I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they doing

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White Dwarf

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby White Dwarf » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:11 pm

That kinda stuff applies to everyone.

There were numerous questions where I was stuck on 50/50 because I didn't know what certain phrasing meant in the context they were using it in.

I agree that it's bad question writing in many cases. I completely disagree that it's some conspiracy to hold back non-native speakers. It's just sloppiness.
Last edited by White Dwarf on Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Nightcrawler » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:11 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills [...]


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.


Amen to that. I just don't understand the fact that all the advocates for keeping the bar exam as ridiculously and unnecessarily hard as it is completely ignore that THE LAW says that the bar exam's purpose is to prove minimum competence, not to restrict the number of lawyers.

I'm not naive, I perfectly know that the real purpose is gatekeeping, but guess why they won't admit it? It's illegal. It's against the Bar rules, confirmed by the mouth of the CA Supreme Court numerous times. However, impossible to prove considering the secrecy surrounding this exam and the high burden of proof, considering all the practical implications. MBE questions are copyrighted, so off limits. Can't even talk about them. Essay grading: can't see corrections - impossible to challenge a grade that on re-read goes from 70 to 60.




JohnStamos wrote:
nixy wrote:There’s been a lot of research on how, historically, [the bar exam] has served exactly as gatekeeping, to keep our people of color, lower income people, etc. [...]

[...] as a woman of color I can confirm this happens. The way the questions are worded is specifically used to discriminate against black and nonnative speakers. [...]


However, I strongly disagree with this. I moved to the US two years ago, from a non-English speaking country. English is my second language and haven't started using it for real-life situations (ie: out of school) until my 20's. Don't even have a JD, so I'm the definition of disadvantage regarding the bar exam. Already on my 4th try.

The legal English used here in the US is almost comparable to plain English for anyone with legal knowledge. Having done thousands of MBE old questions, I can tell that actually the language they use now (compared to older questions) is more concise and easier to understand. Still, I honestly don't understand how black people who went to law school have a harder time understanding the bar exam language compared to white people who went to law school. Not trying to provoke here. I honestly don't get it. I hope that this won't be taken in a bad way, because it's not meant in any way to be insulting, and that would lead to a constructive dialogue (which is the solution to racism, imo).

I just don't understand how the bar exam is "worded specifically to discriminate against black and nonnative speakers".
I'm not saying that they aren't trying to deceive minorities/non-native speakers. I'm saying that they are trying to deceive everyone with any trick possible, wording included. However, wording is not their worst trick at all, imo, because of the reason stated above.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby ndbigdave » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:13 pm

I think the issue the OP is stating is fair when someone understands the bar exam as testing "basic competency." There are a number of MBE questions that ARE quite tricky and do require a great memory of the rule, exceptions, and application. I am not sure exactly what percentage of the test is comprised of these uber nuanced questions, but it is more than a handful. If someone understands the test as "basic competency" then these questions go far beyond that and feel "unfair" or "unnecessarily difficult."

However, as has been stated and what appears obvious, the test does examine more than basic, foundational competency (if it did, most 1Ls could pass at least the MBE after the first year). The test does act as a gatekeeper and as a form of protectionism (cloaked under a shroud billed as a "competency exam"). While we may not like it and it does likely (though I would hope not really intentionally) discriminate against ESL takers and minority candidates we have to accept that the test "is what it is" and plan accordingly. When it comes to the MBE doing questions is really the only way to get better. Learn how to read critically, learn from mistakes and move on. Though I scored fine on my first ever bar, I killed it for the second test in another jurisdiction by doing and reviewing questions, I was catching how questions were worded and how the test makers can trip you up.

The other thing to keep in mind is that in many (not all) jurisdictions, a passing MBE score has routinely been UNDER the national average and I don't believe would ever require students to have correctly answered the "hard" level of questions - which I suppose begs the question, if they eliminated the "hard" questions and had more in the easy/medium difficulty range what would scores look like? Therein lies the rub - that the test is not merely a basic competency test, but a gatekeeper.
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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:15 pm

White Dwarf wrote:That kinda stuff applies to everyone.

There were numerous questions where I was stuck on 50/50 because I didn't know what certain phrasing meant in the context they were using it in.

I agree that it's bad question writing in many cases. I completely disagree that it's some conspiracy to hold back non-native speakers.


Sry I was listening to adele rolling in the deep when i wrote that so I was a bit charged.

Yes, I agree that they're not purposely doing this to hold POC back, it just tends to have that affect. But I do think they lost touch with their goal and feel that they have carte blanche powers to do whatever they want.

Other examples: We can't have mechanical pencils? we can't have separate erasers? we can't have water? If they're *so* concerned we're going to cheat using these materials, why not provide them for us? They have a shit ton of money stored in their savings account for overcharging us to take this exam. My stomach was in knots during the PM sessions because I had to eat my lunch so quickly.

They're drunk on power and need to be hammered back down to reality.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:19 pm

Admittedly I didn’t take it this time round but I don’t think the questions are purposefully worded to trick you on grammar/syntax etc, as opposed to on knowledge of legal exceptions and the like. They might be badly written but I think it’s more incompetence than malice. (Also the no water and so on is state by state; some are way better than others.)

And everyone who takes it comes out convinced the MBE is harder than it ever was and it was worded to screw with people, and they all pass. People aren’t really in the best state of mind to assess any of it objectively at the time of the exam.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby edwardt1988 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:26 pm

JohnStamos wrote:
nixy wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.

It would be pretty shitty form of gatekeeping to close the gate only after people have invested three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school. The bar should t be designed to allow a certain number of people to less each year—it should be designed to allow all who are competent to pass.

There’s a difference btw the bar’s claimed purpose and its actual purpose. There’s been a lot of research on how, historically, it has served exactly as gatekeeping, to keep our people of color, lower income people, etc. The legal profession is also unlike the medical profession - we have very few limits on entry, and weed people through the bar exam. Medicine does the reverse.

Whether that’s acceptable is entirely different from whether it’s accepted fact. But even if it’s not acceptable, there’s no point preparing for the exam you think it should be as opposed to the exam as it actually exists.

I don't want to get off topic, but as a woman of color I can confirm this happens. The way the questions are worded is specifically used to discriminate against black and nonnative speakers. This is why it's justified to allow certain groups into a law school despite their LSAT scores. Unfortunately, the discrimination on the bar exam has yet to be remedied. I knew this would be an issue and prepared accordingly. My problem with the test stated in the OP is NOT about racism specifically, although it may also apply here, but about the way the questions are worded to confuse issues for those who are otherwise prepared for those issues.


This is very interesting. As a non-native speaker, I didn’t notice this to be an issue during the bar or LSAT. Perhaps it’s because I came to this country as a teen. I don’t really want to derail this thread, but I’d love to hear more about this issue, seems interesting.

As to the rest of this thread, OP and some of the other people seems to ignore the fact that you don’t need to get everything right to pass. You can miss a lot and still pass. The bar is a minimum competency exam, and it lives up to its name, because you can essentially know just the general rules and a few exceptions and still pass. To some degree, a lawyer who can quickly analyze a fact pattern and figure out that a certain exception applies is more competent than one who can’t.

The bar seems to let in the everyone who is at least somewhat competent, but the test also wants to differentiate between takers based on their breadth of knowledge. I’m not sure that’s such a big issue, especially since nobody will ever care how well you did on the bar, as long as you pass.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby BigCreamy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:33 pm

JohnStamos wrote:I don't want to get off topic, but as a woman of color I can confirm this happens. The way the questions are worded is specifically used to discriminate against black and nonnative speakers.

As a POC, I think this is completely unhinged and a horribly counter-productive way to look at the the bar exam/life in general.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Atmosphere » Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:48 pm

BigCreamy wrote:
JohnStamos wrote:I don't want to get off topic, but as a woman of color I can confirm this happens. The way the questions are worded is specifically used to discriminate against black and nonnative speakers.

As a POC, I think this is completely unhinged and a horribly counter-productive way to look at the the bar exam/life in general.


*As a black person* seconded, this is stupid and offensive. I can see the non-native speaker argument maybe.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby landshoes » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:02 pm

The thing is that competent lawyers should have some skill at understanding convoluted information and should be able to correctly apply legal principles even when faced with writing that is less than perfectly clear.

I mean, unless you think that clients are going to always be super clear and easy to understand (they won't).

Signed, another POC who finds the idea that requiring takers to read the question is somehow unfair to be really ridiculous and somewhat insulting

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Nightcrawler » Fri Jul 27, 2018 5:32 pm

landshoes wrote:The thing is that competent lawyers should have some skill at understanding convoluted information and should be able to correctly apply legal principles even when faced with writing that is less than perfectly clear.

I mean, unless you think that clients are going to always be super clear and easy to understand (they won't).

Signed, another POC who finds the idea that requiring takers to read the question is somehow unfair to be really ridiculous and somewhat insulting


If a client is not clear though, you can ask for clarifications.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Auxilio » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:12 pm

estefanchanning wrote: My stomach was in knots during the PM sessions because I had to eat my lunch so quickly.



Ignoring the rest of your argument (some of which I agree with, some I don't) I think you are also in California. We get like 1.25 hours for lunch (potentially more). That feels more than reasonable.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:33 pm

Auxilio wrote:
estefanchanning wrote: My stomach was in knots during the PM sessions because I had to eat my lunch so quickly.



Ignoring the rest of your argument (some of which I agree with, some I don't) I think you are also in California. We get like 1.25 hours for lunch (potentially more). That feels more than reasonable.


Lol, I'm assuming you took it in Pasadena? I took it in downtown LA and we got 30 mins for lunch because the proctors were incompetent and getting 1000+ people in and out of the room took forever.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Auxilio » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:38 pm

estefanchanning wrote:
Auxilio wrote:
estefanchanning wrote: My stomach was in knots during the PM sessions because I had to eat my lunch so quickly.



Ignoring the rest of your argument (some of which I agree with, some I don't) I think you are also in California. We get like 1.25 hours for lunch (potentially more). That feels more than reasonable.


Lol, I'm assuming you took it in Pasadena? I took it in downtown LA and we got 30 mins for lunch because the proctors were incompetent and getting 1000+ people in and out of the room took forever.


I was in SF, which had ~1200 people there. They were really slow, but still tons of time. I don't know though.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby malibustacy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:54 pm

Did you think the average bar taker gets only about 65% right because they are stupid? It's a hard ass test. If the instinctive answer was the correct answer, everyone would score much higher than that.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby JohnStamos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:12 pm

MOD EDIT: If you ignore my comment and sling flagrantly ridiculous accusations of racism at other users, you get a week's vacation. See ya in August.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:19 pm

I think many 1st time examinees fall into the trap of believing the MBE is similar to previous multiple choice tests they've taken in college.

IT IS NOT


Your college professors were probably just testing you on your knowledge of the material, not intentionally trying to trick you into selecting the wrong answer. Even the LSAT doesn't generally try to trick you. However, the MBE is purposely trying to bait you into selecting the wrong answer. That's is why it is very important to train yourself by studying from actual previous MBE questions, not "simulated" questions. The grammar and syntax of the actual MBE questions are very important. If you study from "simulated" questions, you might not familiarize yourself with the MBE syntax/grammar..

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby tier4_partner » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:05 pm

Seriously though. How much easier should they make the bar exam?

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:21 pm

tier4_partner wrote:Seriously though. How much easier should they make the bar exam?



California examinees arent necessarily asking for easier questions. They are asking for a lower cut score.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:31 pm

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
tier4_partner wrote:Seriously though. How much easier should they make the bar exam?



California examinees arent necessarily asking for easier questions. They are asking for a lower cut score.


Idk. I just want the bar to do their job--license competent attorneys. Not try to regulate supply and demand--that's beyond their purview.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby lawlurk » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:45 pm

Personally, I think assuming non-whites cant possibly have the same reading comprehension skills as whites is the classic "soft bigotry of low expectations." Ive heard the same sorta theory that the test has some agenda against women, which I also don't buy. Im a woman, just measure my ability on objective, blunt merit standards, dont want no pity party, that attitude will always cast a cloud over my success. I do however, think non-natives, those with English as second language, may have a slightly harder time for obvious reasons, but even then the fact that the test is harder s just a natural consequence of having English as a second language, not the Bar trying to filter those people out.

I think the unflattering reality is that the people admitted to law school in the first place are not as academically competitive as they used to be. It used to be a much bigger deal to go to law school, it was only the smart kids, and their used to be much less law schools. The degree was more valuable. Nowadays, schools admit much less qualified applicants, for a host of reasons (political pressure, and mainly to keep the funds and loan money coming in.) (look at admittance requirements of LSAT and GPAs, we know it isn't as competitive, race and gender are now major brownie points). Nowadays, there are many "cut rate" law schools and many people can suddenly go to law school. But these people, based on LSAT and GPA, do not demonstrate the likelihood of future academic success and thus ability to pass the bar. But schools are desperate, they let them in anyways, take those loans funds, and from what Ive heard, these lower schools then cut a huge portion of the admittance class. Id imagine people who get cut would have preferred to have been rejected admittance from the start then be drowning in loans for no reason. This is why I prefer the old fashioned, medical school approach to admittance, even if it means I would have been someone never admitted.

I cant even sit here and say I would have been admitted to the same school and received a large scholarship had Id been applying 30 years ago. Maybe, I don well for myself, but it would have def been a more competitive field of applicants, no reason for them to throw money at us.

So my own theory is that it maybe its getting somewhat harder (we are biased on that), but the root of the problem is the quality of students being pumped outta these schools to begin with. Seems like people act like it is some sorta mystery as to why everyone is failing the bar at epics rate compared to before. I thought common sense points to my theory but IDK, it requires people to acknowledge some people should have been rejected, and that hurts people's feelings. I think what hurts peoples feelings is knowingly allowing them to take on 6 figures of debt, 3 years of sacrifice, and then telling them, nope you cant practice with us.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:56 pm

lawlurk wrote:Personally, I think assuming non-whites cant possibly have the same reading comprehension skills as whites is the classic "soft bigotry of low expectations." Ive heard the same sorta theory that the test has some agenda against women, which I also don't buy. Im a woman, just measure my ability on objective, blunt merit standards, dont want no pity party, that attitude will always cast a cloud over my success. I do however, think non-natives, those with English as second language, may have a slightly harder time for obvious reasons, but even then the fact that the test is harder s just a natural consequence of having English as a second language, not the Bar trying to filter those people out.

I think the unflattering reality is that the people admitted to law school in the first place are not as academically competitive as they used to be. It used to be a much bigger deal to go to law school, it was only the smart kids, and their used to be much less law schools. The degree was more valuable. Nowadays, schools admit much less qualified applicants, for a host of reasons (political pressure, and mainly to keep the funds and loan money coming in.) (look at admittance requirements of LSAT and GPAs, we know it isn't as competitive, race and gender are now major brownie points). Nowadays, there are many "cut rate" law schools and many people can suddenly go to law school. But these people, based on LSAT and GPA, do not demonstrate the likelihood of future academic success and thus ability to pass the bar. But schools are desperate, they let them in anyways, take those loans funds, and from what Ive heard, these lower schools then cut a huge portion of the admittance class. Id imagine people who get cut would have preferred to have been rejected admittance from the start then be drowning in loans for no reason. This is why I prefer the old fashioned, medical school approach to admittance, even if it means I would have been someone never admitted.

I cant even sit here and say I would have been admitted to the same school and received a large scholarship had Id been applying 30 years ago. Maybe, I don well for myself, but it would have def been a more competitive field of applicants, no reason for them to throw money at us.

So my own theory is that it maybe its getting somewhat harder (we are biased on that), but the root of the problem is the quality of students being pumped outta these schools to begin with. Seems like people act like it is some sorta mystery as to why everyone is failing the bar at epics rate compared to before. I thought common sense points to my theory but IDK, it requires people to acknowledge some people should have been rejected, and that hurts people's feelings. I think what hurts peoples feelings is knowingly allowing them to take on 6 figures of debt, 3 years of sacrifice, and then telling them, nope you cant practice with us.


I mean sure, but this is not a novel theory. It's partly what you're saying, but also partly the test is objectively getting hard. 30 years ago we didn't have to study corps, agency, partnerships, CA civ pro, CA evidence, and Prof responsibility (in CA). Also, civ pro wasn't on the mbe. Also the questions weren't as deceptive 30 years ago (based on my experience)

So while I agree with this theory, it's part and parcel of the bigger issue: that the ABA and CA bar isn't properly doing their basic job.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby lawlurk » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:08 pm

estefanchanning wrote:
lawlurk wrote:Personally, I think assuming non-whites cant possibly have the same reading comprehension skills as whites is the classic "soft bigotry of low expectations." Ive heard the same sorta theory that the test has some agenda against women, which I also don't buy. Im a woman, just measure my ability on objective, blunt merit standards, dont want no pity party, that attitude will always cast a cloud over my success. I do however, think non-natives, those with English as second language, may have a slightly harder time for obvious reasons, but even then the fact that the test is harder s just a natural consequence of having English as a second language, not the Bar trying to filter those people out.

I think the unflattering reality is that the people admitted to law school in the first place are not as academically competitive as they used to be. It used to be a much bigger deal to go to law school, it was only the smart kids, and their used to be much less law schools. The degree was more valuable. Nowadays, schools admit much less qualified applicants, for a host of reasons (political pressure, and mainly to keep the funds and loan money coming in.) (look at admittance requirements of LSAT and GPAs, we know it isn't as competitive, race and gender are now major brownie points). Nowadays, there are many "cut rate" law schools and many people can suddenly go to law school. But these people, based on LSAT and GPA, do not demonstrate the likelihood of future academic success and thus ability to pass the bar. But schools are desperate, they let them in anyways, take those loans funds, and from what Ive heard, these lower schools then cut a huge portion of the admittance class. Id imagine people who get cut would have preferred to have been rejected admittance from the start then be drowning in loans for no reason. This is why I prefer the old fashioned, medical school approach to admittance, even if it means I would have been someone never admitted.

I cant even sit here and say I would have been admitted to the same school and received a large scholarship had Id been applying 30 years ago. Maybe, I don well for myself, but it would have def been a more competitive field of applicants, no reason for them to throw money at us.

So my own theory is that it maybe its getting somewhat harder (we are biased on that), but the root of the problem is the quality of students being pumped outta these schools to begin with. Seems like people act like it is some sorta mystery as to why everyone is failing the bar at epics rate compared to before. I thought common sense points to my theory but IDK, it requires people to acknowledge some people should have been rejected, and that hurts people's feelings. I think what hurts peoples feelings is knowingly allowing them to take on 6 figures of debt, 3 years of sacrifice, and then telling them, nope you cant practice with us.


I mean sure, but this is not a novel theory. It's partly what you're saying, but also partly the test is objectively getting hard. 30 years ago we didn't have to study corps, agency, partnerships, CA civ pro, CA evidence, and Prof responsibility (in CA). Also, civ pro wasn't on the mbe. Also the questions weren't as deceptive 30 years ago (based on my experience)

So while I agree with this theory, it's part and parcel of the bigger issue: that the ABA and CA bar isn't properly doing their basic job.



True. Agree on all that. The CA Bar stated purpose appears dubious, but it always has been from inception. The CA judicial committee hearings about the exam are quite interesting. No one seems able to explain whether it is designed for its purpose (protect consumers). Just cant stand when people start to point the blame of the isolated issue of lower scores on external things like race, gender, yada yada and felt compelled to stand on my soap box lol.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Nightcrawler » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:13 am

estefanchanning wrote:
lawlurk wrote:Personally, I think assuming non-whites cant possibly have the same reading comprehension skills as whites is the classic "soft bigotry of low expectations." Ive heard the same sorta theory that the test has some agenda against women, which I also don't buy. Im a woman, just measure my ability on objective, blunt merit standards, dont want no pity party, that attitude will always cast a cloud over my success. I do however, think non-natives, those with English as second language, may have a slightly harder time for obvious reasons, but even then the fact that the test is harder s just a natural consequence of having English as a second language, not the Bar trying to filter those people out.

I think the unflattering reality is that the people admitted to law school in the first place are not as academically competitive as they used to be. It used to be a much bigger deal to go to law school, it was only the smart kids, and their used to be much less law schools. The degree was more valuable. Nowadays, schools admit much less qualified applicants, for a host of reasons (political pressure, and mainly to keep the funds and loan money coming in.) (look at admittance requirements of LSAT and GPAs, we know it isn't as competitive, race and gender are now major brownie points). Nowadays, there are many "cut rate" law schools and many people can suddenly go to law school. But these people, based on LSAT and GPA, do not demonstrate the likelihood of future academic success and thus ability to pass the bar. But schools are desperate, they let them in anyways, take those loans funds, and from what Ive heard, these lower schools then cut a huge portion of the admittance class. Id imagine people who get cut would have preferred to have been rejected admittance from the start then be drowning in loans for no reason. This is why I prefer the old fashioned, medical school approach to admittance, even if it means I would have been someone never admitted.

I cant even sit here and say I would have been admitted to the same school and received a large scholarship had Id been applying 30 years ago. Maybe, I don well for myself, but it would have def been a more competitive field of applicants, no reason for them to throw money at us.

So my own theory is that it maybe its getting somewhat harder (we are biased on that), but the root of the problem is the quality of students being pumped outta these schools to begin with. Seems like people act like it is some sorta mystery as to why everyone is failing the bar at epics rate compared to before. I thought common sense points to my theory but IDK, it requires people to acknowledge some people should have been rejected, and that hurts people's feelings. I think what hurts peoples feelings is knowingly allowing them to take on 6 figures of debt, 3 years of sacrifice, and then telling them, nope you cant practice with us.


I mean sure, but this is not a novel theory. It's partly what you're saying, but also partly the test is objectively getting hard. 30 years ago we didn't have to study corps, agency, partnerships, CA civ pro, CA evidence, and Prof responsibility (in CA). Also, civ pro wasn't on the mbe. Also the questions weren't as deceptive 30 years ago (based on my experience)

So while I agree with this theory, it's part and parcel of the bigger issue: that the ABA and CA bar isn't properly doing their basic job.


Exactly. They are playing politics when they shouldn’t. I would like to add that with an annual revenue of 15M+ (Only counting bar exam applications), they could afford to get the results corrected earlier. But guess what? It helps students pass more easily, giving them more time to prepare, so why would they pay for that?

splitcity

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby splitcity » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:05 pm

I think the reasoning behind the argument that the exam is biased against minorities is that successfully preparing for the exam takes a lot of time and money. POC are disadvantaged because many of them can't afford a $4K bar course like a lot of white people.

To answer the OP, the bar is like a game of chess because in the US, we have an adversarial legal system. You'll always be competing against an opponent when you're a lawyer and oftentimes, that opponent will be smarter and more experienced than you. In the case of the MBEs, the people that write the exam are your opponents and you have to show that you can handle their tricks.

Nightcrawler

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Nightcrawler » Sat Jul 28, 2018 2:48 pm

splitcity wrote:I think the reasoning behind the argument that the exam is biased against minorities is that successfully preparing for the exam takes a lot of time and money. POC are disadvantaged because many of them can't afford a $4K bar course like a lot of white people.


This is confusing the cause and the effect. The fact that black people are impacted doesn't mean that anyone is discriminating against black people. There are also rich black people and poor white people that go to law school.

splitcity wrote:To answer the OP, the bar is like a game of chess because in the US, we have an adversarial legal system. You'll always be competing against an opponent when you're a lawyer and oftentimes, that opponent will be smarter and more experienced than you. In the case of the MBEs, the people that write the exam are your opponents and you have to show that you can handle their tricks.


Partially agree. I feel like there could definitely be better way to test this though. However, either they haven't come up with them yet or it's just too expensive. Standardized tests are the most efficient way to give licenses to practice, unfortunately.



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