2018 February CA Bar

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JulyRepeater

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JulyRepeater » Tue May 22, 2018 2:04 pm

a male human wrote:
JulyRepeater wrote:1) 60
2) 50
3) 70
4) 60
5) 75
PT: 60

Raw Written: 435
Scaled Written: 1440.5474
Scaled MBE: 1201 :evil:

Total Score: 1320.7737

I need serious help with MBE. I used AdaptiBar and Emanuel both the first and second time I took it and did many practice questions. Anyone have any word of advice on how to improve MBEs??


How did you do during practice? Did you learn from doing the practice questions? Just because you do them doesn't mean you learn from them.

I would spend at least as much time reviewing and understanding the answer explanations as you spend doing questions. For example, it took me over a day to review my 200Q mock MBE. Don't be afraid to redo the questions either going through the analysis even if you're familiar. If you really "get" it, then you should get 100% of them correct (but you won't).

That said, they've been testing some weird obscure rules lately, so I don't blame you for being unprepared. I'm preparing a new email on 5 counterintuitive truths about the MBE, to be sent this Saturday. Sign up here. I think it'll be helpful.



I did decent during practice, receiving a 70% on my simulated full MBE. I thoroughly read through every single rule statement, even if I got it right, and rewrote them in a separate document. I find myself constantly torn between two answers (I mean, who doesn't). I'll sign up now, thanks!

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a male human

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby a male human » Tue May 22, 2018 2:40 pm

JulyRepeater wrote:
a male human wrote:
JulyRepeater wrote:1) 60
2) 50
3) 70
4) 60
5) 75
PT: 60

Raw Written: 435
Scaled Written: 1440.5474
Scaled MBE: 1201 :evil:

Total Score: 1320.7737

I need serious help with MBE. I used AdaptiBar and Emanuel both the first and second time I took it and did many practice questions. Anyone have any word of advice on how to improve MBEs??


How did you do during practice? Did you learn from doing the practice questions? Just because you do them doesn't mean you learn from them.

I would spend at least as much time reviewing and understanding the answer explanations as you spend doing questions. For example, it took me over a day to review my 200Q mock MBE. Don't be afraid to redo the questions either going through the analysis even if you're familiar. If you really "get" it, then you should get 100% of them correct (but you won't).

That said, they've been testing some weird obscure rules lately, so I don't blame you for being unprepared. I'm preparing a new email on 5 counterintuitive truths about the MBE, to be sent this Saturday. Sign up here. I think it'll be helpful.



I did decent during practice, receiving a 70% on my simulated full MBE. I thoroughly read through every single rule statement, even if I got it right, and rewrote them in a separate document. I find myself constantly torn between two answers (I mean, who doesn't). I'll sign up now, thanks!


Yeah, those 50/50 choices are awful. 70% is good, though! One of the things I started suggesting to people is to go back to mixing in a small amount of author-written questions from Barbri or whoever writes questions, on top of past questions from S&T or AdaptiBar. The idea is that mixing up the style of questions will keep you on your toes. It's also good to be on top of the rules in general because they might test you on fringe rules.

Nightcrawler

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby Nightcrawler » Tue May 22, 2018 3:12 pm

LawQueen777 wrote:Scaled MBE: 1539


I'm sorry to hear that you failed too. Unfortunately, the grading process is also based on luck. One thing that helped bump my score by a lot is simply being responsive. What I mean is just putting a sentence in the beginning that literally responds to the question of the call (simplified example: "To determine whether the prisoner had a right to his tea we first need to analyze whether he had standing and whether his rights were infringed"), followed by an IRAC analysis of the issues that I spotted instead of just talking as much as possible to issues that may appear "random" to a grader. Maybe that's not your problem at all though.

With that said, I see you are pretty consistent with your high MBE scores. May I ask what you did to prepare for the MBE and which study sources did you study from? Thank you!

LawQueen777

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby LawQueen777 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:44 pm

Nightcrawler wrote:
LawQueen777 wrote:Scaled MBE: 1539


I'm sorry to hear that you failed too. Unfortunately, the grading process is also based on luck. One thing that helped bump my score by a lot is simply being responsive. What I mean is just putting a sentence in the beginning that literally responds to the question of the call (simplified example: "To determine whether the prisoner had a right to his tea we first need to analyze whether he had standing and whether his rights were infringed"), followed by an IRAC analysis of the issues that I spotted instead of just talking as much as possible to issues that may appear "random" to a grader. Maybe that's not your problem at all though.

With that said, I see you are pretty consistent with your high MBE scores. May I ask what you did to prepare for the MBE and which study sources did you study from? Thank you!


Thanks for that advice. Anything will help at this point! For MBEs, I used the Emanuel book, Adaptibar, and Barbri's practice questions, which I feel like are the best simulated questions after comparing them to Themis' practice questions.

I really need to figure out to give exactly what these essay graders want. Although I have used Baressays both times, I must not be looking at the techniques closely enough. So frustrating.

SDChargers

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby SDChargers » Tue May 22, 2018 4:48 pm

Can you send me the info please?


Bla Bla Bla Blah wrote:Quoted bow is what I did to pass. I'll go ahead and put the steps into a one page guide for anyone who wants my materials. Also willing to discuss my approach if I can hand you my materials. Anyone who is interested in these materials let me know. Can also give the $35 Adaptibar discount to anyone who needs it too. Willing to personally hand them off to anyone in the San Diego, Riverside, or Orange County/LA area.

All the best.

Bla Bla Bla Blah wrote:Perhaps this will help, for anyone who has work, kids, other obligations and needs a quick way to study. I was given a little over 2 and 1/2 weeks to wrap up my arguments against HP and Roku for my firm and prep for this test. Realized that "I ain't got time" pretty fast. Luckily, I have a background in criminal law, and deal with Federal practice (we're talking summary judgement and dismissal issues on a regular basis in patent arguments), and so crim pro, crim law, and quite a bit of evidence and civ pro were confident areas for me (didn't even really touch my material on criminal issues).

Overall, the goal with limited time is to get straight into the meat. By seeing the rule statements so much, I recalled them really well during the bar. Let's face it, on most of these rules (contract formation) we simply need to remember how to state them. We don't need to waste a ton of time having a lecturer tell us what consideration is, or what the mailbox rule is, while we write this into a giant lecture outline (which we are then responsible for breaking down into leansheet format) because we all went to law school. It was way more helpful to see it in simple rule statement form again and again on a flashcard, read the explanation, and speed past the basic rules (focusing more on the tricky ones) while I flicked it into a box. The lectures were helpful only to fill times where I could not actively study with passive learning. I outlined essay subjects (with rule statements, and follow up review of these rule statements, and an idea of how I would analyze) on all CA subjects--and gave special attention to PR.

I honestly would have done exactly what I did with my 2 and 1/2 weeks if I had more time too. Beats wasting time sitting down through slow lectures/all the time spent reinventing the wheel and developing your own outlines with time that should be spent in active learning, MBE testing being the most important to understanding Fed rules and building confidence, in my opinion. Adaptibar almost taught me exactly how to analyze when I studied all their follow up explanations. I also had the advantageof knowing that what I was reading was, at all times, the correct statement of the law and not wasting all that time breaking down my own outlines into 3-6 page leansheet formats--who has time to waste on learning how to break material down when the focus should be on finding the quickest way to digest the rules and giving it back to examiners the way they want ot by testing yourself on them over, and over again?

Felt very good in practice since I was where I needed to be in MBE, and Adaptibar told me how I was being most effective and when. Also knew that I was spotting all the key issues in my essay outlines as my issue spotting was right along with the model answers. I also left no guess work to how I would write and organize my essays--a book on that was helpful. Felt pretty good about it all, but remember, take this with a grain of salt. I still don't know if I passed!

Edit: Forgot to mention this, and honestly I decided on this route during the exam... but tackling the PT first was immensely helpful to my approach. I didn't practice the PT's prior to the exam, but wrote it exactly as I would have in practice. Because I hit the PT first, mental fatigue and the mental stress that comes with being immediately up against the clock did not affect me. I figured that if anything affected my performance, it would be better that this occur on an essay question that was worth 1 point for every 2 points that I could gain on the PT. I probably took an extra 15 to 20 minutes on this question making sure it all looked nice, and doing a quick proof. And while I was about 10-15 minutes short on the wills essay, and faced mental fatigue/time stress on the question, it wasn't enough to affect my approach and I finished with 5 minutes left. If I lost a few points on wills because of the strategy, it definitely beat having a sloppy PT because all of the stress that kicks in when I look at my watch or when the proctor yells "5 minutes left!"

So here's what I did, from most utilized material to least.

Adaptibar ($360): Jumped right in and pushed through as many as I could per day. When you get those wrong, they tend to stick in your head and teach you nuanced issues of the law much better. Always reviewed explanations for each answer, which included full rule statements. Downloaded the app and could test everywhere. Adaptibar even told me my timing for each question, as well as the optimal time for my answers (i.e., at what time I got the most right). This helped me because I knew that if it took me anywhere longer than 1min 15sec to answer, I was probably going to trip myself up and not ger it right--so answer and move on! Obviously because I started on these questions cold, I worked my way up and was hitting 73 percent during my last week (close to 66 percent overall).

Critical pass flashcards ($150): No way in hell I would have had time to create an outline and flashcards through a full course. And I found the Kaplan books my friend sold to me, and commercial outlines were inferior to these cards. I'd grab a topic, and when I was exhausted from everything else I had done, I'd lay there flick through all the cards for the topic (usually right before I was ready to shut it down for the night), flicking them into the lid for the box. Very nice, and full, and well broken down explanations. I would make myself recite the rules outloud, until I could do it from memory, on some of the trickier rules (covenants of title, lemon test, obscenity test, Daubert, etc.). But most importantly, it was a great way to constantly cycle through the subjects.

($45 used) I bought a book, and don't recall the name of it, on how to write for the CA Bar. It had good reviews on Amazon, and gave me a good idea of how to save time in the essays by keeping titles succinct (one to two words if possible), only using bold (too many things to worry about turning on/off when you're capped, Ital, Underline, etc.), and creating a quick outline. Really helpful on the CA subjects, and discussed the most important topics to bring up in each. Incuded questions, model answers, and a breakdown of why.

MP3 Lectures (Free): My friend had MP3 lectures of all the federal subjects. Had those lectures going at all times that I couldn't actively study (in my car, while I was going to sleep, and until I woke up in the morning and got started on active review). Helpful AF!

Leansheets ($30): Not sure that these had the best statements of law, and found myself digging through the box of Kaplan books I purchased for better explanations, but reviewed these over and over again, mostly on CA subjects that were not part of critical pass, was huge in beating CA rules into my head in a way that let me recall them much easier. The book on essays for CA bar were also instructive, by breaking down the areas of CA law to general theme based outlines (which was based on what was most tested on the essays). So I had a theme based overview (helpful to writing) and a full overview because these 3 to 6 page outlines covered everything, and distinguished Fed/ABA from CA very well. It was also nice to have confidence that, even though I didn't write these, they were correct.

Kaplan books ($50): very rarely did I need these, but where a lean sheet rule was not ringing any bells, I'd refer to the outlines in these for clarifications. Again, as with lean sheets, this is pretty much limited to CA law.

LawQueen777

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby LawQueen777 » Tue May 22, 2018 4:51 pm

a male human wrote:
JulyRepeater wrote:
a male human wrote:
JulyRepeater wrote:1) 60
2) 50
3) 70
4) 60
5) 75
PT: 60

Raw Written: 435
Scaled Written: 1440.5474
Scaled MBE: 1201 :evil:

Total Score: 1320.7737

I need serious help with MBE. I used AdaptiBar and Emanuel both the first and second time I took it and did many practice questions. Anyone have any word of advice on how to improve MBEs??


How did you do during practice? Did you learn from doing the practice questions? Just because you do them doesn't mean you learn from them.

I would spend at least as much time reviewing and understanding the answer explanations as you spend doing questions. For example, it took me over a day to review my 200Q mock MBE. Don't be afraid to redo the questions either going through the analysis even if you're familiar. If you really "get" it, then you should get 100% of them correct (but you won't).

That said, they've been testing some weird obscure rules lately, so I don't blame you for being unprepared. I'm preparing a new email on 5 counterintuitive truths about the MBE, to be sent this Saturday. Sign up here. I think it'll be helpful.



I did decent during practice, receiving a 70% on my simulated full MBE. I thoroughly read through every single rule statement, even if I got it right, and rewrote them in a separate document. I find myself constantly torn between two answers (I mean, who doesn't). I'll sign up now, thanks!


Yeah, those 50/50 choices are awful. 70% is good, though! One of the things I started suggesting to people is to go back to mixing in a small amount of author-written questions from Barbri or whoever writes questions, on top of past questions from S&T or AdaptiBar. The idea is that mixing up the style of questions will keep you on your toes. It's also good to be on top of the rules in general because they might test you on fringe rules.


I agree with this advice. As someone who seems to be doing decently on the MBEs, I think that Adaptibar, Emanuel are great, but that you definitely should try to get a hold of Barbri's MBE book. A lot of the Barbri questions are written in a way that can be confusing, and allow you to see certain nuances of rules that you won't get through Adaptibar. Also, I thought I bombed the MBE this time, but I got even higher (1570) than I did in July (1539). The difference is that this time, I did a lot more of the Barbri questions in topics that I was weak in and that helped.

JulyRepeater

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JulyRepeater » Tue May 22, 2018 6:11 pm

mimim8 wrote:
scard wrote:Anyone know how to sign up for this “Productive Mindset Intervention Program”



trying to figure out the same thing.

any leads?



I finally got an answer from Admissions: "Unfortunately, the opportunity to participate has ended; registration closed on May 14, 2018."

...really hope this doesn't give some kind of advantage to those of us that didn't know we didn't pass by that deadline...

flamingo

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby flamingo » Tue May 22, 2018 7:39 pm

Can someone post the date and time of the Oakland swearing in ceremony?

scard

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby scard » Tue May 22, 2018 8:32 pm

JulyRepeater wrote:
mimim8 wrote:
scard wrote:Anyone know how to sign up for this “Productive Mindset Intervention Program”



trying to figure out the same thing.

any leads?



I finally got an answer from Admissions: "Unfortunately, the opportunity to participate has ended; registration closed on May 14, 2018."

...really hope this doesn't give some kind of advantage to those of us that didn't know we didn't pass by that deadline...


how friggin convenient for them.

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Tue May 22, 2018 8:42 pm

scard wrote:
JulyRepeater wrote:
mimim8 wrote:
scard wrote:Anyone know how to sign up for this “Productive Mindset Intervention Program”



trying to figure out the same thing.

any leads?



I finally got an answer from Admissions: "Unfortunately, the opportunity to participate has ended; registration closed on May 14, 2018."

...really hope this doesn't give some kind of advantage to those of us that didn't know we didn't pass by that deadline...


how friggin convenient for them.



I am suspicious of this “Productive Mindset Intervention Program”. I haven't heard from anyone in this program.

Nightcrawler

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby Nightcrawler » Wed May 23, 2018 12:46 am

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
scard wrote:
JulyRepeater wrote:
mimim8 wrote:
scard wrote:Anyone know how to sign up for this “Productive Mindset Intervention Program”



trying to figure out the same thing.

any leads?



I finally got an answer from Admissions: "Unfortunately, the opportunity to participate has ended; registration closed on May 14, 2018."

...really hope this doesn't give some kind of advantage to those of us that didn't know we didn't pass by that deadline...


how friggin convenient for them.



I am suspicious of this “Productive Mindset Intervention Program”. I haven't heard from anyone in this program.


It's just a way for them to take time and fail as many people as possible giving the appearance of caring about it. They know why the pass rates sucks: because the exam is getting fucking harded and harder. More confusing MBEs, crazier essays and stricter grading. They need to be stopped.

JohnnieSockran

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed May 23, 2018 1:16 pm

flamingo wrote:Can someone post the date and time of the Oakland swearing in ceremony?


June 5th
10:30am
Oakland Convention Center, East Hall

JohnnieSockran

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed May 23, 2018 1:20 pm

LawQueen777 wrote:I am mad as %$#@ right now looking at my scores. Would appreciate any feedback regarding the arbitrary "scaled" scoring process for the CA essays. In July 2017 my scores were as follows:

1) 65
2) 55
3) 55
4) 55
5) 55
PT) 60

Raw Written: 405
Scaled Written: 1322.4737
Scaled MBE: 1539
Total score: 1430.7369

Feb 2018:
1st 2nd Operant
1) 50 55 52.5
2) 50 55 52.5
3) 65 60 62.5
4) 60 55 57.5
5) 65 60 62.5
PT) 55 55 55

Raw Written: 397.5
Scaled Written: 1264.4962
Scaled MBE: 1570
Total score: 1417.2481

For February's exam, I hired a former bar grader as an essay tutor, focused mostly on essays, and felt quite prepared for the exam. I know for a fact that my essay performance was better this time based on my grasp of the topics and practice. My essay scores this time just seem artificially low, and the scaling is clearly a lot lower than the July administration. How the heck are we supposed to prepare and pass when they keep moving the goal post and being secretive about the way CA is scoring the essay portion? Looking at my scores proves to me that the CA bar examiners have purposely set out to make the CA portion almost impossible to get passing scores so that they can keep these ridiculous low passing rates.

There is no way CA exam takers are less competent than other states. This is just bull$*%#. My percentile ranking for the MBE was 92.3 locally and 92.7 nationally. I clearly know the law. Additionally, I write professionally in the legal field, so I know I'm a decent writer. WTF???


Which tutor did you use for February? I assume you plan to re-take, so I can recommend the tutor that helped me with my essays/PT. He's pricey, but I think his essay/PT strategies are killer, and I think his methods are the only reason I passed this time around, especially the PT.

estefanchanning

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby estefanchanning » Wed May 23, 2018 1:41 pm

KT33 wrote:Even as someone who passed this time around in an exam with the lowest pass rate in CA history, I 100% think it's getting harder and not related strictly to the applicant pool. The first and only other time I took it was one of the last 3 day Bars in July 2016, and, for obvious reasons, I saw dramatic differences from that test to this one. Despite format change, I thought this Bar was magnitudes harder than than that one and, from practicing problems of past tests, it does appear that it's been significantly harder (at least essay-wise) each time since. First of all, there were almost no cross-over issues in the 2016 exam I took and the essay questions were very straight forward. Secondly, the only thing I felt was particularly hard about the MBE in July 2016 is that I was not prepared for how logically tricky the questions were, but there were very few questions on areas of law I was unfamiliar with.

This time around we had half the time to do the PTs and may as well have had 1/2 of the time to do the essays given that I felt there were sooo many more issues and multiple cross-overs. Of the 5 essays at least 3 of them were major cross-overs of multiple types of law (not just a standard two part cross-over) within a single question. Also, I felt the MBE included a ridiculous amount of questions on topics that were either barely talked about in preparation materials or that I had literally never seen at all, on top of being logically tricky and the typical MBE horror. I looked at the July 2017 exam in preparation for this one anticipating that cutting out a day would mean intense cross-overs, but, from what I remember, there was not one cross-over issue in that exam or at least if there were, they were very very minimal. Luckily I assumed that was only because it was the first administration of the 2 day exam and that they might turn up the heat this time and that over-preparation boded in my favor, but it still supports the argument that the exams are changing significantly and getting harder each time.

I do think that the lowering LSAT score trends do partially attribute to the lowering MBE trends since I find the two exams very, very similar, but I don't think that's the whole story either for the MBE trends alone or the Bar exam as a whole. I personally thought just from 3 cycles past the MBE I took this time around was a completely different exam that I had no way to fully prepare for and probably barely passed based on luck.

estefanchanning wrote:Serious question:

I agree with everyone that the CA bar exam is insane. But:

I think we can all agree that the test is not getting harder year after year. If that's the case, can we really blame the State Bar for such a low passing score? Perhaps the feb test was a bit harder than previous examinations, but idk if it was the cause of such a drastic drop in passing rate.

All that to say, perhaps the issue is with the actual law schools and their predatory admission practices? Perhaps their standards have sunk so low that they're the true cause of this decline?

To be clear, I don't think the bar exam is proper measure of who will be a good lawyer. But at the same time, I do think that law schools are more to blame than the State bar? This is a classic res ipsa situation, in that there is a harm that wouldn't have otherwise occurred without the negligence of someone, we just don't know who's fault it is exactly.



Many of my friends say that the MC was getting harder. They didn't think that the essays were that much harder. So if I read your post to say that the MC was significantly harder, that begs my question: Can we really blame CA state bar, given that everyone takes the same MC? Other States seem to not be as affected as CA. Which makes me think the biggest issue is CA law schools, and to an extent, law students?

JohnnieSockran

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed May 23, 2018 1:53 pm

estefanchanning wrote:
KT33 wrote:Even as someone who passed this time around in an exam with the lowest pass rate in CA history, I 100% think it's getting harder and not related strictly to the applicant pool. The first and only other time I took it was one of the last 3 day Bars in July 2016, and, for obvious reasons, I saw dramatic differences from that test to this one. Despite format change, I thought this Bar was magnitudes harder than than that one and, from practicing problems of past tests, it does appear that it's been significantly harder (at least essay-wise) each time since. First of all, there were almost no cross-over issues in the 2016 exam I took and the essay questions were very straight forward. Secondly, the only thing I felt was particularly hard about the MBE in July 2016 is that I was not prepared for how logically tricky the questions were, but there were very few questions on areas of law I was unfamiliar with.

This time around we had half the time to do the PTs and may as well have had 1/2 of the time to do the essays given that I felt there were sooo many more issues and multiple cross-overs. Of the 5 essays at least 3 of them were major cross-overs of multiple types of law (not just a standard two part cross-over) within a single question. Also, I felt the MBE included a ridiculous amount of questions on topics that were either barely talked about in preparation materials or that I had literally never seen at all, on top of being logically tricky and the typical MBE horror. I looked at the July 2017 exam in preparation for this one anticipating that cutting out a day would mean intense cross-overs, but, from what I remember, there was not one cross-over issue in that exam or at least if there were, they were very very minimal. Luckily I assumed that was only because it was the first administration of the 2 day exam and that they might turn up the heat this time and that over-preparation boded in my favor, but it still supports the argument that the exams are changing significantly and getting harder each time.

I do think that the lowering LSAT score trends do partially attribute to the lowering MBE trends since I find the two exams very, very similar, but I don't think that's the whole story either for the MBE trends alone or the Bar exam as a whole. I personally thought just from 3 cycles past the MBE I took this time around was a completely different exam that I had no way to fully prepare for and probably barely passed based on luck.

estefanchanning wrote:Serious question:

I agree with everyone that the CA bar exam is insane. But:

I think we can all agree that the test is not getting harder year after year. If that's the case, can we really blame the State Bar for such a low passing score? Perhaps the feb test was a bit harder than previous examinations, but idk if it was the cause of such a drastic drop in passing rate.

All that to say, perhaps the issue is with the actual law schools and their predatory admission practices? Perhaps their standards have sunk so low that they're the true cause of this decline?

To be clear, I don't think the bar exam is proper measure of who will be a good lawyer. But at the same time, I do think that law schools are more to blame than the State bar? This is a classic res ipsa situation, in that there is a harm that wouldn't have otherwise occurred without the negligence of someone, we just don't know who's fault it is exactly.



Many of my friends say that the MC was getting harder. They didn't think that the essays were that much harder. So if I read your post to say that the MC was significantly harder, that begs my question: Can we really blame CA state bar, given that everyone takes the same MC? Other States seem to not be as affected as CA. Which makes me think the biggest issue is CA law schools, and to an extent, law students?


However, CA does still objectively require a higher score on those same MC questions. In CA, I needed a 1440, and in NY you need somewhere around the equivalent of 1350 I believe, and it might even be lower than that.

So, in my opinion, that part is on CA.

estefanchanning

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Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby estefanchanning » Wed May 23, 2018 1:59 pm

JohnnieSockran wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
KT33 wrote:Even as someone who passed this time around in an exam with the lowest pass rate in CA history, I 100% think it's getting harder and not related strictly to the applicant pool. The first and only other time I took it was one of the last 3 day Bars in July 2016, and, for obvious reasons, I saw dramatic differences from that test to this one. Despite format change, I thought this Bar was magnitudes harder than than that one and, from practicing problems of past tests, it does appear that it's been significantly harder (at least essay-wise) each time since. First of all, there were almost no cross-over issues in the 2016 exam I took and the essay questions were very straight forward. Secondly, the only thing I felt was particularly hard about the MBE in July 2016 is that I was not prepared for how logically tricky the questions were, but there were very few questions on areas of law I was unfamiliar with.

This time around we had half the time to do the PTs and may as well have had 1/2 of the time to do the essays given that I felt there were sooo many more issues and multiple cross-overs. Of the 5 essays at least 3 of them were major cross-overs of multiple types of law (not just a standard two part cross-over) within a single question. Also, I felt the MBE included a ridiculous amount of questions on topics that were either barely talked about in preparation materials or that I had literally never seen at all, on top of being logically tricky and the typical MBE horror. I looked at the July 2017 exam in preparation for this one anticipating that cutting out a day would mean intense cross-overs, but, from what I remember, there was not one cross-over issue in that exam or at least if there were, they were very very minimal. Luckily I assumed that was only because it was the first administration of the 2 day exam and that they might turn up the heat this time and that over-preparation boded in my favor, but it still supports the argument that the exams are changing significantly and getting harder each time.

I do think that the lowering LSAT score trends do partially attribute to the lowering MBE trends since I find the two exams very, very similar, but I don't think that's the whole story either for the MBE trends alone or the Bar exam as a whole. I personally thought just from 3 cycles past the MBE I took this time around was a completely different exam that I had no way to fully prepare for and probably barely passed based on luck.

estefanchanning wrote:Serious question:

I agree with everyone that the CA bar exam is insane. But:

I think we can all agree that the test is not getting harder year after year. If that's the case, can we really blame the State Bar for such a low passing score? Perhaps the feb test was a bit harder than previous examinations, but idk if it was the cause of such a drastic drop in passing rate.

All that to say, perhaps the issue is with the actual law schools and their predatory admission practices? Perhaps their standards have sunk so low that they're the true cause of this decline?

To be clear, I don't think the bar exam is proper measure of who will be a good lawyer. But at the same time, I do think that law schools are more to blame than the State bar? This is a classic res ipsa situation, in that there is a harm that wouldn't have otherwise occurred without the negligence of someone, we just don't know who's fault it is exactly.



Many of my friends say that the MC was getting harder. They didn't think that the essays were that much harder. So if I read your post to say that the MC was significantly harder, that begs my question: Can we really blame CA state bar, given that everyone takes the same MC? Other States seem to not be as affected as CA. Which makes me think the biggest issue is CA law schools, and to an extent, law students?


However, CA does still objectively require a higher score on those same MC questions. In CA, I needed a 1440, and in NY you need somewhere around the equivalent of 1350 I believe, and it might even be lower than that.

So, in my opinion, that part is on CA.


DE requires a higher cut score, yet the pass rates are not as abysmal? And Oregon's cut score is not that much lower than CA, yet July 2017 pass rate was 79%!
https://www.lawschooltransparency.com/r ... =cutscores

LockBox

Bronze
Posts: 468
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 8:05 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby LockBox » Wed May 23, 2018 2:13 pm

estefanchanning wrote:
JohnnieSockran wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
KT33 wrote:Even as someone who passed this time around in an exam with the lowest pass rate in CA history, I 100% think it's getting harder and not related strictly to the applicant pool. The first and only other time I took it was one of the last 3 day Bars in July 2016, and, for obvious reasons, I saw dramatic differences from that test to this one. Despite format change, I thought this Bar was magnitudes harder than than that one and, from practicing problems of past tests, it does appear that it's been significantly harder (at least essay-wise) each time since. First of all, there were almost no cross-over issues in the 2016 exam I took and the essay questions were very straight forward. Secondly, the only thing I felt was particularly hard about the MBE in July 2016 is that I was not prepared for how logically tricky the questions were, but there were very few questions on areas of law I was unfamiliar with.

This time around we had half the time to do the PTs and may as well have had 1/2 of the time to do the essays given that I felt there were sooo many more issues and multiple cross-overs. Of the 5 essays at least 3 of them were major cross-overs of multiple types of law (not just a standard two part cross-over) within a single question. Also, I felt the MBE included a ridiculous amount of questions on topics that were either barely talked about in preparation materials or that I had literally never seen at all, on top of being logically tricky and the typical MBE horror. I looked at the July 2017 exam in preparation for this one anticipating that cutting out a day would mean intense cross-overs, but, from what I remember, there was not one cross-over issue in that exam or at least if there were, they were very very minimal. Luckily I assumed that was only because it was the first administration of the 2 day exam and that they might turn up the heat this time and that over-preparation boded in my favor, but it still supports the argument that the exams are changing significantly and getting harder each time.

I do think that the lowering LSAT score trends do partially attribute to the lowering MBE trends since I find the two exams very, very similar, but I don't think that's the whole story either for the MBE trends alone or the Bar exam as a whole. I personally thought just from 3 cycles past the MBE I took this time around was a completely different exam that I had no way to fully prepare for and probably barely passed based on luck.

estefanchanning wrote:Serious question:

I agree with everyone that the CA bar exam is insane. But:

I think we can all agree that the test is not getting harder year after year. If that's the case, can we really blame the State Bar for such a low passing score? Perhaps the feb test was a bit harder than previous examinations, but idk if it was the cause of such a drastic drop in passing rate.

All that to say, perhaps the issue is with the actual law schools and their predatory admission practices? Perhaps their standards have sunk so low that they're the true cause of this decline?

To be clear, I don't think the bar exam is proper measure of who will be a good lawyer. But at the same time, I do think that law schools are more to blame than the State bar? This is a classic res ipsa situation, in that there is a harm that wouldn't have otherwise occurred without the negligence of someone, we just don't know who's fault it is exactly.



Many of my friends say that the MC was getting harder. They didn't think that the essays were that much harder. So if I read your post to say that the MC was significantly harder, that begs my question: Can we really blame CA state bar, given that everyone takes the same MC? Other States seem to not be as affected as CA. Which makes me think the biggest issue is CA law schools, and to an extent, law students?


However, CA does still objectively require a higher score on those same MC questions. In CA, I needed a 1440, and in NY you need somewhere around the equivalent of 1350 I believe, and it might even be lower than that.

So, in my opinion, that part is on CA.


DE requires a higher cut score, yet the pass rates are not as abysmal? And Oregon's cut score is not that much lower than CA, yet July 2017 pass rate was 79%!
https://www.lawschooltransparency.com/r ... =cutscores


Let me ask you a few questions: how many law schools in those states vs. California? How does the Feb pass rate compare with the July pass rate in either state(s)?

Again, y'all can rant and rave as much as you want, but even that type of thinking does not serve the purpose of those of you still attempting to pass this exam. It might make you feel better, but trust me it is furthering you from your goal of passing.

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed May 23, 2018 2:18 pm

LockBox wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
JohnnieSockran wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
KT33 wrote:Even as someone who passed this time around in an exam with the lowest pass rate in CA history, I 100% think it's getting harder and not related strictly to the applicant pool. The first and only other time I took it was one of the last 3 day Bars in July 2016, and, for obvious reasons, I saw dramatic differences from that test to this one. Despite format change, I thought this Bar was magnitudes harder than than that one and, from practicing problems of past tests, it does appear that it's been significantly harder (at least essay-wise) each time since. First of all, there were almost no cross-over issues in the 2016 exam I took and the essay questions were very straight forward. Secondly, the only thing I felt was particularly hard about the MBE in July 2016 is that I was not prepared for how logically tricky the questions were, but there were very few questions on areas of law I was unfamiliar with.

This time around we had half the time to do the PTs and may as well have had 1/2 of the time to do the essays given that I felt there were sooo many more issues and multiple cross-overs. Of the 5 essays at least 3 of them were major cross-overs of multiple types of law (not just a standard two part cross-over) within a single question. Also, I felt the MBE included a ridiculous amount of questions on topics that were either barely talked about in preparation materials or that I had literally never seen at all, on top of being logically tricky and the typical MBE horror. I looked at the July 2017 exam in preparation for this one anticipating that cutting out a day would mean intense cross-overs, but, from what I remember, there was not one cross-over issue in that exam or at least if there were, they were very very minimal. Luckily I assumed that was only because it was the first administration of the 2 day exam and that they might turn up the heat this time and that over-preparation boded in my favor, but it still supports the argument that the exams are changing significantly and getting harder each time.

I do think that the lowering LSAT score trends do partially attribute to the lowering MBE trends since I find the two exams very, very similar, but I don't think that's the whole story either for the MBE trends alone or the Bar exam as a whole. I personally thought just from 3 cycles past the MBE I took this time around was a completely different exam that I had no way to fully prepare for and probably barely passed based on luck.

estefanchanning wrote:Serious question:

I agree with everyone that the CA bar exam is insane. But:

I think we can all agree that the test is not getting harder year after year. If that's the case, can we really blame the State Bar for such a low passing score? Perhaps the feb test was a bit harder than previous examinations, but idk if it was the cause of such a drastic drop in passing rate.

All that to say, perhaps the issue is with the actual law schools and their predatory admission practices? Perhaps their standards have sunk so low that they're the true cause of this decline?

To be clear, I don't think the bar exam is proper measure of who will be a good lawyer. But at the same time, I do think that law schools are more to blame than the State bar? This is a classic res ipsa situation, in that there is a harm that wouldn't have otherwise occurred without the negligence of someone, we just don't know who's fault it is exactly.



Many of my friends say that the MC was getting harder. They didn't think that the essays were that much harder. So if I read your post to say that the MC was significantly harder, that begs my question: Can we really blame CA state bar, given that everyone takes the same MC? Other States seem to not be as affected as CA. Which makes me think the biggest issue is CA law schools, and to an extent, law students?


However, CA does still objectively require a higher score on those same MC questions. In CA, I needed a 1440, and in NY you need somewhere around the equivalent of 1350 I believe, and it might even be lower than that.

So, in my opinion, that part is on CA.


DE requires a higher cut score, yet the pass rates are not as abysmal? And Oregon's cut score is not that much lower than CA, yet July 2017 pass rate was 79%!
https://www.lawschooltransparency.com/r ... =cutscores


Let me ask you a few questions: how many law schools in those states vs. California? How does the Feb pass rate compare with the July pass rate in either state(s)?

Again, y'all can rant and rave as much as you want, but even that type of thinking does not serve the purpose of those of you still attempting to pass this exam. It might make you feel better, but trust me it is furthering you from your goal of passing.


*couple of questions, not a few.

IME, these threads generally turn into a discussion about exam policies, cut scores, etc. once a few days pass after results are released, because everyone still trying to pass has moved over to the July 2018 thread.

estefanchanning

Bronze
Posts: 302
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby estefanchanning » Wed May 23, 2018 2:20 pm

LockBox wrote:Let me ask you a few questions: how many law schools in those states vs. California? How does the Feb pass rate compare with the July pass rate in either state(s)?

Again, y'all can rant and rave as much as you want, but even that type of thinking does not serve the purpose of those of you still attempting to pass this exam. It might make you feel better, but trust me it is furthering you from your goal of passing.


No I agree. I just feel that by exclusively blaming the CA state bar, we are not moving forward to a solution. I don't have an answer to your question bc I don't want to look/delve too deep into this rabbit hole. But I can confidently say that no measurement will come close to CA. And I doubt we will see a trend in the difficulty of the exam that will explain the abysmal passing rate.

I really believe that most of the blame is on the law schools themselves and what/how they're teaching.

Also, consider that the reason the pass rate is so low is because T4 schools are dragging T1/2 schools. https://abovethelaw.com/2017/12/a-break ... july-2017/

So can we really still blame the bar examiners?

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed May 23, 2018 2:41 pm

estefanchanning wrote:
LockBox wrote:Let me ask you a few questions: how many law schools in those states vs. California? How does the Feb pass rate compare with the July pass rate in either state(s)?

Again, y'all can rant and rave as much as you want, but even that type of thinking does not serve the purpose of those of you still attempting to pass this exam. It might make you feel better, but trust me it is furthering you from your goal of passing.


No I agree. I just feel that by exclusively blaming the CA state bar, we are not moving forward to a solution. I don't have an answer to your question bc I don't want to look/delve too deep into this rabbit hole. But I can confidently say that no measurement will come close to CA. And I doubt we will see a trend in the difficulty of the exam that will explain the abysmal passing rate.

I really believe that most of the blame is on the law schools themselves and what/how they're teaching.

Also, consider that the reason the pass rate is so low is because T4 schools are dragging T1/2 schools. https://abovethelaw.com/2017/12/a-break ... july-2017/

So can we really still blame the bar examiners?


But do we really want law schools to just teach to the test? As a corporate lawyer, the bar exam literally helped me learn 0 information for practice. Maybe a tiny bit with business associations, but that's such a small portion of the exam, if it even gets tested.

At my law school, I was able to take primarily corporate focused classes all of 2L and 3L, which were interesting to me and helpful for my career. It'd be absurd to replace those classes with wills and trusts, criminal procedure, etc, which leads me into this rant:

The bar exam as a concept is generally a bit ridiculous in my opinion, because not many lawyers practice criminal law, civ pro, con law, corporate law, and also write wills and trusts, etc. etc.

Idk what a better method would be, but now that I am a licensed attorney practicing corporate law, I have no use for any of my crim/con law/civ pro knowledge that I was forced to learn for passing the bar. Rant over.

But I agree we need some kind of licensing system for the profession, so maybe the bar exam as it stands is the best method (or least worst). Regardless, I think it would be a shame if law schools just start teaching toward the test.

estefanchanning

Bronze
Posts: 302
Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:22 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby estefanchanning » Wed May 23, 2018 2:45 pm

JohnnieSockran wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
LockBox wrote:Let me ask you a few questions: how many law schools in those states vs. California? How does the Feb pass rate compare with the July pass rate in either state(s)?

Again, y'all can rant and rave as much as you want, but even that type of thinking does not serve the purpose of those of you still attempting to pass this exam. It might make you feel better, but trust me it is furthering you from your goal of passing.


No I agree. I just feel that by exclusively blaming the CA state bar, we are not moving forward to a solution. I don't have an answer to your question bc I don't want to look/delve too deep into this rabbit hole. But I can confidently say that no measurement will come close to CA. And I doubt we will see a trend in the difficulty of the exam that will explain the abysmal passing rate.

I really believe that most of the blame is on the law schools themselves and what/how they're teaching.

Also, consider that the reason the pass rate is so low is because T4 schools are dragging T1/2 schools. https://abovethelaw.com/2017/12/a-break ... july-2017/

So can we really still blame the bar examiners?


But do we really want law schools to just teach to the test? As a corporate lawyer, the bar exam literally helped me learn 0 information for practice. Maybe a tiny bit with business associations, but that's such a small portion of the exam, if it even gets tested.

At my law school, I was able to take primarily corporate focused classes all of 2L and 3L, which were interesting to me and helpful for my career. It'd be absurd to replace those classes with wills and trusts, criminal procedure, etc, which leads me into this rant:

The bar exam as a concept is generally a bit ridiculous in my opinion, because not many lawyers practice criminal law, civ pro, con law, corporate law, and also write wills and trusts, etc. etc.

Idk what a better method would be, but now that I am a licensed attorney practicing corporate law, I have no use for any of my crim/con law/civ pro knowledge that I was forced to learn for passing the bar. Rant over.

But I agree we need some kind of licensing system for the profession, so maybe the bar exam as it stands is the best method (or least worst). Regardless, I think it would be a shame if law schools just start teaching toward the test.


I don't think the two are mutually exclusive. If you look at T-14/T1/T2 schools, they don't require every subject on the bar. Yet their pass rates are high. I think the applicant pool is also to blame, and the falling admission standards.

/rant over on my end

LawQueen777

New
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Jun 07, 2017 12:15 am

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby LawQueen777 » Wed May 23, 2018 2:49 pm

JohnnieSockran wrote:
LawQueen777 wrote:I am mad as %$#@ right now looking at my scores. Would appreciate any feedback regarding the arbitrary "scaled" scoring process for the CA essays. In July 2017 my scores were as follows:

1) 65
2) 55
3) 55
4) 55
5) 55
PT) 60

Raw Written: 405
Scaled Written: 1322.4737
Scaled MBE: 1539
Total score: 1430.7369

Feb 2018:
1st 2nd Operant
1) 50 55 52.5
2) 50 55 52.5
3) 65 60 62.5
4) 60 55 57.5
5) 65 60 62.5
PT) 55 55 55

Raw Written: 397.5
Scaled Written: 1264.4962
Scaled MBE: 1570
Total score: 1417.2481

For February's exam, I hired a former bar grader as an essay tutor, focused mostly on essays, and felt quite prepared for the exam. I know for a fact that my essay performance was better this time based on my grasp of the topics and practice. My essay scores this time just seem artificially low, and the scaling is clearly a lot lower than the July administration. How the heck are we supposed to prepare and pass when they keep moving the goal post and being secretive about the way CA is scoring the essay portion? Looking at my scores proves to me that the CA bar examiners have purposely set out to make the CA portion almost impossible to get passing scores so that they can keep these ridiculous low passing rates.

There is no way CA exam takers are less competent than other states. This is just bull$*%#. My percentile ranking for the MBE was 92.3 locally and 92.7 nationally. I clearly know the law. Additionally, I write professionally in the legal field, so I know I'm a decent writer. WTF???


Which tutor did you use for February? I assume you plan to re-take, so I can recommend the tutor that helped me with my essays/PT. He's pricey, but I think his essay/PT strategies are killer, and I think his methods are the only reason I passed this time around, especially the PT.


Can you private message me and tell me who you used? I'll also tell you the tutor I hired.

JohnnieSockran

Bronze
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:07 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed May 23, 2018 2:52 pm

LawQueen777 wrote:
JohnnieSockran wrote:
LawQueen777 wrote:I am mad as %$#@ right now looking at my scores. Would appreciate any feedback regarding the arbitrary "scaled" scoring process for the CA essays. In July 2017 my scores were as follows:

1) 65
2) 55
3) 55
4) 55
5) 55
PT) 60

Raw Written: 405
Scaled Written: 1322.4737
Scaled MBE: 1539
Total score: 1430.7369

Feb 2018:
1st 2nd Operant
1) 50 55 52.5
2) 50 55 52.5
3) 65 60 62.5
4) 60 55 57.5
5) 65 60 62.5
PT) 55 55 55

Raw Written: 397.5
Scaled Written: 1264.4962
Scaled MBE: 1570
Total score: 1417.2481

For February's exam, I hired a former bar grader as an essay tutor, focused mostly on essays, and felt quite prepared for the exam. I know for a fact that my essay performance was better this time based on my grasp of the topics and practice. My essay scores this time just seem artificially low, and the scaling is clearly a lot lower than the July administration. How the heck are we supposed to prepare and pass when they keep moving the goal post and being secretive about the way CA is scoring the essay portion? Looking at my scores proves to me that the CA bar examiners have purposely set out to make the CA portion almost impossible to get passing scores so that they can keep these ridiculous low passing rates.

There is no way CA exam takers are less competent than other states. This is just bull$*%#. My percentile ranking for the MBE was 92.3 locally and 92.7 nationally. I clearly know the law. Additionally, I write professionally in the legal field, so I know I'm a decent writer. WTF???


Which tutor did you use for February? I assume you plan to re-take, so I can recommend the tutor that helped me with my essays/PT. He's pricey, but I think his essay/PT strategies are killer, and I think his methods are the only reason I passed this time around, especially the PT.


Can you private message me and tell me who you used? I'll also tell you the tutor I hired.


Unfortunately there is no longer a private messaging function on this site. But here's an email address I created just to login for this site lol. Shoot me an email if you'd like: fakeemailaddressforTLS@gmail.com (yes, I really created this email address).

User avatar
a male human

Gold
Posts: 2014
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:42 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby a male human » Wed May 23, 2018 5:56 pm

JohnnieSockran wrote:
LawQueen777 wrote:
JohnnieSockran wrote:
LawQueen777 wrote:I am mad as %$#@ right now looking at my scores. Would appreciate any feedback regarding the arbitrary "scaled" scoring process for the CA essays. In July 2017 my scores were as follows:

1) 65
2) 55
3) 55
4) 55
5) 55
PT) 60

Raw Written: 405
Scaled Written: 1322.4737
Scaled MBE: 1539
Total score: 1430.7369

Feb 2018:
1st 2nd Operant
1) 50 55 52.5
2) 50 55 52.5
3) 65 60 62.5
4) 60 55 57.5
5) 65 60 62.5
PT) 55 55 55

Raw Written: 397.5
Scaled Written: 1264.4962
Scaled MBE: 1570
Total score: 1417.2481

For February's exam, I hired a former bar grader as an essay tutor, focused mostly on essays, and felt quite prepared for the exam. I know for a fact that my essay performance was better this time based on my grasp of the topics and practice. My essay scores this time just seem artificially low, and the scaling is clearly a lot lower than the July administration. How the heck are we supposed to prepare and pass when they keep moving the goal post and being secretive about the way CA is scoring the essay portion? Looking at my scores proves to me that the CA bar examiners have purposely set out to make the CA portion almost impossible to get passing scores so that they can keep these ridiculous low passing rates.

There is no way CA exam takers are less competent than other states. This is just bull$*%#. My percentile ranking for the MBE was 92.3 locally and 92.7 nationally. I clearly know the law. Additionally, I write professionally in the legal field, so I know I'm a decent writer. WTF???


Which tutor did you use for February? I assume you plan to re-take, so I can recommend the tutor that helped me with my essays/PT. He's pricey, but I think his essay/PT strategies are killer, and I think his methods are the only reason I passed this time around, especially the PT.


Can you private message me and tell me who you used? I'll also tell you the tutor I hired.


Unfortunately there is no longer a private messaging function on this site. But here's an email address I created just to login for this site lol. Shoot me an email if you'd like: fakeemailaddressforTLS@gmail.com (yes, I really created this email address).

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Nightcrawler

Bronze
Posts: 180
Joined: Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:02 pm

Re: 2018 February CA Bar

Postby Nightcrawler » Wed May 23, 2018 10:21 pm

chicoalto0649 wrote:I had a 1611 MBE and failed last July 2017. Do not gamble on the essays or bet the MBE will take you over the edge.


That's an awesome MBE score, congrats. May I ask what you used to prepare for it?



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