Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

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PhillyJD

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Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Sun Apr 08, 2018 11:31 am

Hey everyone, I’m new here. As you know, the Pennsylvania bar results are due to be released soon. I know this isn’t the first post where someone wonders if their new approach makes sense compared to their last one, nor will it be the last, but here goes.

Graduated law school in May of 2017 and failed the July bar exam. Used Barbri and for the most part, followed their schedule (lectures, reviewing the handout, doing the few MBE assignments they assigned, practice essays) until I got to the simulated MBE and got an 87 raw score. At that point I scrapped their method entirely, and almost didn’t do much with the essays. I did all the practice essays but when one was assigned and I didn’t know the rule, I’d look at the model answer’s rule and use that, and then apply it my own way. This resulted in high scores but I know I was cheating myself. I figured after more practice I’d know those rules anyway and I could hammer out a decent essay. Fast forward to test day. Remember the 87 raw MBE score I’d gotten on Barbri’s simulated MBE? I got a 130 scaled on the real one. My essay is what hurt me, that was a 124 scaled. In writing the essays on the exam I used the CRAC method. The problem is (and I didn’t think this would be a problem, silly me) is I made each CRAC one big paragraph. Failed the bar and it was a horrible feeling. But I knew I couldn’t use the same approach that didn’t work the first time.

So how did I switch it up? Well I did probably over 3000 MBE questions in total, including the simulated one Barbri assigns. I’d been doing those and reviewing the explanations every day and occasionally outlining an essay or two up until Barbri’s personal study plan began in January. By then I only watched lectures for subjects I struggled with even after all the questions (property and civ pro) and this actually helped a bit. I did the graded essay assignments. Remember how I bunched the CRAC into one big paragraph on test day? Well, the person grading my essay ripped me a new one and told me how that would annoy a grader on the real exam because now they’d have to figure out where the rule ends and the application begins. And of course gave me a low score. I did them that way because I remembered being told you didn’t have to write essays on the bar exam the same way you did in law school and I figured that’s what that meant. Once I went back to doing it like I did in law school my essay scores were all in the passing range except for one, which was close but I’d missed an issue. And this time I didn’t have to read the rules because I’d done more than a thousand MBE questions by now so a lot of the rules were burned into my head, and some of the other ones were still in memory. I didn’t have to do too many PTs because I always got passing scores on those. I’d been checking my MBE scores against Barbri’s goals and I was usually above the goal, but this may have been due heavily in part to the fact I’d seen many of the questions before. When I did the mixed sets, my scores went down but not far from the goal. The first set I did, I missed the goal by 4 questions. The second set, I missed it by 2. The only thing I did in between was review the answers for the first set, and the second set was all new questions. Fast forward to the simulated MBE. Under timed conditions I managed a 104 raw score which was way higher than last time when I got an 87 but still not where I wanted to be, given all that I’d done up until then (by then more than 2,000 questions and beating the Barbri goals). So I regrouped and checked my breakdown and saw where I was weak. I cracked open the conviser and went to work on that in just my weak areas. I’d read the areas like a book but of course made sure I understood what I was reading. After I reviewed a weak area, I’d do MBE questions on just that area. It took me a whole week to get through all those areas and that ended up being another 500 MBE questions total. These questions were on Barbri’s website too so it gave me the explanation immediately. I also studied the state distinctions in the conviser because I knew I’d need them for the final stages of essay review. I did the simulated essays too, and with Barbri you have to self grade those. My scores were 13, 14, 11, and 16. But I wasn’t sure if I gave myself too many points so I sent my essays in to Barbri to be graded. They said they couldn’t grade them for me but they gave me another graded essay assignment to do, which they graded, and my score for that was a 15.75 out of 20. At this point I knew I solved my essay writing problem. But what about making sure I always knew a rule? Well, Barbri has a book that has all the essays from February 2009 to July 2016. 96 essay questions. I took that book and spent a week (the week before the exam) outlining almost every essay. I’d write the rule that I thought applied and a brief answer. If I was wrong I’d put the real answer beneath it in bold. This was about 40 pages worth of typing.

Fast forward to test day. I had pretty much accepted that there was one essay subject that I was just going to be bad at even after all I did. Well, that subject never appeared. However after all that prep, several of the questions were easier because I’d seen them numerous times the week before. They hit us with a few things I hadn’t seen before and I made adjustments (hopefully strong enough adjustments). I actually finished ahead of time and had time to go back and review and make any changes I may have needed. The MBE simply is what it is. I went through that and marked questions I wasn’t sure of so that I didn’t get bogged down, and finished with minutes to spare so I could go back and review those and see if I answered it correctly with fresh eyes. What’s helping me mentally with that is knowing that I pulled off a 130 scaled when going into it with a simulated 103 scaled and this time I went into it with a simulated 120 scaled. My thing is after having done all that, if I still fail, I don’t know what more I could do to prepare to take it a third time.

I apologize for how long this was. But for those of you who have passed already, whether it was the first time or second or third time, does my new approach look like one that should get me over the hump?

Bimmerfan

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby Bimmerfan » Sun Apr 08, 2018 9:48 pm

Yeah. I think you passed.

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:07 pm

Bimmerfan wrote:Yeah. I think you passed.


Thanks. It’s just real stressful because of everything riding on this and whatnot. I can’t be doing this a third time.

sarahbeck10

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby sarahbeck10 » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:48 pm

I think you passed also. I was a second-time taker as well and made many of the same changes you did, and I passed in IL this Feb. The fact that you did 3000 MBE questions alone makes me think that you passed. After encountering 3000 questions, you pretty much covered every type of issue for each subject. I really believe that even if you didn't get a certain % on sets/tests the rules were ingrained in you by test day probably, so it doesn't matter. I took all the practice tests during my course and only scored above the mark on 1 of them. So it's not necessarily a good indicator of how you performed on test day. Rather, it matters that you exposed yourself to all the rules and nuances that could be tested. Also, with the essays, it sounds like you probably scored well above the mark. I did the same with outlining and reading every essay in the Barbri book and I think it really helped. I also encountered 2 essay questions that I did not know the answer to at all on test day and it doesn't sound like that happened to you. I completely understand the stress and anxiety with waiting and stressing over every little bit of studying and test day. I was so convinced I failed again after bogging myself down with every negative aspect but I ended up passing. It sounds like you studied really hard this time and really pushed yourself. Hopefully PA doesn't have too much longer to wait. Good luck!!

PhillyJD wrote:
Bimmerfan wrote:Yeah. I think you passed.


Thanks. It’s just real stressful because of everything riding on this and whatnot. I can’t be doing this a third time.

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:37 pm

sarahbeck10 wrote:I think you passed also. I was a second-time taker as well and made many of the same changes you did, and I passed in IL this Feb. The fact that you did 3000 MBE questions alone makes me think that you passed. After encountering 3000 questions, you pretty much covered every type of issue for each subject. I really believe that even if you didn't get a certain % on sets/tests the rules were ingrained in you by test day probably, so it doesn't matter. I took all the practice tests during my course and only scored above the mark on 1 of them. So it's not necessarily a good indicator of how you performed on test day. Rather, it matters that you exposed yourself to all the rules and nuances that could be tested. Also, with the essays, it sounds like you probably scored well above the mark. I did the same with outlining and reading every essay in the Barbri book and I think it really helped. I also encountered 2 essay questions that I did not know the answer to at all on test day and it doesn't sound like that happened to you. I completely understand the stress and anxiety with waiting and stressing over every little bit of studying and test day. I was so convinced I failed again after bogging myself down with every negative aspect but I ended up passing. It sounds like you studied really hard this time and really pushed yourself. Hopefully PA doesn't have too much longer to wait. Good luck!!

PhillyJD wrote:
Bimmerfan wrote:Yeah. I think you passed.


Thanks. It’s just real stressful because of everything riding on this and whatnot. I can’t be doing this a third time.


Thanks...with the MBE questions I reviewed almost all of them after doing them. But the last Sunday before the test I tried the refresher and it didn’t go well. What kept me from losing my mind was the fact that I know someone else who failed that and passed the bar, plus I did this refresher after doing essays throughout the day so I might have just been burned out. As far as the essays, there was at least one that I wasn’t 100% sure about but I made up what I thought was right. I might have even threw too many answers at a few of them because I wanted to make sure I got as much points in case the MBE questions weren’t good. But yeah, super stressful. Just got the email that the results should be out this Friday. Stress!!!!

sarahbeck10

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby sarahbeck10 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:09 pm

PhillyJD wrote:
sarahbeck10 wrote:I think you passed also. I was a second-time taker as well and made many of the same changes you did, and I passed in IL this Feb. The fact that you did 3000 MBE questions alone makes me think that you passed. After encountering 3000 questions, you pretty much covered every type of issue for each subject. I really believe that even if you didn't get a certain % on sets/tests the rules were ingrained in you by test day probably, so it doesn't matter. I took all the practice tests during my course and only scored above the mark on 1 of them. So it's not necessarily a good indicator of how you performed on test day. Rather, it matters that you exposed yourself to all the rules and nuances that could be tested. Also, with the essays, it sounds like you probably scored well above the mark. I did the same with outlining and reading every essay in the Barbri book and I think it really helped. I also encountered 2 essay questions that I did not know the answer to at all on test day and it doesn't sound like that happened to you. I completely understand the stress and anxiety with waiting and stressing over every little bit of studying and test day. I was so convinced I failed again after bogging myself down with every negative aspect but I ended up passing. It sounds like you studied really hard this time and really pushed yourself. Hopefully PA doesn't have too much longer to wait. Good luck!!

PhillyJD wrote:
Bimmerfan wrote:Yeah. I think you passed.


Thanks. It’s just real stressful because of everything riding on this and whatnot. I can’t be doing this a third time.


Thanks...with the MBE questions I reviewed almost all of them after doing them. But the last Sunday before the test I tried the refresher and it didn’t go well. What kept me from losing my mind was the fact that I know someone else who failed that and passed the bar, plus I did this refresher after doing essays throughout the day so I might have just been burned out. As far as the essays, there was at least one that I wasn’t 100% sure about but I made up what I thought was right. I might have even threw too many answers at a few of them because I wanted to make sure I got as much points in case the MBE questions weren’t good. But yeah, super stressful. Just got the email that the results should be out this Friday. Stress!!!!



Yeah, it's easy to remember those last few problems/essays but remember that overall you did alot of work. I had the same issue, two days before the exam I did a 150 set of MBE questions and didn't score well, but I ended up passing. So, it's all relative. It's also likely that the essay that you weren't sure about was the same essay that others were unsure about, and so you may be given credit for even a simple answer. Good luck, I'm sure you did fine!

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:03 pm

Here we go...23 more hours
Last edited by PhillyJD on Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

iplaw4me2

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby iplaw4me2 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 8:25 pm

Ima straight up guarantee you passed.

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Fri Apr 13, 2018 2:09 pm

iplaw4me2 wrote:Ima straight up guarantee you passed.


I hope so...one hour left at this point. It was crazy last night sitting in the kitchen and thinking, “this time in 24 hours I’ll know if I passed.” Laying in bed last night, same deal. Thinking back to how horrible I felt that gloomy Friday in October. Kept waking up and whatnot. Even typing this I’m panicking. I just hope all of you are right so I can properly enjoy this weekend.

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:49 pm

Results are in. 52% pass rate. I was among the other 48%.

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby slider » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:03 pm

I was part of the 48% as well. I guess I will need to start studying for July. :roll:

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby Beanboi » Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:46 pm

:( I’m so sorry. I’ve been following. I hate this test.

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby geraffe » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:48 pm

PhillyJD wrote:Results are in. 52% pass rate. I was among the other 48%.


Sorry to hear, fam. Obviously it's ok to be disappointed, but please don't let this test keep you down. You were smart enough to earn your JD, and you're smart enough to pass the bar - keep your chin up and know this doesn't in any way affect your worth.

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby fpkjd » Fri Apr 13, 2018 8:51 pm

I was also among the 48% who didn't make it. But, I've already re-registered for July, and bought 2 new law review courses (Adaptibar for the MBE, and Ameribar for the PA Essay portion). I suspect that my problem was with the essays. I already did some MBE questions with Adaptibar tonight. I feel I'll get it in the summer. :D

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby Tony48 » Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:38 am

fpkjd wrote:I was also among the 48% who didn't make it. But, I've already re-registered for July, and bought 2 new law review courses (Adaptibar for the MBE, and Ameribar for the PA Essay portion). I suspect that my problem was with the essays. I already did some MBE questions with Adaptibar tonight. I feel I'll get it in the summer. :D


That’s the spirit!

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby b290 » Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:40 am

Tony48 wrote:
fpkjd wrote:I was also among the 48% who didn't make it. But, I've already re-registered for July, and bought 2 new law review courses (Adaptibar for the MBE, and Ameribar for the PA Essay portion). I suspect that my problem was with the essays. I already did some MBE questions with Adaptibar tonight. I feel I'll get it in the summer. :D


That’s the spirit!

Agreed! Does PA give you a score breakdown?, If so, I'd look at that. Also, I read somewhere that almost every retaker needs to improve on essays (I can also vouch for this from my own experience), so that's a good place to start. Also, as for Adaptibar, I got a huge point increase just by doing problems and going over the explanations.

Looking forward to your success for July!

geraffe wrote:
PhillyJD wrote:Results are in. 52% pass rate. I was among the other 48%.


Sorry to hear, fam. Obviously it's ok to be disappointed, but please don't let this test keep you down. You were smart enough to earn your JD, and you're smart enough to pass the bar - keep your chin up and know this doesn't in any way affect your worth.

Agreed. :( I hope you got closer. After some deserved resting (& consolation) time, get back to studying. You can (and WILL) pass this test.

My $.02

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby JoLaw824 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:40 am

I passed and this is the approach I took (for what it's worth) - and I think it made the difference in me passing this time vs. the last time I took the exam (I used barbri then, failed by 4 points). I worked full time, only taking 3 weeks off prior to the exam to study full time.

I used Themis - I think that program's MBE questions were incredibly spot-on to the actual MBE. I took pretty much every single MBE question they had, except for maybe a couple of the final sets of 50. I did both practice exams.

I followed the program as proscribed except I never watched the lectures. I don't learn that way, and found that many of the lecture outlines missed information that was tested on the MBE questions. I literally red and highlighted the ABSOLUTE HELL out of the outline books, both PA and MBE topics. As I got through the program, any subjects I was totally sucking at, I used their MBE tool that breaks down what areas you just don't know the law, and I started writing out the rules on poster board. I bought like every colored sharpie that exists. I should've invested in sharpie stock this winter. I then (like a lunatic) hung my poster boards all over my apartment. I'd make breakfast, get ready for work, and read all my damn poster boards full of rules of law. I was likely certifiable by the time my entire living room and kitchen were covered in rules of law. I also wrote out every wrong answer reasoning from the practice MBE on poster board too.

The only essays I "truly" did were the graded ones. I made sure I practiced a couple MPTs. Thereafter, I would read every single essay test question, then go right to the "suggested answer," and copy and paste the rules of law from that essay answer into a word doc. I DID THIS FOR EVERY DAMN ESSAY THEY OFFERED. It was time consuming, but then I printed a huge work doc of the "rules of law" as it was written on the essay answer examples - this forced me to study the rule of law in the way that it should be written on the essay exam.

I am not sure my actual score obviously b/c we get the packets this week, but we'll see how well my process worked based on my scores.\

Just my $.02 - I think this made the biggest difference for me.

sarahbeck10

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby sarahbeck10 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 11:58 am

Really sorry to hear those that didn't pass. You totally got it next time!!

I passed on my second attempt also, and I did much of the same that the person below did. As he/she said, some (I think most) people don't learn from being lectured at in 100s of videos covering a large amount of material. In law school we participated in our lectures mostly, which required us to analyze and think as the professor spoke. This is untrue for the lectures from bar prep companies, where you spend most of your day per their schedule just listening to videos on end and mindlessly filling in blanks on lecture handouts.

I also did not watch any lectures this time and spent A TON of time with the outlines. I read and re-read the outlines (especially the MBE topics) multiple times. I would typically take one section (for example, everything under roman numeral "I") read it, and then take a poster or printer paper and make charts, lists, graphs, etc. with the information. Yes, it took forever, but it forced me to simplify the information into its most basic form in order to memorize it. Then, after I did this for each section in a subject, I laid out all the papers on the floor. I hung up a marker board in my house and would then take each paper and try to write out the information from memory and "teach" it to myself, until I could do so fast and in only a few sentences. The process sounds time consuming and silly maybe, but I really think this is what caused me to pass this time. My advice, get on Amazon and buy a ton of colored sharpies, posters, graph paper, etc. and spend time with the outlines. Yes, it takes forever to read each outline, but forcing yourself to read and actively learn by writing things out is a good alternative to those who didn't have success from the lectures.

I also created a bank like the person below with rules from MBE questions and Essays, especially those that I got wrong, and would review those each night. I didn't fully write out any essays except graded ones and would just jot down a simplistic version of an IRAC outline, and then fully read the model answers. I really think completely switching up your study method is helpful for the second time and skipping lectures saves alot of people. Hope this helps in any way.

JoLaw824 wrote:I passed and this is the approach I took (for what it's worth) - and I think it made the difference in me passing this time vs. the last time I took the exam (I used barbri then, failed by 4 points). I worked full time, only taking 3 weeks off prior to the exam to study full time.

I used Themis - I think that program's MBE questions were incredibly spot-on to the actual MBE. I took pretty much every single MBE question they had, except for maybe a couple of the final sets of 50. I did both practice exams.

I followed the program as proscribed except I never watched the lectures. I don't learn that way, and found that many of the lecture outlines missed information that was tested on the MBE questions. I literally red and highlighted the ABSOLUTE HELL out of the outline books, both PA and MBE topics. As I got through the program, any subjects I was totally sucking at, I used their MBE tool that breaks down what areas you just don't know the law, and I started writing out the rules on poster board. I bought like every colored sharpie that exists. I should've invested in sharpie stock this winter. I then (like a lunatic) hung my poster boards all over my apartment. I'd make breakfast, get ready for work, and read all my damn poster boards full of rules of law. I was likely certifiable by the time my entire living room and kitchen were covered in rules of law. I also wrote out every wrong answer reasoning from the practice MBE on poster board too.

The only essays I "truly" did were the graded ones. I made sure I practiced a couple MPTs. Thereafter, I would read every single essay test question, then go right to the "suggested answer," and copy and paste the rules of law from that essay answer into a word doc. I DID THIS FOR EVERY DAMN ESSAY THEY OFFERED. It was time consuming, but then I printed a huge work doc of the "rules of law" as it was written on the essay answer examples - this forced me to study the rule of law in the way that it should be written on the essay exam.

I am not sure my actual score obviously b/c we get the packets this week, but we'll see how well my process worked based on my scores.\

Just my $.02 - I think this made the biggest difference for me.

JoLaw824

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby JoLaw824 » Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:36 pm

sarahbeck10 wrote:Really sorry to hear those that didn't pass. You totally got it next time!!

I passed on my second attempt also, and I did much of the same that the person below did. As he/she said, some (I think most) people don't learn from being lectured at in 100s of videos covering a large amount of material. In law school we participated in our lectures mostly, which required us to analyze and think as the professor spoke. This is untrue for the lectures from bar prep companies, where you spend most of your day per their schedule just listening to videos on end and mindlessly filling in blanks on lecture handouts.

I also did not watch any lectures this time and spent A TON of time with the outlines. I read and re-read the outlines (especially the MBE topics) multiple times. I would typically take one section (for example, everything under roman numeral "I") read it, and then take a poster or printer paper and make charts, lists, graphs, etc. with the information. Yes, it took forever, but it forced me to simplify the information into its most basic form in order to memorize it. Then, after I did this for each section in a subject, I laid out all the papers on the floor. I hung up a marker board in my house and would then take each paper and try to write out the information from memory and "teach" it to myself, until I could do so fast and in only a few sentences. The process sounds time consuming and silly maybe, but I really think this is what caused me to pass this time. My advice, get on Amazon and buy a ton of colored sharpies, posters, graph paper, etc. and spend time with the outlines. Yes, it takes forever to read each outline, but forcing yourself to read and actively learn by writing things out is a good alternative to those who didn't have success from the lectures.

I also created a bank like the person below with rules from MBE questions and Essays, especially those that I got wrong, and would review those each night. I didn't fully write out any essays except graded ones and would just jot down a simplistic version of an IRAC outline, and then fully read the model answers. I really think completely switching up your study method is helpful for the second time and skipping lectures saves alot of people. Hope this helps in any way.


I love that I wasn't the only crazy poster board and marker person!!! I swear to god I had a visual in my head of my crazy kitchen while I was taking the test... lol!

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:03 pm

Got my scores. MBE actually dropped slightly, went from a 130 last time (when my simulated score was a 105 scaled) to a 129 (when my simulated Barbri score was a 120). After 3000 MBE questions that I reviewed. Yeah, I’m done with Barbri. I’d be an idiot to use them a third time. And I really almost walked away from the idea of ever practicing law entirely. My essays went up by almost 10 points though, murdered the PT. Scored well into passing on three of them and below on three. As far as MBE goes, con law and civ pro were my two weakest. Con law being a weak subject especially that weak surprises me because I was doing well in con law with Barbri. Civ pro I was doing okay but knew it would be a weaker subject but not that weak. Bought adaptibar this time and took a 100 question practice test and got 53/100. Beginning of my new prep. I’m really hoping to find a judicial clerkship in the meantime though.

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby sarahbeck10 » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:24 am

PhillyJD wrote:Got my scores. MBE actually dropped slightly, went from a 130 last time (when my simulated score was a 105 scaled) to a 129 (when my simulated Barbri score was a 120). After 3000 MBE questions that I reviewed. Yeah, I’m done with Barbri. I’d be an idiot to use them a third time. And I really almost walked away from the idea of ever practicing law entirely. My essays went up by almost 10 points though, murdered the PT. Scored well into passing on three of them and below on three. As far as MBE goes, con law and civ pro were my two weakest. Con law being a weak subject especially that weak surprises me because I was doing well in con law with Barbri. Civ pro I was doing okay but knew it would be a weaker subject but not that weak. Bought adaptibar this time and took a 100 question practice test and got 53/100. Beginning of my new prep. I’m really hoping to find a judicial clerkship in the meantime though.



Sorry to hear that. Adaptibar is much better than BarBri for MBE questions in my opinion. I was weak in civ pro as well but after some work I realized they are some of the easiest questions to get points with because many of the answers require pure memorization rather than like the con law questions which takes more thinking. If you just memorize all the civ pro rules, dates, etc., you'll gain alot of points that can make up for say con law and RP.

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby b290 » Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:20 am

sarahbeck10 wrote:
PhillyJD wrote:Got my scores. MBE actually dropped slightly, went from a 130 last time (when my simulated score was a 105 scaled) to a 129 (when my simulated Barbri score was a 120). After 3000 MBE questions that I reviewed. Yeah, I’m done with Barbri. I’d be an idiot to use them a third time. And I really almost walked away from the idea of ever practicing law entirely. My essays went up by almost 10 points though, murdered the PT. Scored well into passing on three of them and below on three. As far as MBE goes, con law and civ pro were my two weakest. Con law being a weak subject especially that weak surprises me because I was doing well in con law with Barbri. Civ pro I was doing okay but knew it would be a weaker subject but not that weak. Bought adaptibar this time and took a 100 question practice test and got 53/100. Beginning of my new prep. I’m really hoping to find a judicial clerkship in the meantime though.



Sorry to hear that. Adaptibar is much better than BarBri for MBE questions in my opinion. I was weak in civ pro as well but after some work I realized they are some of the easiest questions to get points with because many of the answers require pure memorization rather than like the con law questions which takes more thinking. If you just memorize all the civ pro rules, dates, etc., you'll gain alot of points that can make up for say con law and RP.

+1 . You've done well. That 53% roughly translates to about 120 scaled so you're basically starting from where you left off - you can only go up from there :D One of the many things I loved about Adaptibar was that you can track your progress - down to a specific area of a subject e.g. hearsay, or jurisdiction, etc. ).

I improved my MBE by 7 points (when I didn't really use it) and by another 13 pts when I used it as my primary MBE practice. That happened by reading the answers (even for those I got right), and going over my weaker subjects. Also, aggressively targeting my timing. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! Good luck!

My $.02

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Tue May 01, 2018 12:50 pm

Honestly it’s become really hard to stay motivated anymore. I’m getting rejected from clerkship jobs and the only thing I have where I’m using my JD is where I’m volunteering for a judge. I didn’t have to go to law school for that. It’s at the point where I hate the fact that I went to law school because I’m in a career field where nobody is giving me a chance and here I’ve failed the bar twice. It’s difficult to stay motivated to pass a test for a career that I clearly cannot get a chance in. My only reason for continuing to study for this test is because I want to pass it and shut everyone up who may think I was not capable of doing it. But after that I’m prepared to walk away from the practice of law. Why shouldn’t I? I’m not getting any chances, I’ve had my law degree almost a year, and I actually get really angry when people say what a valuable degree it is and how they’re proud of me for having it. I got it for one reason and one reason only, to practice law. If I can’t use it for that I don’t want it. If it’s so fucking valuable, it’s too bad I can’t sell it and pay off my student loans.
Today is the deadline for if I was to sign up for Themis. I’m considering them. The way that I’ve been practicing so far (when I can motivate myself enough to do it) is I’ve been reading the strategies and tactics Emanuel book, sixth edition. I covered Civ Pro (my weakest subject) and did the 40 questions in the back. 18/40. I then spent a few days handwriting all the rules and answer explanations in addition to reading them. Then I typed them all up with the intention of reorganizing them into an outline to help hammer the rule home. Once I do that for all seven subjects, I can tighten up with the conviser. Then with adaptibar I have the questions to keep testing myself. The essays, I have plans for that. Barbri has a book for the essays with all the past exams and the examiner analyses so I’ll just do that instead of the model sample answer. Honestly I’m not even hoping anymore because last time I thought I’d be in the safe zone and did everything I could but it wasn’t enough. So this is my last time. Because I can’t keep going into the shit with everyone thinking I’m going to pass and then when I don’t, people then say oh well maybe you should try this or that. Barbri told me I was going to do 20 points better on the MBE but I actually did one point worse. So...should I bother with Themis or no?

maxmartin

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby maxmartin » Tue May 01, 2018 2:33 pm

PhillyJD wrote:Honestly it’s become really hard to stay motivated anymore. I’m getting rejected from clerkship jobs and the only thing I have where I’m using my JD is where I’m volunteering for a judge. I didn’t have to go to law school for that. It’s at the point where I hate the fact that I went to law school because I’m in a career field where nobody is giving me a chance and here I’ve failed the bar twice. It’s difficult to stay motivated to pass a test for a career that I clearly cannot get a chance in. My only reason for continuing to study for this test is because I want to pass it and shut everyone up who may think I was not capable of doing it. But after that I’m prepared to walk away from the practice of law. Why shouldn’t I? I’m not getting any chances, I’ve had my law degree almost a year, and I actually get really angry when people say what a valuable degree it is and how they’re proud of me for having it. I got it for one reason and one reason only, to practice law. If I can’t use it for that I don’t want it. If it’s so fucking valuable, it’s too bad I can’t sell it and pay off my student loans.
Today is the deadline for if I was to sign up for Themis. I’m considering them. The way that I’ve been practicing so far (when I can motivate myself enough to do it) is I’ve been reading the strategies and tactics Emanuel book, sixth edition. I covered Civ Pro (my weakest subject) and did the 40 questions in the back. 18/40. I then spent a few days handwriting all the rules and answer explanations in addition to reading them. Then I typed them all up with the intention of reorganizing them into an outline to help hammer the rule home. Once I do that for all seven subjects, I can tighten up with the conviser. Then with adaptibar I have the questions to keep testing myself. The essays, I have plans for that. Barbri has a book for the essays with all the past exams and the examiner analyses so I’ll just do that instead of the model sample answer. Honestly I’m not even hoping anymore because last time I thought I’d be in the safe zone and did everything I could but it wasn’t enough. So this is my last time. Because I can’t keep going into the shit with everyone thinking I’m going to pass and then when I don’t, people then say oh well maybe you should try this or that. Barbri told me I was going to do 20 points better on the MBE but I actually did one point worse. So...should I bother with Themis or no?


Do you have to stay in PA? Choose an easy UBE state might not be a bad idea.

PhillyJD

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Re: Took the PA Bar Exam for the second time in February 2018...wondering if my new approach worked

Postby PhillyJD » Tue May 01, 2018 3:35 pm

maxmartin wrote:
PhillyJD wrote:Honestly it’s become really hard to stay motivated anymore. I’m getting rejected from clerkship jobs and the only thing I have where I’m using my JD is where I’m volunteering for a judge. I didn’t have to go to law school for that. It’s at the point where I hate the fact that I went to law school because I’m in a career field where nobody is giving me a chance and here I’ve failed the bar twice. It’s difficult to stay motivated to pass a test for a career that I clearly cannot get a chance in. My only reason for continuing to study for this test is because I want to pass it and shut everyone up who may think I was not capable of doing it. But after that I’m prepared to walk away from the practice of law. Why shouldn’t I? I’m not getting any chances, I’ve had my law degree almost a year, and I actually get really angry when people say what a valuable degree it is and how they’re proud of me for having it. I got it for one reason and one reason only, to practice law. If I can’t use it for that I don’t want it. If it’s so fucking valuable, it’s too bad I can’t sell it and pay off my student loans.
Today is the deadline for if I was to sign up for Themis. I’m considering them. The way that I’ve been practicing so far (when I can motivate myself enough to do it) is I’ve been reading the strategies and tactics Emanuel book, sixth edition. I covered Civ Pro (my weakest subject) and did the 40 questions in the back. 18/40. I then spent a few days handwriting all the rules and answer explanations in addition to reading them. Then I typed them all up with the intention of reorganizing them into an outline to help hammer the rule home. Once I do that for all seven subjects, I can tighten up with the conviser. Then with adaptibar I have the questions to keep testing myself. The essays, I have plans for that. Barbri has a book for the essays with all the past exams and the examiner analyses so I’ll just do that instead of the model sample answer. Honestly I’m not even hoping anymore because last time I thought I’d be in the safe zone and did everything I could but it wasn’t enough. So this is my last time. Because I can’t keep going into the shit with everyone thinking I’m going to pass and then when I don’t, people then say oh well maybe you should try this or that. Barbri told me I was going to do 20 points better on the MBE but I actually did one point worse. So...should I bother with Themis or no?


Do you have to stay in PA? Choose an easy UBE state might not be a bad idea.


Too late for that. I’ve already signed up for PA and I don’t have the money to pay late fees for a UBE state like New Jersey. I’ll do this and pass, but I won’t be surprised if in October I still don’t have a job in this field. So fuck it.



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