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speed_the_loot

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AspiringCALawyer

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby AspiringCALawyer » Tue Jun 21, 2016 2:43 pm

speed_the_loot wrote:Been hitting or exceeding all MBE question set goals, except one. But then I blew this graded evidence essay.

Trying to gauge if I need to spend more time working on the fundamentals of writing an answer.


A 45 is below passing. Passing starts at 65.

I got 55-60 (slightly below passing) on my graded essays before February 2016 exam, which translated to most of my scores on the actual exam (except for one 75 on Trusts). I didn't pass; however, at least I have my essays to compare to sample passing essays. It helps in learning where I went wrong.

speed_the_loot

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run26.2

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby run26.2 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:13 pm

I received a couple of low grades from Barbri graders when I was studying. My impression was that they were a bit harder than I would expect a regular grader to be, but only by a bit. For instance, I talked about all significant issues in a good bit of depth, but I got a barely passing or the highest failing grade.

Certainly they were looking to see whether you addressed the major issues. A 45 is pretty far from passing--a grade like this indicates you missed a couple significant issues. Go back and see whether or not you did. If you did, then a similar answer on the exam would have received a similar score.

speed_the_loot

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psu2016

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby psu2016 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 3:30 pm

run26.2 wrote:I received a couple of low grades from Barbri graders when I was studying. My impression was that they were a bit harder than I would expect a regular grader to be, but only by a bit. For instance, I talked about all significant issues in a good bit of depth, but I got a barely passing or the highest failing grade.

Certainly they were looking to see whether you addressed the major issues. A 45 is pretty far from passing--a grade like this indicates you missed a couple significant issues. Go back and see whether or not you did. If you did, then a similar answer on the exam would have received a similar score.


I don't even think you can conclude that you missed a couple of significant issues. I got a 20 on a graded essay that basically matched the model answer, and when I contacted Barbri for a re-grade I ended up with a 70. They said the other grader just didn't know what they were talking about. Point is, with that much variability from the same essay, I wouldn't even put that much stock in what they tell you.

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speed_the_loot

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psu2016

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby psu2016 » Tue Jun 21, 2016 4:15 pm

speed_the_loot wrote:^Holy crap, seriously? ljl


Yeah, it's funny now. But at the time I wanted to throw myself off a bridge...

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Raiden

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby Raiden » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:00 pm

speed_the_loot wrote:TBH, I think the grading on mine was fair. It wasn't structured very well, and I turned it in thinking that it was probably not very good. But I wanted to see how I would do with the time constraints.


You should contact Barbri to see if they can give you tips on how your essays should be structured. Otherwise, you may want to check in with a tutor on how to write essays. Knowing the essay structure is imperative if you want to pass.

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby Fivethumbs » Wed Jun 22, 2016 12:40 am

All my Barbri essays were fails. I did not pass one single essay or PT. I got 50s, 55s, and one 60. Passed Bar exam on first try in Feb. 2016. I don't believe Barbri graders are accurate with their grades. They are too hard. I think they want to scare you into studying.

run26.2

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby run26.2 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 8:38 am

psu2016 wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I received a couple of low grades from Barbri graders when I was studying. My impression was that they were a bit harder than I would expect a regular grader to be, but only by a bit. For instance, I talked about all significant issues in a good bit of depth, but I got a barely passing or the highest failing grade.

Certainly they were looking to see whether you addressed the major issues. A 45 is pretty far from passing--a grade like this indicates you missed a couple significant issues. Go back and see whether or not you did. If you did, then a similar answer on the exam would have received a similar score.


I don't even think you can conclude that you missed a couple of significant issues. I got a 20 on a graded essay that basically matched the model answer, and when I contacted Barbri for a re-grade I ended up with a 70. They said the other grader just didn't know what they were talking about. Point is, with that much variability from the same essay, I wouldn't even put that much stock in what they tell you.

I wouldn't extrapolate too much from one experience. I doubt they are off this much all the time. Same can be said of my experience. I think they're generally not perfect. The same thing happens on the bar.

OP - take your exam and look at the model answer. This will show you whether you missed issues. It sounds like there may be a combination of things you need to work on (structure + content). If it's only structure, that's easier to fix. My advice is to use underlined headings to signal to the reader each issue you are discussing. You can also use subheadings, in italics, for subissues, e.g., the required elements of the particular legal theory under consideration.

Based on how the bar graders work and looking at sample answers (with completely different analyses on the same issues), I think if you do only this, with even rudimentary analysis on each major issue, you will get a passing score. I.e., showing the reader you have spotted all the issues goes a long way to helping you pass on any given essay.

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rcharter1978

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby rcharter1978 » Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:04 am

psu2016 wrote:
run26.2 wrote:I received a couple of low grades from Barbri graders when I was studying. My impression was that they were a bit harder than I would expect a regular grader to be, but only by a bit. For instance, I talked about all significant issues in a good bit of depth, but I got a barely passing or the highest failing grade.

Certainly they were looking to see whether you addressed the major issues. A 45 is pretty far from passing--a grade like this indicates you missed a couple significant issues. Go back and see whether or not you did. If you did, then a similar answer on the exam would have received a similar score.


I don't even think you can conclude that you missed a couple of significant issues. I got a 20 on a graded essay that basically matched the model answer, and when I contacted Barbri for a re-grade I ended up with a 70. They said the other grader just didn't know what they were talking about. Point is, with that much variability from the same essay, I wouldn't even put that much stock in what they tell you.


I agree, its a big part of the reason that I got a tutor that was a former bar grader the second time around.

I wanted feedback from someone who I knew understood grading and so the "grades" and feedback he would give me was based on first hand knowledge of grading.

I'm sure Barbri means well, but it doesn't always work out. And I had quite a few friends who got minimal feedback on their essays -- just some vague comments with a score that may have been plucked from the sky.

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seancris

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby seancris » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:56 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:I agree, its a big part of the reason that I got a tutor that was a former bar grader the second time around.


Whatttt. How do you get one of those, for what state, and how much do they cost?

Kaplan tells us to only address issues that are 100% on point with the fact pattern. My law school experience tells me to spew every bit of law on the subject that I can conjur up, and many recent bar passers tell me to do just that. I would really love to speak with an actual essay grader and see what the best strategy is.

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rcharter1978

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby rcharter1978 » Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:09 pm

seancris wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:I agree, its a big part of the reason that I got a tutor that was a former bar grader the second time around.


Whatttt. How do you get one of those, for what state, and how much do they cost?

Kaplan tells us to only address issues that are 100% on point with the fact pattern. My law school experience tells me to spew every bit of law on the subject that I can conjur up, and many recent bar passers tell me to do just that. I would really love to speak with an actual essay grader and see what the best strategy is.


LOL. California, I had to do a little research. I was actually going to use the most expensive one, but ended up with the least expensive ($2600 for like 14 hours of tutoring, in addition to him providing detailed feedback/scoring on my essays). My tutor also had a couple of "guides/strategy" booklets, which would have probably been more helpful had I fully read them.

But...having a former bar grader was really, really important to me. Since writing is my weakness, I really, really, really wanted someone who had actually read and graded bar essays.

So....I agree with Kaplan. I think putting out everything you know in the world is a great way to get through law school, but a grader has like 3-5 minutes to grade your essay and they have a cut sheet. I don't think you get a lot of points for super creative arguments the way you do in law school. The first time I took the CBX I did try to come up with every creative and interesting argument....and I did not pass. Second time around, I focused on my headings, my IRAC'ing, and keeping my paragraphs short and pretty. And I passed.

The essays on the CBX are meant to be tough to get through in an hour, so if you're coming up with super creative arguments that the grader isn't really giving you credit for than IMO, you may be missing other points that you will get credit for. Especially if you're making these arguments in the analysis section instead of moving on to something else.*

If you're a really fast typist/thinker maybe it works...but at the same time, if someone only has 3-5 minute to read your essay are they going to want to read all of that? I don't know.

* -- I think there is a difference though between introductory rules/arguments you just have to make though (example - putting in a section on whether the UCC or common law applies to a contract, if you have a contracts question. The majority of the question is going to be about you applying the UCC or the common law to the fact pattern, but you have to at least put in the introductory section)

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northwood

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Re: How Bad Is a 45 on the Graded Essay?

Postby northwood » Sun Jun 26, 2016 8:37 pm

seancris wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:I agree, its a big part of the reason that I got a tutor that was a former bar grader the second time around.


Whatttt. How do you get one of those, for what state, and how much do they cost?

Kaplan tells us to only address issues that are 100% on point with the fact pattern. My law school experience tells me to spew every bit of law on the subject that I can conjur up, and many recent bar passers tell me to do just that. I would really love to speak with an actual essay grader and see what the best strategy is.



There is not enough time to do a detailed analysis for every single issue on each essay. You need to not only do the analysis but set each analysis up in the proper format (i.e. CREAC). You have about 45 minutes per essay to answer all of the sub questions- questions that are written to focus your response to certain issues/ subsections of the law



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