July 2015 California Bar Exam

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Tiago Splitter
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Tiago Splitter » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:31 pm

I think the only practice for PTs is to read back through all of the past examples you can find and then look at model answers to see how the experts attacked them. Maybe take like 30 minutes outlining your own answer, but spending 3 hours putting one together seems like a waste. I think there are only so many scenarios the bar examiners will use, so if you've seen all of them at least once before you won't be totally thrown off guard.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:43 pm

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zenotheelder
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby zenotheelder » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:46 pm

Notorious RBG wrote:
zenotheelder wrote:
What's interesting though is my MBE score was pretty high (scaled 1591). It was high enough that, even though I failed every essay, I still almost passed overall.



This is what I'm saying. 35% is less than the essay portion but it is still very significant, and you can totally pass by acing the MBE. And as funky as the questions can be, at least you can have some idea of how you'll do by doing practice tests. Maybe?

I feel like I know a lot of people that passed by just giving up on writing good essays and aimed for mediocre essays and a fantasic MBE.



Yeah, there are several differences between the multiple choice and the essays:

-As far as I've seen, not only can you get a good idea, but a lot of people tend to do better on the actual MBE than they did in the practice exams.

-For MC, the answer is right there in front of you. You can learn a lot of tricks for finding the right one by process of elimination.

-There's only 1 answer/interpretation. The "grader in a bad mood"/wildly different scores by different graders factors are removed entirely.

-I feel like the preparation for the MBE pays off in bigger proportions. The countless hours you spend studying a particular subject only to get a 50 on the essay, when you could have written nothing and gotten a 40. Whereas the more you practice MBE questions, generally the demonstrably better you do.

I mean, when you can literally fail every single essay and both PT's and still pass with a good MBE score, that says something. This will be even more obvious when it changes in 2017 and MBE is 50%.

But seriously though, I can't get over the 50 on PT-B. I could have skimmed everything, wrote the equivalent of a last minute high school essay, took an hour nap, and still got a 50.
Last edited by zenotheelder on Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Pleasye
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Pleasye » Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:51 pm

MarcZero wrote:Throwing this out there for any potential passers who may still be reading, but does anybody have a set of California Themis books they don't want anymore? I lost mine in the fire, and if you repeat the course, they expect you to use the old books again and new books are $275. I'd gladly pay for shipping if anyone would like. Thanks!

Absolutely! If you pay for shipping I would be glad to send them to you.

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MarcZero
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby MarcZero » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:00 pm

Actually, I just got access to the new bar program on Themis and they give you a full color version of the new books in e-reader format so I'm just going to read those off of my ipad. Thank you though! I think I'll prefer not having to lug around all of those books again.

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Pleasye
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Pleasye » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:08 pm

MarcZero wrote:Actually, I just got access to the new bar program on Themis and they give you a full color version of the new books in e-reader format so I'm just going to read those off of my ipad. Thank you though! I think I'll prefer not having to lug around all of those books again.

No problem!

If anyone else wants them I'm happy to give them to you. They have minimal writing and no highlighting.

hmn006
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby hmn006 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:10 pm

Long time lurker here, thanks everyone for the help on this great thread.

Data for what it's worth - I ordered my scores for NCBE, had 150+ and 127 on the Barbri mid term.

Also, does anyone know how I can get confirmation/evidence that I passed the bar and take the oath? I am out of state working for fed agency, and will need documentation to provide to HR to convert my status from law clerk to atty.

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Pleasye
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Pleasye » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:13 pm

hmn006 wrote:Long time lurker here, thanks everyone for the help on this great thread.

Data for what it's worth - I ordered my scores for NCBE, had 150+ and 127 on the Barbri mid term.

Also, does anyone know how I can get confirmation/evidence that I passed the bar and take the oath? I am out of state working for fed agency, and will need documentation to provide to HR to convert my status from law clerk to atty.

The Cal bar mails you a packet

Notorious RBG
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:26 pm

zenotheelder wrote:
Notorious RBG wrote:
zenotheelder wrote:
What's interesting though is my MBE score was pretty high (scaled 1591). It was high enough that, even though I failed every essay, I still almost passed overall.



This is what I'm saying. 35% is less than the essay portion but it is still very significant, and you can totally pass by acing the MBE. And as funky as the questions can be, at least you can have some idea of how you'll do by doing practice tests. Maybe?

I feel like I know a lot of people that passed by just giving up on writing good essays and aimed for mediocre essays and a fantasic MBE.



Yeah, there are several differences between the multiple choice and the essays:

-As far as I've seen, not only can you get a good idea, but a lot of people tend to do better on the actual MBE than they did in the practice exams.

-For MC, the answer is right there in front of you. You can learn a lot of tricks for finding the right one by process of elimination.

-There's only 1 answer/interpretation. The "grader in a bad mood"/wildly different scores by different graders factors are removed entirely.

-I feel like the preparation for the MBE pays off in bigger proportions. The countless hours you spend studying a particular subject only to get a 50 on the essay, when you could have written nothing and gotten a 40. Whereas the more you practice MBE questions, generally the demonstrably better you do.

I mean, when you can literally fail every single essay and both PT's and still pass with a good MBE score, that says something. This will be even more obvious when it changes in 2017 and MBE is 50%.

But seriously though, I can't get over the 50 on PT-B. I could have skimmed everything, wrote the equivalent of a last minute high school essay, took an hour nap, and still got a 50.


And on a more subversive note- I feel like for essays and PTs all the tutors and prep programs like to focus on those because there is so much subjectivity and mystery surrounding them that people freak out. So the programs over-emphasize their importance, like they are the whole test. Meanwhile the way you study for the MBE is doing practice questions and reading explanations, not much room for a tutor there and you do the correcting. Yet the test is 35% MBE. That's a lot. Just my two cents.

6TimeFailure
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby 6TimeFailure » Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:11 pm

Pleasye wrote:
MarcZero wrote:Actually, I just got access to the new bar program on Themis and they give you a full color version of the new books in e-reader format so I'm just going to read those off of my ipad. Thank you though! I think I'll prefer not having to lug around all of those books again.

No problem!

If anyone else wants them I'm happy to give them to you. They have minimal writing and no highlighting.



PM sent thanks.

LSHopeful91
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby LSHopeful91 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:42 pm

I scored a 1439. A FUCKING 1439. The first reader failed me by a couple of points, the second reader passed me by a couple of points, but not enough that the average of the two scores is at 1440. What a crock of shit.

newusername
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby newusername » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:46 pm

Hi, all. Could someone please help me interpret my scores? Do these numbers look like I should focus more on MBE and learning the black letter law? I focused more on practicing PTs and essays toward the end, and stopped doing as much MBE practice after doing all right on Barbri's simulated exam. =/ I also relied too much on Barbri's study schedule and didn't begin to memorize until very late.

Any feedback is much appreciated! I'd like to know where it would be most productive to spend my time based on these numbers. Thank you! :]

I got:

Essay 1: 65, 60 (62.5)
Essay 2: 65, 65 (65.0)
Essay 3: 55, 55 (55.0)
Essay 4: 60, 55 (57.5)
Essay 5: 55, 50 (52.5)
Essay 6: 50, 55 (52.5)
PT A: 70, 65 (67.5)
PT B: 60, 70 (65.0)

Raw Written: 610.0
Scaled Written 1421.6430
Scaled MBE: 1339.0000

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MarcZero
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby MarcZero » Tue Nov 24, 2015 8:51 pm

newusername wrote:Hi, all. Could someone please help me interpret my scores? Do these numbers look like I should focus more on MBE and learning the black letter law? I focused more on practicing PTs and essays toward the end, and stopped doing as much MBE practice after doing all right on Barbri's simulated exam. =/ I also relied too much on Barbri's study schedule and didn't begin to memorize until very late.

Any feedback is much appreciated! I'd like to know where it would be most productive to spend my time based on these numbers. Thank you! :]

I got:

Essay 1: 65, 60 (62.5)
Essay 2: 65, 65 (65.0)
Essay 3: 55, 55 (55.0)
Essay 4: 60, 55 (57.5)
Essay 5: 55, 50 (52.5)
Essay 6: 50, 55 (52.5)
PT A: 70, 65 (67.5)
PT B: 60, 70 (65.0)

Raw Written: 610.0
Scaled Written 1421.6430
Scaled MBE: 1339.0000


Well, your scaled MBE is 100 points under passing so you'll need to work on that quite a bit. Your written is also under passing, but far less so. However, you written score is heavily weighted by the PTs so it appears you did well on the PTs, but just under passing levels on the regular essays. So it appears your order of priority should be MBE > Essays > PTs.

Zaizei
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Zaizei » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:11 pm

Zaizei wrote:I guess I did it very very bad:

Essay 1: 55
Essay 2: 65
Essay 3: 60
Essay 4: 60
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 50
PT A: 55
PT B: 55

Scaled MBE: 1437

Mi total scaled score was 1338.8117. Guess is pretty low, right? Someone can help me with some advice? I thought I did pretty well on the first and fourth essays, I really don't understand why I got a 55 and 60... Is 1437 scaled MBE really bad? I can't access the one timers calculator.


Can someone give me some feedback?

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:18 pm

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:24 pm

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AntiHuman
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby AntiHuman » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:33 pm

Long time lurker on the threads. I've helped several people pass their 2nd time around on the exam. Some of my stats:

1. Took LSAT at 18 years old. Failed. High GPA combined with low LSAT I ended up at a good school.
2. Horrible law school grades. Never used IRAC or learned how to spot issues. Did virtually no studying in law school.
3. Took bar exam at 22 years old and failed first time. Studied about 30 hours total and attended no barbri classes or did any homework. So far from this story you can tell I am not a good test taker(aka didn't know wtf I was doing).

Scores my first time:

Essays: 55, 55, 60, 60, 85, 55
PTs: 55, 60
MBE: Slightly below passing

The 85 may jump out at you. This isn't an intelligence test. You will do well if you know how to approach the exam and study smart(not hard). Most importantly, you must know how to spot ALL the issues(or as many as you can). I asked a professor why the huge discrepancy on my essays. On the contracts essay, I spotted every issue and got an 85. I failed the rest because I didn't spot several minor issues. Issue spotting DETERMINES your score. Not analysis. People might bash me on this. Everyone will know the rules and have analysis. Shoutout to Injun on this for commending me, but I am big on spotting issues.

2nd time: I walked out of the exam and went straight to the bar to buy everyone shots because I knew I passed. It was that easy. No matter your score the first time, you can pass the 2nd time. It's just a matter of knowing how to approach the exam. I just put the first exam behind me, took a deep breathe and started researching strategies on what to do differently.

Failing sucks, but nobody has ever asked me my law school grades or how many times I took the bar exam. It will all be laughable in a few years.

PM me for exact details on what I did differently the 2nd time around on each section of the exam(MBE, essays, PTs).

Notorious RBG
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:41 pm

LSHopeful91 wrote:I scored a 1439. A FUCKING 1439. The first reader failed me by a couple of points, the second reader passed me by a couple of points, but not enough that the average of the two scores is at 1440. What a crock of shit.


Holy shit that almost sends me into a blind rage on your behalf... I'm really sorry! I seriously could not be an ethical grader knowing what I know about the test, I would totally just slip your name on the pass list and get myself disbarred.

Notorious RBG
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:45 pm

newusername wrote:Hi, all. Could someone please help me interpret my scores? Do these numbers look like I should focus more on MBE and learning the black letter law? I focused more on practicing PTs and essays toward the end, and stopped doing as much MBE practice after doing all right on Barbri's simulated exam. =/ I also relied too much on Barbri's study schedule and didn't begin to memorize until very late.

Any feedback is much appreciated! I'd like to know where it would be most productive to spend my time based on these numbers. Thank you! :]

I got:

Essay 1: 65, 60 (62.5)
Essay 2: 65, 65 (65.0)
Essay 3: 55, 55 (55.0)
Essay 4: 60, 55 (57.5)
Essay 5: 55, 50 (52.5)
Essay 6: 50, 55 (52.5)
PT A: 70, 65 (67.5)
PT B: 60, 70 (65.0)

Raw Written: 610.0
Scaled Written 1421.6430
Scaled MBE: 1339.0000


Great job on those PTs! That will get you far. With these numbers you could have passed with a better MBE score, so I'd work on that for sure. Do a lot of them and really try to understand the explanations- I did flashcards for this part but those don't work for everyone. Seems like you have the writing chops and you probably know enough to pass some essays but not others, so you should work on those too obviously. Seems more like you need to work on your black letter law across the board rather than one particular subject. Of course these are just my guestimates based on the numbers, you know yourself best!

Notorious RBG
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby Notorious RBG » Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:55 pm

Zaizei wrote:
Zaizei wrote:I guess I did it very very bad:

Essay 1: 55
Essay 2: 65
Essay 3: 60
Essay 4: 60
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 50
PT A: 55
PT B: 55

Scaled MBE: 1437

Mi total scaled score was 1338.8117. Guess is pretty low, right? Someone can help me with some advice? I thought I did pretty well on the first and fourth essays, I really don't understand why I got a 55 and 60... Is 1437 scaled MBE really bad? I can't access the one timers calculator.


Can someone give me some feedback?


Ok so my total unscientific opinion just based on my repeater and now passer status... Seems like you need to work on your black letter law across the board to improve your essays, and you need a better approach to the PTs. I think any approach that gives you confidence and ensures that you are answering the question and following directions is good. For me it was just a checklist.

I think tutors and programs focus more on style than on rote memorization because it is easier to tutor and teach style. Memorization is different for everyone and there are no shortcuts. You've got to cram that law in your head in a way that works for you. I kept toiling away with style when really, as soon as I admitted to myself that I just had to make a ton of flashcards and memorize more shit and it was going to be painful and there were no shortcuts, that's when I passed. This is why tutors focus on essays in general instead of the MBEs- some things are just more amenable to teaching, and some things you just have to block out a bunch of time and say no to some social activities and do boring shit over and over again. But that's what it takes to be a lawyer!

Your MBE isn't bad, my MBE on this bar was about that. But it could always be better! So don't be tempted to neglect those. Even getting the same score again is no guarantee, especially if you don't study them between now and the next bar.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:03 pm

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby BrokenMouse » Tue Nov 24, 2015 10:04 pm

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Last edited by BrokenMouse on Thu Apr 28, 2016 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fadedsunrise
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby fadedsunrise » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:08 pm

Finally had time to open my score report, would also appreciate thoughts:

Essay 1: 75/70 (72.5)
Essay 2: 65/70 (67.5)
Essay 3: 70/60 (65)
Essay 4: 55/65 (60)
Essay 5: 60/60 (60)
Essay 6: 50/50 (50) (fuck essay 6)
PT A: 60/70 (65)
PT B: 60/60 (60)

Raw Written: 625
Scaled Written: 1466.87
Scaled MBE: 1346

Total: 1424.57

Not so close I want to kill someone for arbitrary grading, not so far that I feel like I have no hope of passing (or is 18 points a lot??). :? :|

lulyer123
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby lulyer123 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:43 pm

AntiHuman wrote:Long time lurker on the threads. I've helped several people pass their 2nd time around on the exam. Some of my stats:

1. Took LSAT at 18 years old. Failed. High GPA combined with low LSAT I ended up at a good school.
2. Horrible law school grades. Never used IRAC or learned how to spot issues. Did virtually no studying in law school.
3. Took bar exam at 22 years old and failed first time. Studied about 30 hours total and attended no barbri classes or did any homework. So far from this story you can tell I am not a good test taker(aka didn't know wtf I was doing).

Scores my first time:

Essays: 55, 55, 60, 60, 85, 55
PTs: 55, 60
MBE: Slightly below passing

The 85 may jump out at you. This isn't an intelligence test. You will do well if you know how to approach the exam and study smart(not hard). Most importantly, you must know how to spot ALL the issues(or as many as you can). I asked a professor why the huge discrepancy on my essays. On the contracts essay, I spotted every issue and got an 85. I failed the rest because I didn't spot several minor issues. Issue spotting DETERMINES your score. Not analysis. People might bash me on this. Everyone will know the rules and have analysis. Shoutout to Injun on this for commending me, but I am big on spotting issues.

2nd time: I walked out of the exam and went straight to the bar to buy everyone shots because I knew I passed. It was that easy. No matter your score the first time, you can pass the 2nd time. It's just a matter of knowing how to approach the exam. I just put the first exam behind me, took a deep breathe and started researching strategies on what to do differently.

Failing sucks, but nobody has ever asked me my law school grades or how many times I took the bar exam. It will all be laughable in a few years.

PM me for exact details on what I did differently the 2nd time around on each section of the exam(MBE, essays, PTs).


This. Essays are all about issue spotting. If you miss an issue, you automatically lose points for the rules and analysis since you have none. Its not hard making up common sense rules. Analysis is also really just regurgitating facts, and it doesn't even matter what conclusion you end up with. Most of the fact patterns are made so that you can make an argument for both sides anyways.

I "did" all the practice essays on Themis which was basically reading the fact pattern, spotting the issue, and writing it down as a header. I never bothered to state the rule or do any analysis on the practice tests and literally spent 5 minutes on each essay. I then read the model answers just to see if I got all the issues and how the analysis was done. Because of this, I was able to pinpoint most of the issues extremely quickly on the real test, and spent the rest of the time bsing analysis and rules. I finished all the 3 hours blocks with at least 45 minutes left. I passed.

I also honestly don't see the point of hiring an essay grader to give feedback. People should be able to compare their own answer and a model answer and see what's missing/different. I feel like people would learn more by fixing their own mistakes instead of having someone else tell you what's wrong, not to mention the amount of money you would save.

P.S. LET THE FACT PATTERN GUIDE YOUR ANSWER. I know all the bar programs say this from day one. The issue should be jumping out at you when you read the fact pattern. When I see it, I immediately write the topic in the exam software, which basically forms my headers.

AntiHuman
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Re: July 2015 California Bar Exam

Postby AntiHuman » Wed Nov 25, 2015 12:29 am

lulyer123 wrote:
AntiHuman wrote:Long time lurker on the threads. I've helped several people pass their 2nd time around on the exam. Some of my stats:

1. Took LSAT at 18 years old. Failed. High GPA combined with low LSAT I ended up at a good school.
2. Horrible law school grades. Never used IRAC or learned how to spot issues. Did virtually no studying in law school.
3. Took bar exam at 22 years old and failed first time. Studied about 30 hours total and attended no barbri classes or did any homework. So far from this story you can tell I am not a good test taker(aka didn't know wtf I was doing).

Scores my first time:

Essays: 55, 55, 60, 60, 85, 55
PTs: 55, 60
MBE: Slightly below passing

The 85 may jump out at you. This isn't an intelligence test. You will do well if you know how to approach the exam and study smart(not hard). Most importantly, you must know how to spot ALL the issues(or as many as you can). I asked a professor why the huge discrepancy on my essays. On the contracts essay, I spotted every issue and got an 85. I failed the rest because I didn't spot several minor issues. Issue spotting DETERMINES your score. Not analysis. People might bash me on this. Everyone will know the rules and have analysis. Shoutout to Injun on this for commending me, but I am big on spotting issues.

2nd time: I walked out of the exam and went straight to the bar to buy everyone shots because I knew I passed. It was that easy. No matter your score the first time, you can pass the 2nd time. It's just a matter of knowing how to approach the exam. I just put the first exam behind me, took a deep breathe and started researching strategies on what to do differently.

Failing sucks, but nobody has ever asked me my law school grades or how many times I took the bar exam. It will all be laughable in a few years.

PM me for exact details on what I did differently the 2nd time around on each section of the exam(MBE, essays, PTs).


This. Essays are all about issue spotting. If you miss an issue, you automatically lose points for the rules and analysis since you have none. Its not hard making up common sense rules. Analysis is also really just regurgitating facts, and it doesn't even matter what conclusion you end up with. Most of the fact patterns are made so that you can make an argument for both sides anyways.

I "did" all the practice essays on Themis which was basically reading the fact pattern, spotting the issue, and writing it down as a header. I never bothered to state the rule or do any analysis on the practice tests and literally spent 5 minutes on each essay. I then read the model answers just to see if I got all the issues and how the analysis was done. Because of this, I was able to pinpoint most of the issues extremely quickly on the real test, and spent the rest of the time bsing analysis and rules. I finished all the 3 hours blocks with at least 45 minutes left. I passed.

I also honestly don't see the point of hiring an essay grader to give feedback. People should be able to compare their own answer and a model answer and see what's missing/different. I feel like people would learn more by fixing their own mistakes instead of having someone else tell you what's wrong, not to mention the amount of money you would save.

P.S. LET THE FACT PATTERN GUIDE YOUR ANSWER. I know all the bar programs say this from day one. The issue should be jumping out at you when you read the fact pattern. When I see it, I immediately write the topic in the exam software, which basically forms my headers.



1. From the outset I will say if you were not even close to passing, you MUST do something different. If you did Barbri or a course the first time, try something new. Do NOT do Barbri AMPs or watch the lectures(or any videos) or go through those long barbri outlines(CMR is better). Yall wasted a bunch of time doing this the first time. Skip the nonsense and go straight into reading the CMR and doing practice essays/MBEs/PTs. Check the model answers and see how many issues you spotted. Also create a detailed issue checklist for each subject(more detailed issue checklist than the Barbri ones) as well as a list of rules for each subject that you can memorize. The CMR is great for the MBE. Adaptibar is MUCH better for the MBE as well.


2. I hope I didn't sound cocky by saying the exam "was easy" or that I knew I passed walking out the 2nd time, but you will know if you get 65+ on your essays based on how well you spot the issues. I walked out knowing I got 65+ on every essay and every PT. 65 is the borderline of passing and you should know what a 65 looks like. That should be the LOWEST you should be getting on each essay(minus 1 or 2 really crazy questions or subjects you don't like). To get a 65, you have to spot every MAJOR issue. If you miss one major issue, you are at a 55-60. Minor issues separate the 65's from the 80's.

Essays:
2. Lulyer123 really nailed it with this response. I probably couldn't have said it better and that is EXACTLY what I did for the essays. If graders spend 3-4 minutes per essay(keep in mind though that they themselves wrote out their answers to the question and can go through an answer pretty quickly), they are using a checklist of issues to see how many you spot. I highly doubt they are reading EVERY single word of your analysis and comprehending it all. The issues come first and are most important. Thats how I got an 85. My analysis on my 85 wasn't that good. I hate contracts and barely know the law. But issue spotting for contracts comes very easy for me. I spotted literally every single possible issue on that question.

I apologize as its easier for me to talk about it than type. PM me if anyone wants me to go into more depth. There's just too much to say.




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