2018 February Illinois Bar

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b290

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby b290 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:18 pm

RCinDNA wrote:Received the email at 10:14 am. So glad I do not have to study for any more tests!!! 8)

Hilarious how TLS has records of my entire law school career, from LSAT prep and my efforts to pass my first bar exam.

On one hand, I want to see my scores. OTOH I only care for reciprocity purposes and do not want to think about this test for a few months.

Thanks all for the laughs and encouragement!


You did the work! Now you get the reap the benefits.

Well done counselor! :D

My $.02

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RCinDNA

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby RCinDNA » Tue Apr 03, 2018 6:11 am

b290 wrote:
RCinDNA wrote:Received the email at 10:14 am. So glad I do not have to study for any more tests!!! 8)

Hilarious how TLS has records of my entire law school career, from LSAT prep and my efforts to pass my first bar exam.

On one hand, I want to see my scores. OTOH I only care for reciprocity purposes and do not want to think about this test for a few months.

Thanks all for the laughs and encouragement!


You did the work! Now you get the reap the benefits.

Well done counselor! :D

My $.02


Thank you!

sarahbeck10

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby sarahbeck10 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 12:41 pm

Passed in IL on second try..Here are some of the things I did differently this time for those (like me) who will stalk these forums obsessively like I did in the future.

-Did not listen to any lectures (I did BarBri), not even for trouble subjects
-Spent a large amount of time reading and re-reading the MBE subject outlines
-Heavily increased the amount of MBE practice questions I did (around 2500). I spent time reviewing right and wrong answers and wrote out all the rules from the wrong answers in a doc.

I know this doesn't work for everyone, especially the skipping lectures part. Also, reviewing MBE subjects for a big chunk of the time worked in my favor since the essays were MBE-heavy this time.

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RCinDNA

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby RCinDNA » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:09 pm

sarahbeck10 wrote:Passed in IL on second try..Here are some of the things I did differently this time for those (like me) who will stalk these forums obsessively like I did in the future.

-Did not listen to any lectures (I did BarBri), not even for trouble subjects
-Spent a large amount of time reading and re-reading the MBE subject outlines
-Heavily increased the amount of MBE practice questions I did (around 2500). I spent time reviewing right and wrong answers and wrote out all the rules from the wrong answers in a doc.

I know this doesn't work for everyone, especially the skipping lectures part. Also, reviewing MBE subjects for a big chunk of the time worked in my favor since the essays were MBE-heavy this time.


I also passed on the second attempt. To add to the above, I did most of the same thing - skipping the lectures and focusing on the MBE outlines was key. If I listened to any lectures, it would be at the gym or while I was running errands. I really concentrated on attempting to memorize the outlines (especially the MBE subjects) and drilling Critical Pass flashcards.

Doing 1,200 ish MBE questions through Adaptibar, BarBri, and NCBE released questions to get me used to frequently tested topics and different question styles also helped. . I also wrote down every answer I got wrong and thought about why in addition to reviewing the correct answers (i.e. I would ask if I got an answer wrong because of an inaccurate statement of law or just plainly not knowing the law well enough).

I also did about 60 practice essays after I went back and tallied them up - I did not fully write out all of them but I did go through the answers and identify issues that must appear for passig scores.

Finally, I went to the NCBEX to review the subject outlines. Helpful to keep in mind the percentage of topics that would be tested.

JarjarBinks2019

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby JarjarBinks2019 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 4:15 pm

Passed. I would have to agree with other people on this thread - focus the majority of your time on practice questions rather than the lectures. I think people often focus their attention on lectures and might find themselves too exhausted to practice questions later. Also, Barbri, Themis, and other vendors will have a set schedule for you, but you know yourself best - make sure you do what is most comfortable for you. I.e. If there is a highly tested area you are weak in, give it more attention, regardless of what Barbri might advise. I used Barbri books from 2016 (didn't have access to the lectures because I wasn't going to pay $3K for it) in combination with CriticalPass, LeanSheets, and the GOAT. I usually read the CMR of the topic I was working on that day and then followed with practice questions (MBE and essay); I practiced about 5 timed MPTs overall using Barbri's MPT book (I outlined about 3 MPTs); and I worked full-time - so it's 100% doable if you manage your time well (but I don't recommend working if you don't have to).

Overall, I would just say to cover all of your bases. Don't let a topic go uncovered- even the ones not likely to be tested. Practice, practice, and practice - complete as many MBEs and Essays as you can - it will pay off on the exam. Memorize and get to know the most tested law - you should at least know the majority of rules & their exceptions for all 8 MBE topics. And start early, it's a marathon, not a sprint.

radjo

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby radjo » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:08 pm

So I checked some Illinois numbers
Feb 2017 - 135 MBE percentile was 55
July 2017 it was 36 and Feb 2018 it's 60. Can we say that Feb 2018 was tough exam compared to last two exams?

ndbigdave wrote:
jcdetroit wrote:Are February exams usually this brutal? Looks like around a 50% overall pass rate, I think.

https://www.ilbaradmissions.org/percent ... s-feb-2018



I was just running the math, it does appear that a 266 (the score needing to pass) would put the pass rate somewhere right near 50%.

I am not going to look up the historical numbers right now (I had for other posts if you want to search through my history) but this is about right for February - in fact, it is a bit higher than February 2017 if my memory is correct.

The scary number, to me, is that the median score was likely a 135 or so on the MBE which would be a solid 5 points lower than the National average from July 2017. That's a significant drop, though the real comparison would have to be February 2017 to be fair based on relatively similarly situated takers.

b290

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby b290 » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:47 am

radjo wrote:So I checked some Illinois numbers
Feb 2017 - 135 MBE percentile was 55
July 2017 it was 36 and Feb 2018 it's 60. Can we say that Feb 2018 was tough exam compared to last two exams?

ndbigdave wrote:
jcdetroit wrote:Are February exams usually this brutal? Looks like around a 50% overall pass rate, I think.

https://www.ilbaradmissions.org/percent ... s-feb-2018



I was just running the math, it does appear that a 266 (the score needing to pass) would put the pass rate somewhere right near 50%...

(All % numbers = national)
For Feb 2017, 45 percent scored higher than 135
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-crxIjAafEAA/ ... 7%2BAM.png

For Feb 2016, 49.9 percent scored higher than a 135
http://www.ncbex.org/publications/stati ... tatistics/

For Feb 2015, 52 percent scored higher than a 135
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-U9uPw9vaCTk/V ... 2%2BPM.png

So the MBE has been trending downward since the NCBE’s added Civ Pro. Also, considering that the MBE is usually 40-50% of exam scores, that explains the passage rate trends.

A 50% pass rate’s is about normal for Feb - especially bigger states. That excludes first-time takers (whose passing numbers are usually well north of 50%)

My $.02

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ndbigdave

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby ndbigdave » Thu Apr 05, 2018 4:53 pm

b290 wrote:
radjo wrote:So I checked some Illinois numbers
Feb 2017 - 135 MBE percentile was 55
July 2017 it was 36 and Feb 2018 it's 60. Can we say that Feb 2018 was tough exam compared to last two exams?

ndbigdave wrote:
jcdetroit wrote:Are February exams usually this brutal? Looks like around a 50% overall pass rate, I think.

https://www.ilbaradmissions.org/percent ... s-feb-2018



I was just running the math, it does appear that a 266 (the score needing to pass) would put the pass rate somewhere right near 50%...

(All % numbers = national)
For Feb 2017, 45 percent scored higher than 135
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-crxIjAafEAA/ ... 7%2BAM.png

For Feb 2016, 49.9 percent scored higher than a 135
http://www.ncbex.org/publications/stati ... tatistics/

For Feb 2015, 52 percent scored higher than a 135
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-U9uPw9vaCTk/V ... 2%2BPM.png

So the MBE has been trending downward since the NCBE’s added Civ Pro. Also, considering that the MBE is usually 40-50% of exam scores, that explains the passage rate trends.

A 50% pass rate’s is about normal for Feb - especially bigger states. That excludes first-time takers (whose passing numbers are usually well north of 50%)

My $.02


February is an odd exam because, on the average, it is a weaker crop of takers for two main reasons:

1 - The "first time takers" would likely be non-traditional students who did not graduate to take the July exam, most non-traditional students are admitted via a part-time programs, night programs or had to take less than a full load for either aptitude or "life" reasons (be it work, family or something else) this means that this is not a strong a group of first-time takers than July usually produces.

2 - a Higher number of repeat takers. That isn't to say that there are no repeat takers in July (there are) but a higher percentage of the population for a February test will be re-takers. Statistically, and on average, these are folks that: 1-failed before, 2-likely are to fail again without substantive changes in the pre.

Sadly, because Illinois is one of the states that really hides the ball in relation to the numbers we won't know the exact passing rate and won't have a breakdown by first-time takers and repeaters. Other states, like Michigan for an example, will produce pass rates by school and will also publish results breaking down results by first-time takers and repeaters.

The national MBE actually went UP for July 2017, butb290 has said, numbers for years (and quite clearly for February takers) have been going down with the addition of Civil Procedure to the test. Though the NCBE would never admit to it and there are internal controls to account for it, the test also started being based out of 175 rather than 190 in February of 2017 what effect that has I cannot say with any certainty but its worth noting. Finally, Illinois also raised the cut score from 264 to 266 a few years ago which also helps explain (in part) why the pass rates have dropped from a crazy high mid-80s to now into the low 70s (for July) and to the high 40s to 50s for February exams.

b290

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby b290 » Thu Apr 05, 2018 10:58 pm

ndbigdave wrote:
b290 wrote:
radjo wrote:So I checked some Illinois numbers
Feb 2017 - 135 MBE percentile was 55
July 2017 it was 36 and Feb 2018 it's 60. Can we say that Feb 2018 was tough exam compared to last two exams?

ndbigdave wrote:
jcdetroit wrote:Are February exams usually this brutal? Looks like around a 50% overall pass rate, I think.

https://www.ilbaradmissions.org/percent ... s-feb-2018



I was just running the math, it does appear that a 266 (the score needing to pass) would put the pass rate somewhere right near 50%...

(All % numbe...


February is an odd exam because, on the average, it is a weaker crop of takers for two main reasons:

1 - The "first time takers" would likely be non-traditional students who did not graduate to take the July exam, most non-traditional students are admitted via a part-time programs, night programs or had to take less than a full load for either aptitude or "life" reasons (be it work, family or something else) this means that this is not a strong a group of first-time takers than July usually produces.

2 - a Higher number of repeat takers. That isn't to say that there are no repeat takers in July (there are) but a higher percentage of the population for a February test will be re-takers. Statistically, and on average, these are folks that: 1-failed before, 2-likely are to fail again without substantive changes in the pre.

Sadly, because Illinois is one of the states that really hides the ball in relation to the numbers we won't know the exact passing rate and won't have a breakdown by first-time takers and repeaters. Other states, like Michigan for an example, will produce pass rates by school and will also publish results breaking down results by first-time takers and repeaters.

The national MBE actually went UP for July 2017, butb290 has said, numbers for years (and quite clearly for February takers) have been going down with the addition of Civil Procedure to the test. Though the NCBE would never admit to it and there are internal controls to account for it, the test also started being based out of 175 rather than 190 in February of 2017 what effect that has I cannot say with any certainty but its worth noting. Finally, Illinois also raised the cut score from 264 to 266 a few years ago which also helps explain (in part) why the pass rates have dropped from a crazy high mid-80s to now into the low 70s (for July) and to the high 40s to 50s for February exams.


Exactly. That's why I didn't start comparing July and Feb numbers. Add also the higher %age of foreign takers for Feb - most of whom get their first exposure to bar exam fundamentals 2 months before the exam (they're not in law school to get the subjects, and multiple-choice is still largely American exam practice) . E.g. NY has close to 50% foreign takers in Feb . Factor in what you mentioned, and it's almost like they're different tests :shock:

Also, I don't know why the NCBE decided to make it out of 175. Apparently, the NCBE loves to use the February exams for its "experiments". It's nonsense.

Illinois RAISED its passing score? :x You'd think with nonsense in Springfield & Chicago, along with the funding crises, that the state would actually want more tax-paying attorneys. :shock:

My $.02

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ndbigdave

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Re: 2018 February Illinois Bar

Postby ndbigdave » Fri Apr 06, 2018 9:58 am

b290 wrote:
Exactly. That's why I didn't start comparing July and Feb numbers. Add also the higher %age of foreign takers for Feb - most of whom get their first exposure to bar exam fundamentals 2 months before the exam (they're not in law school to get the subjects, and multiple-choice is still largely American exam practice) . E.g. NY has close to 50% foreign takers in Feb . Factor in what you mentioned, and it's almost like they're different tests :shock:

Also, I don't know why the NCBE decided to make it out of 175. Apparently, the NCBE loves to use the February exams for its "experiments". It's nonsense.

Illinois RAISED its passing score? :x You'd think with nonsense in Springfield & Chicago, along with the funding crises, that the state would actually want more tax-paying attorneys. :shock:

My $.02


It was 2015 when the cut score was moved from 264 to 266 and there were serious talks about moving it to 268 and eventually to 272, however those plans have been scrapped - I think in large part because numbers for February fell a lot and July (though still relatively strong) are weaker than they were historically. An even higher cut score isn't necessary to winnow out some applicants because the Illinois score increased was paired with the inclusion of Civ Pro as a subject in 2015 - that appears to be more than enough to drop pass rates.

Here is a good story discussing the numbers; http://www.chicagolawbulletin.com/archi ... m-11-16-15

The larger discussion, one that naturally has many moving parts because there is no "one thing" that has caused the score drops and then pass rate decreases is about how law schools are preparing students for the bar. When I entered law school and even upon passing my first bar (self-study, worked full time up to the day before the bar) I really put the onnous on the student to prepare and didnt really consider much criticism for my school (or any school generally), but the more I think about how I was educated and prepared during my three years the more angry I become because not every student is me (I benefited from being a good test taker, did well on standardized tests, I have a great memory and had seven years of experience as a judicial clerk to help guide me in understanding legal jargon and concepts) but I think law schools are doing a disservice to their students in many respects. The top issues that come to mine for me are:

#1 - Admitting students that should not be in law school. This isn't to sound elite or snobbish, but for every "hard-luck" story of a person with a subpar LSAT score who "makes good" there appear to be many more who may struggle through, graduate and then never pass the bar. This is unconscionable to me to take someone's money (or let them incur insane levels of debt) when their likelihood of earning it back is lowered. Keeping standards (even at tier 4 schools) would be a net benefit to the legal community.

#2 - Poor preparation in the core subjects. The core is the MBE topics. Too many schools now are offering "extra credit," "participation points" and other ways for students to keep their GPA at or above the desirable 3.0 that has absolutely nothing to do with grasping the legal concepts. If you don't know the core subjects you are at a tremendous disadvantage for the bar examination as in most subjects they represent far more than 50% - most of the subjects also appear in the essay component.

#3 - Poor test preparation. Some schools, mine included, do offer niche' classes teaching MBE/Essays test strategies - just how effective they are certainly is a case-by-case study, but the real dilemma is how just about every other class is ultimately tested. Few, if any, have any sort of multiple choice component. Others may test "essay writing" but not in the way the bar examination tests it. Most jurisdictions having 20 or 30 minutes per essay type questions for the bar, meanwhile, professors and law schools have three-hour long marathon sessions for the final exam.

I truly believe that law schools can achieve all of their other important goals: diversity, clinics, offering plenty of electives along with practical skills courses while also better serving their students by raising the expectations for the core courses, testing differently, requiring bar related skills courses/lectures so that their students are actually prepared before jumping into their bar exam course of choice. I don't actually want to call this "teaching for the test" per say, but ultimately the bar is what matters to 99/100 students as the degree does not unlock its full value until it is attached to a license.



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