is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

unclej
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is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby unclej » Wed Apr 15, 2015 8:33 pm

planning to take the baby bar soon.
There are 2 sections: MBEs and essays.

I dont understand how one would prepare for the essays.
Doesn't studying for the mbe part automatically prepare you for the essays?

for mbe, you have to memorize the rules. False imprisonment is blah blah, assault is blah blah.

the essays are IRAC.

IRAC = issue, rule, analysis, conclusion.

you can spot the issue because of the mbe part.
you can state the rule because of the mbe part.
analysis is just a matter of applying the rule to your specific scenario and you cant study for that.
conclusion is just conclusion, you cant study for that either.

so should I forget about the essay portion? what's there to study?

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North
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby North » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:23 pm

Don't you think it would be a good idea to, you know, practice writing them.

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minnbills
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby minnbills » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:29 pm

On the essays you have to recite the law from memory. I really wish I had practiced more. I find out whether I pass this coming Monday. If I failed, there's a pretty good chance it was the essays which sunk me.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Fri Apr 17, 2015 12:37 pm

I guess if it's the baby bar you are only going to be essay-tested on the same topics as on the multiple choice (that's not true on the real bar, the essays test non-MBE law). I would pay pretty close attention to any directions on how to write the essays, though, since examiners can be sticklers on how they want them written.

gaagoots
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby gaagoots » Fri Apr 17, 2015 1:09 pm

unclej wrote:planning to take the baby bar soon.
There are 2 sections: MBEs and essays.

I dont understand how one would prepare for the essays.
Doesn't studying for the mbe part automatically prepare you for the essays?

for mbe, you have to memorize the rules. False imprisonment is blah blah, assault is blah blah.

the essays are IRAC.

IRAC = issue, rule, analysis, conclusion.

you can spot the issue because of the mbe part.
you can state the rule because of the mbe part.
analysis is just a matter of applying the rule to your specific scenario and you cant study for that.
conclusion is just conclusion, you cant study for that either.

so should I forget about the essay portion? what's there to study?


When I was preparing for the Feb bar I felt very strongly they were testing contracts UCC. That subject was tested in 2005 and 2000 only on the CA GBX. So I went to the baby bar past essays for practice. Spotting issues comes with essay practice and MBEs don't help at all for organizing. Contract essays have to be organized a certain way, so it would be very wise to practice and get the hang of it.

2 people from my school had to take the baby bar, and the stats for ABA schools are not pretty.

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encore1101
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby encore1101 » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:44 pm

Personally, I think there's a difference between studying for the MBE, where you're given 4 answers and one of them must be correct, and being able to recall and transcribe knowledge.

Just as an admittedly weak, but still applicable, analogy, studying for the written driver's test isn't sufficient to be a good driver.

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n900mixalot
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby n900mixalot » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:51 pm

YES YES AND YES, essays have to be practiced!

The most important part about practicing essays is getting into a mindset where you can spew organized thoughts in rapid-fire succession, under timed conditions. Even typing out tons and tons of model answers while reviewing black-letter concepts helped me.

What has increased my score from past administrations has been first being a to recite the law, and second, being able to recite it while working the facts in a timed session, and organizing them.

In my case, one thing that I have yet to find out, since I'm a third-time taker (so my advice isn't necessarily the best ...), is whether or not the Arizona examiners are looking for the CRAC method. I requested my answers from previous administrations and found that the models the graders use in Arizona are written in the CRAC format, so I modeled my answers in that EXACT same way this time, even though my bar review course tried to nail IRAC into my head. That should give me the handful of points I need to pass, provided I didn't bomb the MBE. (I found it to be far more reasonable than July 2014 and a lot more like February 2013)

In my jurisdiction the model answers looked like:

"Blah blah person should not win under X because he did not blah blah blah as required by the rule of whatever.
Rule whatever requires that a person who does whatever must do this or that in order to get X. Such and such person did this and that. Then such a person did that and this.

"Because such a person did that and this and the rule states that they should have done this or that as well, it cannot be the case that whatever whatever. Such and such a person also did that and this, but there is no evidence that this was related to that as required by rule whatever. Also, because they didn't do whatever, that action negates the effect of having done this.

"In court case blah, the facts were similar (if you're a smarty pants you know some relevant case law). In that case the Court of Crusty Pants held that blah blah blah. (This would be actual case law, again, if you know it.)

"Therefore, because x, y, and z points above, blah blah person should not win."


But your jurisdiction may be different!

Anyway, my July score increased by about 12 points the second time, all because I practiced more essays (and because I didn't totally screw up the MPT like I did the first time--I used scratch paper for notes instead of typing notes into my workspace). But I didn't use CRAC or the method shown in the model answers in July like I should have, and after reading my answers over very closely, I realized that my problem was ORGANIZATION. And of course my MBE scores are week/marginal.

TL;DR: Practicing essays from my jurisdiction's past administrations, and typing the answers out, helped me to increase my score pretty sognificantly. We will see if it was enough in three or so weeks.
Last edited by n900mixalot on Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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abogadesq
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby abogadesq » Sat Apr 18, 2015 2:25 pm

Practicing for the essays helps you overall on the exam because, as stated above, it forces you to recite black letter law from memory.

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northwood
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Re: is it really necessary to prepare for the essay portion?

Postby northwood » Sat Apr 18, 2015 8:27 pm

abogadesq wrote:Practicing for the essays helps you overall on the exam because, as stated above, it forces you to recite black letter law from memory.



as well as practicing your timing and endurance




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