How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

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tbird

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How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby tbird » Wed Jul 06, 2016 10:28 pm

Long story short, Barbri has graded four of my writing assignments, and I got a 60 on all of them. They gave comments saying "good," "great rule statement," "good analysis." But then I missed maybe one or two minor tangential issues that barely even seemed to be part of the interrogatory. And they still gave me a 60 saying to state the minority position in one rule, and that my analysis could have been stronger in a couple of my sections. It seems like they expect perfection to award a passing score.

Do the real bar graders really read this closely? Is Barbri just full of crap trying to scare people into continuing to study hard? When I self grade, I usually have more than enough points to get a passing grade according to their rubrics, but now Barbri is hurting my confidence, and I don't really know what is expected on the real thing. If anyone can answer these questions who really knows:

1. Do my rule statements need to be word for word to get credit? I am now consistently seeing all or most of the issues, and generally know what the rule or test is that applies, although not always word for word. Is that enough?

2. If my analysis is good following an imperfect rule, do I still get points for analyzing according to my rule statement?

3. Is it really this hard to be minimally competent? I am very surprised that on a scale that goes up to 100 it is this difficult to get a 65.

4. I have read places that the graders only devote 1-3 minutes per question to grading. Am I wrong to think that they likely look at what headings are there to make sure you got the issues, glance at the rule and make sure it is generally right, and then make sure the key facts have been applied to that rule and section? And if that is all there then you are passing? I am having a hard time buying into what appears to be Barbri's approach that I need to match their "model answer" in order to pass the bar. There is no way I could write everything that they write within the recommended hour.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:20 am

TBF, I don't think essay grading is an exact science.

Your concerns are a big part of the reason I found a tutor that was a former bar grader. I wanted to know what was important to an actual bar grader, not what Barbri thinks. He said 3-5 minutes per essay, which was why headings/subheadings and the overall look of the essay were important. According to him the rule statements don't have to be exact, but you can't be too far off.

I think if you're concerned about it, you may want to consider sending an essay or two to a former bar grader to look at and give you some written feedback on. I know my tutor does this, unfortunately he only sells the service in packages of 12 or 24 essays.

However, I suspect that a Barbri 60, is probably an actual bar 65.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby MsAvocadoPit » Thu Jul 07, 2016 1:35 pm

I had the same concerns! I did the graded torts question for barbri last week, I felt like I KILLED IT. Only missed IIED and contributory negligence, which I thought were very very small issues. They noted those missing issues and gave me a 60 but said everything else was great. I was so sure I would've got 70 or higher on that based on my own scoring. If this is a barbri scare tactic, and not real grading, I don't think it's productive. We should be studying broadly, and not for the smallest details, right? Ugh!

I may, bite the bullet and maybe pay for a grader. My school gives us a free baressays.com account, and I noticed that they sell grading packages. The smallest is for 2 essays, but that's $99, ouch!

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby thegrayman » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:09 pm

I picked up a lot of points on the CA barbri graded essays by always being sure to take a step back before diving into the question and make sure to lay the foundation. A lot of times you are so full of energy and anxious to go for the jugular that you miss out on easy points for things that you take for granted. For me in particular, I found that adding some introductory framework (often just a few sentences) bumped up my essay scores.

Also, formatting is crucial, so use bold/underlined/numbered headings, space between paragraphs, etc. Don't make it hard for whoever is grading your essay to do their job. On exam day I actually even changed the font on my essays. I wanted my essay to be a breath of fresh air in the sea of monotony and I thought changing up the basic style might do the trick (no idea if the changes actually get applied to the end product or if they're just for the examinee's purposes but I figured it wouldn't hurt either way).

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby james11 » Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:13 pm

I would not rely on the "graders" of your review course essays. They are not and have never been real california bar exam essay graders. Like you, I would get 55s or 60s and have no idea why.

Take a look at the real graded essays that scored 65, 70, 75 on BarEssays.com, compare these to your practice essay, and you will see exactly what you need to do. It is a real eye opener and the best way to prepare during these final few weeks imo.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby barjamie8 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:11 am

tbird wrote:Long story short, Barbri has graded four of my writing assignments, and I got a 60 on all of them. They gave comments saying "good," "great rule statement," "good analysis." But then I missed maybe one or two minor tangential issues that barely even seemed to be part of the interrogatory. And they still gave me a 60 saying to state the minority position in one rule, and that my analysis could have been stronger in a couple of my sections. It seems like they expect perfection to award a passing score.

Do the real bar graders really read this closely? Is Barbri just full of crap trying to scare people into continuing to study hard? When I self grade, I usually have more than enough points to get a passing grade according to their rubrics, but now Barbri is hurting my confidence, and I don't really know what is expected on the real thing. If anyone can answer these questions who really knows:

1. Do my rule statements need to be word for word to get credit? I am now consistently seeing all or most of the issues, and generally know what the rule or test is that applies, although not always word for word. Is that enough?

2. If my analysis is good following an imperfect rule, do I still get points for analyzing according to my rule statement?

3. Is it really this hard to be minimally competent? I am very surprised that on a scale that goes up to 100 it is this difficult to get a 65.

4. I have read places that the graders only devote 1-3 minutes per question to grading. Am I wrong to think that they likely look at what headings are there to make sure you got the issues, glance at the rule and make sure it is generally right, and then make sure the key facts have been applied to that rule and section? And if that is all there then you are passing? I am having a hard time buying into what appears to be Barbri's approach that I need to match their "model answer" in order to pass the bar. There is no way I could write everything that they write within the recommended hour.


I echo the post above. This can be answered in about 5 minutes by looking at a comparable real essay that scored 65 or 70 on BarEssays.

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storge

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby storge » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:02 pm

Beware of the BarBri self-grade "rubric" as it can be very misleading & provide a false sense of confidence. Like others mentioned, I'd focus more on graded past answers from BarEssays to self-grade and ID relevant issues. The same relevant issues are usually also brought up in the BarBri sample answers with correct rule statements. The point rubrics are garbage IMO. It's a lot easier and quicker to use the rubric to self-grade, which is tempting when time is limited. However, nothing will replace the value of time spent on truly reviewing your answers and not tallying up points.

As for BarBri graders, they tend to be inconsistent so don't beat yourself up over it. Instead, assess yourself as critically as possible based on past answers and the model answers. Don't be light on yourself and try to find areas for improvement - better now than on test day.
I did not pass when I relied on those point rubrics for reasons stated above so don't make this mistake. I passed after I approached self-grading for CA essays by reviewing model answers, past graded answers and those published by the examiners. I kept track of my mistakes and I continued to practice until I didn't make the same mistakes.

Good luck!

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby tbird » Fri Jul 08, 2016 3:27 pm

Thank you for the baressays.com suggestion. That has been extremely helpful. I was getting overwhelmed that I don't know every rule word for word. Baressays has been extremely helpful. I wrote a practice essay this morning, and then checked the graded answers. What an incredible tool. I feel much better now. I cannot believe some of the answers that are still considered passing, and it has made me feel much better.

I will keep working as hard as possible, but at least now I can rest assured that my answers would probably have been much better than what Barbro credited. Thanks.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby dtruong23 » Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:03 pm

With regards to Barbri essay graders, I experimented with one of the graded essays by copying, word for word, the model answer that barbri provided and submitted it for grading. I got a 60 on it! I think it's just a scare tactic that barbri implements to get you studying. Anyways, I hated barbri but it worked as I passed CA on my first attempt. Trust the process (but maybe not the grading).

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby tbird » Fri Jul 08, 2016 11:16 pm

LMAO that's hilarious.

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El Pollito

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby El Pollito » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:11 am

doing barbri graded essays is the biggest waste of time

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lacrossebrother

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:32 am

MsAvocadoPit wrote:I had the same concerns! I did the graded torts question for barbri last week, I felt like I KILLED IT. Only missed IIED and contributory negligence, which I thought were very very small issues. They noted those missing issues and gave me a 60 but said everything else was great. I was so sure I would've got 70 or higher on that based on my own scoring. If this is a barbri scare tactic, and not real grading, I don't think it's productive. We should be studying broadly, and not for the smallest details, right? Ugh!

I may, bite the bullet and maybe pay for a grader. My school gives us a free baressays.com account, and I noticed that they sell grading packages. The smallest is for 2 essays, but that's $99, ouch!


Counterpoint. baressays.com freaked me out. Ultimately I felt like I only knew the law well on 2 on the essays, so I figured that based on the harsh grading curve I was fucked. But I wasn't. So my conclusion is that if you can write law essays, it's easy to do well, regardless of whether you actually know the law. On the other hand, it's probably hard to do well even if you study a lot of you struggle with #expeessingyourself.

Also you don't need 65's on the essays. Just on the PTS.

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El Pollito

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby El Pollito » Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:34 am

i don't get bar essays

why would you read answers of people who failed the bar?

i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby james11 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 2:08 pm

El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

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lacrossebrother

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jul 09, 2016 4:51 pm

james11 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

This is weird advice. "Just pass everything." state law only matters for evidence and PR. They've never tested ca civ pro. And the other shit just follows restatements/ucc's. Maybe there's like one or two special caveats in wills/trusts? Community property is a two minute subject: if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom. For the other stuff, run through a premade quizlet once every four days and outline a couple answers. And then compare to the published sample answer. Fuck looking at the essays written by failures.

Here's my advice: prioritize learning evidence distinctions, then all the rest of mbe subjects, then PR.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby El Pollito » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:00 pm

I actually did know how the MBE would turn out because NY gave me my MBE score, so idk why I would kill myself to pass the essays.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby james11 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 5:42 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:
james11 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

This is weird advice. "Just pass everything." state law only matters for evidence and PR. They've never tested ca civ pro. And the other shit just follows restatements/ucc's. Maybe there's like one or two special caveats in wills/trusts? Community property is a two minute subject: if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom.

Here's my advice: prioritize learning evidence distinctions, then all the rest of mbe subjects, then PR.


Just because something worked for you does not mean it will work for everyone. There is no such thing as a "two minute subject." Maybe you are a genius that can learn a subject in two minutes, but the vast majority of people cannot. Community property is far more than "if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom." That's ridiculous.

There are more than "one or two special caveats" in wills/trusts. State law matters for all of the state law subjects. Your advice seems to blow off a lot of subjects. This is dangerous gambling and no review course/tutor would ever tell anyone to do this. California Civ Pro could very well be tested. It is due to be tested. It means nothing (except to gamble) to say it has not been tested. California wills/PR/evidence could be tested as well. And don't EVER count on "making up the law." This is a recipe for failure.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby LurkerTurnedMember » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:41 pm

james11 wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:
james11 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

This is weird advice. "Just pass everything." state law only matters for evidence and PR. They've never tested ca civ pro. And the other shit just follows restatements/ucc's. Maybe there's like one or two special caveats in wills/trusts? Community property is a two minute subject: if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom.

Here's my advice: prioritize learning evidence distinctions, then all the rest of mbe subjects, then PR.


Just because something worked for you does not mean it will work for everyone. There is no such thing as a "two minute subject." Maybe you are a genius that can learn a subject in two minutes, but the vast majority of people cannot. Community property is far more than "if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom." That's ridiculous.

There are more than "one or two special caveats" in wills/trusts. State law matters for all of the state law subjects. Your advice seems to blow off a lot of subjects. This is dangerous gambling and no review course/tutor would ever tell anyone to do this. California Civ Pro could very well be tested. It is due to be tested. It means nothing (except to gamble) to say it has not been tested. California wills/PR/evidence could be tested as well. And don't EVER count on "making up the law." This is a recipe for failure.


I couldn't agree more with this. I'm studying Community Property now and it's tougher than a two minute subject (a lot of specific rules for particular types of property).

Also,(take the following with a grain of salt because I'm going off hearsay/speculation) I've heard that the bar graders spend about 3 to 5 minutes max per essay. This seems believable since former bar graders themselves have said it and because there are so many essays that it's unreasonable to ask them to spend more than that per essay (or for them to do it even if asked). So I'm guessing what happens is exactly what happened if you graded law review write ons. You were busy, you had a million other things to do, you were tired, and the last thing you wanted to do was read an infinite amount of 15 page notes that were pretty much the same. So you just read over the grading rubric once to get a feel for what you're looking for and skimmed through the notes, saying "this one feels like" an X score. You put that score down, and moved on to the next note.

That's why I'm thinking the best thing to do is to be very well organized, use good headings, and be methodical to a fault, even if you start sounding like a robot (for every heading, even if obvious: "The issue is X. The rule is Y. Here, Z. In conclusion, A" and repeat and repeat and repeat until you've filled out all the outlined headings). And to do this, of course, you gotta know the rules fairly well, cause you won't know what heading to use in the first place if you don't know the elements or the rule.

I'm surprised by how many people are going into it as if it were the MPRE, saying things like, "it's a two minute subject" or that it's ok to overgeneralize or make up the rules (why are you studying then or do you just not trust your imagination?). If I'm skimming your answer and the headings don't match the elements, or the rule is obviously off cause your whole part or subpart is engaging facts that shouldn't be engaged (probably because you made up a rule or overgeneralized it), your answer is gonna stand out not in a good way, but as in "wait, what is this person saying? Urgh, I gotta pause Orange Is The New Black now and pay more attention. Oh that's off, and that, and that." Your answer's not gonna "feel" like a passing one.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:47 pm

I'm an average student and I passed two bars (including Cali) studying less than a hundred hours each. I read this board a lot and figured out what makes sense. A lot of people who are smarter than me study a lot more and fail. To put some perspective on how much I didn't study California shit, I had no idea on day 1 that the California PTs were not the same as MPTs. But I knew the shit out of mbe subjects.
My advice isn't to discount the exam. But it's certainly to discount certain subjects. You can only absorb so much in a certain amount of days. If your strategy is to learn every rule no matter how likely it is to get tested, I promise you you're doing it wrong.
Last edited by lacrossebrother on Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby james11 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:48 pm

LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
james11 wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:
james11 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

This is weird advice. "Just pass everything." state law only matters for evidence and PR. They've never tested ca civ pro. And the other shit just follows restatements/ucc's. Maybe there's like one or two special caveats in wills/trusts? Community property is a two minute subject: if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom.

Here's my advice: prioritize learning evidence distinctions, then all the rest of mbe subjects, then PR.


Just because something worked for you does not mean it will work for everyone. There is no such thing as a "two minute subject." Maybe you are a genius that can learn a subject in two minutes, but the vast majority of people cannot. Community property is far more than "if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom." That's ridiculous.

There are more than "one or two special caveats" in wills/trusts. State law matters for all of the state law subjects. Your advice seems to blow off a lot of subjects. This is dangerous gambling and no review course/tutor would ever tell anyone to do this. California Civ Pro could very well be tested. It is due to be tested. It means nothing (except to gamble) to say it has not been tested. California wills/PR/evidence could be tested as well. And don't EVER count on "making up the law." This is a recipe for failure.


I couldn't agree more with this. I'm studying Community Property now and it's tougher than a two minute subject (a lot of specific rules for particular types of property).

Also,(take the following with a grain of salt because I'm going off hearsay/speculation) I've heard that the bar graders spend about 3 to 5 minutes max per essay. This seems believable since former bar graders themselves have said it and because there are so many essays that it's unreasonable to ask them to spend more than that per essay (or for them to do it even if asked). So I'm guessing what happens is exactly what happened if you graded law review write ons. You were busy, you had a million other things to do, you were tired, and the last thing you wanted to do was read an infinite amount of 15 page notes that were pretty much the same. So you just read over the grading rubric once to get a feel for what you're looking for and skimmed through the notes, saying "this one feels like" an X score. You put that score down, and moved on to the next note.

That's why I'm thinking the best thing to do is to be very well organized, use good headings, and be methodical to a fault, even if you start sounding like a robot (for every heading, even if obvious: "The issue is X. The rule is Y. Here, Z. In conclusion, A" and repeat and repeat and repeat until you've filled out all the outlined headings). And to do this, of course, you gotta know the rules fairly well, cause you won't know what heading to use in the first place if you don't know the elements or the rule.

I'm surprised by how many people are going into it as if it were the MPRE, saying things like, "it's a two minute subject" or that it's ok to overgeneralize or make up the rules (why are you studying then or do you just not trust your imagination?). If I'm skimming your answer and the headings don't match the elements, or the rule is obviously off cause your whole part or subpart is engaging facts that shouldn't be engaged (probably because you made up a rule or overgeneralized it), your answer is gonna stand out not in a good way, but as in "wait, what is this person saying? Urgh, I gotta pause Orange Is The New Black now and pay more attention. Oh that's off, and that, and that." Your answer's not gonna "feel" like a passing one.


+1

This is an example of a real community property essay that scored 85.

http://www.makethisyourlasttime.com/wp- ... rop_85.pdf

You can see how this person knew all the special CP rules and exceptions VERY well, such as transmutaton, tort personal injury settlements, debts and liabilities, stock options, etc.

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:50 pm

james11 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
james11 wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:
james11 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

This is weird advice. "Just pass everything." state law only matters for evidence and PR. They've never tested ca civ pro. And the other shit just follows restatements/ucc's. Maybe there's like one or two special caveats in wills/trusts? Community property is a two minute subject: if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom.

Here's my advice: prioritize learning evidence distinctions, then all the rest of mbe subjects, then PR.


Just because something worked for you does not mean it will work for everyone. There is no such thing as a "two minute subject." Maybe you are a genius that can learn a subject in two minutes, but the vast majority of people cannot. Community property is far more than "if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom." That's ridiculous.

There are more than "one or two special caveats" in wills/trusts. State law matters for all of the state law subjects. Your advice seems to blow off a lot of subjects. This is dangerous gambling and no review course/tutor would ever tell anyone to do this. California Civ Pro could very well be tested. It is due to be tested. It means nothing (except to gamble) to say it has not been tested. California wills/PR/evidence could be tested as well. And don't EVER count on "making up the law." This is a recipe for failure.


I couldn't agree more with this. I'm studying Community Property now and it's tougher than a two minute subject (a lot of specific rules for particular types of property).

Also,(take the following with a grain of salt because I'm going off hearsay/speculation) I've heard that the bar graders spend about 3 to 5 minutes max per essay. This seems believable since former bar graders themselves have said it and because there are so many essays that it's unreasonable to ask them to spend more than that per essay (or for them to do it even if asked). So I'm guessing what happens is exactly what happened if you graded law review write ons. You were busy, you had a million other things to do, you were tired, and the last thing you wanted to do was read an infinite amount of 15 page notes that were pretty much the same. So you just read over the grading rubric once to get a feel for what you're looking for and skimmed through the notes, saying "this one feels like" an X score. You put that score down, and moved on to the next note.

That's why I'm thinking the best thing to do is to be very well organized, use good headings, and be methodical to a fault, even if you start sounding like a robot (for every heading, even if obvious: "The issue is X. The rule is Y. Here, Z. In conclusion, A" and repeat and repeat and repeat until you've filled out all the outlined headings). And to do this, of course, you gotta know the rules fairly well, cause you won't know what heading to use in the first place if you don't know the elements or the rule.

I'm surprised by how many people are going into it as if it were the MPRE, saying things like, "it's a two minute subject" or that it's ok to overgeneralize or make up the rules (why are you studying then or do you just not trust your imagination?). If I'm skimming your answer and the headings don't match the elements, or the rule is obviously off cause your whole part or subpart is engaging facts that shouldn't be engaged (probably because you made up a rule or overgeneralized it), your answer is gonna stand out not in a good way, but as in "wait, what is this person saying? Urgh, I gotta pause Orange Is The New Black now and pay more attention. Oh that's off, and that, and that." Your answer's not gonna "feel" like a passing one.


+1

This is an example of a real community property essay that scored 85.

http://www.makethisyourlasttime.com/wp- ... rop_85.pdf

You can see how this person knew all the special CP rules and exceptions VERY well, such as transmutaton, tort personal injury settlements, debts and liabilities, stock options, etc.

Do you not realize that this person fucking failed the exam? That's my whole point. They can go home and tell their pals they know everything about transmutation, but they're gonna have to spend another couple grand and another month trying to figure out how to get enough points elsewhere to pass.

james11

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby james11 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 6:52 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:
james11 wrote:
LurkerTurnedMember wrote:
james11 wrote:
lacrossebrother wrote:
james11 wrote:
El Pollito wrote:
i didn't learn much state law. i made up most or all of the law for the non-PT essays and just applied made up law. you can get a lot of points for doing that.


"Making up" the law is a nice way to get you a 50 or 55. The problem with this approach is that, by not learning the law you will not know all of the elements to a rule. By not knowing the elements to a rule you will miss sub-issues and sub-rules, and then fail the essay eventually.

Compare the real essays that score 55 vs 65 vs 75 and you will see the differences and what rules and issues are actually important to hit.

You can fail essays and still pass the exam by blowing away the PTs and MBE, but nobody should bank on doing this. You should aim to pass everything because you never know how things will turn out.

This is weird advice. "Just pass everything." state law only matters for evidence and PR. They've never tested ca civ pro. And the other shit just follows restatements/ucc's. Maybe there's like one or two special caveats in wills/trusts? Community property is a two minute subject: if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom.

Here's my advice: prioritize learning evidence distinctions, then all the rest of mbe subjects, then PR.


Just because something worked for you does not mean it will work for everyone. There is no such thing as a "two minute subject." Maybe you are a genius that can learn a subject in two minutes, but the vast majority of people cannot. Community property is far more than "if it existed before, or was intended to not come into the marriage, then it's not in there. Boom." That's ridiculous.

There are more than "one or two special caveats" in wills/trusts. State law matters for all of the state law subjects. Your advice seems to blow off a lot of subjects. This is dangerous gambling and no review course/tutor would ever tell anyone to do this. California Civ Pro could very well be tested. It is due to be tested. It means nothing (except to gamble) to say it has not been tested. California wills/PR/evidence could be tested as well. And don't EVER count on "making up the law." This is a recipe for failure.


I couldn't agree more with this. I'm studying Community Property now and it's tougher than a two minute subject (a lot of specific rules for particular types of property).

Also,(take the following with a grain of salt because I'm going off hearsay/speculation) I've heard that the bar graders spend about 3 to 5 minutes max per essay. This seems believable since former bar graders themselves have said it and because there are so many essays that it's unreasonable to ask them to spend more than that per essay (or for them to do it even if asked). So I'm guessing what happens is exactly what happened if you graded law review write ons. You were busy, you had a million other things to do, you were tired, and the last thing you wanted to do was read an infinite amount of 15 page notes that were pretty much the same. So you just read over the grading rubric once to get a feel for what you're looking for and skimmed through the notes, saying "this one feels like" an X score. You put that score down, and moved on to the next note.

That's why I'm thinking the best thing to do is to be very well organized, use good headings, and be methodical to a fault, even if you start sounding like a robot (for every heading, even if obvious: "The issue is X. The rule is Y. Here, Z. In conclusion, A" and repeat and repeat and repeat until you've filled out all the outlined headings). And to do this, of course, you gotta know the rules fairly well, cause you won't know what heading to use in the first place if you don't know the elements or the rule.

I'm surprised by how many people are going into it as if it were the MPRE, saying things like, "it's a two minute subject" or that it's ok to overgeneralize or make up the rules (why are you studying then or do you just not trust your imagination?). If I'm skimming your answer and the headings don't match the elements, or the rule is obviously off cause your whole part or subpart is engaging facts that shouldn't be engaged (probably because you made up a rule or overgeneralized it), your answer is gonna stand out not in a good way, but as in "wait, what is this person saying? Urgh, I gotta pause Orange Is The New Black now and pay more attention. Oh that's off, and that, and that." Your answer's not gonna "feel" like a passing one.


+1

This is an example of a real community property essay that scored 85.

http://www.makethisyourlasttime.com/wp- ... rop_85.pdf

You can see how this person knew all the special CP rules and exceptions VERY well, such as transmutaton, tort personal injury settlements, debts and liabilities, stock options, etc.

Do you not realize that this person fucking failed the exam? That's my whole point.


How does that make any difference? The person scored 85 on this essay. They could have failed the PTs or MBE. They could have gotten sick and walked out on one day. That's totally irrelevant to the fact that this essay scored 85.

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lacrossebrother

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:01 pm

You seem like a moron. Did you fail this exam before? Nobody is denying that knowing more rules gets you more points on a single subject essay. But aiming for 85s is a bad strategy. Especially on non-mbe subjects.

80+% of USC grads pass this exam. Do you know what a bottom 20% person looks like at USC? Probably not because they can't even form coherent sentences. But they still manage to pass--because even they realize that studying the essentials is a better move than learning about transmutation.

james11

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby james11 » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:05 pm

lacrossebrother wrote:You seem like a moron. Did you fail this exam before? Nobody is denying that knowing more rules gets you more points on a single subject essay. But aiming for 85s is a bad strategy. Especially on non-mbe subjects.


I'm certainly not as smart as you. I could not study 100 hours and pass this exam, as you say you did. Nor can 98% of the people.

For the rest of us morons, I think it is best not to skimp or gamble or spend two minutes on any subject, to learn about transmutation (which is a basic CP concept), and aim to write essays that score 65 or above on any subject they might test.

And USC is a great law school. A top 20 law school. I would not put down anyone that went there, even the bottom 20%.
Last edited by james11 on Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:09 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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lacrossebrother

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Re: How hard is it to get 65 on California essays (Barbri is confusing)?

Postby lacrossebrother » Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:08 pm

Trying to ace this exam is a gamble. It is not an intelligence test. It is a competency exam. And it is a very good school. But bottom 20% at any law school outside the top 6 should not be lawyers.



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