling confident whether I knew which subject they were. I passed but still...

Also, messing up the #/order is a HUGE timesuck/nerve rattler if it happens. This only happened to me 1-2 times when I skipped Qs and I noticed it right away (within 1-2 answers) so it hadn't gone too far. But it could...


I would think the easiest and fastest way to determine the subject for a question is to just look at the answer choices. It shouldn't take more than a few seconds.

I also think it could be helpful if you are strong or weak in particular areas. If you know you are weakest in Con Law, you can save all those questions for last (or do them first).

s1m4
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby s1m4 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:03 am

My strategy is to put a little dot next to a question I am uncertain about . I try to allocate my timing so that I have ten minutes at the end of the MBE to go back and check out some of those tricky questions. I think flipping through 100 questions to try to see what topics they fall under is a huge time sink - on the mbe, if you dont keep track of time time will be sure to keep track of you.

melvinIII
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby melvinIII » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:37 am

TheLegalOne wrote:For those of you taking the CA Bar, I am at a complete loss regarding PT set-up strategy! Do you "SKIM" the library and file on your first read to set your outline? I'm taking a 4 day PT course and we are being instructed that we should spend about 30 mins "skimming" the file and library (to determine "what's important") - regardless of what clues and key docs we are given in the letter to the associate. We are to "to get a feel for the facts and the law." Let me first say, I paid a lot of money for this course, so I am interested in determining if this is a method I can use (s/he's been in business for a VERY long time)...but heck, that's 30 mins I feel like I'm floundering "seeking" the set-up and not "understanding" what to do / or actually creating a outline!! Do you spent approx. 30 of the 180 mins just "skimming" the file and library? I hope this makes sense.


I took Kaplan last summer and they advised some sort of skimming too. I tried it but I never found the skimming very beneficial, I felt the time was better spent actually reading. I don't think I'm capable of skimming, I either read something or I don't

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby melvinIII » Tue Feb 03, 2015 5:51 am

morescotchplease wrote:Who else (tries) to study in their sleep?


I've been going to bed listening to lectures of the MBE topics I've been struggling with. Hopefully once I have fallen asleep I subconsciously keep listening to the lecture.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:12 pm

melvinIII wrote:
morescotchplease wrote:Who else (tries) to study in their sleep?


I've been going to bed listening to lectures of the MBE topics I've been struggling with. Hopefully once I have fallen asleep I subconsciously keep listening to the lecture.

Much better use of lectures :)

I've been proofreading my work (from my job) in my sleep because I always get chastised over it.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby kdesq » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:04 pm

Just did Barbri's simulated MBE 200 questions yesterday. I am not doing Barbri schedule at all this time except for just using their MBE questions and PT's, but decided to take this test just to see where I stand. I got 129 out of 200. Is this an okay score? Last summer about this time, beginning of July, I was getting 100-110 out of 200 (very low, right? :oops: ) so I think there is some improvement. But I have no clue about MBE scores so I don't know if this score is okay for now. MBE has been my weakness and my nightmare!

Good thing (at least for me) is that I have been reading Barbri's Civ Pro outline (not memorizing at all, just read over and over again) whenever I am having a break or during lunch, and it seemed to help my Civ Pro scores for MBE. I started with 30's in Civ Pro at first with Barbri questions and Adaptibar. Now I am getting 60's (still low but at least improved...right?).

How is everyone studying for MBE?

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:13 pm

I got 130-135 doing real questions as a midterm and still passed, so 129 in Barbri sounds good to me :)

First time, I also got 100-110 with Kaplan's midterm. The mental gymnastics I performed at the time to console myself was astounding.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:12 pm

I am feeling really discouraged with my inability to remember black letter law. I was issue spotting an essay yesterday for property, and I kid you not, I knew something was off about the scenario, but I couldn't put my finger on the fact that there was a CONSTRUCTIVE EVICTION. Then when I read the sample answer, my immediate next thought was "Oh, right, a constructive eviction! Now what were the elements for that?" I could describe it haphazardly enough ("A constructive eviction is one where the landowner prevents the tenant from enjoying the use of their property in such a substantial way that the tenant is in effect removed from the property"), but not with specificity to where I could write a proper rule statement and get points for it. EDIT: "A constructive eviction requires 1) substantial interference, 2) notice, 3) vacate."

Another example, I was issue spotting an essay and noticed that there was an easement on the land. I could say that an easement is "a non-possessory interest in another's land that allows the easement holder to enter and utilize the land for some purpose," but then completely forgot about mentioning what types of easements there are (appurtenant, gross, necessity, implied/prior use, etc). Since I could still describe the implied easement (in the fact pattern), I could dance around it and say something like "This easement was created prior to the second plot being sold off to the banker and was in use by the original owner," but I wouldn't be able to describe all the specific elements for it.

Yet another example for landlord-tenant duties. There was a fact pattern where a commercial lease was drafted so that it provided "essential services" (water, heat, etc) to the tenant. Normally, a commercial lease would not invoke implied warranty of habitability, but since the "essential services" was contracted in the lease, it would require the landlord to provide those services. I noticed that the landlord was obligated to provide those services to the tenant, but absolutely could not identify that this duty was called the "implied warranty of habitability," let alone the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. EDIT: Forgot LL also owes a duty to third parties in tort liability, and the duty to deliver possession (major/minor splits)."

What am I supposed to do with that?

If I get a slight hint, I can generally slither through the question at least with measure of respectability (not much, but some). If I don't, then I'll probably just miss the issue entirely or not be able to properly identify what characteristics it would include. I have no idea what to do.

s1m4
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby s1m4 » Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:34 am

Would people be willing to share what their days are like as a means of providing motivation for all of us to keep studying?

Today in the morning I wrote out three essays and went over them. MBE topics. After that I read through the professional responsibility outline, and the outline for civil procedure.

I feel like it was a productive day. Tomorrow will likely be the same -- essays in the morning, then learnings wills by reading the conviser, and then perhaps some wills essays, or a review of a different California topic.

... others?

Good night to all!

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:11 am

s1m4 wrote:Would people be willing to share what their days are like as a means of providing motivation for all of us to keep studying?


I do something pretty similar. I've already read all the substantive law previously, but as I've mentioned many many times before (lol) my issue is my inability to memorize effectively (especially with such a large amount of information w/detailed subpoints). What I'm doing over the past few days is to read one subject at a time per day for the sole purpose of memorization. I intersperse about 30-50 MBE questions in the same day of topics that I just went over previously (memorization topics only). So far, I'm on my third subject, so I'm doing MBEs for the first 2 subjects only (third subject has no MBE). Then, once I get through the condensed outline/memorization guide, regardless of how well I did, I read the essay prompts/answers. Then I'll head over to read sample essay answers/outlines. Then back to memorization for the same subject till it's time to sleep. The next day, I'll spend most of the day looking at essay answers, and then I'll write one, and outline a couple. Move on to next subject the next day.

I need to remember to constantly keep going back to keep refreshing the elements/rules of the other subjects I've covered or else I'll forget.

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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby kdesq » Wed Feb 04, 2015 12:48 pm

redblueyellow wrote:
s1m4 wrote:Would people be willing to share what their days are like as a means of providing motivation for all of us to keep studying?


I do something pretty similar. I've already read all the substantive law previously, but as I've mentioned many many times before (lol) my issue is my inability to memorize effectively (especially with such a large amount of information w/detailed subpoints). What I'm doing over the past few days is to read one subject at a time per day for the sole purpose of memorization. I intersperse about 30-50 MBE questions in the same day of topics that I just went over previously (memorization topics only). So far, I'm on my third subject, so I'm doing MBEs for the first 2 subjects only (third subject has no MBE). Then, once I get through the condensed outline/memorization guide, regardless of how well I did, I read the essay prompts/answers. Then I'll head over to read sample essay answers/outlines. Then back to memorization for the same subject till it's time to sleep. The next day, I'll spend most of the day looking at essay answers, and then I'll write one, and outline a couple. Move on to next subject the next day.

I need to remember to constantly keep going back to keep refreshing the elements/rules of the other subjects I've covered or else I'll forget.


Let me share mine, too!

I start with MBE questions, between 25 to 36 a day (I used to do 50 a day and cut it down from this week)Then move onto Essays. I don't write out full essays at this time and just read the essay and quickly outline my answers, jotting down as much rule statements I can remember at that moment and structure the answer with headings and subheadings, etc. Then I look at the sample answer, compare it with my outline, and write down the full rule statement, try to memorize a bit while writing out. Then move on to next essays. I would look at detailed outlines if I am completely blacked out once in a while, but usually just follow this routine. I found this quite helpful for me in memorizing the black letter law and issue spotting. I do PT once a week also.

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Elms
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Elms » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:45 pm

I'm doing 40 MBE questions a day, outlining 3 essays on one topic, and then reading 2-3 subject outlines. Once I've cycled through doing three essay outlines on all topics, I'll vary the subjects. As the bar gets closer, I'll start doing more outlines per day, probably.

I'm not planning on doing much for PT. The Saturday/Sunday before the bar I'll probably do a practice one, and that's it.

I'm so over this already and we still have three weeks to go. Blah.

Oh, also, I'm doing real MBEs, so they go a little faster than the Barbri ones.

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zabagabe
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby zabagabe » Wed Feb 04, 2015 9:13 pm

s1m4 wrote:Would people be willing to share what their days are like as a means of providing motivation for all of us to keep studying?


Given how far behind I am (just started late last week), this should definitely make all of you feel a lot better about where you're at! :lol:

I'm just now wrapping up all the Themis lectures for the MBE subjects (watched them all on video at x2 speed). I have been knocking out an MBE subject at a time, lectures first, then reviewing the outline alongside doing roughly 50-75 MBE questions, then doing 2-3 essays, then on to the next subject. This is taking roughly 1.5 days per subject. I'm finding my retention is MUCH better for the MBE than the essays, where thus far I'm floundering on rule statements and the ticky tacky specifics necessary to get the full issue spotters. MBE are generally pretty straightforward, except contracts. Not sure why, but I keep tripping up on that subject.

Any advice folks have on approaches for essays would be great, apart from the obvious (memorizing rule statements). I'm not actively working to memorize them until <2 weeks, because it seems pointless when I'm still absorbing new information, and I just want to get through all the substantive material ASAP so that I can be fully in "review" mode.

Good luck everyone!

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:05 pm

zabagabe wrote:
s1m4 wrote:I'm finding my retention is MUCH better for the MBE than the essays, where thus far I'm floundering on rule statements and the ticky tacky specifics necessary to get the full issue spotters. I'm not actively working to memorize them until <2 weeks, because it seems pointless when I'm still absorbing new information, and I just want to get through all the substantive material ASAP so that I can be fully in "review" mode.

Good luck everyone!


What the effff.... You are crazy! How are you retaining material when it's coming at you that fast? I've been studying for a month and I am still drowning by not being able to remember rule statements and elements. Or I guess I should ask (since you technically haven't entered "review" mode yet) how do you plan on memorizing all that info?

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zabagabe
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby zabagabe » Wed Feb 04, 2015 10:20 pm

redblueyellow wrote:
zabagabe wrote:
s1m4 wrote:I'm finding my retention is MUCH better for the MBE than the essays, where thus far I'm floundering on rule statements and the ticky tacky specifics necessary to get the full issue spotters. I'm not actively working to memorize them until <2 weeks, because it seems pointless when I'm still absorbing new information, and I just want to get through all the substantive material ASAP so that I can be fully in "review" mode.

Good luck everyone!


What the effff.... You are crazy! How are you retaining material when it's coming at you that fast? I've been studying for a month and I am still drowning by not being able to remember rule statements and elements. Or I guess I should ask (since you technically haven't entered "review" mode yet) how do you plan on memorizing all that info?


Good question! :cry: I wasn't done with finals (I graduated at the end of fall semester, and my law school's finals are after the holiday break) until 10 days ago, so didn't have much choice. I'm just aiming to remember enough to pass. At this point, what choice do I have? :lol:

I generally find remembering enough to eliminate wrong answers for the MBE is not too difficult, b/c 1-2 answers are generally clearly wrong, and as I do more questions, the same tricks start to emerge in right answer choices. But the essays are a whole other kettle of fish altogether, given the need to recite the rules from scratch. I don't know about you guys, but my law school rarely had closed book exams, and rote recitation of rules didn't count for much on the exams, so this is a whole new kettle of fish for me! I also find the bar exam essays are much more open and shut, whereas my law school exams pushed us into really tricky gray areas and didn't expect a clear "yes/no" type answer...

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Wed Feb 04, 2015 11:00 pm

zabagabe wrote:I'm just aiming to remember enough to pass. At this point, what choice do I have?


That's all we want :D Just bare competency. The only question is how much remembering is enough? That's the tricky question. If you have a baressays.com account, you can see that submitted essays are often all over the place even if they received the same score. Sure, there are some consistent similarities, but when one has correct rule statements in their own words, another has rule statements verbatim, and another has correct/incorrect statements in their own words, it really becomes a toss up to a certain extent. My friend sent me an exam from July that he got a 75 on: missed a couple key issues, was generally more accurate than not with rule statements, and only 3 pages long with minimal analysis. I wrote more than double for another subject where I actually provided some very nice substantive analysis and received a 65 with generally acceptable rule statements. Probably missed a couple issues there, just like the 75.

I feel like it really is being overinclusive on information than under inclusive. I don't know if how Themis does MBE prep (their question "style") but for Kaplan, I can usually get down to 2-3 answers, but then I'll flounder because 2 will sound right and hinge on some minor subrule/element that I can't accurately remember. It comes down to being a 50/50 or 33% chance at that point and that's not generally good enough to pass :/

zabagabe wrote:I generally find remembering enough to eliminate wrong answers for the MBE is not too difficult, b/c 1-2 answers are generally clearly wrong, and as I do more questions, the same tricks start to emerge in right answer choices. But the essays are a whole other kettle of fish altogether, given the need to recite the rules from scratch. I don't know about you guys, but my law school rarely had closed book exams, and rote recitation of rules didn't count for much on the exams, so this is a whole new kettle of fish for me! I also find the bar exam essays are much more open and shut, whereas my law school exams pushed us into really tricky gray areas and didn't expect a clear "yes/no" type answer...


THIS! I think I had a total of two (maybe three, can't remember if 1-2 exams during 1L year were closed book or not) closed book exams. Part of it was that my school didn't require them (up to the professor and most picked open) and the rationale was you don't practice as an attorney with a closed book so why should exams be that way? There were a couple professors that rather pressed more to prep for the bar so they'd only do closed book exams, but that's about it.

aretoodeetoo
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby aretoodeetoo » Thu Feb 05, 2015 12:19 am

some mbes are pretty tricky imo... at least in con law it seems like they throw out one correct answer that is short and "easy" to cross out. no real way to game this imo but who knows




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