Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

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lady_gaga

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Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby lady_gaga » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:40 pm

For February 2018 (California) I was banking on my written essays to bring up my total score but I really think they check your MBE score first and if it's not passing they don't bother to read your essays.

I did horribly on MBE but thought my written essays would bring me up. I didn't expect to pass, but I was certainly not expecting to fail every single essay.

In particular, Question 4: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/admissions/Examinations/February2018CBX_Questions.pdf

The essay I wrote (which you can read - see below link) was thorough, used every fact, and was fairly well-written with headings for everything. I know that my statement of the elements of kidnapping was off for the crossover part of the question but I'm so frustrated - I really think this should of passed.

Would love your thoughts, be as ruthless as you want. For discussion purposes, is there any truth to the idea that Cal markers only read your essays if you get a certain MBE score?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/166060583@N02/shares/HwXqa8

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:51 pm

What grade did you get on that essay?

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that an examinee's essay might be placed in different "grading stacks" depending on that examinee's MBE score.

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lady_gaga

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby lady_gaga » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:11 am

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:What grade did you get on that essay?

I wouldn't be surprised to learn that an examinee's essay might be placed in different "grading stacks" depending on that examinee's MBE score.



I got a 60 (my highest). Lowest score was 55 on a wills essay that I was not banking on having to write and was a couple pages of trash - the fact that there is a 5 point difference between this one and the wills essay where I actually had no clue is disconcerting. Does the same grader grade all your essays or just one (i.e. a stack of wills essays from different people at a time).

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby MsBreezy » Wed Aug 01, 2018 12:48 am

Wtf! That’s pretty much everything from the model answer, how are people supposed to pass? I’m stressing out even more about February now - maybe the strategy is to focus more on MBEs? Somebody needs to hold the bar accountable for this I seriously don’t understand how to get a passing grade anymore!!

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby scard » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:28 am

Honestly it shouldnt be a failing essay but this being my 6th attempt at this stupid exam iv come to terms with something...

Minimum competence is not what it truly means. The bar graders expect a perfectly articulated every issue analyzed essay to achieve minimum competence.

So I don’t rely on essay to get me through this exam anymore and I expect 55’s and 60’s now and study to achieve an extremely high mbe score and good PT score to make up for it.

On my 4th attempt I had one question marked as a 65, got a second read, and received a 50... on the same essay, when the supervisor operant grade gave me a 65 as well. How the heck does the same essay receive a 65 and a 50?!?! You cannot study to prevent that. Bring your MBEs up and don’t worry about what the a-hole grader was thinking. There is nothing you can do to truly improve your writing based on the essay you posted

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby estefanchanning » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:39 am

I'm on my phone so sorry if this post seems short/hurried. But from the quick read of your essay, I would've given it 60-65 as well. Note, I just took the bar for the first time and still waiting for my results, so take what I say with a grain of salt lol.

Your rule statements seem incomplete, and some are incorrect. This lead you to arrive at the wrong conclusion. So while you may have used every fact, you used it incorrectly. For example, you said that a protective sweep is to search for weapons. However, cops are only allowed to conduct a protective sweep when they have reasonable suspicion that accomplices are present in the house. And even then, they may only search places from where an attack could be launched.

For consent, you said that a cop cam search if he has the owners consent. However, the actual rule is more nuanced than that. I can't recall it in full, but it's something like "facts/circumstances would lead a reasonable cop" etc. There were numerous other examples but I'm on my phone and I can't easily switch back and forth between your essay and this topic.

I think your issue is memorizing the law. I can see that you're good at applying the law, but I think that's an easier skill than actually knowing the law. If you work on hammering the nuances of the law, I think you can rake in some serious points.

You don't have to spit out the law verbatim, but you need to gets its essence, and get it fully/completely.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby Atmosphere » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:13 am

estefanchanning wrote:I'm on my phone so sorry if this post seems short/hurried. But from the quick read of your essay, I would've given it 60-65 as well. Note, I just took the bar for the first time and still waiting for my results, so take what I say with a grain of salt lol.

Your rule statements seem incomplete, and some are incorrect. This lead you to arrive at the wrong conclusion. So while you may have used every fact, you used it incorrectly. For example, you said that a protective sweep is to search for weapons. However, cops are only allowed to conduct a protective sweep when they have reasonable suspicion that accomplices are present in the house. And even then, they may only search places from where an attack could be launched.

For consent, you said that a cop cam search if he has the owners consent. However, the actual rule is more nuanced than that. I can't recall it in full, but it's something like "facts/circumstances would lead a reasonable cop" etc. There were numerous other examples but I'm on my phone and I can't easily switch back and forth between your essay and this topic.

I think your issue is memorizing the law. I can see that you're good at applying the law, but I think that's an easier skill than actually knowing the law. If you work on hammering the nuances of the law, I think you can rake in some serious points.

You don't have to spit out the law verbatim, but you need to gets its essence, and get it fully/completely.


If this is even remotely true,there is a 0% chance I’m passing the test. Reporting back in November

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lady_gaga

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby lady_gaga » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:22 am

estefanchanning wrote:I'm on my phone so sorry if this post seems short/hurried. But from the quick read of your essay, I would've given it 60-65 as well. Note, I just took the bar for the first time and still waiting for my results, so take what I say with a grain of salt lol.

Your rule statements seem incomplete, and some are incorrect. This lead you to arrive at the wrong conclusion. So while you may have used every fact, you used it incorrectly. For example, you said that a protective sweep is to search for weapons. However, cops are only allowed to conduct a protective sweep when they have reasonable suspicion that accomplices are present in the house. And even then, they may only search places from where an attack could be launched.

For consent, you said that a cop cam search if he has the owners consent. However, the actual rule is more nuanced than that. I can't recall it in full, but it's something like "facts/circumstances would lead a reasonable cop" etc. There were numerous other examples but I'm on my phone and I can't easily switch back and forth between your essay and this topic.

I think your issue is memorizing the law. I can see that you're good at applying the law, but I think that's an easier skill than actually knowing the law. If you work on hammering the nuances of the law, I think you can rake in some serious points.

You don't have to spit out the law verbatim, but you need to gets its essence, and get it fully/completely.


Thank you for this detailed response! I see what you mean - I guess what I can conclude is that this is not a minimum competency test and you really do need to know every little nuance. I'm also gathering that the typical bar prep advice in just having the headings, spotting the issues and "making up rules" where you aren't entirely sure is just not going to cut it anymore. Sigh. I'm a foreign trained lawyer and studied part time for 4 months while working big law so I'm going to be giving myself more time to study/memorize for February and to bring up my MBE score.

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lady_gaga

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby lady_gaga » Wed Aug 01, 2018 2:29 am

scard wrote:Honestly it shouldnt be a failing essay but this being my 6th attempt at this stupid exam iv come to terms with something...

Minimum competence is not what it truly means. The bar graders expect a perfectly articulated every issue analyzed essay to achieve minimum competence.

So I don’t rely on essay to get me through this exam anymore and I expect 55’s and 60’s now and study to achieve an extremely high mbe score and good PT score to make up for it.

On my 4th attempt I had one question marked as a 65, got a second read, and received a 50... on the same essay, when the supervisor operant grade gave me a 65 as well. How the heck does the same essay receive a 65 and a 50?!?! You cannot study to prevent that. Bring your MBEs up and don’t worry about what the a-hole grader was thinking. There is nothing you can do to truly improve your writing based on the essay you posted


That difference in scores is outrageous. How discouraging - I really hope you passed this time around it's amazing you've stuck with it. I'm going to really focus on MBEs - as tricky as they can be at least they are objective.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby rustyburger2 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 6:36 am

estefanchanning wrote:
For consent, you said that a cop cam search if he has the owners consent. However, the actual rule is more nuanced than that. I can't recall it in full, but it's something like "facts/circumstances would lead a reasonable cop" etc. There were numerous other examples but I'm on my phone and I can't easily switch back and forth between your essay and this topic.


This is waaaaaay too nitpicky. If they were gonna be this nitpicky, literally no one would pass.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby Jdsquared87 » Wed Aug 01, 2018 9:12 am

rustyburger2 wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:
For consent, you said that a cop cam search if he has the owners consent. However, the actual rule is more nuanced than that. I can't recall it in full, but it's something like "facts/circumstances would lead a reasonable cop" etc. There were numerous other examples but I'm on my phone and I can't easily switch back and forth between your essay and this topic.


This is waaaaaay too nitpicky. If they were gonna be this nitpicky, literally no one would pass.



Agreed.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby estefanchanning » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:31 am

lady_gaga wrote:
estefanchanning wrote:I'm on my phone so sorry if this post seems short/hurried. But from the quick read of your essay, I would've given it 60-65 as well. Note, I just took the bar for the first time and still waiting for my results, so take what I say with a grain of salt lol.

Your rule statements seem incomplete, and some are incorrect. This lead you to arrive at the wrong conclusion. So while you may have used every fact, you used it incorrectly. For example, you said that a protective sweep is to search for weapons. However, cops are only allowed to conduct a protective sweep when they have reasonable suspicion that accomplices are present in the house. And even then, they may only search places from where an attack could be launched.

For consent, you said that a cop cam search if he has the owners consent. However, the actual rule is more nuanced than that. I can't recall it in full, but it's something like "facts/circumstances would lead a reasonable cop" etc. There were numerous other examples but I'm on my phone and I can't easily switch back and forth between your essay and this topic.

I think your issue is memorizing the law. I can see that you're good at applying the law, but I think that's an easier skill than actually knowing the law. If you work on hammering the nuances of the law, I think you can rake in some serious points.

You don't have to spit out the law verbatim, but you need to gets its essence, and get it fully/completely.


Thank you for this detailed response! I see what you mean - I guess what I can conclude is that this is not a minimum competency test and you really do need to know every little nuance. I'm also gathering that the typical bar prep advice in just having the headings, spotting the issues and "making up rules" where you aren't entirely sure is just not going to cut it anymore. Sigh. I'm a foreign trained lawyer and studied part time for 4 months while working big law so I'm going to be giving myself more time to study/memorize for February and to bring up my MBE score.



Sorry if my response seemed incoherent at times. Perhaps the "consent" example wasn't the best. But there were other rules that you didn't state properly or completely, which actually caused a misapplication of the facts.

You're right in that this exam is not minimum competency. And it fucking sucks. I can tell by reading your answer that you'd make a great attorney by how you play with the facts and can spot small details. And frankly, in real life, you won't need to memorize the rules. But alas, the bar graders have lost their way (actually, idk if they ever were on the right track)

My best recommendation is you should take the BarBri or Kaplan or whatever large outline you have, and condense it into your own. That's what I did, and I ended up with a 5 page outline for each subject, which made studying much more manageable and put things in perspective.

Again, I don't even know if I passed myself, so take what I say lightly.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby Nightcrawler » Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:32 pm

lady_gaga wrote:For February 2018 (California) I was banking on my written essays to bring up my total score but I really think they check your MBE score first and if it's not passing they don't bother to read your essays.

I did horribly on MBE but thought my written essays would bring me up. I didn't expect to pass, but I was certainly not expecting to fail every single essay.

In particular, Question 4: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/admissions/Examinations/February2018CBX_Questions.pdf

The essay I wrote (which you can read - see below link) was thorough, used every fact, and was fairly well-written with headings for everything. I know that my statement of the elements of kidnapping was off for the crossover part of the question but I'm so frustrated - I really think this should of passed.

Would love your thoughts, be as ruthless as you want. For discussion purposes, is there any truth to the idea that Cal markers only read your essays if you get a certain MBE score?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/166060583@N02/shares/HwXqa8


Last time I passed the written portion and failed the MBE. I heard this happening at least to another two friends of mine (plus I've read this online countless times). So, for as much as I hate to defend them, the correct the essays and the MBE separately. However, I agree that their grading is subject to inevitable human error/discretion. Don't go too crazy over it though, a 60 is barely a failing score (passing is around 62.5). Last time I passed with 70, 55, 60, 60, 60, 65 (PT). The 55 btw was on the crim essay. I knew I rushed it but thought it was better too. There is probably something we both missed that is not on the model answer. Model answers are not perfect answers and they usually contain mistakes. Sometimes people are able to get extra points making the rule a little bigger for example defining a term of art. Eg: when explaining the warrant requirements, define probable cause (even if not strictly essential).

However, I think that the most points are gained hitting all the issues they want you to talk about though. Which means, headings, headings, headings. I agree that a better rule statement may award more points, but remember that they have just a few minutes to read your essay (they are paid something like $3/essay - and it's lawyers). The first thing they will see is the structure and the headings. So when they look at your essay they have next to it a grid/chart with a list of all the issues they wanted you to talk about. The more they see you talking about them, the more points you get. I doubt that they are very thorough in reading everything. Yes, some little detail will catch their attention and you'll get extra points. But most of the times you are more likely to have those little details ignored and given points solely on the meat of the essay. You probably get more points having two shitty rule statements of two different issues instead to have only one perfectly written rule statement.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby Allux » Wed Aug 01, 2018 3:55 pm

I think I bonded PTs, both of it, but I think I got most of the rules in essay right. Will my PT scores be a serious issue?? I’m in NY

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Wed Aug 01, 2018 10:28 pm

lady_gaga wrote:
That difference in scores is outrageous. How discouraging - I really hope you passed this time around it's amazing you've stuck with it. I'm going to really focus on MBEs - as tricky as they can be at least they are objective.



I agree with this approach for the CBX. Smashing the MBE can offset unfair subjective essay grading.

I took the exam in Feb 2016, scored a 150 MBE scaled, but still failed the exam. Later, when I studied for the July 2017 test, I stumbled upon a graded Feb 2016 essay from baressays.com. That essay covered the same issues I covered in my essay. I even went into more details on some issues. But the other essay scored a 75 while I got a 55!!! It's BS!! I'm just happy I finally passed though.

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Re: Explain how this is a failing essay?? California graders seem to not read essays unless you hit passing MBE score

Postby mathandthelaw » Fri Oct 05, 2018 12:23 pm

Grading can be subjective which is unfortunate. Getting a 60 and being close to passing on this exam could have meant that your exam was graded twice. I think your grade was fair.

Here's what I think the bar graders may have analyzed. I thought you did a good job overall on question 1. You didn't pass because of question 2.

But, you need to work on knowing the rules really well and having them memorized. You sound lawyerly to be sure and have potential to pass this exam. But much of your competition spent lots of time memorizing rules and when you really understand and know the law you will write a better essay.

Question 1:

-You didn't do an IRAC or analysis on inevitable disclosure as an exception to fruits of the poisonous tree.
-You didn't cite the rule for exigent circumstances,you just called it an emergency. Doesn't show the grader you know when exigent circumstances apply (fleeing felon, imminent destruction of evidence, imminent threat of substantial harm to public). Instead, you went into probable cause under your immediacy argument.
-Protective sweep got you no points because none of the items she seized resulted from a protective sweep.
-Good faith reliance got you no points because the officer didn't rely on anything. She knew that the officer was in the process of getting the warrant but the warrant had not come out yet.
-The point of analyzing the three items was the scope of search. You got into analysis without explaining that it was the scope of the search that would make certain items inadmissible if she was looking for a missing girl.
-You talked about plain view but didn't cite the rule.

Question 2:
Honestly, this is why you didn't pass this essay, you did not know the rule to attempt or kidnapping.
-Kidnapping is a general intent crime, not a specific intent crime.
-The only part of the rule you got for kidnapping was the confinement, but look at the model answer: confined + IN A BOUNDED AREA + moved or concealed. Cannot escape without fear of harm.
-Attempt is specific intent.
-You need specific intent + OVERT ACT (substantial step - more than MERE PREPARATION).
-Your analysis demonstrated a lack of understanding of what an overt act is.
-Ike being a reliable source is literally so irrelevant. Attempt is all what Defendant did.
-The map is the only thing that shows preparation. Only preparation, although you could have made the argument it was a substantial step (but what besides the map did he do? Actually go on the way to get her? No he didn't.)
-The model answers analyzed the bomb as well.

Hope this helps! You definitely have what it takes to pass next time!



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