Advice for a third time failure

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lawst_

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Advice for a third time failure

Postby lawst_ » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:32 am

So I'll say this up front -- I already feel awful and I'm not really interested in negative comments or comments about my intelligence or ability to be a lawyer. Please only respond if you're willing to be understanding and helpful.

That aside, I have now failed the IL bar 3 times. I'm numb and don't really know what to think or what to do now. Friends and family are pretty insistent upon me taking it again, a fourth time, because they believe I'll never be happy unless I pass (probably true). But I'm not sure I have the capacity to spend another 2-3 months studying and then walk into the test knowing what has happened every other time I've taken it.

So here's my dilemma:
-Do I take IL again?
-Do I take UBE in a state with a lower score requirement and then hope IL will eventually come around to the UBE and waive in?
-Do I call it quits?

I have a job that doesn't require the bar, but I'd REALLY like to explore other avenues that may require a bar. I'm still waiting on my score report but I'd guess that, once again, the MBE fucked me. I felt slightly more confident about it, though I ran out of time on both AM and PM and had to fill in approx 5-10 random answers. This has happened to me every bar exam and I don't know how to fix it (people saying you finished with 30-60 minutes.... TELL ME YOUR SECRETS)

Any/all advice is appreciated. I'm feeling pretty miserable. I know I'm a capable and intelligent person...it just isn't translating into this standardized test.

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kellyfrost

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby kellyfrost » Mon Oct 03, 2016 11:54 am

I understand this is difficult and you are probably very upset, distraught, and feel defeated, but you have to keep your chin up. It is alright, and perfectly normal to feel the way you do, but give yourself a little time to feel like this and then get back to the grind.

As far as taking a UBE state's exam, that is certainly a possibility. Would you be willing to relocate? Can you take the test in a neighboring JX and just sit tight at your current job for some time?

People fail this exam every year. People also fail this exam multiple times. You can pass and you will, it has just taken you longer than you imagined or planned.

I wouldn't get too discouraged and keep fighting. You know your study plan and habits and what works best for you better than I do. Look into ways to revamp your study plan or material.

The true test of the professional is to get back in the saddle and ride again when they have just been faced with results that are not favorable.
Last edited by kellyfrost on Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

LockBox

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby LockBox » Mon Oct 03, 2016 12:51 pm

lawst_ wrote:So I'll say this up front -- I already feel awful and I'm not really interested in negative comments or comments about my intelligence or ability to be a lawyer. Please only respond if you're willing to be understanding and helpful.

That aside, I have now failed the IL bar 3 times. I'm numb and don't really know what to think or what to do now. Friends and family are pretty insistent upon me taking it again, a fourth time, because they believe I'll never be happy unless I pass (probably true). But I'm not sure I have the capacity to spend another 2-3 months studying and then walk into the test knowing what has happened every other time I've taken it.

So here's my dilemma:
-Do I take IL again?
-Do I take UBE in a state with a lower score requirement and then hope IL will eventually come around to the UBE and waive in?
-Do I call it quits?

I have a job that doesn't require the bar, but I'd REALLY like to explore other avenues that may require a bar. I'm still waiting on my score report but I'd guess that, once again, the MBE fucked me. I felt slightly more confident about it, though I ran out of time on both AM and PM and had to fill in approx 5-10 random answers. This has happened to me every bar exam and I don't know how to fix it (people saying you finished with 30-60 minutes.... TELL ME YOUR SECRETS)

Any/all advice is appreciated. I'm feeling pretty miserable. I know I'm a capable and intelligent person...it just isn't translating into this standardized test.


In order to get some pertinent advice, can you tell us how you prepared for the exam in general and specifically the MBE? How many questions did you do, what was your method of review etc.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby thegrayman » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:07 pm

I finished both NY and CA with time to spare by just having supreme confidence in my answer choice, regardless. Take the time to read the question, but once you pick an answer mark it, forget the question ever existed, and move on. You lose a ton of time by going back and forth only to settle on the choice you initially picked, or struggling between two incorrect answer choices where it doesn't matter at all which you pick.

How was your mental state on the actual exam? That plays a huge role as well. Were you comfortable or did you feel like the world was falling down around you as you took the exam? As hard as it is, you really need to relax when you're taking the exam. Easier said than done, I know, but you can pick up a ton of points simply by being relaxed and having some confidence in yourself when you're actually taking the exam.

Best of luck.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby udonisandtrinity » Tue Oct 04, 2016 12:28 pm

What were your MBE scores for those three times you took the exam?

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby joeyc328 » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:19 pm

How far off were you?

What bar materials did you use?

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby illegallad » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:45 pm

Just passed IL.

First, let me say I wouldn't wish what happened to you on my worst enemy and I'm super impressed that you're able to keep getting back on the horse and studying. It says a lot about your tenacity and dedication.

Now for my advice, I'm convinced that the only way to pass the MBE (and to a lesser extent the essays) is to know the law down cold. When I took the simulated MBE I got a score that was well within the failing range for IL. I realized that following a bar prep course to a T would mean I was likely to fail, so I consulted my friends. One of my friends suggested I make my own flash cards with questions regarding rules of law and the rule of law on the back. In the three weeks before the bar, I made close to 1000 flash cards with the entire convisor outline MBE material and most essay stuff on them. Those flash cards were glued to the hip, if I was at the gym, the bar, at a friends house, etc. Those cards were with me. My practice MBE scores shot through the roof, from 40-50% right to 80% right or better. It also gave me a foundation for the essays. Also I read every Barbri model answer for the essays, didn't outline them, definitely didn't write them out, but made more flash cards of the scenarios the essays presented and barbri's model answer to the problem. Come the actual bar, I felt decent on the essays. For the MBE I was still blindsided, like everyone always is, but I started eliminating answers I knew were wrong and giving it my best guess. It seemed to work out in the end.

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VSCPGH

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby VSCPGH » Tue Oct 04, 2016 2:54 pm

illegallad wrote:Just passed IL.

First, let me say I wouldn't wish what happened to you on my worst enemy and I'm super impressed that you're able to keep getting back on the horse and studying. It says a lot about your tenacity and dedication.

Now for my advice, I'm convinced that the only way to pass the MBE (and to a lesser extent the essays) is to know the law down cold. When I took the simulated MBE I got a score that was well within the failing range for IL. I realized that following a bar prep course to a T would mean I was likely to fail, so I consulted my friends. One of my friends suggested I make my own flash cards with questions regarding rules of law and the rule of law on the back. In the three weeks before the bar, I made close to 1000 flash cards with the entire convisor outline MBE material and most essay stuff on them. Those flash cards were glued to the hip, if I was at the gym, the bar, at a friends house, etc. Those cards were with me. My practice MBE scores shot through the roof, from 40-50% right to 80% right or better. It also gave me a foundation for the essays. Also I read every Barbri model answer for the essays, didn't outline them, definitely didn't write them out, but made more flash cards of the scenarios the essays presented and barbri's model answer to the problem. Come the actual bar, I felt decent on the essays. For the MBE I was still blindsided, like everyone always is, but I started eliminating answers I knew were wrong and giving it my best guess. It seemed to work out in the end.


+1 on the essay prep. I failed last year (PA) in July, and will know if I pass hopefully this week as I retook the 2nd time this past July so my advice won't be proven decent until I get results; however, reading those Barbri sample answers to the past published essay questions were a God-send. Not the "examiner analysis" that quotes cases (because... really?) but the Barbri model passing answer. I ripped out those pages and highlighted them to death. I felt so good on the essays as a result. I don't think Barbri assigns you all of the essays in that book, but I made sure I ready every single one of them and the answer.

As for the MBE, that has been my struggling point. That's why I didn't pass last year. This summer I took every single MBE question Barbri provides you, whether it be actually MBE questions, MPQs, etc. and made sure I wrote out ALL my wrong answers... It remains to be seen if my strategy worked; however, I felt much better this go around than I did last year.

However, I may be turning to this thread for solace if I don't pass again... :lol:

Keep in mind - the most successful people are not the ones that are good test takers. Successful people overcome hurdles, and what makes them successful is that they continue to pick themselves up and move forward. How you perform on some out-dated, overrated, overpriced exam does not correlate whatsoever to your ultimate happiness and success. Heck, my richest friends were told they would never amount to anything, repeatedly, and let that fuel their fire. I also know a lot of broke lawyers who got straight As and are waiting tables because their law firm jobs aren't cutting it. So hang in there and know that what is meant to happen will happen!

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby lawst_ » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:21 pm

joeyc328 wrote:How far off were you?

What bar materials did you use?


Missed by 7 points this time. Once I knew I failed, I knew it would be by a larger margin.

I self studied because I honestly couldn't afford a bar prep company and was so broke that I couldn't find a spare $350 for Adaptibar.

My studying essentially went as follows: review Barbri's CMR for each MBE topic. Make my own outlines based on that. Do Kaplan MBE questions to practice.

Didn't practice the essays until the very end of my prep, which probably screwed me this time around. Previously I scored very high on the essays, this time around I was average or below on every essay.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby lawst_ » Tue Oct 04, 2016 4:23 pm

thegrayman wrote:I finished both NY and CA with time to spare by just having supreme confidence in my answer choice, regardless. Take the time to read the question, but once you pick an answer mark it, forget the question ever existed, and move on. You lose a ton of time by going back and forth only to settle on the choice you initially picked, or struggling between two incorrect answer choices where it doesn't matter at all which you pick.

How was your mental state on the actual exam? That plays a huge role as well. Were you comfortable or did you feel like the world was falling down around you as you took the exam? As hard as it is, you really need to relax when you're taking the exam. Easier said than done, I know, but you can pick up a ton of points simply by being relaxed and having some confidence in yourself when you're actually taking the exam.

Best of luck.


Appreciate the advice. I did find myself going back to a lot of questions after narrowing it down. However, I felt mostly calm during the exam, even surprised myself and gained confidence when topics showed up that I knew immediately. That being said, timing ended up being an issue toward the end, and I guessed on at least 50% of property questions.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby LockBox » Tue Oct 04, 2016 7:39 pm

lawst_ wrote:
joeyc328 wrote:How far off were you?

What bar materials did you use?


Missed by 7 points this time. Once I knew I failed, I knew it would be by a larger margin.

I self studied because I honestly couldn't afford a bar prep company and was so broke that I couldn't find a spare $350 for Adaptibar.

My studying essentially went as follows: review Barbri's CMR for each MBE topic. Make my own outlines based on that. Do Kaplan MBE questions to practice.

Didn't practice the essays until the very end of my prep, which probably screwed me this time around. Previously I scored very high on the essays, this time around I was average or below on every essay.


How many Kaplan questions did you do this time around? Any idea what your accuracy rate was? I would seriously advocate for adaptibar...

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby bardrinker » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:01 pm

Also just passed IL.

Let me just echo the others to begin. I'm sorry you didn't pass but man kudos on your resolve. Also, don't give up on the bar just yet.

I hesitate to tell you a "best" way to study. My study method was different than virtually all of my LS friends that took the bar. Here's what I mean by different. We all took the same prep course, but our methods varied. Some wrote outlines. Some wrote flash cards. I used adaptibar and bought the critical pass MBE flashcards. I barely touched the critical pass flash cards. I listened to the barbri lectures and filled in the outlines to the lectures as well. I also did a ton of adaptibar mbe questions. In hindsight, the critical pass flash cards were a stupid purchase on my part. I never used flash cards in undergrad or law school, and shouldn't have tried to start using them for the bar. I'm an audible learner. I retain more from listening to a lecture than I do from reading an outline. The reason I say all of this is because I would hesitate to try doing what someone else has done just because he/she passed the bar. Also, for what it's worth, I very rarely ever touched my conviser mini review or the full outlines Barbri gives you.

Were I in your shoes, I would reevaluate my own study habits. Are you studying efficiently? I'm operating on a lot of assumptions here but typically time management issues can be mitigated by preparation. Did you practice MBE Q's under timed conditions? I found this very helpful for not only answering MBE questions but giving me a feel for how quickly I needed to move. I really can't point to one specific thing that I think helped me to pass I just put a shit load of time in. I wrote practice essays and did a ton of MBE questions. I did both under timed conditions once I became comfortable with my level of knowledge in the various areas of law.

I hope that there something above that will help you to approach your preparation in a way that allows you to be successful in the future. I definitely would not give up. You obviously have put a ton of time/money/effort into this endeavor already. I wish you all the best and will be happy to help in any way that I can moving forward if you have any questions.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby GDbarexam » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:09 pm

I'm right there with you. I just want you to know we are not going through this alone. I agree with the fact that it dwindles down to our study habits and what works best for us. I continued to listen to classmates and what they were doing and it worked for them, yet not for me. The first time I took it I did literally every single assignment Barbri offered. Worst decision ever. We will overcome this. The fact that we are not giving up says a lot about our character and determination. We will be licensed lawyers. And we will be amazing at our jobs I guarantee it.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Oct 05, 2016 12:38 pm

Advice can be a bit tough without knowing the specifics as to how you studied for prior attempts at the exam, but having taught the MBE for some time now one commonality I do notice among almost all students is not spending enough time working on understanding the logic (or lack thereof) of the incorrect answer choices, and in general not spending enough time on test-taking strategies. There is a ton of law to stuff into our head for the test so most of our time is spent memorizing the law but a balance is needed in which the content is learned but an understanding of the test is also gained.

My advice would be as you continue to work through practice questions to focus as much on the "distractors" (the wrong answer choices) as you do on the correct answer. Ask yourself "what is it about this answer that made it wrong?" It seems to me that the writers of the test have sort of an algorithm for creating distractors and the better you get at recognizing how they go about creating these wrong answers that seem quite correct the better you will get at spotting them.

To be clear, the MBE requires a strong foundation of knowledge. But I've worked with so many students who know the law well and don't succeed on the exam. So there is an element to this test that goes beyond legal knowledge for sure.

--Sean

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby Gamecubesupreme » Wed Oct 05, 2016 10:24 pm

I also failed three times in PA with Barbri and studied the same way all three times.

Figured I needed to make some drastic changes for my fourth try. Ended up using THEMIS and writing the exam with my hands. However, I didn't really change much with regards to studying habit. My weakness was also the MBE and I barely scored enough to pass on my fourth try. But it felt good.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby udonisandtrinity » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:18 pm

OP probably didn't study hard enough meaning he probably did not even complete a bar prep course or complete 1,000 MBE practice questions, which is kind of like the minimum on TLS.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby passx3 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 4:32 pm

udonisandtrinity wrote:OP probably didn't study hard enough meaning he probably did not even complete a bar prep course or complete 1,000 MBE practice questions, which is kind of like the minimum on TLS.


That really should be the bare minimum for practice questions. If you start 90 days before the test, that's like an average of 11 practice questions a day. You're talking about a 20 minute per day commitment. I did 2700+ questions and a full bar prep course while working full time.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby passx3 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:24 pm

Re-read Op's post, here's my advice:

The MBE is a learnable test. Buy adaptibar and Kaplan's MBE Qbank. Do all of the practice questions. Read the explanations. If you do this, you will have seen 80-90% of the MBE and you'll know the right answer vs. the trap answers immediately on the real thing. Or at least you will have a real instinct for the test.

As far as timing, I learned on my first shot at the LSAT that the worst thing is to fall behind on time. Since then I have operated on every exam under this guiding principle: you are not allowed to have a time issue on the exam. Avoid that at all costs. That is how I treated every section of the bar, including the essays. I spent exactly one hour on each of the essays in Florida (you get three hours for three essays). If I wasn't done writing my essay when an hour was up, too bad. I moved on. On the MBE you get a little less than two minutes per question. My strategy was to give myself about twenty seconds less than the allotted time on each question. Speed is the key. You take the minute and half per question to do your best to figure out the best answer. Once a minute and a half is done, you're done with the question so pick an answer and move on. Use that strategy and you won't have a time issue.

It sounds like you're spending time negotiating with answer choices - and based on your results it sounds like the time wasting isn't helping you figure out the right answer. Don't negotiate. Do your best to find a "best" answer choice in an extremely limited amount of time, and I bet you'll get a higher percentage correct and you'll actually have answered every question after a fair evaluation instead of running out of time.

That was my strategy, passed the MBE the first time in July 2016 with a 167 scaled.

EDIT to add: I see that you self-studied. There is no self-study for this exam. You need to find a way to get your hands on Kaplan or Themis and Adaptibar. It's a cost of doing business, and failure is far more expensive. Get adaptibar at the discounted rate and then persuade a lot of people to use your coupon code and get money back. Go to Themis and ask what it would take to be a rep and get a free course, or failing that, what's their bottom dollar on it. Make it happen.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:14 pm

passx3 wrote:Re-read Op's post, here's my advice:

The MBE is a learnable test. Buy adaptibar and Kaplan's MBE Qbank. Do all of the practice questions. Read the explanations. If you do this, you will have seen 80-90% of the MBE and you'll know the right answer vs. the trap answers immediately on the real thing. Or at least you will have a real instinct for the test.

As far as timing, I learned on my first shot at the LSAT that the worst thing is to fall behind on time. Since then I have operated on every exam under this guiding principle: you are not allowed to have a time issue on the exam. Avoid that at all costs. That is how I treated every section of the bar, including the essays. I spent exactly one hour on each of the essays in Florida (you get three hours for three essays). If I wasn't done writing my essay when an hour was up, too bad. I moved on. On the MBE you get a little less than two minutes per question. My strategy was to give myself about twenty seconds less than the allotted time on each question. Speed is the key. You take the minute and half per question to do your best to figure out the best answer. Once a minute and a half is done, you're done with the question so pick an answer and move on. Use that strategy and you won't have a time issue.

It sounds like you're spending time negotiating with answer choices - and based on your results it sounds like the time wasting isn't helping you figure out the right answer. Don't negotiate. Do your best to find a "best" answer choice in an extremely limited amount of time, and I bet you'll get a higher percentage correct and you'll actually have answered every question after a fair evaluation instead of running out of time.

That was my strategy, passed the MBE the first time in July 2016 with a 167 scaled.

EDIT to add: I see that you self-studied. There is no self-study for this exam. You need to find a way to get your hands on Kaplan or Themis and Adaptibar. It's a cost of doing business, and failure is far more expensive. Get adaptibar at the discounted rate and then persuade a lot of people to use your coupon code and get money back. Go to Themis and ask what it would take to be a rep and get a free course, or failing that, what's their bottom dollar on it. Make it happen.



Excellent advice.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby justtrying » Sat Oct 08, 2016 12:27 pm

Lots of people above have given good advice. I'd like to add that the way I handled the MBE was by treating every question as a process of elimination. It is extremely rare that the answer you would write on an essay test will appear in the choices. If it did, the question would be too easy. So read each prompt, come up with what you think the answer should be (if you can quickly) and then go to the answer choices. If the right one doesn't pop out at you, go one by one and see what you can eliminate. Even if you don't know the exact law on point re: the actual question, you can eliminate lots of answer choices just by knowing the law relevant to those choices (e.g., you know that the exception tested in answer choice (a) is wrong, so even if you don't know what the actual question is looking for, you can eliminate answer choice (a)).

Also, I used the app Flashcard Hero to make my own cards during the last couple of weeks. I find making my own flash cards helps memorization, but writing by hand takes too long. With the app, you can type and it goes a lot faster.

All this said, I don't know my actual scores because I passed IL and they don't give us our reports. But I scored well on the Barbri midterm (95+ percentile), so I would recommend trying out this technique if you haven't already.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby 9xSound » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:49 pm

Not passing sucks. After three failures, you may want to think about what it is that you have been studying. I would guess that the OP has studied the law. But a three-time repeater should be studying the test, not the law.

Re: the essays, the first thing you might focus on is delivering an answer to the express call of the question. This is easy to F up. When the call asks, "What causes of action might the plaintiff reasonably raise against the defendant?" you shouldn't be concluding with, "Therefore, the plaintiff will prevail against the defendant for an implied easement." The call doesn't ask whether the P would prevail. It calls upon you to discuss reasonable causes of action under the circs, and your conclusion should address the reasonableness of the P to raise it. Obviously, actions in which the P would likely prevail are the most important. But even if the plaintiff would not necessarily prevail, it could be reasonable to raise a given cause of action. The bar is substantially about focus of this sort.

Another aspect of the essays that invokes studying the test, not just the law, is understanding the goal of every subject. For instance, what is the underlying goal of a torts essay? Is it simply to show the grader that you know how analyze negligence or nuisance? No. If you go into the test having prepared simply to analyze battery and false light, then you've missed the point. The goal in torts is to find liability and spread that liability among as many of your client's opponents as possible. Advocate to make the other party pay. Every subject has a succinct goal or two that should be in the front of your mind. Whatever subject they throw at you, you put that respective goal into motion. This is what model answers do, even though they don't come right out and say, "The goal of this essay is blah..."

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby psu2016 » Sat Oct 08, 2016 9:42 pm

Not sure if this has been mentioned on here already...but Emmanuel's is truly fantastic for the MBE. Do every question and review every single answer choice explanation, whether you got the question right or wrong. For example, if you said C and the answer was C, look at why C is right and why A, B, and D are all wrong. Highlight the law statement from the answer explanations as you're going through. Emmanuel's is really great.

But again - do EVERY. SINGLE. QUESTION.

Every subject, the full lengths - EVERYTHING.

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby L_William_W » Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:26 pm

I attended law school in NYC. I had the lowest grades in the school and many people intimated that I only got in because of my skin color. It took me 7 semesters to graduate.

I took the bar exam in February 2014. When I saw the exam for the 1st time, I basically froze. I blanked out and forgot everything that I knew. I literally have a nervous breakdown. I got sick and couldn't complete the exam

July 2014- I went to the house of horrors known as the Javits Center. I completely fucked up on the MPT. Doing the MBE was like reading Mandarin. The nail in the coffin was the NY multiple choice section. As soon as I walked out of the Javits, I knew I totally bombed the exam.

When I got the results in November 2014, I felt like shit. My MBE was a pathetic 118.6. And to add salt to the wound, I was in an internship at the Queens Supreme Court with some other students from my school. I was the only one who flunked. This asshole bragged about how he passed. Two weeks after I got the results, I was kicked out.

At that point, I knew that there was no chance in hell of me passing NY. I simply didn't have it. Rather than to give up with the legal profession, however, I decided to pursue the silver medal.

I took the February 2015 bar exam...in New Jersey. I had health problems in the weeks preceding the exam and I was apprehensive of failing. Ultimately, I decided to just take the exam. Day one was the MBE. It was another curb stomp. On Day 2, I just gave up. I just went through the motions.

I received the results in May. As expected, I didn't pass. However, there was a silver lining in the dark cloud. Despite having another shitty MBE (123.2), I only failed by 7 points. And that was despite the fact that in 6 out of the 7 essays, I basically wrote gibberish.

Many people I knew said that I should stop trying to be a lawyer and that I should pursue other options. Rather than to stoop to their level, I simply took their insults with a grain of salt. Not to sound cliché, but I had faith in myself and believed that if I gave it my all, I could pass.

Before I prepared to take the July 2015 bar exam, I asked Barbri if I could enroll in their course. They told me that since I had already used them for my 3 previous attempt, I'd have to pay them an additional $1,000. I chose not to do so. That was one of the best decisions I ever made.

In my previous attempts, I focused on rote memorization, which is a flawed method. There's a difference between memorizing a rule and understanding when to apply it. That's why attending bar prep lectures is a waste of time. I bought some used bar prep books online and used them to make my own outlines. I also got copies of every past NJ bar exam essay question that I could get my hands on. I looked at patterns in both the questions asked and how they were answered. I literally prepared for every possible scenario. In addition, I enrolled in an Ameribar essay grader course (I couldn't afford their full bar course since I had already pissed away my money on Barbri and this other useless course called Bar Write). Ameribar had some tough essay graders, but their high standards prepared me for the exam.

As for the MBE, I ditched Adapitbar that I had previously used. Their questions are retired bar exam questions from the 1990's that do not reflect the level of difficulty of the current bar exams. Instead, I used Kaplan MBE books. Those are some of the toughest questions- just like the real exam. Whenever I did a question, I reviewed both the right answer and the "trap" answer (the incorrect but attractive answer). I fought dirty just like the NCBE people who make the exams. I also realized that there are some subjects that I'm better at than others (my best to worst subjects in order: Torts, Crim, Con Law, Evidence, Civ Pro, Contracts, Property). I spent extra time studying my best subjects and just went through the motions in my worst subjects. I figured that my stronger subjects would compensate for my weaker subjects. That strategy worked. I think I got at least 75-80% of the questions right in Torts and Crim. Conversely, I think I got 33% of the questions right in Property. My overall MBE was 130.2

When it was the day of the exam, I was too desperate to be scared. I'm over $100,000 in debt and I didn't have a job. I knew that it was all or nothing. The MBE's were hard, but I grinded it out. In the AM session, I was running out of time so with a minute left, I just selected C for the last 9 MBE's (I don't recommend this strategy. I should've spent less time on each question). At the end of the day, I had mixed feelings about the MBE.

On day two, it was the essays. I was literally regurgitating the answers from past exams. I felt confident in 6 out of the 7 essays. The only hard essay was property (of course). It had to do with the recording act, the one thing I didn't know. I simply data dumped some shit about the recording act.

On November 8, 2015, I was in a public library in NYC when I got an email from the New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners. My heart started racing. I nearly had a heart attack. I said a prayer and then opened the email. I saw the words, "congratulations on passing the bar exam". I literally started jumping up in the air and celebrating. It was the best fucking day of my life.

Anyone who prepares properly can pass any exam

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MavEryck

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Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby MavEryck » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:46 pm

Ok,

Here it is...

1. Don't ever give up.
2. You need to do MBE and Essays every day!
3. Look up the old questions for your jurisdiction. They are probably posted online. Do every one of those essays then compare your answer to the model answer. You spent very little time doing essays last time. That is never a good idea.
4. You need to be doing at least 2,000 MBE practice questions.

MBE Pass Method:

1. Read the question carefully. I know this sounds overly simple but do it. Get in the habit of reading the question carefully.
2. Once you have read the question, then look at the call of the question.
3. After reading the call of the question, formulate the answer in your head BEFORE looking at the answer choices.
4. Once you have the answer in your head, then find the answer choice in the answers provided.

You know the law... Let your mind guide you to the correct answer. Then you won't get sidetracked by the incorrect answers. Remember, you are looking for the BEST answer. There may be another answer that is close but not the BEST answer. That's why you have to formulate the answer in your head first. If you look at the answer choices before formulating the answer in your head then the distractor answer can be very tempting. Don't fall for the trap.

You will finish the MBE and have time left over if you follow this technique.

CHANGING ANSWERS:

Only change an answer if you can tell yourself EXACTLY why your original answer choice was not the BEST answer AND why the other answer choice is the BEST answer.

ANSWERS YOU DON'T KNOW:

If you really have no idea what the heck the question is about and all of the answers look like they are written in Ancient Greek... then first eliminate the absurd answer choices (there are two of them that are definitely NOT the best answers). These two answer choices might not even be about the right area of law or they do not even come close to answering the question.

Ex: (very basic example)
MJE Nonsense Question 36 (Average answer time 1 minute 38 seconds)

Pick the best Answer Choice from the answers provided below.

Daniel placed an ad in Wednesday's paper to sell some of the Baseball Cards that his Sports Memorabilia Store sells on a regular basis because the store has a surplus of 1988 Rookie Baseball Cards and has not had many buyers during the month of February. The regular price of a Baseball Card is $22.00 plus 10% sales tax. The ad stated "All Baseball Cards 50% off to the first 25 customers who purchase Baseball Cards by March 1st!" In the fine print, the ad stated "Must buy a minimum of two Baseball Cards." Daniel waited until 3:00pm on Sunday, March 1st and then closed the Sports Memorabilia Store two hours early. The store has never closed early in the past 30 years since Daniel's grandfather first opened the store for business. Abel arrived on Monday, March 2nd, when the store opened at 8:00 a.m. and stated that he had mailed a letter last Thursday with a check and a note stating "I accept your offer to purchase Baseball Cards. Enclosed please find my check for $25.00. Please hold as many Baseball Cards as $25.00 will purchase. I will arrive Monday March 2nd, to pick up the cards. Signed, Abel - Dated and mailed Thursday, February 26th." Daniel refused to honor Abel's request for Baseball Cards. Abel got upset and decided to go across the street and call his friend Brenda, who is a lawyer. Abel remembered that Brenda had a question just like this one on her Bar Exam and bragged about how fast she had answered the question because she already knew the answer before she even looked at the answers. But, the only thing Abel could remember was Brenda telling him something about the Law of Sales. Just as Abel was walking away, the U.S. Postal Worker arrived with the letter Abel had mailed, including the check for $25.00. It was not a Leap Year. Postal workers were on strike Saturday, February 28th and no mail was delivered.

Call of the question: Was there a valid contract?

A. Yes, because Abel accepted Daniel's offer with acceptance and bargained for consideration.
B. No, because according to Restatement 2nd of Contracts, written offers in newspapers do not apply to items as small as Baseball Cards.
C. No, because the acceptance letter was mailed on Thursday but arrived on Monday, March 2nd, after the offer ended on March 1st.
D. Yes, Baseball Cards are goods and their sale is governed by Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code ("UCC") and UCC 2-207 applies to the Rule Against Perpetuities.


Ok, did you formulate an answer in your head?

What did you decide?

Answer Choice D is incorrect because the RAP has nothing to do with contracts and is therefore inapplicable.
Answer Choice C is incorrect because the Mailbox Rule makes acceptance valid from the time acceptance was mailed. (If you chose Answer Choice C then you need to study until you know the rules better.)
Answer Choice B is incorrect because there is no such rule in the R2D of K.
Answer Choice A is incorrect because (just kidding) - You should have already determined that Answer Choice A was correct before even looking at the answers. Thus, you would not have spent any time even looking at the other answer choices. You would have selected Answer Choice A and moved on to the next question, without giving this question a second thought.

Why? Because a valid contract is comprised of offer, acceptance, and consideration. Assuming the ad was specific enough to be an offer, the mailbox rule will suffice for valid acceptance because the mailing date was prior to March 1, and the $25.00 check is bargained for consideration. Therefore, Answer Choice A is the BEST answer choice.

Original Poster... Do you see how much time you saved if you went straight to the correct answer (Answer Choice A) after already having that answer in your head and not spending even one second looking at the other answer choices?

Cellar-door

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Posts: 374
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:33 pm

Re: Advice for a third time failure

Postby Cellar-door » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:30 pm

Lot of really good advice in here on studying, I'm only going to talk on multiple choice timing, since I am one of those people who finish every multiple choice test super-early.

One question I have is why are you running out of time on the multiple choice? Is it because you spend a long time considering which answer to choose or is it a product of being a bit slower than average reader?

If it is the former, then the suggestions in this thread will help a lot, as knowing what you're looking for in the call lets you cut down options faster. I like to have an idea what they are asking first, then hit the facts which for most questions gets you down to no more than 2 possible answers. If you really have no clue, mark it and come back at the end. If you are down to 2, pick the one that seems most right and move on. Don't spend a ton of time just staring at answers, you're better off taking a 50/50 guess and not shorting a later question.

If it is the latter it is going to be harder, people who read faster than average (with comprehension obviously) have an advantage, and those who are slower readers are going to be at a disadvantage. You could try to improve reading speed, but I don't know how well those things work.
One strategy I used when I taught SAT's was to have kids set their timer short on practice tests. So for a 3 hour session give yourself 2:45 to force yourself to pick up the pace. I also think doing full timed sessions is important, because breaking it down by question isn't realistic to the test, you aren't going to measure 90 seconds out on each question, and trying to will just throw you off. Additionally, questions vary in time needed, whether it is length of prompt/responses, complexity etc. Some questions will take you 90 seconds or more, some should take you less than 30, get used to the rhythm of moving through a large number of questions, skipping forward and backwards etc.



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