Straight Talk, Please.

rayforoc
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Straight Talk, Please.

Postby rayforoc » Fri May 12, 2017 10:02 pm

I failed the CA bar. First time I failed it was in July and it was a given as I only studied for three weeks (relationships issues). This time I really studied hard... studied full time too (but relationship issues were still present).

I am so depressed and upset right now. I used Adaptibar and it was nothing like the actual mbe I thought. I used a tutor for essays (former bar grader). PT was completely my fault--put it off till the end and winged it. I just need to know my score and where I screwed up.

Can you advice me, TLS. What should I do regarding prep for each section? I have a free Barbri prep course I could use, as I did not use it for Feb (came free after failing July) so they said I could use it now. But I am hesitating with their prep. Moreover, I would have to pay $250 for their new books. Adaptibar was fucking awful I thought (and I did over 1,600 questions). I have to work part time now so I will be studying part time and working part time. Again, what should I do re prep for each section?

I haven't studied at all since Feb. Really thought I passed. What a shame.

I want to buy Strategies and Tactics Second Edition Tonight. Let's start there...

Notice I did not say I will give up, and this goes for everyone that failed. Don't give up. If this is your dream keeping working. I will study for this thing again. I will start tomorrow morning. I will also work part time as I am doing it.

TLS, the three sections... advise me?

MBE:

ESSAYS:

PT:

I take adderhall btw (diagnosed with ADHD), but I don't know it sucks to take honestly. I took it the whole time I studied. I am also going to begin campaigning for City Council right after the bar. Fuck it, let's go.

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a male human
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby a male human » Fri May 12, 2017 11:04 pm

I am truly sorry to hear about your results. It's not easy for anyone to see that they failed the biggest exam of their life.

I'm a repeater-passer who passed in 2014. Failing the first time was such a shock for me that some switch flipped in my head. I knew I needed to figure out this bar thing. If you'll let me, I will describe what worked for me and what worked for others as I've observed.

MBE
AdaptiBar has actually helped a lot of people, but since you don't like it, let's skip it for now.

Emanuel's S&T is another excellent resource. Get the 6th edition.

The value comes, in part, from the author picking a broad range of issues, so that by the time you finish the book (cover to cover), you'll have seen most of the important issues you'll see on the MBE.

The other advantage is the answer explanations. You should be looking at and understanding each answer explanation, whether you got it right or wrong. Questions you get right are opportunities to validate that you got it correct for the right reasons. Just because you're correct doesn't mean you're right. Questions you get wrong are opportunities to learn where you don't know. So you will literally read each page of the book by the time you're done.

Don't skip that last part where you review the answer explanations thoroughly until you really understand it. It's quality over quantity. There's no point in answering questions if you don't learn from it. Comparing your own understanding to the explanations is how you learn. If you get cocky and skip the explanations because you think you truly understand it, you should be able to get 100% on the MBE. If you approach AdaptiBar the same way, you might see better results.

Also, track your weak subjects. Don't treat each subject equally. This is no time for SJW shit. Be a subject-ist.

People say "I'm getting 55% on my MBEs. What's wrong with me?" It could be that you just really suck at Crim Pro (like me), skewing the overall average. This means you should focus more on Crim Pro. I kept a spreadsheet of how many questions you got right over the total number, for each subject and main issue. This let me know which three subjects were my worst at any given time. I focused more on those.

ESSAYS
This is mostly about getting the issues and rules right. You could halfass the rule and application, and you'll probably get some partial credit. You miss an issue, and you get ZERO credit for that whole issue. So issues are key.

Since no one ever taught me how to "spot issues," I had to come up with a way I could use to systematically identify the issues. "Spotting" is a vague term that makes no sense to me, at least given my intellect.

Instead, I did something I call "issue checking." You literally go down a list of possible issues when you see facts that point to those issues. I made this tool designed specifically for issue checking. Here are some examples:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/or1seodf82igs ... w.pdf?dl=0
https://www.dropbox.com/s/n2id627o6ncap ... s.pdf?dl=0

And I was weak at essays (based on what my score report seemed to indicate). I needed more practice. They say "do essays." That doesn't help, you assholes!

But remember I said issues and rules are key. The rest will simply flow out like rainbows out of a unicorn's ass.

So if you want to get twice as much practice in the same time (because these essays take an hour a piece, and that's just really tiring)... just come up with an outline of issues and rules. Keep this to 15 minutes, 20 max.

Then, compare those issues and rules to a model answer. Barbri model answers are actually great for this. Don't listen to people who say they are too perfect and should be avoided. WHY DON'T YOU WANT TO EMULATE PERFECT ANSWERS? At least you can emulate the way they present issues.

I also recommend getting a BarEssays subscription so you can compare your approach to someone who got a "passing" 65 answer, an above-65 answer, and a below-65 answer. If you decide to spring for it, I have a $25 offer code.

Knowing the issues and rules conceptually is VASTLY different from knowing how to USE them. So it's critical that you get practice AND feedback (same with the MBE as noted above). You need to practice rather than memorize or theorize. You need to do now what you're going to do on the bar eventually. You need to be learning how to do that shit, not just "study."

And for both MBE and essays, don't be afraid to redo the same ones. Again, if you really "get" it, you should be able to produce outstanding outline or get 100% on the MBE.

PT'S
CA is switching to 90-minute PTs. Here's a sample: http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/Portals ... 020217.pdf

I'd still practice with legacy PTs. If you can do 3-hour PTs, you can do the dinky 90-minute ones. You can also look at Multistate PTs (MPTs) from the NCBE, which are also 90 minutes: http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt/preparing/

Here's also a guide I wrote and updated over 3 years on how to write PTs: https://goo.gl/WRl0l2

But honestly, the PT seems to be less of an issue now because there's only one half-length one. Spend relatively more time on MBE (now worth 50%, up from 35%) and essays.

More analysis of the changes to the CA bar: http://www.makethisyourlasttime.com/cal ... r-changes/


This is my straight talk. If you're willing to work hard and smart, this approach will help in some way. Also, join in on the conversation in the 2017 July thread: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=274836&p=9832778. The more you immerse yourself, the better you'll feel psychologically and the more you'll learn. Let me know if you have any questions.

Ssparker
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby Ssparker » Sat May 13, 2017 12:16 am

Hello, saw your post and wanted to extend my solidarity (I failed the 2nd time too). This really sucks, but, the three good things about failing twice that come to mind are (1) humility is a virtue, and this has sure humbled me, (2) the summer bar exam sounds like it's going to be waaaay easier! Especially because the MBE will be 50% of our grade...meaning less of our test will determined by the deluded sociopathic test administrators at the CA Bar association, and (3) once we pass this shi* this July and become members of the aformentioned organization, we will be able to fight to make sure this injustice is remedied! The bar exam format is an awful way of determining who is truly qualified to be a competent and ethical representative of a client's best interests. It's disgusting that people like elizabeth rindskopf parker (google her if you want to get sick to your stomach) are dragging their effing feet about this while bar candidates who WOULD HAVE passed in any other state (not necessarily me) are failing in CA...meaning they are left DROWNING in student loans, DROWNING in credit card debt from paying for bar prep material, and WORST OF ALL isolated from a profession that for years many of us excelled at during internships and externships. Also, If the CA Bar decides to leave the date of releasing this July's bar scores until November despite having the grader's job significantly reduced, it will be yet another sign that they are void of ALL empathy :-(

Ssparker
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby Ssparker » Sat May 13, 2017 12:26 am

BTW, good luck on your campaign! California desperately needs honest, caring, hardworking people in charge of local government. The more I study local southern California politics, the more I realize how important the City Council and/or County Board of Supervisors are to determining the fate of society's most vulnerable populations. Ex. The county I live in continuously engages in unconstitutional attacks against people in our community experiencing homelessness :-(

jdk
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby jdk » Sat May 13, 2017 9:06 am

When I decided to take the bar (PA), it had been 6 years since I graduated law school. And I had not done ANYTHING with law in my career. When I started studying, I was very close to essentially re-learning the material from the beginning. I needed a strategy, and what I did ended up working for me.

There is simply too much information to know it all. I conceded from the start that I was going to concentrate on the MBE subjects at the expense of my state-specific subjects. (PA covers areas like federal tax, family law, and employment discrimination...as far as I can tell, these are not on the CA exam). This strategy made sense because the MBE subjects are essentially repeated on the essay portion, with the only additional requirement being that you have to know if the majority or minority rule applies to your state (PA, for example, is a lien theory state). This means that for those topics, I wasn't learning new law - I was just memorizing which law applied to my jurisdiction.

When I say I concentrated on the MBE, I meant it. I did not do a single practice essay prior to the exam. Moreover, I conceded business orgs, conflict of laws, and partnerships en toto - didn't study those at all. I couldn't justify the massive expenditure of time when I could spend that same time drilling MBE rules for more points. My essay scores reflected that (they were literally the lowest passing score in my jurisdiction), but ultimately I passed the exam by more than just a few points.

I know CA is changing the exam format going forward, and I think it will basically mirror the way PA does it. Here's how I handled strategy for the performance test: To the extent I studied essay topics, I studied topics that historically appeared in the same 3 hour block as the PT. In PA, the PT is historically tested in the morning alongside professional responsibility, tax, and wills & trusts. Since the PT answers are theoretically "staring you in the face," I wanted to make sure I could blow through those ancillary topics, hoping that I had a little extra time to flip through all of the nonsense they give you as part of the PT. This is why I elected to forgo studying for the topics I mentioned above: they aren't historically tested alongside the PT.

Ok, that's my straight talk. My strategy was risky but considering were I started I don't think I could have passed any other way.

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rcharter1978
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby rcharter1978 » Sat May 13, 2017 10:30 am

I'm sorry you didn't pass, it makes sense to be depressed and angry, and honestly while you have to put it aside there is a good chance you'll feel fucked up until you pass. I didn't realize that I was basically sitting under a rain cloud until I got my pass letter. But you have to put all that aside and focus on July.

First and foremost, you need to get your scores to really know what went wrong. Could be you were like 2 points from passing, could be you got a re-read and just had a shitty first read or a shitty second read (which should illustrate how very subjective the grading is when two graders can be like 15 points off from each other)

Also, I had a friend who failed multiple times while in a shitty relationship, and every single time I tried to encourage her out of the relationship. Don't underestimate how much those things can impact you. Maybe for the next exam, you just need to tell whomever you're with that you dont want to break up, you just want to take things down from 5th gear to 1st gear so that you can really study for the exam. Its stressful to lose a relationship, so maybe don't break up, but dial it back several notches so it isn't always on your mind.

But, based on your post I'll give you my thoughts on each section

MBE
So, I loved adaptibar, but, as amalehuman said, it was important to read and understand each explanation. People will focus more on the number of MBE's you do (do 2000! do 1200! do 2500!) there is no magic number. When I passed, I honestly don't think I even did 1000 practice MBEs (to be fair though, MBEs were never my focus). But I was in a program that required me to write out each rule explanation when I got an answer wrong.

People have said lately that adaptibar didn't really mimic the MBE's for them, which stinks, and I had sort of noticed a few longer fact patterns when I took the exam, which more mimics Barbri/Kaplan IMO. Also people rave about Strategies and Tactics.

ESSAYS
I also used a former bar grader for my essays, while his personality was abrasive he got the job done and he helped me make significant changes to my writing. What was his/her feedback on your essays while you were doing them? How many were you doing closed book?

Here is the thing. How to write an essay is an important skill, but you really need to have a grasp of black letter law before you do anything. Without a solid grasp of black letter law, its like trying to build a house on the sand.....you have no solid foundation for the writing skills a tutor can give you.

The second time I took the exam, I completely changed how I studied. I took days to review black letter law before attempting to write an essay. I would take 3-5 days to review a subject, and each day I would do MBE questions and quiz myself on what I had reviewed. The MBE answer explanations would often give me good rule statements which I would write down.

At the end of my review is when I would start writing essays. My tutor and I met like once a week so once I completed the essays I would forward them to him and he would give his feedback and we would discuss it over the phone.

PTs
Get the red PT book. Use the red PT book. That is all.

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SilvermanBarPrep
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Sat May 13, 2017 2:56 pm

Outstanding advice in this thread. The post about practicing rather than just learning the material really struck a chord with me. This is truly the greatest and most prevalent misconception about studying for a bar exam; namely, that memorizing information is going to be enough to pass the test. It's not, and once this truth is better understood many more people are going to pass the exam.

The bar exam is as much a test of skill as it is a test of knowledge. The best thing you can do for yourself this time around is to spend more time practicing applying all this law you've learned to essays and multiple choice questions. Of course you need the knowledge base, but not having the knowledge isn't the reason why many people don't pass. Work on understanding how to use legal rules to connect those rules to facts in order to draw valid, logical, conclusions. And for the MBE, work on using those legal rules and connect them to the facts provided in order to draw a conclusion and pick the correct answer. Unfortunately, unlike with the essays, there are some additional variables with the MBE such as the test being designed to trick the test taker. And for that reason you need to practice lots of MBE questions.

Learn the game really, really well. The bar exam does not require expertise, but if you achieve anything even close to that you are going to be among the percentage of people who pass.

Sean (Silverman Bar Prep)
http://www.mbetutorial.blogspot.com
Last edited by SilvermanBarPrep on Sat May 13, 2017 9:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rayforoc
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby rayforoc » Sat May 13, 2017 8:50 pm

Hey all, Thank you for the responses. I purchased. Emanuel's 6th Edition. I am still uneasy about paying $250 for more Barbri books (prob will though given my limited options). Does anyone know how long it will take to get our scores?

A male human: Thank you. I will review your "issue checking" file tonight. When you say "come up with an outline of issues and rules, do you mean do through the essay and just basically outline my response? In others, I-R I-R I-R etc? I think that is the best strategy too. Moreover, I want to go over the same ones twice at least (Frankly, I want to go over all the released essays and their model answers, and twice, that's why outlining essays seems like smart idea, and then going over that outline). Can you PM me that BarEssays discount code?

Ssparker: Agreed. This is terrible. It's having a serious impact on my health, life, and general well being to be honest. We are going to do this, because fuck them that's why. We're going to study smart and do this in July. Third time equals the time we pass, Ok? say it with me. Also, thanks for the campaign encouragement. I, too, came back to OC and noticed that everyone from Congress down to local seats like City Council... its terrible, they're all terrible, and everyone seems to have conformed to it (esp. the public). So, ppl like me come in a set precedent for the way politicians should conduct themselves and should find solutions. I cannot wait. PM me your info and we can keep each other motivated and on track. Start Monday I am going hard everyday.

Jdk: I want to find out what we think are going to be the essays they test this time around, and keep them in mind as I study. Also, I agree with your assessment. Hit MBEs subjects first. Thank you.

Rcharter1978: I don't want to feel like this anymore is fucking terrible. Frankly, Ive had a terrible day everyday since last May when I graduated and came back to socal. I agree, I am dying to get my scores. In terms of the relationship. We broke up a couple months ago now, but it was really serious, like we almost got married serious. So it's been hard. Moreover, she graduated yesterday and I saw pictures of her and its so hard.Im just a wreck to be frank. Its just really hard. It's my fault. All of this is my fault. Where Im at in my life is my fault. But I don't want to give up this dream. Honestly, I don't even want to practice law, but I don't want to carry around this black eye forever. I will pass in July. I think we had the same tutor, its a him, he's from Barexam101. I didn't do too well with him the first time around, but I think its my fault their too. Perhaps I should contact him again and see if he gives discounts for ppl who fail under him. Btw, I did all open book on my essays. DO you think Critical Pass Cards are helpful, bc if they are ill purchase them tonight. Also, what is the Red PT book? Is that the one by Kaplan? I am shaken up man, this is not like me at all, believe me, I am fucking humbled big league;) I just need to study smart for July bc more than anything I want to pass this and I know I can. I felt it during Feb's three days... I felt I could pass this.

Silvermanbarprep: I read that too. Can you suggest a good study plan--or anyone for that matter--for attacking this method of practice v. just memorizing? I know this is asking a lot and somewhat vague. Anything though.


I am going to the gym to crush some weights. Then, I am coming home to apply for part-time nonprofit jobs, print out a calendar from apple calendar thingy, and write out a plan for each day. Also, I want to write a daily schedule.

Can anyone think of gaps in materials? Thus far its:

1. S&T 6th
2. Critical Pass (probably)
3. Adaptibar (probably, although I really want to do all my questions out of a book and on scantron, I know it would help more than doing them off a
computer, no?)
4. Paying Barbri the $250 to get knew books (but not following their schedule, nor watching their videos? Basically, just using them for their conviser,
bene? Or are there other benefits to having Barbri this time around?)
5. Red PT book?

I feel like I was so close to passing that I am honestly afraid to see my score. But I really need it. Thanks ladies and gents for the advice thus far.

ur_hero
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby ur_hero » Sat May 13, 2017 9:29 pm

Just to chime in re Adaptibar -

The advantage to it versus doing questions via scantron is that it will track your strengths and weaknesses, and assist you in targeting your study on where you need it more.

You obviously sacrifice the exam-conditions of doing it by hand. And another con is that I think a number of their explanations for answers are atrocious. If you don't understand one of their explanations, you really need to refer to your ouline and make sure you do get it before moving on. Just my two cents.

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a male human
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby a male human » Sun May 14, 2017 3:17 am

rayforoc wrote:Hey all, Thank you for the responses. I purchased. Emanuel's 6th Edition. I am still uneasy about paying $250 for more Barbri books (prob will though given my limited options). Does anyone know how long it will take to get our scores?

A male human: Thank you. I will review your "issue checking" file tonight. When you say "come up with an outline of issues and rules, do you mean do through the essay and just basically outline my response? In others, I-R I-R I-R etc? I think that is the best strategy too. Moreover, I want to go over the same ones twice at least (Frankly, I want to go over all the released essays and their model answers, and twice, that's why outlining essays seems like smart idea, and then going over that outline). Can you PM me that BarEssays discount code?



I am going to the gym to crush some weights. Then, I am coming home to apply for part-time nonprofit jobs, print out a calendar from apple calendar thingy, and write out a plan for each day. Also, I want to write a daily schedule.

Can anyone think of gaps in materials? Thus far its:

1. S&T 6th
2. Critical Pass (probably)
3. Adaptibar (probably, although I really want to do all my questions out of a book and on scantron, I know it would help more than doing them off a
computer, no?)
4. Paying Barbri the $250 to get knew books (but not following their schedule, nor watching their videos? Basically, just using them for their conviser,
bene? Or are there other benefits to having Barbri this time around?)
5. Red PT book?

I feel like I was so close to passing that I am honestly afraid to see my score. But I really need it. Thanks ladies and gents for the advice thus far.


Yep, that's it. Good to have a few full essays under your belt per essay but no need to waste time writing the entire analysis once you "get" the approach for that subject/issue.

Just sent you a $25 coupon for BarEssays. I think it will really help with evaluating your essays/outlines.

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rcharter1978
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby rcharter1978 » Sun May 14, 2017 8:47 am

OP. -- please, just stop blaming anyone, for your own sanity. Curse everyone once you pass, but if you hold onto all of this in your mind you can't make any room for the knowledge you'll need for the exam.

Yes, we had the same tutor, and he is not everyone's cup of tea. I love a kinder tone and sugar coating, but I'll coast if given too much leeway. So it worked well for me, but I'm sure others get depressed and down about the feedback because it's rough.

What did you do to study in law school? I bought critical pass, but I was never a flashcard learner so it didn't help me.

Beware, there is a definite temptation to buy every resource. But I think it's better to focus. If you get a tutor, focus on that program. If you study bll use the resource that most speaks to you. I used the cmr and the big book/little book from Barbri to study BLL. I barely used the flashcards and barely used lean sheets. And I studied in a strange add way, but it worked for me

The red PT book is called something like "How to perform your best on the mpt" between the barexam101 PT method and the red PT book I felt very good about the PTs. How to organize information, how to approach the PT, different pt types are all covered in the book.

It's expensive and now I wish.i hadn't given away my copy, but I know it felt great to pay it forward.

But you need to get yourself in the right frame of mind...like right now. Do not stop, do not pass go...figure out how to comparentalize

maxmartin
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby maxmartin » Sun May 14, 2017 10:21 am

jdk wrote:When I decided to take the bar (PA), it had been 6 years since I graduated law school. And I had not done ANYTHING with law in my career. When I started studying, I was very close to essentially re-learning the material from the beginning. I needed a strategy, and what I did ended up working for me.

There is simply too much information to know it all. I conceded from the start that I was going to concentrate on the MBE subjects at the expense of my state-specific subjects. (PA covers areas like federal tax, family law, and employment discrimination...as far as I can tell, these are not on the CA exam). This strategy made sense because the MBE subjects are essentially repeated on the essay portion, with the only additional requirement being that you have to know if the majority or minority rule applies to your state (PA, for example, is a lien theory state). This means that for those topics, I wasn't learning new law - I was just memorizing which law applied to my jurisdiction.

When I say I concentrated on the MBE, I meant it. I did not do a single practice essay prior to the exam. Moreover, I conceded business orgs, conflict of laws, and partnerships en toto - didn't study those at all. I couldn't justify the massive expenditure of time when I could spend that same time drilling MBE rules for more points. My essay scores reflected that (they were literally the lowest passing score in my jurisdiction), but ultimately I passed the exam by more than just a few points.

I know CA is changing the exam format going forward, and I think it will basically mirror the way PA does it. Here's how I handled strategy for the performance test: To the extent I studied essay topics, I studied topics that historically appeared in the same 3 hour block as the PT. In PA, the PT is historically tested in the morning alongside professional responsibility, tax, and wills & trusts. Since the PT answers are theoretically "staring you in the face," I wanted to make sure I could blow through those ancillary topics, hoping that I had a little extra time to flip through all of the nonsense they give you as part of the PT. This is why I elected to forgo studying for the topics I mentioned above: they aren't historically tested alongside the PT.

Ok, that's my straight talk. My strategy was risky but considering were I started I don't think I could have passed any other way.

This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.

jdk
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby jdk » Sun May 14, 2017 12:34 pm

maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.

maxmartin
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby maxmartin » Sun May 14, 2017 1:14 pm

jdk wrote:
maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.


Yeah, when you bullshitting essays in other jurisdictions you probably can get 60/70 out of 100, when you do that in CA, you most likely will only get 40/50 out of 100. It is laughable to suggest taking CA bar without heavily practicing essay unless you can guarantee your MBE is above 165.

dehaven
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby dehaven » Sun May 14, 2017 1:33 pm

maxmartin wrote:
jdk wrote:
maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.


Yeah, when you bullshitting essays in other jurisdictions you probably can get 60/70 out of 100, when you do that in CA, you most likely will only get 40/50 out of 100. It is laughable to suggest taking CA bar without heavily practicing essay unless you can guarantee your MBE is above 165.



Does someone know how the grading breakdown (relatively weight given to each exam component) compares with the current UBE? There seems to be conflicting information around these forums. If it compares the same (or roughly the same) with the UBE scoring rubric, then focusing primarily on MBE for the CBX going forward is not a bad strategy. After hitting 150+ MBE, most sources suggest your essays will only be spot-checked. Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.

maxmartin
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Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby maxmartin » Sun May 14, 2017 1:51 pm

dehaven wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
jdk wrote:
maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.


Yeah, when you bullshitting essays in other jurisdictions you probably can get 60/70 out of 100, when you do that in CA, you most likely will only get 40/50 out of 100. It is laughable to suggest taking CA bar without heavily practicing essay unless you can guarantee your MBE is above 165.



Does someone know how the grading breakdown (relatively weight given to each exam component) compares with the current UBE? There seems to be conflicting information around these forums. If it compares the same (or roughly the same) with the UBE scoring rubric, then focusing primarily on MBE for the CBX going forward is not a bad strategy. After hitting 150+ MBE, most sources suggest your essays will only be spot-checked. Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.


Definitely not the case in CA.

ur_hero
Posts: 125
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:52 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby ur_hero » Sun May 14, 2017 4:19 pm

maxmartin wrote:
dehaven wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
jdk wrote:
maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.


Yeah, when you bullshitting essays in other jurisdictions you probably can get 60/70 out of 100, when you do that in CA, you most likely will only get 40/50 out of 100. It is laughable to suggest taking CA bar without heavily practicing essay unless you can guarantee your MBE is above 165.



Does someone know how the grading breakdown (relatively weight given to each exam component) compares with the current UBE? There seems to be conflicting information around these forums. If it compares the same (or roughly the same) with the UBE scoring rubric, then focusing primarily on MBE for the CBX going forward is not a bad strategy. After hitting 150+ MBE, most sources suggest your essays will only be spot-checked. Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.


Definitely not the case in CA.


Yeah, pretty sure that your MBE grading has nothing to do with how your essays are graded. Not sure what sources indicate otherwise re California.

dredd16
Posts: 42
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 1:36 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby dredd16 » Sun May 14, 2017 5:57 pm

dehaven wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
jdk wrote:
maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.


Yeah, when you bullshitting essays in other jurisdictions you probably can get 60/70 out of 100, when you do that in CA, you most likely will only get 40/50 out of 100. It is laughable to suggest taking CA bar without heavily practicing essay unless you can guarantee your MBE is above 165.



Does someone know how the grading breakdown (relatively weight given to each exam component) compares with the current UBE? There seems to be conflicting information around these forums. If it compares the same (or roughly the same) with the UBE scoring rubric, then focusing primarily on MBE for the CBX going forward is not a bad strategy. After hitting 150+ MBE, most sources suggest your essays will only be spot-checked. Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.


People need to listen to maxmartin. He's completely WRITE (pun intended).

YOU MUST PRACTICE ESSAYS IF YOU ARE TO SUCCESSFULLY PASS THE CA BAR EXAM. At a BARE MINIMUM you must do a total of 48 practice essays (4x12 subjects). Some people have done that and they still didn't pass. So they amped it up to 100 essays. The point is that you need to practice a lot. That's not to say that if you practice X amount of essays, you will pass. You still have to practice smart by reviewing the mistakes that you made and being critical of yourself on how you write your essays both in SUBSTANCE and in FORM.

Honestly, I hate how people say that you can "bullshit certain essays" and I especially hate some of the TLS guides that try to give advice on how you should bullshit an essay if you have absolutely no clue what to write. It's completely disingenuous and reading such guides already has you adopting a defeatist attitude towards the CA bar exam. Also, someone's bullshit might be a lot better than YOUR bullshit on an essay. We're all different people who hold ourselves to different standards. You might have seen that you spotted pretty much all the issues but only missed one that you perceived to be a minor issue and been confident in your ability to pass. Someone might have spotted all the issues that you had too but NOT been confident in their ability to pass because what you perceived to be a minor issue THEY perceived it to be a major one worth mentioning. I mean, it's pretty hard to figure out what's a major or a minor issue.

I don't know how other jurisdictions develop their model answers. But if you know how CA develops their model answers, then you better fucking get your act together. When the CA bar administers the exam to you in July/February, THEY DON'T HAVE A MODEL ANSWER/ANSWER KEY/GRADING RUBRIC. Only after the exam is administered do they work on a model answer/grading rubric. They basically give each essay to a couple of graders to take home and write answers to with FULL CITATIONS. So basically these graders are writing full on court briefs on each essay question using an infinite amount of resources. Typically, the graders who brief the essays take the subjects that they are most strong in. So with infinite resources and armed with their specialized subject knowledge, they have written the perfect answer and have spotted every single issue. After that, all the graders who have briefed the essays meet together to discuss issues they spotted/didn't spot and together they develop the official model answer/grading rubric. And if I remember correctly, then they end up grading the very subjects that they had briefed and been in meetings discussing the model answer. So you will have different bar graders for a variety of essays as opposed to ONE GRADER grading ALL your essays. This means that you are held to relatively higher standards (some may just call it a minimum competence standard) on each essay compared to standards in another jurisdiction.

You may think that essays are just "spot checked" and it is true that graders only spend an average of 1-2 minutes grading one essay. But these graders have briefed the essays on their own with fucking sources already and so they know these essays with their eyes closed. So how you and I might grade an essay in 1-2 minutes with a rubric is completely different from how they would grade with their specialized knowledge.

Edit:

dehaven wrote:Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.


What do you mean by this?

mvp99
Posts: 1420
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby mvp99 » Sun May 14, 2017 6:12 pm

Didn't all of this.

Not sure what you did with adaptibar but doing questions on its own doesnt help. You have review all of them and see what you got wrong. If you're not grasping the material (getting less than 70% correct) you have to go back and study. Do sets of 50 or 100 at a time.

dehaven
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 12:32 am

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby dehaven » Sun May 14, 2017 6:32 pm

dredd16 wrote:
dehaven wrote:
maxmartin wrote:
jdk wrote:
maxmartin wrote: This is absolutely worst prep idea for CA bar. There is almost no way you can pass CA without practicing essays. Why CA pass rate is so low? Not because it has difficult essay questions, it is entirely due to harsh essay grading policy. CA MBE average is always above national average.


When it was weighted 65/35, yes - not the greatest idea - but aren't they 50/50 going forward? CA will actually count the MBE more so than PA, and CA covers fewer subject areas in the essays. I'd feel comfortable using my same strategy in CA.


Yeah, when you bullshitting essays in other jurisdictions you probably can get 60/70 out of 100, when you do that in CA, you most likely will only get 40/50 out of 100. It is laughable to suggest taking CA bar without heavily practicing essay unless you can guarantee your MBE is above 165.



Does someone know how the grading breakdown (relatively weight given to each exam component) compares with the current UBE? There seems to be conflicting information around these forums. If it compares the same (or roughly the same) with the UBE scoring rubric, then focusing primarily on MBE for the CBX going forward is not a bad strategy. After hitting 150+ MBE, most sources suggest your essays will only be spot-checked. Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.


People need to listen to maxmartin. He's completely WRITE (pun intended).

YOU MUST PRACTICE ESSAYS IF YOU ARE TO SUCCESSFULLY PASS THE CA BAR EXAM. At a BARE MINIMUM you must do a total of 48 practice essays (4x12 subjects). Some people have done that and they still didn't pass. So they amped it up to 100 essays. The point is that you need to practice a lot. That's not to say that if you practice X amount of essays, you will pass. You still have to practice smart by reviewing the mistakes that you made and being critical of yourself on how you write your essays both in SUBSTANCE and in FORM.

Honestly, I hate how people say that you can "bullshit certain essays" and I especially hate some of the TLS guides that try to give advice on how you should bullshit an essay if you have absolutely no clue what to write. It's completely disingenuous and reading such guides already has you adopting a defeatist attitude towards the CA bar exam. Also, someone's bullshit might be a lot better than YOUR bullshit on an essay. We're all different people who hold ourselves to different standards. You might have seen that you spotted pretty much all the issues but only missed one that you perceived to be a minor issue and been confident in your ability to pass. Someone might have spotted all the issues that you had too but NOT been confident in their ability to pass because what you perceived to be a minor issue THEY perceived it to be a major one worth mentioning. I mean, it's pretty hard to figure out what's a major or a minor issue.

I don't know how other jurisdictions develop their model answers. But if you know how CA develops their model answers, then you better fucking get your act together. When the CA bar administers the exam to you in July/February, THEY DON'T HAVE A MODEL ANSWER/ANSWER KEY/GRADING RUBRIC. Only after the exam is administered do they work on a model answer/grading rubric. They basically give each essay to a couple of graders to take home and write answers to with FULL CITATIONS. So basically these graders are writing full on court briefs on each essay question using an infinite amount of resources. Typically, the graders who brief the essays take the subjects that they are most strong in. So with infinite resources and armed with their specialized subject knowledge, they have written the perfect answer and have spotted every single issue. After that, all the graders who have briefed the essays meet together to discuss issues they spotted/didn't spot and together they develop the official model answer/grading rubric. And if I remember correctly, then they end up grading the very subjects that they had briefed and been in meetings discussing the model answer. So you will have different bar graders for a variety of essays as opposed to ONE GRADER grading ALL your essays. This means that you are held to relatively higher standards (some may just call it a minimum competence standard) on each essay compared to standards in another jurisdiction.

You may think that essays are just "spot checked" and it is true that graders only spend an average of 1-2 minutes grading one essay. But these graders have briefed the essays on their own with fucking sources already and so they know these essays with their eyes closed. So how you and I might grade an essay in 1-2 minutes with a rubric is completely different from how they would grade with their specialized knowledge.

Edit:

dehaven wrote:Admittedly, this is all entirely hearsay as no one knows for sure -- but it seems like a safer bet to concentrate on objective points that one could get instead of rolling the dice with a grader's subjective preferences.


What do you mean by this?


I mean that if you get a question correct on the multistate, it is automatically credited; unlike in an essay format where the grading can be discretionary. Though we would like to think that grading, when it comes to the essays is uniform, it's simply not. Humans are fallible and carry with them biases that translate into their evaluations. I'm not arguing that essay grading is completely skewed or off balance. I think in general a good writer with a strong command of black letter law will *generally* fare well.

Also, I'm talking about the CBX format as it will be (and not as it's been) as HALF of the score will now come from objective points. I think people's prep in light of that should be modified accordingly. I'm not saying essays don't matter -- but they WILL matter less.

rayforoc
Posts: 4
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 9:36 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby rayforoc » Mon May 15, 2017 9:15 pm

Hey everyone,

I just got my scores. My question is, is this hopeless for me to pass? I have ADHD and had time and a half last time. I also have to work part time this study cycle but the rest of my time will be spent studying. Moreover, I am using a tutor again and this time following his advice. Lastly, my personal life is better but Im still mental fucked up. The following are my scores. Just be honest. I can push myself and put the work in, but I don't know if I am one of those that will never pass...

Essay 1: 70
Essay 2: 50
Essay 3: 60
Essay 4: 60
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 55
PT A: 55
PT B: 50

Raw Written: 560
Scaled Written: 1232.75
Scaled MBE: 1346.00

TOTAL SCALED SCORE: 1272.38

Here's my MBE Percent Breakdown

Civ Pro: 51.5
Con Law: 41.0
Contracts: 67.5
Crim Law: 53.9
Evidence: 61.6
Real Prop: 21.0
Torts: 27.7

Are these out of 100%? In other words, did I literally get an F---- in torts? Torts for Adaptibar I was at, like 79% if I recall. I really just want to walk away.

maxmartin
Posts: 539
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby maxmartin » Mon May 15, 2017 11:42 pm

rayforoc wrote:Hey everyone,

I just got my scores. My question is, is this hopeless for me to pass? I have ADHD and had time and a half last time. I also have to work part time this study cycle but the rest of my time will be spent studying. Moreover, I am using a tutor again and this time following his advice. Lastly, my personal life is better but Im still mental fucked up. The following are my scores. Just be honest. I can push myself and put the work in, but I don't know if I am one of those that will never pass...

Essay 1: 70
Essay 2: 50
Essay 3: 60
Essay 4: 60
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 55
PT A: 55
PT B: 50

Raw Written: 560
Scaled Written: 1232.75
Scaled MBE: 1346.00

TOTAL SCALED SCORE: 1272.38

Here's my MBE Percent Breakdown

Civ Pro: 51.5
Con Law: 41.0
Contracts: 67.5
Crim Law: 53.9
Evidence: 61.6
Real Prop: 21.0
Torts: 27.7

Are these out of 100%? In other words, did I literally get an F---- in torts? Torts for Adaptibar I was at, like 79% if I recall. I really just want to walk away.

Torts in FEB is weird. It is my strongest subject during the law school and prep. Somehow I only got 35%, all my other subject are between 60 to 99.

User avatar
a male human
Posts: 1792
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby a male human » Tue May 16, 2017 12:26 am

rayforoc wrote:Hey everyone,

I just got my scores. My question is, is this hopeless for me to pass? I have ADHD and had time and a half last time. I also have to work part time this study cycle but the rest of my time will be spent studying. Moreover, I am using a tutor again and this time following his advice. Lastly, my personal life is better but Im still mental fucked up. The following are my scores. Just be honest. I can push myself and put the work in, but I don't know if I am one of those that will never pass...

Essay 1: 70
Essay 2: 50
Essay 3: 60
Essay 4: 60
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 55
PT A: 55
PT B: 50

Raw Written: 560
Scaled Written: 1232.75
Scaled MBE: 1346.00

TOTAL SCALED SCORE: 1272.38

Here's my MBE Percent Breakdown

Civ Pro: 51.5
Con Law: 41.0
Contracts: 67.5
Crim Law: 53.9
Evidence: 61.6
Real Prop: 21.0
Torts: 27.7

Are these out of 100%? In other words, did I literally get an F---- in torts? Torts for Adaptibar I was at, like 79% if I recall. I really just want to walk away.


The MBE % are your percentile rank. So for example, you did better than 67.5% of bar takers for Contracts. Starting 2017, there's also a local and national comparison for additional shaming.

We can make a rough estimate that you got about 117 MBE questions correct, using an old conversion table: http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/portals ... l_info.pdf

The bigger concern is your written portion.

Your essay scores vary quite a bit; they range from 50 to 70. This plus your MBE score suggests to me that you may not have a great handle on the law. The remedy is to know the law better and probably also work on applying the law better via clean IRAC presentation.

Let's get it up to the 65 range. If you've signed up for BarEssays, study answers that got over 65 and below 65, compare them to your answer/outline, and see what the differences are.

The biggest hit came from your PTs. Since each PT was weighted 2x an essay, that 50 drove your score down further.

Fortunately, if your PTs are weak, there's only one of them per exam starting July. However, this means essays and MBE are more important than ever, the MBE especially. Your MBE isn't great, but it's not terrible either. With the 50/50 split in July, if you focus on learning the law and applying it through practice, you will improve. Refer to the earlier posts from me and others.

As for the PT, grind the old 3-hour ones once a week. I liked Tuesdays because that's when the actual PT was. Read the sample answers up on the bar website. Make it look like them (don't make your essays look like them, though).

I've seen 150- and 200-point jumps, so it's not impossible. Even if it's not this time, you will have improved significantly by your next try, and you may pass in the exam after that! It's just a matter of determination and perseverance -- if you choose to forge on.

maxmartin
Posts: 539
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 5:41 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby maxmartin » Tue May 16, 2017 12:37 am

a male human wrote:
rayforoc wrote:Hey everyone,

I just got my scores. My question is, is this hopeless for me to pass? I have ADHD and had time and a half last time. I also have to work part time this study cycle but the rest of my time will be spent studying. Moreover, I am using a tutor again and this time following his advice. Lastly, my personal life is better but Im still mental fucked up. The following are my scores. Just be honest. I can push myself and put the work in, but I don't know if I am one of those that will never pass...

Essay 1: 70
Essay 2: 50
Essay 3: 60
Essay 4: 60
Essay 5: 55
Essay 6: 55
PT A: 55
PT B: 50

Raw Written: 560
Scaled Written: 1232.75
Scaled MBE: 1346.00

TOTAL SCALED SCORE: 1272.38

Here's my MBE Percent Breakdown

Civ Pro: 51.5
Con Law: 41.0
Contracts: 67.5
Crim Law: 53.9
Evidence: 61.6
Real Prop: 21.0
Torts: 27.7

Are these out of 100%? In other words, did I literally get an F---- in torts? Torts for Adaptibar I was at, like 79% if I recall. I really just want to walk away.


The MBE % are your percentile rank. So for example, you did better than 67.5% of bar takers for Contracts. Starting 2017, there's also a local and national comparison for additional shaming.

We can make a rough estimate that you got about 117 MBE questions correct, using an old conversion table: http://admissions.calbar.ca.gov/portals ... l_info.pdf

The bigger concern is your written portion.

Your essay scores vary quite a bit; they range from 50 to 70. This plus your MBE score suggests to me that you may not have a great handle on the law. The remedy is to know the law better and probably also work on applying the law better via clean IRAC presentation.

Let's get it up to the 65 range. If you've signed up for BarEssays, study answers that got over 65 and below 65, compare them to your answer/outline, and see what the differences are.

The biggest hit came from your PTs. Since each PT was weighted 2x an essay, that 50 drove your score down further.

Fortunately, if your PTs are weak, there's only one of them per exam starting July. However, this means essays and MBE are more important than ever, the MBE especially. Your MBE isn't great, but it's not terrible either. With the 50/50 split in July, if you focus on learning the law and applying it through practice, you will improve. Refer to the earlier posts from me and others.

As for the PT, grind the old 3-hour ones once a week. I liked Tuesdays because that's when the actual PT was. Read the sample answers up on the bar website. Make it look like them (don't make your essays look like them, though).

I've seen 150- and 200-point jumps, so it's not impossible. Even if it's not this time, you will have improved significantly by your next try, and you may pass in the exam after that! It's just a matter of determination and perseverance -- if you choose to forge on.

Very nice info. Do you have info how much PT weights in new 50/50 format?

User avatar
a male human
Posts: 1792
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: Straight Talk, Please.

Postby a male human » Tue May 16, 2017 12:53 am

maxmartin wrote:Very nice info. Do you have info how much PT weights in new 50/50 format?

Thank you. The PT is approximately 14.3% of your overall score, down from 26% overall (13% x 2). I broke it down here:

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