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Less common bar review courses

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 10:53 am
by Blackberie
Anyone have any success with:

1. Marino Bar Review
2. Law Tutors
3. Seperac
4. JD Advising (MEE lean sheets/MBE Guide/Tutoring)

I failed for the 2nd time this July 17. Themis is letting me re-use their course but I did not find their MBE questions helpful at all. My MBE score stayed the same from the first time I took it (115) so I'm exploring other bar companies. I'd appreciate anyone's insight into these companies. If you have any other suggestions that might be helpful I'd appreciate it!

Re: Less common bar review courses

Posted: Fri Oct 27, 2017 2:46 pm
by JoeSeperac
Did you ever send me your scores? A 115 MBE is pretty low. The average MBE of the 4,000+ examinees who have failed the exam and sent me their scores is 122, so you scored worse than the average failing examinee. Based on your scaled MBE score of 115, your estimated raw MBE score was about 82/175 correct (this is based on the 2013 New York MBE raw/scaled conversion which is the most recent time a July MBE raw/scaled conversion was released by a state). This means you answered only about 47% of the graded MBE questions correctly. Based on the J16 national statistics on the MBE (this year's statistics will not be released until next year), this places you in the 7.3% percentile for the MBE. This means that 92.7% of last year's examinees nationwide did better than you on the MBE based on your scaled MBE score of 115. Examinees usually score close to their MBE practice scores (especially if they have done a large number of representative MBE questions in practice), so my guess is that you never did better than about 50% correct in MBE practice. You need to get that up to 60-65% correct.

In examining the average pass rates in New York over the past 20 years of reported information, the February Overall Pass Rate is 46.5% while the July Overall Pass Rate is 68.8%. The February First Time Takers Pass Rate is 59.4% while the July First Time Takers Pass Rate is 73.4%. The February Repeaters Pass Rate is 33.7% while the July Repeaters Pass Rate is 27.6%. You can’t expect to pass an exam where you needed to be better than about 31% of the examinees taking it, but on the most objective part of the exam, you were only better than 7% of examinees (I am assuming the national percentiles mirror the state percentiles).

I collect a lot of scores which helps me find similarly situated examinees who subsequently passed. One J17 subscriber passed J17 with an MBE of 135.3 and a UBE of 278 after multiple failing attempts including F17 with an MBE of 117.6 and a UBE of 238. If you email me any questions for this examinee, I will pass them on along with the reply. My email is joe@seperac.com.

As to bar reviews, most failers do the bar review rodeo. They go from one to another to another, swearing off each one if they fail. For the last exam, one subscriber passed with an MBE of 175 while another subscriber failed with an MBE of 106. I've dealt with thousands of examinees and I still can't figure out how things like this can occur. However, I strongly believe that the MBE is the key to passing the UBE exam. Even NCBE recently stated that "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf If NCBE themselves are saying that bar scores are highly correlated to MBE scores, why in the world would you focus on anything else until you were very proficient at the MBE?

MBE scores are likely related to total bar exam scores because it takes a much longer time for lower-ability examinees to do well on the MBE. This is because an examinee essentially needs to understand 400-500 legal principles to receive an above passing MBE score. For example, a single intentional torts question may require you to know about assault, battery, false imprisonment and IIED to answer it correctly. Thus, examinees with limited legal knowledge will not do as well on the MBE as examinees with more extensive legal knowledge. In contrast, the MEE only consists of 20 legal principles (give or take a few). While a deeper understanding of the law is needed, it is MUCH easier for someone to get “lucky” on the MEE than the MBE. Let’s assume that like the MBE, you need 65% correct on the MEE to pass – this means you need to correctly identify/analyze about 13/20 of the MEE issues. If you get lucky on just a few of them (i.e. what you studied the night before luckily appears), this can account for 10-15% of your total MEE score. With every exam, I hear from examinees who “bluffed” essay answers and received good grades. For the MBE, you really can’t get lucky on it. Even if some of the concepts you studied just before the exam appeared, that will only help you with maybe 2-4 questions. That’s just 2% of your MBE score. Furthermore, doing well on the MBE involves more than just knowledge – it also involves test-taking skills (and skills require drills). Acquiring this knowledge and skill takes a lot of time – thus if you don’t have a lot of time to spend studying/practicing for the MBE, it is hard to do well on it. While study for the other components of the exam can be “abbreviated” to some extent (e.g. using my materials to abbreviate your MEE essay study or just studying certain subjects and getting lucky), MBE study really can’t be given short-shrift, nor can MBE answered be “bluffed” as with the MEE/MPT (another reason why the bar examiners rely heavily on the MBE and even use it to scale essay/MPT scores).

You have to critically look at how you studied as compared to others similar to you that passed. For example, did you study for 300 total hours while they studied for 450? Did you get 54% in MBE practice while they were in the 60% range? If you can average 65% correct on a good sample of MBE practice questions, you will put yourself in an excellent position to pass the exam. Examinees that follow the methodologies on my subscription site put a disproportionate amount of their study-time into the MBE and then through my materials, they take calculated risks on the MEE and MPT. This is what I find that works for at-risk examinees. Otherwise, lower-ability examinees try to be good at everything, but if their MBE score languishes, they almost always fail.