2018 July California Bar

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FutureEntAttySP

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2018 July California Bar

Postby FutureEntAttySP » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:50 pm

I didn’t see an official July 2018 thread yet, so I figured I’d start one for questions/discussions specific to this exam date. Here is my question (feel free to us this thread for all other relevant discussion):

Does anyone know if the listed exam locations for the 2018 February exam are likely to be the same for the 2018 July exam? I’d like to make my hotel bookings ASAP as there are some good prices being advertised for hotels in my preferred exam location, one of which is directly across the street from the location listed for February exam (Downtown San Diego). Being a seasoned traveler, I’m anticipating prices will jump up as soon as the March 1st registration opens and hotels local to exam sites realize the potential for large numbers of travelers. For what it’s worth, I do realize there will be hotel discounts published on the CA Bar website after March 1st, but those are not usually for the top tier luxury hotels, and my spouse wants to splurge on a luxury hotel for my bar exam week. Thanks!

bacillusanthracis

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby bacillusanthracis » Sun Feb 25, 2018 1:01 am


FutureEntAttySP

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby FutureEntAttySP » Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:33 pm

While it’s an amusing blog entry about the worst seediest motel in San Diego, I’m not entirely sure of the relevance to this discussion about the July 2018 bar exam.

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:07 pm

FutureEntAttySP wrote:I didn’t see an official July 2018 thread yet, so I figured I’d start one for questions/discussions specific to this exam date. Here is my question (feel free to us this thread for all other relevant discussion):

Does anyone know if the listed exam locations for the 2018 February exam are likely to be the same for the 2018 July exam? I’d like to make my hotel bookings ASAP as there are some good prices being advertised for hotels in my preferred exam location, one of which is directly across the street from the location listed for February exam (Downtown San Diego). Being a seasoned traveler, I’m anticipating prices will jump up as soon as the March 1st registration opens and hotels local to exam sites realize the potential for large numbers of travelers. For what it’s worth, I do realize there will be hotel discounts published on the CA Bar website after March 1st, but those are not usually for the top tier luxury hotels, and my spouse wants to splurge on a luxury hotel for my bar exam week. Thanks!



Some exam locations often change in rotation, while others are constant. I know Pasadena, Ontario, and Oakland are consistent exam locations. Sometimes the San Diego and Sacramento locations are limited to examinees who reside in the city.

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby rayforoc » Mon Feb 26, 2018 12:04 am

FutureEntAttySP wrote:While it’s an amusing blog entry about the worst seediest motel in San Diego, I’m not entirely sure of the relevance to this discussion about the July 2018 bar exam.


You expressed your intent to secure a hotel reservation. Your TLS colleague provided you with an option. It's trash. But still relevant within the meaning of the FRE. Punish yourself. Also, my understanding is there is rarely fluctuation (except for the Testing Accommodation places) so you should reserve it meow.

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a male human

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby a male human » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:30 am

Pretty early but thanks for starting the thread! As usual, I'll drop in some helpful info collected over the years.



TABLE OF CONTENTS (search for [*A/B/C] to jump to a section)

[*A] Links to previous threads
[*B] Resources and supplements (discount codes available)
[*C] Overview of changes to the CA bar and where to focus



[*A]PREVIOUS THREADS YOU CAN DIG THROUGH FOR EXTRA HELP
[+] Spoiler
2018 February: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=283574
2017 July: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=274836
2017 February: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=271217
2016 July: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=260090
2016 February: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=260833
2015 July: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=244425
2015 February: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=240022
2014 July: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=225140
2014 February: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=220409
2013 July: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=213457

As detailed in section [*C] (buried below since most of you now know about the changes), it turns out that all of the portions of the California bar are now worth more, making each question heavier than before (partly because it's no longer spread over three days)!


Wondering where to start?



[*B]RECOMMENDED RESOURCES
[+] Spoiler
This collection of resources seemed helpful to people. Feel free to suggest your own!

Investing in resources is an indicator of success, but you also shouldn't just buy everything willy nilly. The more choices you have, the more confused you're likely to be (and waste time on things that ultimately don't help).

So what are you supposed to buy? I've been hanging around the seasonal TLS bar threads since 2013 and seen the most effective tools that helped people pass the bar. On my second attempt at the CA bar, I've tried some that helped me pass, and I've tried some that didn't add any value.

Below is a list of resources I picked out that should give you the most bang for your buck. No need to overcomplicate things or go broke. Do your due diligence, pick a few resources that will work for you, and extract as much as you can.

You may not have the patience or mental energy to think about this when you're still shell shocked, gripped by anxiety, or overwhelmed with the reality of defeat. Maybe you're lost, desperate to magically pass, or simply deferring the hard decision of seeking the right help. You'll definitely go through a rollercoaster of feels.

That's OK. Take solace in knowing that all the information is out there. All you need to do is implement them, when you're ready to do so.

Shortnotes on the most popular and effective supplements for...

- MBE on a budget? Strategies & Tactics for the MBE Volume I (see description and an inside look below)
- MBE if you have $365 to shell out? AdaptiBar (see description below and my ultimate review)
You can improve your MBE with either of these excellent tools. Get AdaptiBar if you have the budget, but you do not need both.
- Essays? BarEssays.com (see info and samples below, as well my ultimate review)
- PTs? I don't know of a sure-kill supplement, but I have put together a guide (ver. 1.5d); unlike the MBE or essays, PTs are better learned through exposure to a variety of them over trying to deeply understand the answer

Search the [ID] to jump to the description of a featured resource, tagged by sections of interest:

[*1] Strategies & Tactics for the MBE Vols. I & II (Emanuel) + Civ Pro resources [MBE]
[*2] Law in a Flash [MBE] [Essays]
[*3] BarEssays.com ($25 off) [Essays]
[*4] Past CA essays and performance tests (and a guide to own the PTs) [Essays] [PTs]
[*5] BarIssues.com ($20 off) [Essays]
[*6] BarMax MBE app [MBE]
[*7] Adaptibar ($30 off) [MBE]
[*8] Options for condensed outlines and approach sheets [MBE] [Essays]


[*1] Strategies & Tactics for the MBE Volume I (Emanuel 6th edition): This is the MBE bible.

It's great (and may be the only MBE supplement you need) because it comes with 500-600 representative MBE questions that are all genuine and were previously administered (along with author-written Civ Pro questions). I encourage you to study with the real deal.

Each subject is prefaced with a discussion of the tricky areas and how to deal with them. Some subjects have an overview of the major topics. There will be tips that revolve around multiple choice in general. The 200-question practice test at the back can be done to gauge your progress sometime in the final month leading to the bar.

How to use: Read the primer for each subject, answer every question on a separate sheet, and analyze their explanation in their entirety, including (A) through (D) for each question, including questions you get correctly. So essentially, go through the book cover to cover (which is what I did and is worth it).

So what does it look like inside? Pics incoming:
Subject overview
Questions
Explanations

Link: 6th edition (2016) -- includes excellent author-generated Civ Pro questions

Get it in very good condition at least so that you don’t see the previous owners’ markings.

I do not recommend the 5th edition (2012 version) for Vol. 1 given the picky, nuanced Civ Pro questions that have appeared on the MBE.


[*1] Strategies & Tactics for the MBE Volume II (Emanuel): This is the expansion pack to the above book, containing new questions. It's in a different format, where the answer appears right beneath the question. If you're doing a question for practice, you'll have to carefully cover the answer as you do each question.

The valuable feature in Vol. 2 is how the questions are categorized into labeled topics. For example, Q45 on page 166 is filed under Chapter 5 Formal Proceedings -- I. Grand Jury Proceedings -- A. Self-incrimination and immunity.

For better or worse, some headings contain answer spoilers for the concepts, e.g., Q46 on page 167 is filed under B. No right to have attorney present in grand jury room, which gives away the answer.

Nonetheless, if you liked Volume 1, this is great for additional authentic MBE questions, especially if you know or want to improve on specific issues.

How to use: Get it as an optional add on to Volume 1. Don’t get it without Volume 1. Use as a supplement for specific issues.

What it looks like inside

Link: 2012 (latest) edition


AdaptiBar (below) is another great alternative to the above Emanuel's books. It comes with the entire universe of questions released by the NCBE, at a higher cost.

Scroll down to [*7] for more information. Go here for my totally unbiased review. Then, feel free to reach out here for a $30 coupon; the person whose code you use gets a small kickback, $15 in my case because I'm not doing the 30/30 refer-a-friend program.

If you're re-enrolling, there's a substantial discount, no need for a coupon.


[*1] What about Civ Pro? This subject doesn't have licensed questions yet.
Civ Pro MBE questions are picky, testing specific nuances such as the number of days before a certain deadline.

Strategies & Tactics (6th ed., 2016) Volume 1 is likely your best bet to prepare for Civ Pro questions, given that the questions are similar to real MBE questions even if they're written by the author.

AdaptiBar (recommended) or BarMax MBE below [*7][*6] provide a good number of Civ Pro questions but are a more expensive option.

For free Civ Pro MBE questions...

- BarPrepHero has a practice exam with 30 Civ Pro questions here, not written by the NCBE.
- The NCBE has sample questions here.

Additionally, I've heard (hearsay) that Glannon Guide to Civil Procedure (2013) was more than sufficient. It?s cheaper than BarMax or AdaptiBar, but check out based on your own curiosity)


[*2] Law in a Flash cards: I bought 6 boxes of these to patch up my weak subjects. They were especially handy when I had to be out, like when I was trying to learn some tricky Evidence concepts and I could whip out a few cards from my wallet, or when I was trying to learn the various federal jurisdictions inside a noisy Verizon store.

Link: List of LIAF products


[*3] BarEssays.com: One of the most popular resources you'll see mentioned around the forums. Check out my my ultimate BarEssays review: Why Practicing Is Not Enough.

What does it look like inside?
- Check out this essay that scored an 85! Imagine if you studied this and produced the same results on the bar...
- Also fairly new to BarEssays are essay templates that you can literally copy and paste. Check out this Contracts template.

If you're wondering what makes a passing essay vs. what doesn't on the California Bar Exam, this is a large repository of actual graded essays and PTs submitted by those who didn't pass.

But this doesn't mean the essays are all sub-par! While there are essays scored 40 and 50 that show what is not passing material, there are essays that earned 75, 80, or even 85.

The advantage of this repository is the variety of real answers you can study.

Because the State Bar doesn’t disclose how well its model answers did, it’s hard to tell whether they are barely passing or top scoring. All they indicate are that they are “passing” essays and that essays don’t need to hit all the issues, which is implied by answers A and B covering different issues (although each usually hits all the key issues).

There are over 3,000 essays that you can search by subject, range of score, year/month, and even typed/handwritten/both for anyone worried about handwriting. Some have grader commentary.

These essay examples are useful after you outline or write out an essay to check whether you discussed relevant issues and rules and used the facts properly. I'd look at least one below and one above 65, with grader commentary if available.

High scorers tend to discuss all the issues and much of the nuances—but do not necessarily have excellent rule statements or analyses. While you want to look like the 70-75+ people, you’ll notice that they don’t always look like the impossible Barbri answers. These are real answers you can compare to see where you stand.

The owner has raised the price in recent months, and I don't blame him. Fortunately, I have a coupon code that will save you $25 on a subscription! Unfortunately, PMs are no longer available; please get in touch here.

You can also check out my free essay answer bank for limited and exclusive sets of actual student essays. Please donate your past answers if you want to help future generations who want to stand on the shoulders of giants.


[*4] Past essays and performance tests: These might be the only free things you get from the CA State Bar. They release exam questions from each administration.

Link: State Bar of California Past Exams

Note that there's only one 90-minute PT posted above right now. I would practice with the 3-hour legacy PTs (also above) or look at some 90-minute MPTs.

If you need to quickly find California essays organized by subject, check these out:

If you're looking for convenient access to individual questions organized by subject and issue, check out BarIssues.com below ($20 off).

For a budget version, here is an essay locator -- a list of essays organized by subject and issues contained therein (issues incomplete).

User Rap Genius found a repository of all the essay questions and sample analyses here: https://sites.google.com/site/easybarpasser/past-exams/

I have also put together a guide to own the PTs (v. 1.5d), including a step-by-step approach to answering the a PT, and a list of PTs to practice in order of difficulty.


[*5] BarIssues.com: Need to hone in on that mysterious issue you've never been able to tame ever since you laid eyes on it? Need to know which issues have been tested most frequently?

BarIssues is a directory of all the issues that have been tested on the California Bar Exam in the last 10 or so years. You can sort by frequency or the issue itself. A convenient link to the question and model answers is available whenever you explore a subject and its issues.

Price tag got you down? Use code BRIAN2742 at checkout to get $20 off.


[*6] BarMax MBE ($249.99): As with the rest of BarMax's offerings, your materials are available online or via mobile iOS devices, which allows for great portability. A solid choice if you don't mind reading questions on a tablet and being unable to write on a paper surface. But the better-known MBE supplement is...


[*7] Adaptibar ($395/365): Go here for my totally unbiased review... AdaptiBar Review: Is It Worth It?

This program is web based and accessible via PC (desktop or laptop) and mobile site. It automatically adapts and adjusts to your individual strengths and weaknesses.

In total, there are 1,745 MBE questions (all 1,530 NCBE-released questions + 200 simulated Civil Procedure questions + 15 new Real Property questions). Subject performance and timing analysis feedback are provided. In addition, the program allows users to create printable PDF reports of questions that were answered incorrectly.

Moreover, the online app adapts to your strengths and weaknesses and can create customized full-length tests, too. Additional information regarding the program can be found in this flyer and at http://www.adaptibar.com/pricing.aspx.

It is indeed rather expensive, but it’s probably the single best comprehensive option to study for the MBE, assuming you have the budget. Feel free to reach out here for a coupon code for $30 off an AdaptiBar subscription; the person whose code you use gets a small kickback, $15 in my case because I'm not doing the 30/30 refer-a-friend program.

If you're re-enrolling, there's a substantial discount, no need for a coupon.


[*8] Options for condensed outlines and approach sheets

- Lean Sheets are a well-known short outline available for all 50 states.
- Magicsheets are condensed outlines organized in logical groups and indentations.
- Approsheets are essay approach sheets (one pager checklists and flowcharts) that take you from a blank page to a finished essay or outline. These sheets help you make sure you’re attacking all relevant issues and answering each essay completely. You get ZERO points for an issue that you never raise, even if you know the rule for it. An IRAC can't sprout from a seed that's never planted.





[*C]OVERVIEW OF CHANGES TO THE CA BAR
[+] Spoiler
- It is two days now: 1 day of written (5 essays and 1 PT) on Tuesday + 1 day of MBE on Wednesday.
- There will be one 90-minute PT. See a released sample here: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/docu ... 020217.pdf
- The MBE is worth 50% of your total score now, up from 35%.
- The written portion is also worth 50%, down from 65%. The PT is worth more than before (but not in terms of its weight relative to other portions), and each essay is worth more (about 7.1% up from 6.5%).
- Essays are still 1 hour long.
- No more legacy bragging rights for enduring three days of this shit.
- More discussion and how to prepare here.

Image


Changes to the Performance Test
- You get one shot at it now. This is good or bad depending on whether you like PTs.
- It's 90 minutes. That is, it's half as long as before and 1.5x as long as an essay but worth twice as much as an essay. It's now worth more points per minute!
- The sole PT is worth about 14.3% of your total grade (200 out of 700 raw points for the written portion, the written portion being 50% of your total score). This is actually a bit more than before, when each one was worth 13%, but the PT portion is worth much less overall, down from 26%. See http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions/Exa ... a-Bar-Exam
(Relative to the other portions, the PT is weighted less than before)

CalBar2

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby CalBar2 » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:21 pm

Does anyone know whether or not you can use a discount code with Adaptibar if you can already receive the retaker discount?

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a male human

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby a male human » Tue Mar 20, 2018 2:41 pm

CalBar2 wrote:Does anyone know whether or not you can use a discount code with Adaptibar if you can already receive the retaker discount?

I don't believe you can use the discount if you're already getting the retaker price (which is already a pretty steep discount @ $215 or so). You can try it, but I've heard from people saying they couldn't.

CalBar2

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby CalBar2 » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:09 pm

a male human wrote:
CalBar2 wrote:Does anyone know whether or not you can use a discount code with Adaptibar if you can already receive the retaker discount?

I don't believe you can use the discount if you're already getting the retaker price (which is already a pretty steep discount @ $215 or so). You can try it, but I've heard from people saying they couldn't.


Thank you. I went through your post as well as your website and the information you provide everyone is very helpful. Do you happen to know whether or not Strategies and Tactics is coming out with a new edition of their book by any chance? I'm about to order the 6th Edition as you recommended.

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a male human

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby a male human » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:59 pm

CalBar2 wrote:
a male human wrote:
CalBar2 wrote:Does anyone know whether or not you can use a discount code with Adaptibar if you can already receive the retaker discount?

I don't believe you can use the discount if you're already getting the retaker price (which is already a pretty steep discount @ $215 or so). You can try it, but I've heard from people saying they couldn't.


Thank you. I went through your post as well as your website and the information you provide everyone is very helpful. Do you happen to know whether or not Strategies and Tactics is coming out with a new edition of their book by any chance? I'm about to order the 6th Edition as you recommended.

Great to hear :)

I'm not aware of any new editions coming out anytime soon based on quick research. One day, the author might come up with a new edition based on the questions that the NCBE released recently [http://store.ncbex.org/mbe-study-aid-download/]. For now, if you want those questions, you'll probably have to get them separately (note that the Study Aid doesn't come with annotations/explanations).

itsyerboythundercat

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby itsyerboythundercat » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:25 pm

Has anyone taken the exam at the LA Convention Center and have any idea what the parking situation is for the exam?

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MBernard

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby MBernard » Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:26 pm

Checking in. First time Ca bar exam taker. Did my first bar exam this Feb. for Texas and now I'm moving onto Ca.

Best of luck to everyone, let's do this!

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Atmosphere

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby Atmosphere » Fri Apr 06, 2018 3:23 pm

Checking in let’s gooo :arrow:

CALTEX

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby CALTEX » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:49 pm

Checking in! Began my Themis course!

cgc210

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby cgc210 » Mon Apr 09, 2018 3:53 am

I took Feb 2018, and I used this exam calculator, I either passed by 3 mbe''s or failed by 3 mbe's, unfortunately, the calculation isn't exact because the formula CA uses isn't published until after the release of results.
So, I haven't started studying yet, but think I should get a jump on it. Thoughts?

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a male human

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby a male human » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:18 pm

You guys are getting a head start huh?

cgc, do you have a link to the calculator?

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby a male human » Sun May 20, 2018 4:45 pm

Bump for visibility

Angel66

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby Angel66 » Sun May 20, 2018 9:34 pm

I'm surprised that this post hasn't triggered much attention. Has anyone started the prep for the July 2018 CA Bar Exam? :roll:

justanotheruser

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby justanotheruser » Mon May 21, 2018 12:08 am

I took and failed this exam 5 times. The Feb 2018 exam was my 6th attempt and I somehow passed. On the one hand, I feel so happy and relieved. It feels like the nightmare is finally over... like a ton of weight has been taken off my shoulders. On the other hand, I know what it feels like to fall short time and time again.

When I failed for the 5th time (last July), I got the closest I've ever been to passing (scoring 1410) -- thanks in large part to MBE now being worth 50%. While my circumstances might not be the exact same as many of yours' here, I thought it would be worth sharing how I studied/prepared this time and finally passed the bar.

1. OVERALL/BACKGROUND

I almost passed the July 2017 exam mainly on the strength of MBEs (scored just under 150.0). What really hurt me was getting a 55 on one essay and getting a devastating 50 on the PT when I ran out of time + barely wrote 2-3 paragraphs.

I'd say the two biggest changes I made up front were (1) setting aside a full 10 weeks to study (as opposed to 7-8 weeks) and (2) making a detailed day-by-day study calendar. I almost always studied at a library. Overall, a typical day of studying would run 9 to 6... but it's not like I was studying the entire time (e.g. break time, lunch, etc.) With all that said, I was in a fortunate position to be able to study full-time for all 10 weeks. I understand that it's not a circumstance that's available for every one. And another thing, I spent practically zero time on watching lectures or reading notes. I think I referred to old outlines I had only when adaptibar's answer explanation wasn't cutting it for me.

Another commitment I made up front was to make sure I prepared for everything. The temptation to double up on my strength (MBE) was alluring, but given that I was failing over and over again I clearly had to try something different. So I told myself I would put in the time to become well-rounded in preparing for the essays and PT.

Based on my study calendar, I did 30 MBE questions and two essay subjects a day. Every 2 weeks (I picked Wednesday), I would swap out the essays for a full practice PT. As I got closer to the exam date, I did a practice PT basically every week. I think in Week 5 or 6 of studying, I did a full practice bar exam, with Tuesday as the written day and Wednesday as the MBE day. Needless to say, it was all under test conditions.

2. MBE (Materials used: Emanuel's Strategies & Tactics + Adaptibar)

As mentioned earlier, I did 30 MBEs a day, and that's how I would begin each study day. In total, I did about 1900-2000 questions in total (including repeat questions).

I first used Emanuel's Strategies & Tactics to develop a foundation (in terms of forming a strategic approach to MBEs), and then I used Adaptibar exclusively. As I go through the set of 30 Qs, I'm marking down questions I'm "uncertain" about. Once I finish, I go through not only the wrong questions, but the ones I marked "uncertain" as well. When you're reviewing questions, don't just look at the correct answer... but try to figure out why your wrong answer choice was wrong. In the short run it felt like a burden, but it really benefited me in the long run to do that.

As I review answer explanations, I compiled them on a google doc. Before each 30 question set, I would review the google doc and trim/delete or edit the answer explanations (in my own words) as necessary. Make sure to clean up the doc often because if your experience is anything like mine, the doc can get very lengthy (20+ pages).

Last few thoughts on MBE practice? Don't worry about seeing repeat questions on Adaptibar. Try your best to empty your mind of what you thought the answer might have been, and focus on applying the method/approach you've been rolling with.

3. ESSAYS (BarEssays.com)

If I'm honest, I think I tried too hard to find the path of least resistance here. For past bar exams, I would look up BarSecret's predictions and do 3-5 practice outlines per predicted topic. I figured that if I did decently on 2-3 essays, I could pass the bar based on my MBE performance. I also, admittedly, had a mental block when it came to practicing essays. It felt both like crazy boring work I wanted to avoid as well as overwhelming given the amount of stuff I'd be forced to memorize. In hindsight, I think my fears were largely proven wrong.

An overview of how I practiced essays: During the first 2-3 weeks of studying, I would only do ONE essay per subject (so two total essays that day). In these initial weeks, I would fully write out these essays WITH an open book + a 2-hour time limit. In short, I tried writing as good an essay as I could. It helped me get familiar with the essay topics and start slowly building a foundation. I won't lie, this part was pretty grueling (but it got easier afterwards). After that, for most of the 10-weeks I spent studying (between weeks 3 through 8 roughly), I outlined essays (and increased from 1 essay to 2-4 essays per subject). In the last two weeks before the exam, I just issue spotted going through 8-10 essays (covering 2-3 essay subjects) a day.

In all this, BarEssays was a fantastic resource. After I'd be done writing/outlining/issue-spotting an essay, I would compare what I had written with what had been written (or not) on papers scoring 60, 65, and 70+. If there was a rule or strategy I'd frequently forget, I'd make a note of it on a google doc. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I did not have to rote memorize anything. Some people advocate memorizing the 13 most frequent rule statements per each subject. Do what works for you best.

Once I had a few weeks under my belt, I began to notice how certain details or fact patterns that would implicate various/specific issues. You start seeing how there's only a finite number of issues they test for each subject. In time, I began to slowly articulate the rule statement in my own words... even if they didn't exactly match the "standard" phrasing on BarEssays. A few more weeks later, my momentum would continue to build as I saw how I was spotting most of the issues covered on passing essays. It also helped when I saw how many of these high-scoring essays were filled with typos/errors/etc -- they were far from perfect.

4. PT (http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt/preparing)

As long as I've tried passing the bar, the PT was basically the neglected stepchild... even though it counts twice as much as an essay. I think my mindset really changed when I realized I could have passed the July 2017 exam if I had time to finish the PT (and score 60+) instead of running out of time and only scoring a 50 like I actually did.

In terms of approach, I did about 7-8 full practice PTs. My focus each and every time was getting my timing down. Your approach may be different, but my goal was to finish reading+outlining in 30 minutes so I could have an hour-ish to write. During practices, I would mark down how long it took me to finish outlining and start writing. I think my first PT or two, it took me nearly an hour to read/outline everything. But I got better and better. I did all this with the strategy of doing the PT first and then the two essays in the afternoon session.

On the actual bar exam, I spent just under 1 hr 40 minutes on the PT before moving on to the two essays in the afternoon session. Obviously I could have been a bit quicker, but this was far better than when I had only 25 minutes (in total) to start and finish the PT in July 2017.

5. FINAL THOUGHTS

I think planning out a 10-week study schedule, making a detailed day-by-day calendar, and ensuring I'd do xxxx number of MBEs, essays, and PTs come the real thing was HUGE. Gave me not only structure, but assurance that no day was going to waste. I would just add that I designated 4-5 days as "free" days. I ended up using them for extra review, a day off to go to a friend's wedding, and another day off to go see Japanese Breakfast live.

If my experience is any indication remaining positive is huge -- in both the small things (not letting a tough MBE question hang you up for the next 10 minutes) and big things (believing you can overcome the bar after multiple tries). It's also being honest with yourself with the adjustments you need to make in your studies. For me, it was admitting I shouldn't overly rely on my MBE performance for the bar and putting in the requisite work for essays/PT.

This is already a long enough post as it is, but feel free to message me if you have any specific questions.

Angel66

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Posts: 36
Joined: Sat May 05, 2018 2:11 am

Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby Angel66 » Mon May 21, 2018 5:17 am

justanotheruser wrote:I took and failed this exam 5 times. The Feb 2018 exam was my 6th attempt and I somehow passed. On the one hand, I feel so happy and relieved. It feels like the nightmare is finally over... like a ton of weight has been taken off my shoulders. On the other hand, I know what it feels like to fall short time and time again.

When I failed for the 5th time (last July), I got the closest I've ever been to passing (scoring 1410) -- thanks in large part to MBE now being worth 50%. While my circumstances might not be the exact same as many of yours' here, I thought it would be worth sharing how I studied/prepared this time and finally passed the bar.

1. OVERALL/BACKGROUND

I almost passed the July 2017 exam mainly on the strength of MBEs (scored just under 150.0). What really hurt me was getting a 55 on one essay and getting a devastating 50 on the PT when I ran out of time + barely wrote 2-3 paragraphs.

I'd say the two biggest changes I made up front were (1) setting aside a full 10 weeks to study (as opposed to 7-8 weeks) and (2) making a detailed day-by-day study calendar. I almost always studied at a library. Overall, a typical day of studying would run 9 to 6... but it's not like I was studying the entire time (e.g. break time, lunch, etc.) With all that said, I was in a fortunate position to be able to study full-time for all 10 weeks. I understand that it's not a circumstance that's available for every one. And another thing, I spent practically zero time on watching lectures or reading notes. I think I referred to old outlines I had only when adaptibar's answer explanation wasn't cutting it for me.

Another commitment I made up front was to make sure I prepared for everything. The temptation to double up on my strength (MBE) was alluring, but given that I was failing over and over again I clearly had to try something different. So I told myself I would put in the time to become well-rounded in preparing for the essays and PT.

Based on my study calendar, I did 30 MBE questions and two essay subjects a day. Every 2 weeks (I picked Wednesday), I would swap out the essays for a full practice PT. As I got closer to the exam date, I did a practice PT basically every week. I think in Week 5 or 6 of studying, I did a full practice bar exam, with Tuesday as the written day and Wednesday as the MBE day. Needless to say, it was all under test conditions.

2. MBE (Materials used: Emanuel's Strategies & Tactics + Adaptibar)

As mentioned earlier, I did 30 MBEs a day, and that's how I would begin each study day. In total, I did about 1900-2000 questions in total (including repeat questions).

I first used Emanuel's Strategies & Tactics to develop a foundation (in terms of forming a strategic approach to MBEs), and then I used Adaptibar exclusively. As I go through the set of 30 Qs, I'm marking down questions I'm "uncertain" about. Once I finish, I go through not only the wrong questions, but the ones I marked "uncertain" as well. When you're reviewing questions, don't just look at the correct answer... but try to figure out why your wrong answer choice was wrong. In the short run it felt like a burden, but it really benefited me in the long run to do that.

As I review answer explanations, I compiled them on a google doc. Before each 30 question set, I would review the google doc and trim/delete or edit the answer explanations (in my own words) as necessary. Make sure to clean up the doc often because if your experience is anything like mine, the doc can get very lengthy (20+ pages).

Last few thoughts on MBE practice? Don't worry about seeing repeat questions on Adaptibar. Try your best to empty your mind of what you thought the answer might have been, and focus on applying the method/approach you've been rolling with.

3. ESSAYS (BarEssays.com)

If I'm honest, I think I tried too hard to find the path of least resistance here. For past bar exams, I would look up BarSecret's predictions and do 3-5 practice outlines per predicted topic. I figured that if I did decently on 2-3 essays, I could pass the bar based on my MBE performance. I also, admittedly, had a mental block when it came to practicing essays. It felt both like crazy boring work I wanted to avoid as well as overwhelming given the amount of stuff I'd be forced to memorize. In hindsight, I think my fears were largely proven wrong.

An overview of how I practiced essays: During the first 2-3 weeks of studying, I would only do ONE essay per subject (so two total essays that day). In these initial weeks, I would fully write out these essays WITH an open book + a 2-hour time limit. In short, I tried writing as good an essay as I could. It helped me get familiar with the essay topics and start slowly building a foundation. I won't lie, this part was pretty grueling (but it got easier afterwards). After that, for most of the 10-weeks I spent studying (between weeks 3 through 8 roughly), I outlined essays (and increased from 1 essay to 2-4 essays per subject). In the last two weeks before the exam, I just issue spotted going through 8-10 essays (covering 2-3 essay subjects) a day.

In all this, BarEssays was a fantastic resource. After I'd be done writing/outlining/issue-spotting an essay, I would compare what I had written with what had been written (or not) on papers scoring 60, 65, and 70+. If there was a rule or strategy I'd frequently forget, I'd make a note of it on a google doc. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I did not have to rote memorize anything. Some people advocate memorizing the 13 most frequent rule statements per each subject. Do what works for you best.

Once I had a few weeks under my belt, I began to notice how certain details or fact patterns that would implicate various/specific issues. You start seeing how there's only a finite number of issues they test for each subject. In time, I began to slowly articulate the rule statement in my own words... even if they didn't exactly match the "standard" phrasing on BarEssays. A few more weeks later, my momentum would continue to build as I saw how I was spotting most of the issues covered on passing essays. It also helped when I saw how many of these high-scoring essays were filled with typos/errors/etc -- they were far from perfect.

4. PT (http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt/preparing)

As long as I've tried passing the bar, the PT was basically the neglected stepchild... even though it counts twice as much as an essay. I think my mindset really changed when I realized I could have passed the July 2017 exam if I had time to finish the PT (and score 60+) instead of running out of time and only scoring a 50 like I actually did.

In terms of approach, I did about 7-8 full practice PTs. My focus each and every time was getting my timing down. Your approach may be different, but my goal was to finish reading+outlining in 30 minutes so I could have an hour-ish to write. During practices, I would mark down how long it took me to finish outlining and start writing. I think my first PT or two, it took me nearly an hour to read/outline everything. But I got better and better. I did all this with the strategy of doing the PT first and then the two essays in the afternoon session.

On the actual bar exam, I spent just under 1 hr 40 minutes on the PT before moving on to the two essays in the afternoon session. Obviously I could have been a bit quicker, but this was far better than when I had only 25 minutes (in total) to start and finish the PT in July 2017.

5. FINAL THOUGHTS

I think planning out a 10-week study schedule, making a detailed day-by-day calendar, and ensuring I'd do xxxx number of MBEs, essays, and PTs come the real thing was HUGE. Gave me not only structure, but assurance that no day was going to waste. I would just add that I designated 4-5 days as "free" days. I ended up using them for extra review, a day off to go to a friend's wedding, and another day off to go see Japanese Breakfast live.

If my experience is any indication remaining positive is huge -- in both the small things (not letting a tough MBE question hang you up for the next 10 minutes) and big things (believing you can overcome the bar after multiple tries). It's also being honest with yourself with the adjustments you need to make in your studies. For me, it was admitting I shouldn't overly rely on my MBE performance for the bar and putting in the requisite work for essays/PT.

This is already a long enough post as it is, but feel free to message me if you have any specific questions.


Thank you so much for your detailed review! Congratulations and I truly admire your courage and persistence. You deserve passing this exam!

BTW, with respect to the PT, you said you did 7-8 under timed condition (1.5 hours). Do you mean you used the past PTs that were actually designed for 3 hours long?

User avatar
horriblegb

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Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:43 pm

Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby horriblegb » Mon May 21, 2018 11:47 am

Let me know if anyone would like an adaptibar code. I am also selling my Emmanuel's S & T, I did not write in it at all so it is basically brand new. I am selling that for $50.

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chicoalto0649

Silver
Posts: 1179
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:34 pm

Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby chicoalto0649 » Mon May 21, 2018 12:06 pm

Angel66 wrote:
justanotheruser wrote:I took and failed this exam 5 times. The Feb 2018 exam was my 6th attempt and I somehow passed. On the one hand, I feel so happy and relieved. It feels like the nightmare is finally over... like a ton of weight has been taken off my shoulders. On the other hand, I know what it feels like to fall short time and time again.

When I failed for the 5th time (last July), I got the closest I've ever been to passing (scoring 1410) -- thanks in large part to MBE now being worth 50%. While my circumstances might not be the exact same as many of yours' here, I thought it would be worth sharing how I studied/prepared this time and finally passed the bar.

1. OVERALL/BACKGROUND

I almost passed the July 2017 exam mainly on the strength of MBEs (scored just under 150.0). What really hurt me was getting a 55 on one essay and getting a devastating 50 on the PT when I ran out of time + barely wrote 2-3 paragraphs.

I'd say the two biggest changes I made up front were (1) setting aside a full 10 weeks to study (as opposed to 7-8 weeks) and (2) making a detailed day-by-day study calendar. I almost always studied at a library. Overall, a typical day of studying would run 9 to 6... but it's not like I was studying the entire time (e.g. break time, lunch, etc.) With all that said, I was in a fortunate position to be able to study full-time for all 10 weeks. I understand that it's not a circumstance that's available for every one. And another thing, I spent practically zero time on watching lectures or reading notes. I think I referred to old outlines I had only when adaptibar's answer explanation wasn't cutting it for me.

Another commitment I made up front was to make sure I prepared for everything. The temptation to double up on my strength (MBE) was alluring, but given that I was failing over and over again I clearly had to try something different. So I told myself I would put in the time to become well-rounded in preparing for the essays and PT.

Based on my study calendar, I did 30 MBE questions and two essay subjects a day. Every 2 weeks (I picked Wednesday), I would swap out the essays for a full practice PT. As I got closer to the exam date, I did a practice PT basically every week. I think in Week 5 or 6 of studying, I did a full practice bar exam, with Tuesday as the written day and Wednesday as the MBE day. Needless to say, it was all under test conditions.

2. MBE (Materials used: Emanuel's Strategies & Tactics + Adaptibar)

As mentioned earlier, I did 30 MBEs a day, and that's how I would begin each study day. In total, I did about 1900-2000 questions in total (including repeat questions).

I first used Emanuel's Strategies & Tactics to develop a foundation (in terms of forming a strategic approach to MBEs), and then I used Adaptibar exclusively. As I go through the set of 30 Qs, I'm marking down questions I'm "uncertain" about. Once I finish, I go through not only the wrong questions, but the ones I marked "uncertain" as well. When you're reviewing questions, don't just look at the correct answer... but try to figure out why your wrong answer choice was wrong. In the short run it felt like a burden, but it really benefited me in the long run to do that.

As I review answer explanations, I compiled them on a google doc. Before each 30 question set, I would review the google doc and trim/delete or edit the answer explanations (in my own words) as necessary. Make sure to clean up the doc often because if your experience is anything like mine, the doc can get very lengthy (20+ pages).

Last few thoughts on MBE practice? Don't worry about seeing repeat questions on Adaptibar. Try your best to empty your mind of what you thought the answer might have been, and focus on applying the method/approach you've been rolling with.

3. ESSAYS (BarEssays.com)

If I'm honest, I think I tried too hard to find the path of least resistance here. For past bar exams, I would look up BarSecret's predictions and do 3-5 practice outlines per predicted topic. I figured that if I did decently on 2-3 essays, I could pass the bar based on my MBE performance. I also, admittedly, had a mental block when it came to practicing essays. It felt both like crazy boring work I wanted to avoid as well as overwhelming given the amount of stuff I'd be forced to memorize. In hindsight, I think my fears were largely proven wrong.

An overview of how I practiced essays: During the first 2-3 weeks of studying, I would only do ONE essay per subject (so two total essays that day). In these initial weeks, I would fully write out these essays WITH an open book + a 2-hour time limit. In short, I tried writing as good an essay as I could. It helped me get familiar with the essay topics and start slowly building a foundation. I won't lie, this part was pretty grueling (but it got easier afterwards). After that, for most of the 10-weeks I spent studying (between weeks 3 through 8 roughly), I outlined essays (and increased from 1 essay to 2-4 essays per subject). In the last two weeks before the exam, I just issue spotted going through 8-10 essays (covering 2-3 essay subjects) a day.

In all this, BarEssays was a fantastic resource. After I'd be done writing/outlining/issue-spotting an essay, I would compare what I had written with what had been written (or not) on papers scoring 60, 65, and 70+. If there was a rule or strategy I'd frequently forget, I'd make a note of it on a google doc. I'm only speaking for myself here, but I did not have to rote memorize anything. Some people advocate memorizing the 13 most frequent rule statements per each subject. Do what works for you best.

Once I had a few weeks under my belt, I began to notice how certain details or fact patterns that would implicate various/specific issues. You start seeing how there's only a finite number of issues they test for each subject. In time, I began to slowly articulate the rule statement in my own words... even if they didn't exactly match the "standard" phrasing on BarEssays. A few more weeks later, my momentum would continue to build as I saw how I was spotting most of the issues covered on passing essays. It also helped when I saw how many of these high-scoring essays were filled with typos/errors/etc -- they were far from perfect.

4. PT (http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mpt/preparing)

As long as I've tried passing the bar, the PT was basically the neglected stepchild... even though it counts twice as much as an essay. I think my mindset really changed when I realized I could have passed the July 2017 exam if I had time to finish the PT (and score 60+) instead of running out of time and only scoring a 50 like I actually did.

In terms of approach, I did about 7-8 full practice PTs. My focus each and every time was getting my timing down. Your approach may be different, but my goal was to finish reading+outlining in 30 minutes so I could have an hour-ish to write. During practices, I would mark down how long it took me to finish outlining and start writing. I think my first PT or two, it took me nearly an hour to read/outline everything. But I got better and better. I did all this with the strategy of doing the PT first and then the two essays in the afternoon session.

On the actual bar exam, I spent just under 1 hr 40 minutes on the PT before moving on to the two essays in the afternoon session. Obviously I could have been a bit quicker, but this was far better than when I had only 25 minutes (in total) to start and finish the PT in July 2017.

5. FINAL THOUGHTS

I think planning out a 10-week study schedule, making a detailed day-by-day calendar, and ensuring I'd do xxxx number of MBEs, essays, and PTs come the real thing was HUGE. Gave me not only structure, but assurance that no day was going to waste. I would just add that I designated 4-5 days as "free" days. I ended up using them for extra review, a day off to go to a friend's wedding, and another day off to go see Japanese Breakfast live.

If my experience is any indication remaining positive is huge -- in both the small things (not letting a tough MBE question hang you up for the next 10 minutes) and big things (believing you can overcome the bar after multiple tries). It's also being honest with yourself with the adjustments you need to make in your studies. For me, it was admitting I shouldn't overly rely on my MBE performance for the bar and putting in the requisite work for essays/PT.

This is already a long enough post as it is, but feel free to message me if you have any specific questions.


Thank you so much for your detailed review! Congratulations and I truly admire your courage and persistence. You deserve passing this exam!

BTW, with respect to the PT, you said you did 7-8 under timed condition (1.5 hours). Do you mean you used the past PTs that were actually designed for 3 hours long?


I practiced with the MPTs used on the MBE. They’re 90 minutes and I saw no substantive difference between hose and the ones CA has. Also, even though it’s only worth 14%, I think statistically your odds of passing are MUCH higher with a passing PT. Please use this calculator to run through the permutation.

https://ubeessays.com/california-july-2 ... alculator/

thorm87

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Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 10:43 pm

Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby thorm87 » Mon May 21, 2018 5:05 pm

I am a practicing attorney who moved to California in December 2017. I took and passed the February 2018 Attorney’s Exam (just the essay/PT day; no MBE). I was lucky because my firm paid for bar expenses and gave me the two weeks off before the exam to study (plus the week of). I studied nights and weekends leading up to the period before my official bar study leave period.

FWIW, here’s how I studied.

BarBri

Enrolled in the BarBri “attorney’s exam” course. Their schedule was pretty unrealistic for working attorneys and also included a lot of MBE drills which I didn’t really need. BarBri was useful for a few things.

First – lectures. Watched each of the lectures for the California subjects, California distinctions, and the general subjects where my recollection from law school was hazy and/or where I had struggled while in law school (contracts, real property). After I watched each lecture, I would use my notes and the Conviser mini-review to create outlines for each subject. I made it a point to have outlines completed for each subject by the time I went on bar leave (approx. 2-3 weeks before exam date) so I’d have time to internalize knowledge in the lead-up.

I also watched Prof. Sakai’s videos on each CA essay subject, which were helpful in re-learning how to write like a law student. Those videos also helped me figure out priority areas for studying.

Second – practice essays. Probably the single most useful tool I got from BarBri were their essay banks and sample essay answers. The sample answers are, obviously, unrealistic in the level of detail they provide, but I found the self-grading scoresheet to be pretty helpful in terms of assessing where I was on each subject area. Barbri graded essays were not as useful. I started off writing essays without a timer and completely open book. Gradually worked my way to timed essays, closed book.

Probably the most useful portion of the essays was identifying “weak spots” in each subject. Went back to my outlines after each essay to either review, update, or correct the relevant subject areas.

Third -- practice PTs. Did about 3-4 timed PTs. I get the sense that these used to be a lot harder. The actual PT we got on the February 2018 bar was way more straightforward and had a lot less material to work through than the PTs BarBri had in their practice booklet. I struggled with time in my practice PTs, especially getting through all of the material in 90 minutes. I felt very confident working my way through the PT we got Tuesday afternoon because there was less material to work through and the issues presented seemed so much more straightforward than what Barbri had given me as practice.

BarSecrets – Graded Essays

Because I wasn’t satisfied with the level of feedback I was getting from BarBri, I bought 6 graded essays from BarSecrets. I actually found this website through the TLS forums re: his predictions for essay subjects. I used the essays in the 2 weeks leading up to the bar exam. I found his/his graders’ feedback to be kind of brutal. After getting a few back, I thought I was going to fail! But I listened to his feedback, adjusted my writing approach, and reviewed “weak” subject areas. I think this aspect of my bar study helped me from getting too complacent in that final stretch.

Flashcards

A few friends gave me their commercial flashcards. I thought these were not so useful, but I did end up making my own for many (but not all) of the subjects. I’d usually make flashcards for a subject right after I completed my outline, and focus on using language that I knew would help me remember the relevant concepts. Commercial flashcards seem to have too much detail, which I don’t find all that useful. Probably the most important part of my study in terms of the actual memorization piece.

Hope this is helpful! Good luck to everyone!

Britbrit

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Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby Britbrit » Mon May 21, 2018 5:17 pm

To all the repeaters who passed CONGRATULATIONS!!!! what did you do differently this last time that you think contributed to you passing?

I have taken the bar a few times, every time i have used adaptibar, this last time studying I noticed I recognized/knew the answers to the questions without reading the questions. I own the Emmanuel books as well. Does anyone have suggestions on how to attack the mbes this time around?

Britbrit

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Joined: Mon May 21, 2018 4:59 pm

Re: 2018 July California Bar

Postby Britbrit » Mon May 21, 2018 5:18 pm

Everyone who is self studying, mind sharing your schedule and/or strategy



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