Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

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Angel66

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Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Angel66 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:17 am

I've read almost every article I could find on the PT strategies. Everyone says you need to outline, outline, outline... But in reality, there's no way that I can draw a nice grid in the designated time frame. For those who successfully passed the bar exam (especially the CBX), I have two questions:

(1) Did you actually make outline when you were doing the PT?
(2) How many practice PTs did you do before the exam?

Thanks!

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby justanotheruser » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:21 am

Angel66 wrote:I've read almost every article I could find on the PT strategies. Everyone says you need to outline, outline, outline... But in reality, there's no way that I can draw a nice grid in the designated time frame. For those who successfully passed the bar exam (especially the CBX), I have two questions:

(1) Did you actually make outline when you were doing the PT?
(2) How many practice PTs did you do before the exam?

Thanks!


Multi-time repeater who just passed the Feb '18 CA exam here.

(1) I did outline, but they were very basic. If the directions specify 3 issues, I'd briefly outline each issue by noting (a) the law, (b) notable exception, and (c) key/ambiguous facts. This provided me a general roadmap that helped me manage my time as I wrote the PT on-the-go. Generally, I wanted to be done reading the cases and outlining within 30-40 minutes.

(2) Most of the time, I did a full practice PT every other week. But during the last 3 weeks, I think I did at least one a week. In total, I did about 8 full practice PTs. The biggest thing about practice was having a time management strategy and getting better at executing under time crunch.

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northwood

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby northwood » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:42 am

I did but it was extremely basic and was more of an organizational method where I made the sections for the and put a brief reminder of what I wanted to put in each section. Took less than 5 minutes to do it.

I think I did 3 or 4 total

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby sprintin23 » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:10 am

I "outlined" if you call it that. I took the test via laptop and what I did is took about 5 minutes to make a basic template of the sections and then started writing as soon as I got done reading the library and file. I found myself running out of time making an outline on separate sheet of paper and converting it. Also, I did about 7 PT's during prep. The more you do, the more you get into a routine.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby JohnnieSockran » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:32 pm

Yes, I outlined. You need to be doing this in practice, writing down any rules you find in your materials, and then adding in facts that fit under each rule statement to support the rule (argue facts both in your favor and against your argument--use them all)

I did a PT every week or other week, probably did about 5/6 total.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby scard » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:06 pm

not a passer yet but did receive 65'a on my PT multiple times in my attempts.

I bring different color highlighters and I will highlight parts of cases/statues/facts pertaining to one call/issue in one color and other coordinating facts/cases/statutes with another color.

that way when its time to actually start writing, I don't have to keep looking for the text and can just refer to the color coding highlights.

for example, if the 1st call is about whether or not a city owes a duty, all caselaw that I intend to quote will be highlighted in yellow, along with all facts in our issue that the caselaw would apply to as well as any statutes.

if the second call is about what constitutes a breach I will highlight all caselaw statutes, and facts pertaining to breach in orange, etc...

then when its time to write, IRAC YELLOW, IRAC ORANGE, etc..

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northwood

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby northwood » Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:02 am

If you want to use highlighters or what it, double check what is permitted for the specific jurisdiction where you are taking the test. Some states do not allow highlighters but others will.. you don’t want to practice something that you can’t use on the bar exam and you also don’t want to unintentionally violate a bar exam rule.

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Neilt001

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Neilt001 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:28 am

My style is more to make my outline as I go, rather than wasting time up front. Sure, I've got a general outline in my head, but I constantly changed my outline as my answers developed, and I would often go back and tweak things as I wrote (using a laptop). I took this approach and passed the NYBX first go. Obviously this is not advisable for everyone, and there's a risk (for some people) that you're making changes too late in the game and will run out of time. However I found my time better spent just writing the damn answer and moulding my answer/outlines as I went. That's the beauty of using a laptop!

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby okaygo » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:13 am

Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby sarahbeck10 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:41 am

Angel66 wrote:I've read almost every article I could find on the PT strategies. Everyone says you need to outline, outline, outline... But in reality, there's no way that I can draw a nice grid in the designated time frame. For those who successfully passed the bar exam (especially the CBX), I have two questions:

(1) Did you actually make outline when you were doing the PT?
(2) How many practice PTs did you do before the exam?

Thanks!



No. For me, the MPT timing is super tight and I knew I wouldn't be able to create an outline like the one taught in bar prep. Anytime I practiced I spent way too much time outlining so I knew I needed to skip it on the day of. Instead, I just created rough sections and sentences in the actual exam as I was going through the material and then cleaned everything up and added the substance once I was done reading. I feel like time is better spent cleaning up your answer and making sure you have it tailored to the specific task asked for, rather than creating a perfect outline to go off of. I believe the way they teach how to do outlines in bar prep is almost impossible to do within the time limit. They make them so detailed.

I did 2 full MPTs under timed conditions and read through the packet and then model answers for another 2-3. I really didn't make the MPT a priority but I took the exam in IL and we only do one, rather than the 2 I believe UBE jx take. That said, I do think its easy points if you prepare. I think the biggest thing is making sure you familiarize yourself with the different types of tasks (briefs, memos, motions, etc.) that are likely to show up and know how to respond in each. You will get points for responding in the correct format.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Neilt001 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:30 pm

okaygo wrote:Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.


Totally agreed. I do it on the fly, and change it as the essay slowly comes together. It always works. I can type and analyse at the same time. I remember sitting there during the bar exam and immediately starting to type after finishing the readings. The two people sitting next to me spent another 10 mins doing some stupid outline on paper, while I continued to type and rack up points. Scored in the 89th percentile on MEE/MPT.

But obviously this system isn't for everyone!

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Neilt001 » Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:31 pm

sarahbeck10 wrote:
No. For me, the MPT timing is super tight and I knew I wouldn't be able to create an outline like the one taught in bar prep. Anytime I practiced I spent way too much time outlining so I knew I needed to skip it on the day of. Instead, I just created rough sections and sentences in the actual exam as I was going through the material and then cleaned everything up and added the substance once I was done reading. I feel like time is better spent cleaning up your answer and making sure you have it tailored to the specific task asked for, rather than creating a perfect outline to go off of. I believe the way they teach how to do outlines in bar prep is almost impossible to do within the time limit. They make them so detailed.

I did 2 full MPTs under timed conditions and read through the packet and then model answers for another 2-3. I really didn't make the MPT a priority but I took the exam in IL and we only do one, rather than the 2 I believe UBE jx take. That said, I do think its easy points if you prepare. I think the biggest thing is making sure you familiarize yourself with the different types of tasks (briefs, memos, motions, etc.) that are likely to show up and know how to respond in each. You will get points for responding in the correct format.


Totally! Down with outlines!!!

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby justanotheruser » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:23 pm

Can echo a lot of the sentiments expressed here. For me, highlighting/underlining was kept MINIMAL. The only thing I highlighted/underlined were the few things I wanted to jot down in my very sparse outline -- the major rule, major exception, and key/ambiguous facts.

When you're trying to outline/highlight/undelrine EVERYTHING, you end up forgetting a lot and forcing yourself to go back and re-read, etc. Instead, it was much better for me to have a basic outline (as described above) and get into writing asap.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby LockBox » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:03 pm

I found a system that worked for me. I read the instruction memo and if the PT was straight forward I started typing right away. If I knew there would be three sections, I did those sections and then as I read the file, I would type the rules (w/citation after each sentence) right then and there. No highlighting and going back etc. Later I would copy/paste as needed. I always scored 65/70 on the PT's so ymmv.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby LaShuanMichelle » Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:04 pm

okaygo wrote:Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.


I am very interested in any tips that you may have to offer regarding format. This will be my 3rd time taking the bar I always come so close but not enough to pass, this last attempt I scored a 257. Good news is I only need to retake the MPT/MEE part of the exam, bad news is, I am a slow reader and a moderately paced typer. Any way, I went to review my essays today and I noticed that my format is different from the sample answers. I usually stick to IRAC for the MEE but in the model answers I see they put all the legal questions in the beginning, then do a summary then they go into each question using a CRAC . I also label each area, Issue: then state the issue, Rule then state all the rules, Analysis: .... and Conclusion..... However I noted the sample answers did not do this they wrote a response in a more fluid way.

Im just wondering whether it is worth it to spend time on changing my format and whether it will get me the extra points I need to pass or focus more on writing better answers. My last exam I got four 3's and a 4, and a 1 ( because I wasn't familiar with the topic and I answered it 75% incorrect.)

I am also averaging a 3 on my MPTs. I also have not done well with formatting on the MPTs either. Any help you can give, based on your experience, that would help me focus my time on the most beneficial things would be greatly appreciated.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby sarahbeck10 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:31 am

LaShuanMichelle wrote:
okaygo wrote:Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.


I am very interested in any tips that you may have to offer regarding format. This will be my 3rd time taking the bar I always come so close but not enough to pass, this last attempt I scored a 257. Good news is I only need to retake the MPT/MEE part of the exam, bad news is, I am a slow reader and a moderately paced typer. Any way, I went to review my essays today and I noticed that my format is different from the sample answers. I usually stick to IRAC for the MEE but in the model answers I see they put all the legal questions in the beginning, then do a summary then they go into each question using a CRAC . I also label each area, Issue: then state the issue, Rule then state all the rules, Analysis: .... and Conclusion..... However I noted the sample answers did not do this they wrote a response in a more fluid way.

Im just wondering whether it is worth it to spend time on changing my format and whether it will get me the extra points I need to pass or focus more on writing better answers. My last exam I got four 3's and a 4, and a 1 ( because I wasn't familiar with the topic and I answered it 75% incorrect.)

I am also averaging a 3 on my MPTs. I also have not done well with formatting on the MPTs either. Any help you can give, based on your experience, that would help me focus my time on the most beneficial things would be greatly appreciated.



I would recommend against using the "Issue: Rule: Analysis: Conclusion:" headings. Whoever grades your essay should be able to determine which paragraph is what just from reading. Maybe you could insert them to help yourself as you write and then take out before submitting? I find that alot of model answers have the topic as a heading to organize the flow, and that is how I formatted my answers on the exam. For example:

1.
Battery
IRAC

Assault

It doesn't work for every single answer, but probably for most. The biggest thing is they want you to have picked out the right rules/analysis, so doing it this way helps. I think this is an underrated issue that isn't really addressed heavily by bar prep companies, but should be. Just remember every grader is reading hundreds of essays and the more clear and concise you make your answer, the easier it is for them, making it more likely for you to get max points. Good luck!

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby northwood » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:33 pm

This is more of a response for the mee/ state bar essay than for the mpt but if you can find a way to highlight or underline key words, it may help ensure maximum points since the graders may just skim more than read your essays

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Smiddywesson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 11:25 am

I read the Gallagher book and a lot of other sources and came up with an improved method, but that method was worthless because it took too much time. Therefore, I gutted it and developed the following:

I immediately make a grid, just like everyone else's grid.
The upper left box states the form, "Objective Memorandum, passive voice"
Below that in column #1 I list the tasks. As some of you have observed, those tasks can provided by the partner memo or by a referenced document, most usually a statute.
Further down Column #1 we break out the elements of the statue, main elements followed by sub elements.
Below that I place ethical considerations to remind me to list and discuss them
Below that is any prohibitions they give me such as don't discuss damages, Ex. "No Damages." (This allows
Across the top of the remaining columns are my materials, the documents in my library.

So far, so good, nothing unusual there, right? But now is where I abbreviate things from the way I used to do them.

In the rest of the essays, you are doing the equivalent of juggling four or five balls. If you drop a ball and, for example, fail to recall the rule, you can just juggle faster with the remaining parts of the essay, such as doing a better job weaving in the facts, and still come up with as good a score as somebody who remembered the law. It doesn't work that way with the MPT. In this test, you have to juggle ten balls, and none of them well. You just have to SHOW them each mini task so they can check off the box for you. For example, if a case is from another jurisdiction, you have to SAY so. Kaching! That's a point. If it's an earlier or later case, or overrules, there's a point there too. If something is irrelevant, it's nice to mention it's irrelevant. For example, "In interpreting the definition of "helpless" we would normally refer to a resource like Webster's American Dictionary, however the usual definition is irrelevant here because the statue provides its own definition of the term. Kaching! You get another point because you hit them over the head that you weeded out the irrelevant (it's part of the task). Do not overdo things. Get just one thing checking the box for each of the elements on the grading sheet, then and only then get lawyerly with your lingo. Go straight for the kill. Use one, just one citation from each of the resources provided in the library. Write great IRAC headlines, and cobble it all together quick. You can always go back and add that second citation you like so well from case #2, but that's not a priority in the make believe world of the MPT.

Hopefully, that was of some assistance. Put yourself in the grader's mindset by reading the grading sheet and instructions. Cover those points, THEN do what's best. Without each of those tasks covered at least once, you give the grader nothing on which to award points. Less is more, and the discussion comes last in terms of importance. This isn't a normal essay where what you say or conclude means anything, think poodles jumping through hoops. Don't miss all the hoops. The points available for your keen observations and knowledge are nothing next to the points available for following the instructions and giving one example of each grading point/task.

If you haven't written out all those tasks, you are not ready. Here's a quick cut and paste:
(1) Separate relevant from irrelevant facts;
(2) analyze statutory, case, and administrative materials for applicable principles of law;
(3) apply the relevant law to the issues. (pay attention to date of decision and court's jurisdiction)
(4) apply the relevant facts to the issues.
(5) weave the facts and law together in a manner likely to resolve a client’s problem;
(4) identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, when present;
(5) communicate effectively in writing; and
(6) complete a lawyering task (a. Do what we asked; b. in the format we demanded)
(7) within time constraints.

Let's look at the grade description for a 4, an average response:

"Score of 4: A 4 answer is an average answer. A 4 answer indicates that an applicant has a fair understanding of the task and understands enough of the relevant materials to incorporate them into a satisfactory, though not completely responsive, product in the time allotted."

Basically, this says you didn't entirely understand the assignment or materials, but you mostly did so, still failing to follow some of the instructions and/or not completely meeting the time limits. This tells me the bar is very low.

Hope that helps.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Tue Mar 12, 2019 2:35 pm

I did a pretty loose outline, but I definitely did the rule chart thing in the red MPT book. I even used a ruler to make the chart.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby LaShuanMichelle » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:24 pm

I finally passed after the 3rd time. Only had to retake the MPT/MEE the last time.

My MPT/MEE scores:

1st attempt- 112.8
2nd attempt- 119.5
3rd attempt- 133.9

The biggest difference between the way I took exam 1 & 2 and the way I took exam 3 is I used CRAC method in exam 3, & after my conclusion I wrote a brief summary then I did RAC & my conclusion was one sentence. I basically followed the format in the model answers.

As far as feeling: I definitely felt like my answers were far more thorough in exam 1 & 2 but I believe it was the right answer with the right format that made all the difference.

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Ty Webb

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Ty Webb » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:54 pm

Texas here. I demolished the writing, so I feel comfortable giving my take.

I did outlining to the extent outlining means putting in headings. My MPT was on preliminary injunction and asked for a pretty basic argument. So I went through and put in my headings based upon the arguments I wanted to me ("A genuine dispute of fact exists because ... 1) reason one from the facts, 2) reason two from the facts, and so on."

I did that for every prong, and then went through and made my arguments from there.

What I did spend a lot of time doing was reviewing the documents for factual nuggets and making some notes on them.

I write for a living and write very, very quickly, so my situation is a bit different. I can reasonably pound out about 300 words (a page) per 5 minutes, so I had a little more time for preparing than most. But even with that, I don't feel like putting out a full outline is conducive to success in this setting. I have heard a lot of people talk about making a skeleton outline, but doing it within the exam software answer portal. This can help keep you grounded in what you're doing and also make it easier to move on at the appropriate time. If I know I have 10 minutes to do each section, it's a lot easier if I've already started by filling in my headings.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby Calbears123 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:06 pm

I handwrote the NY bar exam so I had no time to outline. I did a quick CREAC in my head for the traditional motion/argument MPT and the second was just filling out a contract I made up as I went.

Passed easily.

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Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Postby rcharter1978 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:25 am

I know I did the grid, and I believe I did a very short outline for the PT when I passed. I think for someone like me, it's pretty easy to get off track and end up in the weeds and there is NOT enough time for that. Especially since i think you get less time for the PT in California now.

Will agree that the grid takes time up front, but it made me write the PT so much faster and it made things better organized for me. But some people are naturally organized and they won't need it.

I probably did 7-8 practice PTs.

Even if you don't do as many please do some. Those are just free points, IMO, no reason not to do well on PTs unless they are jerks and throw like jury instructions at you...in which case maybe you fake a heart attack? JK



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