2015 February California Bar Exam

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:46 pm

Yeah, I got a hotel. It turned out to be a big help for the psychological differences that made.

I was able to eat whatever I wanted. I could be alone (with TLS) each night. I could traverse locations in 5 minutes instead of dealing with traffic and parking with other cars piled around you.

A late checkout for the last day is highly recommend. I was able to negotiate a 5:30PM checkout for half price. You can rest in your room during lunch (bring the SO's homecooked lunch boxes?). Make sure the janitors chattering outside know you’re napping.

The exam isn’t just however long you spend in your seat. It is continuous from Monday until it ends. You want to be focusing on it with minimal distractions. For this reason, I would also suggest trying to go to a test center where you won’t know anyone. Solitude will help you focus instead of being conscious of classmates or relatives. People asking "HWO DID IT GO?" Also sleep with earplugs because you never know if you will be subject to a garbage truck in the adjacent building banging on metal from 3 to 5 AM hoping the noise will end soon except it doesn't.

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:05 pm

I'm definitely using a hotel this time around.

Locations are mostly sold out across the street from the convention center (Oak), but I'm sure the Marriot still has rooms at regular price (or you'd need to move a little further away for open rooms/better rates).

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zabagabe
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby zabagabe » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:11 pm

redblueyellow wrote:I'm definitely using a hotel this time around.

Locations are mostly sold out across the street from the convention center (Oak), but I'm sure the Marriot still has rooms at regular price (or you'd need to move a little further away for open rooms/better rates).


Thanks for the thoughts folks! I have a room reserved, just not sure if I want to use it or not (I've got 24-hour cancellation). This has been helpful - it's hard to anticipate in advance of this grueling marathon what I'll find helpful, so it's great to hear others' views.

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Elms
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Elms » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:51 pm

Sort of spinning off of the should I stay at a hotel question... does anyone have any other tips/tricks/must haves for exam day that they want to share?

I plan to wear layers to account for test center temperature fluctuations, and I've got a great analog watch.

What else? Am I correct in understanding there's water available in the exam room?

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:03 pm

chew gum
sleep well and in 90-min intervals
reorder your essays ahead of time
bring a watch to the mbe
get there before the proctor says to get there (not just before the "official" start time like 9)

it's like 2 weeks away idk if anyone will even think about this in 2 weeks

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:25 pm

a male human wrote:chew gum
sleep well and in 90-min intervals
reorder your essays ahead of time
bring a watch to the mbe
get there before the proctor says to get there (not just before the "official" start time like 9)

it's like 2 weeks away idk if anyone will even think about this in 2 weeks


Wait, what?

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 09, 2015 8:49 pm

redblueyellow wrote:
a male human wrote:chew gum
sleep well and in 90-min intervals
reorder your essays ahead of time
bring a watch to the mbe
get there before the proctor says to get there (not just before the "official" start time like 9)

it's like 2 weeks away idk if anyone will even think about this in 2 weeks


Wait, what?

In 2 weeks you'll have a better idea of your weak and strong subjects. I know we all want to be great in all subjects. Realistically, there's going to be at least a small gamble involved where you go in without knowledge in certain subjects as solid as you'd like.

If you are aware of this, you can perhaps tip the scales a bit in your favor. The trend for me on my first try was that I lost more points in the 3rd hour, for one reason or another.

You’ll get all 3 questions at once. When the session begins, you can quickly flip through to identify the subjects. You will probably feel relatively confident for some subjects and not so much for some. Based on that, you can rearrange the order you answer the questions in.

Strongest –> middle –> weakest
Middle –> strongest –> weakest (I personally went in this order)
Weakest –> middle –> strongest

I can go into the rationale, advantages and disadvantages for each approach later, but the idea is to invest 15 seconds at the beginning of the essay session to plan an intentional approach rather than going autopilot with the order given. Don’t get pulled into their pace. It’s like how you customized your study plan thus far.

Is it a petty tactic? Maybe. At the least you will feel more in control.

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:29 pm

a male human wrote:I can go into the rationale, advantages and disadvantages for each approach later
Is it a petty tactic? Maybe. At the least you will feel more in control.


That makes sense; I assume that if you do your weakest subject first, you might struggle and cut your confidence down a bit. Doing your strongest and working down will at least keep you positive for 1-2 hours of the session and you can use the tail end (when people would get tired, etc) on the weakest subject since that would be bound to happen regardless.

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a male human
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby a male human » Mon Feb 09, 2015 9:57 pm

The flip side is that if you spend your efforts on your weakest subject early on when you're not tired, you might be able to pull through and put out a decent product. And if you are really strong in one area, presumably you don't need as much mental energy to get through it. I think it just depends on how big the disparity is between your strong and weak subjects.

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zabagabe
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby zabagabe » Mon Feb 09, 2015 11:01 pm

a male human wrote:The flip side is that if you spend your efforts on your weakest subject early on when you're not tired, you might be able to pull through and put out a decent product. And if you are really strong in one area, presumably you don't need as much mental energy to get through it. I think it just depends on how big the disparity is between your strong and weak subjects.


These are great tips. I was definitely going to do weakest last for the reasons you stated in your earlier post, although this is worth considering too. Has anyone considered briefly outlining and doing rule statements (or at least acronyms/factors) for all three answers before writing any of them? I did this for basically all of my law school exams which had multiple issue spotters or essay prompts, because I found my ability to write in English did not decline at nearly as fast a rate as my ability to issue spot and ID key rules. It also gave me a second pass at all three prompts in case I stupidly missed something the first time, and the confidence to know that in the third hour, when crunch time hits, I know I've already done the hard part and am basically on quasi-autopilot.

But: the bar is a different beast than a single-subject law school exam, so I'm curious what others think of such a strategy?

JJDancer
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby JJDancer » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:13 am

I stayed in a hotel across the street, even though the testing center was only about a 20-25 min drive from me. But not dealing with traffic was a godsend!

I told my then fiance that I may not want him around the hotel room in case I'm highstrung and it leads to an argument but that I would let him know (based on what I felt like) whether he should come by/stay over with me at the hotel.

I asked him to leave the hotel during the day because I didn't want to answer "how did it go" and I wanted to stay in the zone during lunch but we had dinner together/hung out at night (sometimes I studied) and I had him stay over since it was comforting to have that as a constant. I could also ask him to drop off anything I needed from home (cereal etc) so that was helpful.

Not worrying about making my own bed was even helpful lol. If I was at home in the evenings, I would think about the dishes etc but none of that was an issue at the hotel.

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:44 am

Rules are driving me crazy right now.

Interpleader
Impleader
Joinder (Permissive, Compulsory)

How are people keeping everything straight? (not just for those three, but for everything)

Panic is now setting in

morescotchplease
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby morescotchplease » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:13 am

redblueyellow wrote:Panic is now setting in


Yup...will be miserable for the next 2 weeks, then another 2 weeks after the bar....

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MURPH
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby MURPH » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:03 pm

I got a hotel. I meditated daily. I brought my own high quality coffee. I planned my meals pretty strictly. I had my wife pay me a conjugal visit at lunchtime on Wednesday. I exercised lightly each day. Started waking up early two weeks before the exam. I brought a couple of comic books to read at night. I kept my cell phone turned off almost the whole time. Went to the hotel pool nightly. It all helped. Driving from my home to Pasadena was not even an option the second time I took the exam. So getting a hotel was probably the most important thing.

I had the cell phone off and back at the hotel but when exam soft crashed and I needed to call them at lunch I was glad I had it. They straightened out the problem over lunch break and I was able to type Tuesday afternoon.

mhub172
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby mhub172 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:56 pm

redblueyellow wrote:Rules are driving me crazy right now.

Interpleader
Impleader
Joinder (Permissive, Compulsory)

How are people keeping everything straight? (not just for those three, but for everything)

Panic is now setting in


Exactly this. I am able to remember the rules right after I study them, but then the next day I have trouble with recall. I feel like I know vaguely each aspect of a subject but not enough to articulate a good rule statement or make the rule statement "match" to a set of facts. There's too many subjects!!

lawladylaw
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby lawladylaw » Tue Feb 10, 2015 1:23 pm

I have a couple of practical questions about the Pasadena location. I'm taking it on a laptop. I'm going to do a drive by and figure out exactly where it is next week.

Parking: How bad is it to park in the convention lot? I have no concept of how many people are taking the test there and if it will be jammed getting in and out. Do you guys recommend parking somewhere else?

Your stuff: How does that work? Should I come in with only my laptop, cord, earplugs, keys, ID, pens, pencils, etc and leave everything else in the car? What about a laptop bag or case?

Water: Are there a reasonable amount of accessible drinking fountains during the test? Do you have to waste a lot of time to get to them?

Thanks in advance!

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zabagabe
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby zabagabe » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:23 pm

Does anyone else think the level of minutia in community property is absurd? I'm finding it kind of hilarious that I will be expected to apply reverse pereiras in order to be allowed to practice law when this has literally nothing to do with what I will practice or anything I've studied through three years of law school. I will probably just gamble and gladly take my 50 or 55 on CP if it ends up on the bar, because I'm reaching my threshold point for absurd minutia!

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:34 pm

mhub172 wrote:Exactly this. I am able to remember the rules right after I study them, but then the next day I have trouble with recall. I feel like I know vaguely each aspect of a subject but not enough to articulate a good rule statement or make the rule statement "match" to a set of facts. There's too many subjects!!


Are you me?! Because if you are, I am so so sorry.

Something that I noticed help me extend my caffeine buzz throughout the day is taking vitamin b12 pills (technically, it should be a vitamin b complex, but I take multivitamins too and I'm sure it has a couple of the other Bs in there). I don't necessarily feel "more energized" like some people claim, but I don't feel the caffeine crash that hits around 2-4pm before I drink some more.

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Elms
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby Elms » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:50 pm

zabagabe wrote:Does anyone else think the level of minutia in community property is absurd? I'm finding it kind of hilarious that I will be expected to apply reverse pereiras in order to be allowed to practice law when this has literally nothing to do with what I will practice or anything I've studied through three years of law school. I will probably just gamble and gladly take my 50 or 55 on CP if it ends up on the bar, because I'm reaching my threshold point for absurd minutia!


I agree it's absurd, but it's actually pretty interesting to me. Unlike PR, which is pretty much the most boring thing in the world to me but is all but guaranteed to be on the exam. Grrr....

I'm off to brew another pot of coffee...

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zabagabe
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby zabagabe » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:03 pm

Elms wrote:
zabagabe wrote:Does anyone else think the level of minutia in community property is absurd? I'm finding it kind of hilarious that I will be expected to apply reverse pereiras in order to be allowed to practice law when this has literally nothing to do with what I will practice or anything I've studied through three years of law school. I will probably just gamble and gladly take my 50 or 55 on CP if it ends up on the bar, because I'm reaching my threshold point for absurd minutia!


I agree it's absurd, but it's actually pretty interesting to me. Unlike PR, which is pretty much the most boring thing in the world to me but is all but guaranteed to be on the exam. Grrr....

I'm off to brew another pot of coffee...


I totally agree about PR. And I am even more resentful that they make us learn the model rules for the MPRE and then don't even use half of them in California. Really? Really?

morescotchplease
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby morescotchplease » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:07 pm

Speaking of PR, so ABA has no disclosure rules for "potential conflicts" whereas CA does. Is that correct? And for personal conflicts due to a lawyer's business/professional relationship, CA only requires disclosure not informed consent?

cndounda1985
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby cndounda1985 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:58 pm

finally think i've got the exceptions to hearsay down....i hate evidence lol

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:59 pm

How many of you are spending a decent amount of time on cal civ pro? There's a lot to learn in terms of the differences between fed/cal and I'm merely looking at the leansheets which aren't even that comprehensive.

How much are deadlines "worth" in Civ Pro? Since there's a lack of (true) MBEs to gauge this information, and the previous essays didn't make too much mention of deadlines (although there's usually a minor element every now and then), I don't know if I should be spending too much time trying to memorize the federal deadlines and then the cal ones as well.

redblueyellow
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby redblueyellow » Tue Feb 10, 2015 6:59 pm

cndounda1985 wrote:finally think i've got the exceptions to hearsay down....i hate evidence lol


Share your secrets!

cndounda1985
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Re: 2015 February California Bar Exam

Postby cndounda1985 » Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:00 pm

I believe for potential conflicts, CA does not require informed consent until it becomes an actual conflict, just disclosure that a conflict might develop later. Then there must be informed consent by the parties to proceed.




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