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Postby ashleymdbartaker » Sun May 07, 2017 8:53 pm

Hi, so any constructive advice would be helpful, especially from a repeat taker. Here is my story. I graduated and took the VA bar in July and Feb, I took Barbri. I failed the first time by a few points, so I took it again in Feb and than failed by a larger margin. I followed their homework plan, did everything and had positive feedback. I was studying/working the whole time. After my Feb results, I decided to change states and took the MD bar this past July and Feb. I changed programs and did Shemer. In july I lost confidence during the exam, and did bad on the MBE which held me down. This time in Feb, I did adaptibar, and bought commercial flashcards, followed the shemer program, hired a tutor, and was still working. Anyhow just found out I failed but not sure by how much. Giving up is not an option, I want to practice. My question is from repeat takers, what did you do different? The MBE is what hurt me on the VA and MD bar. Any repeat takers in the same boat? What did you do different? Please no negative advice or comments. I am already heartbroken. Should I switch states and take it in a state with a "easier" bar? Should I retake MD?


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Postby dontgiveupthefight17 » Mon May 08, 2017 4:29 am

Hey, sorry to hear that you failed. I finally passed the bar on my 4th attempt so I know what you're going through. I shared my journey and provided some useful advice in the following thread:


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Postby rcharter1978 » Mon May 08, 2017 4:32 am

I took California, failed the first time, passed the second time. I think the lack of confidence thing is a big factor that people underestimate, it had a big impact on me after I didn't pass the first time.

This leads me to the next point. Because you lose confidence and you get desperate I think there is a natural tendency to just do EVERYTHING. So you get everything you can get your hands on. Which I think is a mistake, but its natural. After I failed, I did the same thing, in that I purchased everything, but realized that it was probably better to really focus my efforts on a few things that I felt worked for me, and maybe use anything else as an auxiliary.

My best advice would be to try to mimic whatever worked for you in law school. You're not going to suddenly become a flashcard learner if you buy critical pass flashcards.

I didn't sign up for Barbri the second time, because I felt it wasn't really that useful, even though I think they have great study materials (which I used to study the second time). Some people really love Barbri, I didn't. I thought their essay grading was hot garbage. Critical Pass flashcards are great, but I wasn't really a flashcard learner in school, so while I bought them, I used them sparingly. Lean sheets were great, but I used them sparingly.

The second time, I signed up for a repeaters course (not Barbri), got a tutor, did adaptibar, and used my Barbri books. I studied the way I did in school, which is very weird, but worked for me. Writing was my weakness, so I made absolutely sure that my tutor was a former bar grader.

In your case, a weakness with the MBEs should be a simple fix, though it won't be easy. A weakness in the MBE score may reflect a difficulty understanding the nuances in BLL. Which means you may need to really focus in on understanding BLL. Were it me, I would go section by section. For example, property. Take 3-4 days, review a section of property law each day, after each day do like 30 adaptibar questions and write down rules you get wrong and fully review the question. After the 4th day, when you're done reviewing property, try doing a cross section of 50-75 questions. Go through each portion of the MBE this way.

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Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Mon May 08, 2017 11:17 am

There is so much advice to give and so many variables based on individual strengths and weakness, so this is always a very difficult question to answer. But if there is one generalized piece of advice I give that seems to work for a large majority of people it's to be sure to write down the specific rule of law for every single question that you get wrong. In other words, these questions are designed to test 1 thing, and if you answer it incorrectly, it's quite likely you don't yet know that thing well enough. Write down the rule that had you known it you would have answered the question correctly, and categorize these rules by subject matter (contracts, property, etc).

You need to study these rules and then practice applying these specific rules to other fact patterns that are testing them. Scoring well on the MBE consists of two components: knowledge of the law, and an ability to apply that law once you have the knowledge. Be very, very, strategic about developing these two skills. This is how you improve at this difficult "game."

Sean (Silverman Bar Prep)


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Postby radams301 » Mon May 08, 2017 1:58 pm

I'm sorry to hear that you failed! I also failed, so would love any advice offered by other posters. This was my first time taking the MD bar and I took Shemer, so I am trying to incorporate some new strategies. At least we're not alone - but it really is am emotional mess to go through ugh!!!


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Postby elyseee » Mon May 08, 2017 4:44 pm


I can totally relate as it took 3 tries before I passed the bar exam. The first time I took the bar exam was in a non ube state. I at the time did not have enough money for any bar prep course and failed. After that I wasnt sure if being a lawyer was for me and about a year after law school I got married and started a family. A few years and a couple of kids later I tried my hand at a bar exam in a different state that uses the UBE while working part time with two children and a husband that is frequently out of town for work and I failed. That time I did purchase a bar prep course with Kaplan. I decided that I would try a different way of studying as I had been out of school several years and with a busy family life knew the whole 2 1/2 month study plan that is followed with Kaplan and Barbri wouldnt work for me. So I started to study beginning in July in preparation for a Feb bar exam and I passed. I bought a planner and devoted about a week to two weeks on each topic depending on how confident I felt on each one so that maybe the information would stick. Around the end of October time frame I kicked up the intensity and the amount of studying and went back through all the subjects at a quicker pace similar to how you would study with the kaplan or barbri programs. Essays for me were my weakness so I purchased pretty much all of the available past bar exam essays on the ncbe website and I did most of them and I felt like that helped me write better essays than Kaplans bar prep program did. I raised my overall written score by 25 points from the previous exam. I also literally did every multiple choice question in the kaplan bar course book some several times over. It sucked but it did the trick.

Good luck with your future exam!

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