How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

oldhoya
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby oldhoya » Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:07 am

I took the attorney's exam in California this February, so it was all essays. Here's what I did to prepare - and pass :)

For me, I wanted to memorize a good number of rules so that I could spend more time during the test thinking about the question and less time trying to remember how many elements there are in the rule.

As others have indicated, you can't memorize everything so it's critical to focus on the rules that are regularly tested. You can find these as you go through the model essay questions and model answers (I used the BarBri books).

First, I spent an hour or two reviewing the outline for the subject. Sometimes I did some MBE practice questions just to see how they trick you and read the explanations.

Second, I went through the BarBri essay questions and outlined the answers. At first, I was terrible and my outlines were short and vague. Over time, my outlines got more detailed as I saw more issues to talk about, exceptions to rules, etc.

Third, as I went through the model answers, I cherry picked rule statements I liked and copied them into a Word document. I tweaked the language of the rule statements to match my personal preferences so I would remember them easier.

Fourth, I learned my selected rule statements cold by writing them out over and over until I could do it mechanically. I had a library of rule statements that was about 3-5 pages long for each essay subject (one paragraph per rule, double-spaced, 12 pt font, with gaps between paragraphs). Probably 12 to 20 rules per subject.

Fifth, after I completed steps 1 to 4 for all the subjects and I was done with the BarBri essays, I started going through the actual essay questions and answers from past exams. I would outline my answer and indicate where I would insert each memorized rule statement. Sometimes I would write the rule statement out again. I did this for all the old questions available from the bar.

Throughout the process, I also watched a bunch of the lectures (it's a good way to confirm that you're not overlooking topics that everyone else has studied - and a good way to keep studying when you're tired)

I never wrote out a complete practice essay answer, but I would recommend doing that a few times under timed conditions if you're not confident about your time management. An hour is like a sneeze on exam day!

It's definitely about finding a system that works for you. Don't spend a ton of time on any approach if you try it and you know you're not getting anything out of it.

And be prepared to make something up and wing it in case you get a curveball question

Hang in there!

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JDAdvisingLLC
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JDAdvisingLLC » Thu Jun 15, 2017 7:45 am

I second what a lot of others seem to be saying.

First, focus on the highly-tested topics. (If you are in a UBE or MEE state, this post lists them: https://www.excellenceinlawschool.com/h ... ee-topics/)

Second, bullet point answers to several questions to get exposed to the material.

(If you struggle with timing you will eventually want to do timed exams as well, but the above steps should help you feel relatively comfortable with the material.) Good luck!

txlawhawk6
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby txlawhawk6 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:56 pm

jtom195 wrote:
ConfusedL1 wrote:I'm basically just making flash cards, but at this point the essays are the only things that worry me because I don't want to misstate the law/miss an issue. Any help?


There's too much information out there to try and memorize everything that could possibly be tested on the essay portion of the bar exam. You need to prioritize your flashcards/issues by focusing on the most important rules first (e.g., negligence, diversity jurisdiction, hearsay, etc.). Working on the rules that are most frequently tested is a good starting place (you can download a free top 120 list here: https://www.barnumbers.com/). If you know these rules cold, you'll rack up enough points to pass without having to worry about every exception to every exception and all the nuanced details of the law. Focus on the rules/issues that are gonna get you the most points, and then (if you have extra time) you can look at some of the finer details. But if you get bogged down by all the little details, and don't know the really important issues, you'll shoot yourself in the foot. Ultimately, the bar exam (like most exams) is about getting points - focus on the rules that are going to yield the most points for you. Best of luck!


Is there a Texas version of this anywhere?

lumberjack00
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby lumberjack00 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:01 pm

Bumped. Texas version?

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Leprechaun
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Leprechaun » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:16 pm

lumberjack00 wrote:Bumped. Texas version?

For the Texas Essays,
the absolutely best thing I did was not to dwell on the questions that Barbri had, but to memorize the Barbri suggested answers. Everyone is different so I have no idea of to tell you when to start, but for me, I have to read something 3 times before I tend to learn it. Therefore, I started in earnest on the essays about a week and a half before. If I can't learn something after 3 reads, I need to move on. The examiners tend to ask the same types of questions over and over with different facts, so if you memorize the answers, you will be well ahead of the game and can apply the answers to many different fact sets just by changing the names.

Additionally, this will show you the areas they test out of the broad categories, so you won’t spend valuable time learning crap that has a small probability of being tested. On the bar, you don't have to get everything right, just enough. Additionally, the night before the Essay section down in Austin, I hit the essay answers from Barbri and the bullet rules from Lean Sheets pretty hard and got up the next morning at 430 to use the lean sheets to drill with. Also at lunch on essay day, I knew the topics still to come, so I drilled those topics again on Lean sheets so it would be fresh. I'm a lot older than most students, so you probably won't need all that repetition to remember but that is what worked for me.

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TheWalrus
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby TheWalrus » Sun Jun 25, 2017 4:39 pm

Leprechaun wrote:
lumberjack00 wrote:Bumped. Texas version?

For the Texas Essays,
the absolutely best thing I did was not to dwell on the questions that Barbri had, but to memorize the Barbri suggested answers. Everyone is different so I have no idea of to tell you when to start, but for me, I have to read something 3 times before I tend to learn it. Therefore, I started in earnest on the essays about a week and a half before. If I can't learn something after 3 reads, I need to move on. The examiners tend to ask the same types of questions over and over with different facts, so if you memorize the answers, you will be well ahead of the game and can apply the answers to many different fact sets just by changing the names.

Additionally, this will show you the areas they test out of the broad categories, so you won’t spend valuable time learning crap that has a small probability of being tested. On the bar, you don't have to get everything right, just enough. Additionally, the night before the Essay section down in Austin, I hit the essay answers from Barbri and the bullet rules from Lean Sheets pretty hard and got up the next morning at 430 to use the lean sheets to drill with. Also at lunch on essay day, I knew the topics still to come, so I drilled those topics again on Lean sheets so it would be fresh. I'm a lot older than most students, so you probably won't need all that repetition to remember but that is what worked for me.


I keep seeing these lean sheets mentioned, but what and where are they? I have Barbri but ive never seen not heard of them.

ndp1234
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndp1234 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:10 pm

I would just like to add (for perspective) I left an entire MEE question blank, completely bullshitted a topic that my bar prep told me was never tested in detail, and completely missed one of the two subjects an MEE question touched. I still passed. I wouldn't recommend you be in that situation, but it should help to ease the stress.

Southpaw89
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Southpaw89 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 8:37 pm

ndp1234 wrote:I would just like to add (for perspective) I left an entire MEE question blank, completely bullshitted a topic that my bar prep told me was never tested in detail, and completely missed one of the two subjects an MEE question touched. I still passed. I wouldn't recommend you be in that situation, but it should help to ease the stress.


You likely dominated the MBE.

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Leprechaun
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Leprechaun » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:59 pm

TheWalrus wrote:
Leprechaun wrote:
lumberjack00 wrote:Bumped. Texas version?

For the Texas Essays,
the absolutely best thing I did was not to dwell on the questions that Barbri had, but to memorize the Barbri suggested answers. Everyone is different so I have no idea of to tell you when to start, but for me, I have to read something 3 times before I tend to learn it. Therefore, I started in earnest on the essays about a week and a half before. If I can't learn something after 3 reads, I need to move on. The examiners tend to ask the same types of questions over and over with different facts, so if you memorize the answers, you will be well ahead of the game and can apply the answers to many different fact sets just by changing the names.

Additionally, this will show you the areas they test out of the broad categories, so you won’t spend valuable time learning crap that has a small probability of being tested. On the bar, you don't have to get everything right, just enough. Additionally, the night before the Essay section down in Austin, I hit the essay answers from Barbri and the bullet rules from Lean Sheets pretty hard and got up the next morning at 430 to use the lean sheets to drill with. Also at lunch on essay day, I knew the topics still to come, so I drilled those topics again on Lean sheets so it would be fresh. I'm a lot older than most students, so you probably won't need all that repetition to remember but that is what worked for me.


I keep seeing these lean sheets mentioned, but what and where are they? I have Barbri but ive never seen not heard of them.


Just google Lean Sheets Texas Bar Exam and you will find their site. They are relatively cheap $ as well.

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crumb cake
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby crumb cake » Sun Jun 25, 2017 11:49 pm

Are these one-sheets really worth $170 for like 12 pieces of paper?

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Leprechaun
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Leprechaun » Mon Jun 26, 2017 1:24 pm

crumb cake wrote:Are these one-sheets really worth $170 for like 12 pieces of paper?


If you are talking about the lean sheets, they are $ 39.95 (at least for Texas) and that includes all the topics. There were 48 pages for February.

Considering that's basically only one very cheap dinner out for my family, yes, that cost is worth it.

It might not be for some people, doesn't really give any new information, it is just straightforward and condensed. After most have spent $150k minimum on law school, and since most won't be able to accomplish their goals without being licensed, I'd say it's a very small price to pay.

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cnk1220
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby cnk1220 » Mon Jun 26, 2017 2:10 pm

Leprechaun wrote:
crumb cake wrote:Are these one-sheets really worth $170 for like 12 pieces of paper?


If you are talking about the lean sheets, they are $ 39.95 (at least for Texas) and that includes all the topics. There were 48 pages for February.

Considering that's basically only one very cheap dinner out for my family, yes, that cost is worth it.

It might not be for some people, doesn't really give any new information, it is just straightforward and condensed. After most have spent $150k minimum on law school, and since most won't be able to accomplish their goals without being licensed, I'd say it's a very small price to pay.



One-sheets and lean-sheets are different.

Crumb cake is asking about the MEE One-Sheets by JD Advising-that is a booklet of the highly most tested rules on the MEE.

If you want to do well on the MEE essays I'd suggest it, if you think you can BS your way through essays and have taken some of the MEE classes then maybe not, but the price your paying is well worth it- they have done the hard work by condensing the info you need to study to do well on the MEE. I opted to pay the price because I hadn't taken any of the MEE classes in law school and didn't want to waste time starting from scratch and I rather prioritize my time on the most highly tested topics/subtopics on each of the subjects than waste time learning material that wasn't going to be tested/unlikely to be tested and it prevented me from feeling overwhelmed with all the info. This all helped me feel more confident going into the essays. I did well on the MEE & passed the UBE on the first try.

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ndbigdave
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndbigdave » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:47 am

One resource that I would recommend (and no I do not work for them and I do not get a referral fee) is from SmartBar Prep, after doing research on the different programs (Lean Sheets, One Sheets, Critical Pass Flashcards, etc.) I found that SmartBar was a great blend of all of them and was the best value.

Why?

SmartBar combines most of the value of all three while adding to it, for $169 you get their essay analysis and frequency chart (like JD advising SmartBar has gone through EVERY MEE essay to determine subject/subtopic to identify how often rules appear and when they have appeared), you get a larger outline (300 or so pages long) of the rules for all MEE subjects with a "rating" for how often the rules appear (similar to a traditional bar prep company but more focuses and has the aid of noting the importance of certain rules as opposed to others), then they also have their shorter "attack sheets" (depending on subject 3 to maybe 7 pages for a total of 70 pages over the course of 14 subjects) these are in the vein of the "one sheets" or "lean sheets" and then finally you get PDF flashcards that can be used on a smartphone with specific directions for iOS and Android (similar to Critical Pass).

When it comes to "bang for the buck" I quite like SmartBar - I think for any UBE taker a blend of SmartBar for essays and Adaptibar for MBE is perfect. To think you good get this level of analysis, BLL and focus for a bit over $500 (between SmartBar and Adaptibar) is insane when compared to even cheaper options like Themis.

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ndbigdave
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndbigdave » Tue Jun 27, 2017 10:57 am

ndp1234 wrote:I would just like to add (for perspective) I left an entire MEE question blank, completely bullshitted a topic that my bar prep told me was never tested in detail, and completely missed one of the two subjects an MEE question touched. I still passed. I wouldn't recommend you be in that situation, but it should help to ease the stress.


I will echo this, and it isn't like you don't have to study (you do) but many first time takers may be SHOCKED to see what an average (or near average) score can look like. Don't get freaked out reading the NCBE model answers (or for that matter the Barbri model answers) many of those cannot be achieved in the 30 min given (when accounting for reading, digesting and then actually typing/writing the answer). Most essays have a key point or two that you should be able to spot, then a couple sub-issues that higher-level scorers will note and analyze.

The goal is to write like an attorney in an IRAC/CRAC format, hit the main points and get out, there will be a couple subjects you know well and you pick up on a few more nuanced issues there will be a few others you're going to BS for 95% of it, that is just how it goes for most takers, know that going in and keep a level head on the tough ones and crush those in your wheelhouse - in the end it will balance out and you should be fine.

ndp1234
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby ndp1234 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:38 pm

Southpaw89 wrote:
ndp1234 wrote:I would just like to add (for perspective) I left an entire MEE question blank, completely bullshitted a topic that my bar prep told me was never tested in detail, and completely missed one of the two subjects an MEE question touched. I still passed. I wouldn't recommend you be in that situation, but it should help to ease the stress.


You likely dominated the MBE.


Mediocre score - 148 scaled and I passed withe enough room to transfer my score to every other jurisdiction. Still have no idea how I pulled that off.

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crumb cake
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby crumb cake » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:35 pm

cnk1220 wrote:
Leprechaun wrote:
crumb cake wrote:Are these one-sheets really worth $170 for like 12 pieces of paper?


If you are talking about the lean sheets, they are $ 39.95 (at least for Texas) and that includes all the topics. There were 48 pages for February.

Considering that's basically only one very cheap dinner out for my family, yes, that cost is worth it.

It might not be for some people, doesn't really give any new information, it is just straightforward and condensed. After most have spent $150k minimum on law school, and since most won't be able to accomplish their goals without being licensed, I'd say it's a very small price to pay.



One-sheets and lean-sheets are different.

Crumb cake is asking about the MEE One-Sheets by JD Advising-that is a booklet of the highly most tested rules on the MEE.

If you want to do well on the MEE essays I'd suggest it, if you think you can BS your way through essays and have taken some of the MEE classes then maybe not, but the price your paying is well worth it- they have done the hard work by condensing the info you need to study to do well on the MEE. I opted to pay the price because I hadn't taken any of the MEE classes in law school and didn't want to waste time starting from scratch and I rather prioritize my time on the most highly tested topics/subtopics on each of the subjects than waste time learning material that wasn't going to be tested/unlikely to be tested and it prevented me from feeling overwhelmed with all the info. This all helped me feel more confident going into the essays. I did well on the MEE & passed the UBE on the first try.


I ordered them based on your recommendation. The content looks pretty good, but they did come with a draconian later-arriving terms sheet. I can't figure out if these are legit or a practice MEE regarding whether or not the liquidated damages they provided are enforceable.

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crumb cake
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby crumb cake » Fri Jul 07, 2017 1:20 am

cnk1220 wrote:
Leprechaun wrote:
crumb cake wrote:Are these one-sheets really worth $170 for like 12 pieces of paper?


If you are talking about the lean sheets, they are $ 39.95 (at least for Texas) and that includes all the topics. There were 48 pages for February.

Considering that's basically only one very cheap dinner out for my family, yes, that cost is worth it.

It might not be for some people, doesn't really give any new information, it is just straightforward and condensed. After most have spent $150k minimum on law school, and since most won't be able to accomplish their goals without being licensed, I'd say it's a very small price to pay.



One-sheets and lean-sheets are different.

Crumb cake is asking about the MEE One-Sheets by JD Advising-that is a booklet of the highly most tested rules on the MEE.

If you want to do well on the MEE essays I'd suggest it, if you think you can BS your way through essays and have taken some of the MEE classes then maybe not, but the price your paying is well worth it- they have done the hard work by condensing the info you need to study to do well on the MEE. I opted to pay the price because I hadn't taken any of the MEE classes in law school and didn't want to waste time starting from scratch and I rather prioritize my time on the most highly tested topics/subtopics on each of the subjects than waste time learning material that wasn't going to be tested/unlikely to be tested and it prevented me from feeling overwhelmed with all the info. This all helped me feel more confident going into the essays. I did well on the MEE & passed the UBE on the first try.


It's coming down to the wire and because I've been focusing on the MBE, I haven't engaged heavily with the MEE topics yet. I am considering skipping the video lectures for a few topics. I have the One-Sheets — did you find the main points there to basically predict what you saw with respect to the issues on the MEE?

Halp
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Halp » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:19 pm

I've done everything Barbri told me to except sometimes I've skipped the CMR class prep readings and some amps...and my simulated essay results were beyond awful (lowest yet). I don't at all understand why or how I can be this bad at the essays after following the program. :shock:

Never struggled with essays in school. But Barbri never builds in time to review essay topics except like 2 hours on Sunday so I haven't done much beyond the assignments on essay topics... :(

SowhatsNU
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby SowhatsNU » Wed Jul 19, 2017 5:57 pm

Halp wrote:I've done everything Barbri told me to except sometimes I've skipped the CMR class prep readings and some amps...and my simulated essay results were beyond awful (lowest yet). I don't at all understand why or how I can be this bad at the essays after following the program. :shock:

Never struggled with essays in school. But Barbri never builds in time to review essay topics except like 2 hours on Sunday so I haven't done much beyond the assignments on essay topics... :(


I'm in the exact same boat- like i literally have no idea how I'm going to get any of the issues they're looking for, especially if Barbri's checklists are any indicator...like now im worried about the MEE much more than the MBE...

JoeSeperac
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:14 pm

SowhatsNU wrote:I'm in the exact same boat- like i literally have no idea how I'm going to get any of the issues they're looking for, especially if Barbri's checklists are any indicator...like now im worried about the MEE much more than the MBE...


You should be more worried about the MBE than the MEE. According to NCBE, the reliability of the MBE scaled score is 0.90. NCBE found that for the essays to have a reliability of 0.90, they needed to be 16 hours long with 32 different essay questions. see The Bar Examiner: Volume 77, Number 3, August 2008 @ http://ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar ... esting.pdf

Unreliability in scoring means that you can have a very high score one exam and then a very low score another exam even though your level of knowledge has not changed (or even improved). Answering only 6 MEE essays makes unreliability in essay scoring essentially guaranteed. Unreliability in high-stakes exams makes it harder to distinguish applicants sufficiently to determine who is qualified versus unqualified. This does not happen with the MBE. Put simply, with the essays/MPT, you are less likely to get out what you put in – you can put in a great effort studying or writing only to find that you wasted your time.

If you want to see a real-life example, following are graded essays from six examinees who failed the July 2016 UBE:
http://seperac.com/examinees/J16-MEE-3-Torts/index.html

The scores of these essays range from 31 to 59 (the scores are 30.76, 33.30, 41.58, 45.84, 52.04, and 58.76). FYI, an exactly passing essay on the July 2016 NY MEE received a score of 47.82 (meaning two of these examinee essays are above passing while four are below passing). Please look at the PDF comparisons of these essays and then rank order them (i.e. make a list reporting your projected score for each essay – e.g. Examinee 004 received the score of 30.76, Examinee 002 received the score of 34.02, etc). For example:

30.76 – Examinee 004
33.30 – Examinee 002
41.58 – Examinee 005
45.84 – Examinee 006
52.04 – Examinee 003
58.76 – Examinee 001

In regards to the grading rubric, following is how NCBE states the issues should be graded:

(1) Can the man recover damages under tort law from the physician? 25%
(2)(a) When may a producer of a defective product be found liable for injuries caused by that product? 20%
(2)(b) Can the man recover from any of the five U.S. companies when he cannot show what company’s product caused his injuries? 35%
(3) Can the man recover damages from the health-food store? 20%

I regard the correct ranking of all 6 essays as an almost impossible task because everyone will have a different opinion of what is a good answer, even when you have the released New York above average answers to refer to. As one examinee told me “The ranking exercise was actually fun, and also quite an "aha" moment...Now I can see what you mean.”

SowhatsNU
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby SowhatsNU » Wed Jul 19, 2017 9:32 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
SowhatsNU wrote:I'm in the exact same boat- like i literally have no idea how I'm going to get any of the issues they're looking for, especially if Barbri's checklists are any indicator...like now im worried about the MEE much more than the MBE...


You should be more worried about the MBE than the MEE. According to NCBE, the reliability of the MBE scaled score is 0.90. NCBE found that for the essays to have a reliability of 0.90, they needed to be 16 hours long with 32 different essay questions. see The Bar Examiner: Volume 77, Number 3, August 2008 @ http://ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar ... esting.pdf

Unreliability in scoring means that you can have a very high score one exam and then a very low score another exam even though your level of knowledge has not changed (or even improved). Answering only 6 MEE essays makes unreliability in essay scoring essentially guaranteed. Unreliability in high-stakes exams makes it harder to distinguish applicants sufficiently to determine who is qualified versus unqualified. This does not happen with the MBE. Put simply, with the essays/MPT, you are less likely to get out what you put in – you can put in a great effort studying or writing only to find that you wasted your time.

If you want to see a real-life example, following are graded essays from six examinees who failed the July 2016 UBE:
http://seperac.com/examinees/J16-MEE-3-Torts/index.html

The scores of these essays range from 31 to 59 (the scores are 30.76, 33.30, 41.58, 45.84, 52.04, and 58.76). FYI, an exactly passing essay on the July 2016 NY MEE received a score of 47.82 (meaning two of these examinee essays are above passing while four are below passing). Please look at the PDF comparisons of these essays and then rank order them (i.e. make a list reporting your projected score for each essay – e.g. Examinee 004 received the score of 30.76, Examinee 002 received the score of 34.02, etc). For example:

30.76 – Examinee 004
33.30 – Examinee 002
41.58 – Examinee 005
45.84 – Examinee 006
52.04 – Examinee 003
58.76 – Examinee 001

In regards to the grading rubric, following is how NCBE states the issues should be graded:

(1) Can the man recover damages under tort law from the physician? 25%
(2)(a) When may a producer of a defective product be found liable for injuries caused by that product? 20%
(2)(b) Can the man recover from any of the five U.S. companies when he cannot show what company’s product caused his injuries? 35%
(3) Can the man recover damages from the health-food store? 20%

I regard the correct ranking of all 6 essays as an almost impossible task because everyone will have a different opinion of what is a good answer, even when you have the released New York above average answers to refer to. As one examinee told me “The ranking exercise was actually fun, and also quite an "aha" moment...Now I can see what you mean.”



So basically "stop studying for the MEE because all is lost?"

JoeSeperac
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby JoeSeperac » Wed Jul 19, 2017 10:07 pm

If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf

This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"

Halp
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Halp » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:53 am

JoeSeperac wrote:If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf

This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"


Am I correct in reading your statement to also apply to states with 50% state specific essays+MPT (rather than MEE)?

And reliability of .9 - does that mean 90% of those who pass the MBE, pass the entire exam? Surely not...

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UBETutoring
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby UBETutoring » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:55 am

Halp wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf

This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"


Am I correct in reading your statement to also apply to states with 50% state specific essays+MPT (rather than MEE)?

And reliability of .9 - does that mean 90% of those who pass the MBE, pass the entire exam? Surely not...

I'm not doubting the data, but they generally have a specific list of what they're looking for so there is some objectivity. There's just not a 1:1 correlation b/w knowing the law and getting the right answer. A lot of people don't know how to take the MBE, which is to just move element by element on each problem. For example, an MBE where someone applies strict liability to a factory without saying "factory is a commercial supplier". As intuitive as it is, they're not going to award the point.

There are absolutely people who have six 60 essays. They just always pass so these aren't getting released. I think it's more that a poor performance on the MBE is predictive of a poor performance on the MEE. Without being elitist, I've definitely found a marked division between MEE starting scores among t-14 grads and the rest of the population.

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Toubro
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Re: How the !@$% do people memorize all the law necessary for essays?

Postby Toubro » Thu Jul 20, 2017 6:52 am

Halp wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf

This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"


Am I correct in reading your statement to also apply to states with 50% state specific essays+MPT (rather than MEE)?

And reliability of .9 - does that mean 90% of those who pass the MBE, pass the entire exam? Surely not...


No, that's not what it means. Reliability is just a measure of how likely it is that somebody with the same level of skill would get the same score on a different version of the test -- the higher the reliability of a particular test, the more likely it is that a person would receive the same score on two different administrations of the test.

Simplistically, if the MBE had a reliability of 1, given like conditions and unchanged skill level, you could take the test in July 2017 and receive the same score as you would have in July 2009.




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