sssnuggles wrote:Well.... This sucks.
July 2016 CA Bar Exam
Essay 1: 55
Essay 2: 60
Essay 3: 50
Essay 4: 55
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 55
Raw Written: 550.0
Scaled Written: 1255.2812
Scaled MBE: 1543
Total Scaled Score: 1355.9832
Barbri - 98% completion
Adaptibar - Overall Average: 61.9% Questions Answered: 704 [All Users: 60.7% overall average Questions Answered: 616]
baressays.com - i reviewed essays that scored 65 and up.
Most people I have talked to or read about seemed to have had low MBE and average essay/PT scores. My problem is the opposite. I had terrible essays and a strong MBE score. At this point I feel that I need to work on formatting my essays (maybe issue spotting as well), but I don't know the best course of action. Watching Barbri videos seems like a waste since I grasp the majority of the concepts. Does anyone have any input on what bar programs, tools, or tips may help me excel in February? I will throw money at any program that will help me pass (because i believe that 6 more months of "not being an attorney" is more expensive than any bar prep program out there).
Given your high MBE score, I think you know the law quite well! So that's a great start (and a relief if you have to retake it in July since the MBE will take up half your score, not just 35%).
Although you "know" the law, you must still be able to generate words that prove it. Your essay scores were all within 50-60 points, which is pretty consistent. So you likely need to improve (1) IRACing/presentation and (2) identifying and presenting the relevant issues.
Quick suggestions that have worked for me and others:
- Don't watch Barbri lectures anymore
- Look at essays that scored lower than 65 on BarEssays too!
- Once you get the application part down for each subject (since each subject has its own approach), focus on identifying issues and reciting good rules
- I had this problem too and was one of the tweaks that made a major difference: Don't rely on "spotting" issues out of thin air. Remember that the bar is a closed universe, and you don't need to be creative with it. You only need to go through the finite list of issues and subissues that are available (like a word bank). Hence, rather than randomly spotting issues (yuck), you are checking for issues systematically
- Master the fundamentals of IRAC: IRACing is literally all you do on the bar, whether you're answering MBE questions, doing essays, or setting up PTs. Imagine if you improved this skill so that you got 5 more points on each essay/PT. You probably would have passed!
Basically, issues are seeds you must plant so that IRACs (your "units" of arguments) sprout from them. If you fail to identify the correct issues, you're toast because you will get ZERO credit for unidentified issues. You can at least get partial credit for incomplete rules/application. Get the the issues and subissues right, and the rest will come out on its own (relatively) and you'll rack up points like you just won the jackpot