Foreign educated, passed NY F2017. This is what I did

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Aavni

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Foreign educated, passed NY F2017. This is what I did

Postby Aavni » Wed Apr 26, 2017 3:47 am

Hey everyone. First, congrats to those who passed and good luck to those who will retake - you will make it.

I am an Israeli law school graduate who passed the Israeli bar exam and moved on to take the NY bar exam. Israel is a common law jurisdiction and I did not need an LLM.

I took Kaplan's regular, non-LLM online course. Paid $1300 for it, and used no other supplements. I started with a practice exam before learning anything and got 110 questions right, which is pretty good and probably was helped by having a common law background. I am not a native English speaker however, and was not familiar with many legal terms. My English is good though so this was not a serious issue once I completed the course.

I started 3 months before the exam but only picked up pace 2 months before. I wasn't working. I completed 100% of the course and answered about 1000 MBE questions. My midterm score was 130 unscaled, and final was 140. Kaplan said my real MBE will be 15-25 points higher. I completed the course something like 4 days before the exam and didn't really do their personalized program which you are supposed to do in the last two weeks. I also didn't write a lot of essays and would have put more effort in studying the MEE materials.

The MEE was a nightmare. I submitted 7 essays or so that I wrote with open books and still got low barely-passing scores on them. I just couldn't remember enough law and was shocked by each and every essay I took. I tried making my own outlines for all 14 subjects and that probably helped eventually.

I also had hard time with civpro, con law and evidence as I didn't have much background coming from an Israeli law school.

I entered the exam quite confident due to my good performance in Kaplan's practice exams. The MPT felt OK, I did only 2 at home and felt I got the hang of it. The essays were a disaster - I finished all of them and gave 30 minutes to each, but I didn't remember much law and bulshitted 4 out of the 6 - I only felt fine with contracts and something else I don't remember. Trusts, family law and corporations were mostly made up.

The second day's morning session was actually great. I had a few minutes to spare, the questions were not too long and not too tricky. The afternoon session was much worse. I didn't bring a watch and luckily my neighbor lended me hers. I fell behind in the third hour and was doing the last 30 questions very quickly but I did finish answering everything.

I came out feeling pretty good. I read that people who bulshitted essays passed and I kind of knew nobody remembers the law all that well. I was a little troubled by my afternoon MBE performance. I was definitely tired and in hindsight I should have got some energy drinks during the break (I don't drink coffee). Instead I went up the Corning tower in Albany and enjoyed the view.

I guessed that I will get something between 270 and 310. I didn't bother myself too much but was anxious the next 2-3 days. I became terribly stressed the week before the results came and barely left the house. I started feeling like I failed and braced myself for a 253.

My result was 296 with a 162.1 MBE. Kaplan's estimate was correct, and my MEE score was bad but not terrible. I'm very happy this is over and that I chose Kaplan's non-LLM program. Most of the lectures and professors were very good (some weren't) and the MBE bank and essay grading were great. I heard that LLM specific courses charge more but give you the same content so don't bother paying more for some useless tweaks. Hope it helps!

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cnk1220

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Re: Foreign educated, passed NY F2017. This is what I did

Postby cnk1220 » Wed Apr 26, 2017 4:19 am

Did you take the exam in albany? I remember there was an israeli llm student diagonally behind me (like to my left diag. behind) I had an Australian girl as my table mate (she would have been directly in front of you). Just wondering if that was you lol.

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PersistentAttorney

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Re: Foreign educated, passed NY F2017. This is what I did

Postby PersistentAttorney » Wed Apr 26, 2017 5:21 am

Congrats on your results!

Foreign educated second time taker here. Passed with 142 MBE and 275 UBE.

Common law educated too but from England. Thus, I was substantially familiar with Common Law terms and principles, although I don't thi.

Also did Kaplan. I got 125/200 raw in my midterm and 105/200 in the final exam (Kaplan Final). But I did study my ass off after I saw that final score as it really shook me. I did approx 1200 MBE questions while preparing for my second attempt and really focused on the explanations given both for the correct answer and why the others are wrong. I kept notes of the most significant facts and applicable rules for the questions I got wrong or even of the ones I got right but wasn't sure of when I answered them. Then I went through these notes again and again and again. Similarly, I did the same for all 400 questions of the midterm and final Kaplan exams.

I did a couple MPTs and 5-6 essays in timed conditions using IRAC. It proved enough for me to pass.

If you are a foreign applicant and you are reading this: PLEASE DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS EXAM by reading success stories in here. It is very very demanding and you really need to prepare. Statistics for foreign takers do tell the truth - and the truth is harsh! Investing time is not enough alone. You need to prepare right. Make sure you know the legal rules. Practicing with MBE questions and making flexcards will help you with that. Do at least 1200 questions and at least 2 prep course exams and revise all answer explanations - both for the questions you got wrong and right. Try to memorize the facts as real MBE questions are quite similar to the ones you will do in your prep course.

I believe that my UBE score would be at least 10 points higher if I took the exam in July as the February mean is too low and really affects both MBE and essay scaling.

Congrats on everyone that passed and good luck to everyone aspiring to take the bar exam!

Aavni

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Re: Foreign educated, passed NY F2017. This is what I did

Postby Aavni » Wed Apr 26, 2017 9:36 am

cnk1220 wrote:Did you take the exam in albany? I remember there was an israeli llm student diagonally behind me (like to my left diag. behind) I had an Australian girl as my table mate (she would have been directly in front of you). Just wondering if that was you lol.


I took it in Albany, but I'm not a student :)

bar_is_killing_me

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Re: Foreign educated, passed NY F2017. This is what I did

Postby bar_is_killing_me » Wed Apr 26, 2017 11:43 am

CONGRATS!

I'm not foreign educated but I had only 19 days to prepare. I started on February 1 and concluded my studies on February 19. I did have four weeks to study for this for F2016, but I failed by 5 points. I used the same outlines from F2016 + Critical FlashCards (Amazing!) and did about 1300 practice questions during this 19 day period. 300 questions were from Themis, 50 Questions from the NCBE, and 950 from Kaplan. I took 2 simulation exams - 1 from Kaplan and 1 from Themis, each 200 questions. This is included in the 1,300 questions I did. I compiled a list of wrong questions and only had time to review them twice. I reviewed my outlines twice as well.

I spent 5 days for the MEE by reviewing outlines and reviewing about 30 past MEE essays. I did not practice writing, just outlining a couple of essay questions. I also spent 30 minutes on the MPT by watching some YouTube clips. Essentially, I spent the majority of my time on MBEs.

Obviously, this was not ideal, but given my time constraints, I had no choice. I was 60% sure I had failed.



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