CA Bar Retakers Strategy

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Happy88

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CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Happy88 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:14 am

I just took the July 18 exam and I’m 99.9% sure I failed it. I’m a foreign practicing lawyer and English is not my first language. I have never studied US laws, so studying for the bar itself was a huge breakdown/accomplishment for me.

Now I think I have a better idea on how to study each topic and where I’m weak at. My question is, should I just skip Barbri lectures this time around? And just stick to the “personal study plan” on Barbri and the mini review, magic sheets and AdaptiBar?

Nightcrawler

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Nightcrawler » Thu Aug 02, 2018 10:36 am

Foreign 4th time taker here. Personally, I preferred ditching barbri entirely and just using adaptibar for the MBE, and smart bar prep for essays.

Nightcrawler

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Nightcrawler » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:27 pm

EDIT:

Also critical pass flashcards helped a lot in the beginning together with barbri's lectures (just to understand the law). However, the latter is time consuming and if I could go back I would just rely on SmartBarPrep's outlines and the big Barbri's books if you don't understand certain rules. Those books help also if you get questions wrong on Adaptibar and you don't understand why. All these supplements are pretty cheap compared to Barbri's tuition cost.

Happy88

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Happy88 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:02 pm

Nightcrawler wrote:EDIT:

Also critical pass flashcards helped a lot in the beginning together with barbri's lectures (just to understand the law). However, the latter is time consuming and if I could go back I would just rely on SmartBarPrep's outlines and the big Barbri's books if you don't understand certain rules. Those books help also if you get questions wrong on Adaptibar and you don't understand why. All these supplements are pretty cheap compared to Barbri's tuition cost.

Yes. Barbri is crazy expensive, but since you still get another “course” if you fail. I wanted to see what’s the best strategy. I felt the lectures gave me the big picture but I didn’t trust them when they said “oh this is heavily tested” versus another thing. I just believe everything is heavily tested.

Nightcrawler

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Nightcrawler » Thu Aug 02, 2018 6:48 pm

Happy88 wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:EDIT:

Also critical pass flashcards helped a lot in the beginning together with barbri's lectures (just to understand the law). However, the latter is time consuming and if I could go back I would just rely on SmartBarPrep's outlines and the big Barbri's books if you don't understand certain rules. Those books help also if you get questions wrong on Adaptibar and you don't understand why. All these supplements are pretty cheap compared to Barbri's tuition cost.

Yes. Barbri is crazy expensive, but since you still get another “course” if you fail. I wanted to see what’s the best strategy. I felt the lectures gave me the big picture but I didn’t trust them when they said “oh this is heavily tested” versus another thing. I just believe everything is heavily tested.


Agree with not trusting them. You never understand if they are referring to the MBE or the essays. Plus, those lectures are always a few years old.

Watch out for the retake course, it’s the same identical course. They basically extend your access to it for another 3 months. I didn’t like it the first time, and the second time wasn’t much different. If you like busy work and leave memorization for the last two weeks, barbri is your best option. If, like me, you need months to memorize and find busy work mostly useless, then follow what I did.

justanotheruser

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby justanotheruser » Thu Aug 02, 2018 7:45 pm

Think I'll be writing up a lengthy post soon, but just wanted to say keep at it and don't give up. I failed 5 times until I finally passed the 2/18 CA bar.

Happy88

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Happy88 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:03 am

Nightcrawler wrote:
Happy88 wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:EDIT:

Also critical pass flashcards helped a lot in the beginning together with barbri's lectures (just to understand the law). However, the latter is time consuming and if I could go back I would just rely on SmartBarPrep's outlines and the big Barbri's books if you don't understand certain rules. Those books help also if you get questions wrong on Adaptibar and you don't understand why. All these supplements are pretty cheap compared to Barbri's tuition cost.

Yes. Barbri is crazy expensive, but since you still get another “course” if you fail. I wanted to see what’s the best strategy. I felt the lectures gave me the big picture but I didn’t trust them when they said “oh this is heavily tested” versus another thing. I just believe everything is heavily tested.


Agree with not trusting them. You never understand if they are referring to the MBE or the essays. Plus, those lectures are always a few years old.

Watch out for the retake course, it’s the same identical course. They basically extend your access to it for another 3 months. I didn’t like it the first time, and the second time wasn’t much different. If you like busy work and leave memorization for the last two weeks, barbri is your best option. If, like me, you need months to memorize and find busy work mostly useless, then follow what I did.


Thanks for this. I'll keep that in mind. I'll try to change my strategy this time and just do more practice instead of wasting my time trying to understand everything. Because truth is, I'll never understand everything, it's just too much. I was too focused to understand everything that I didn't practice enough at all (I did about 1000 MBE questions and 3 essays and 1 PT). However, I wasn't too concerned about the essay because I understood the "Strategy", same goes with the PT. I think what will mess me up is the MBE.

Happy88

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Happy88 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:05 am

justanotheruser wrote:Think I'll be writing up a lengthy post soon, but just wanted to say keep at it and don't give up. I failed 5 times until I finally passed the 2/18 CA bar.

Please do! I'd love to read any strategies from candidates who passed the exam. This board has tremendous help, however, I only stumbled upon it literally 2 weeks before the exam. A lot of the stuff was too late for me to study or to strategize for. Hopefully next time should be better.

Nightcrawler

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby Nightcrawler » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:27 am

Happy88 wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:
Happy88 wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:EDIT:

Also critical pass flashcards helped a lot in the beginning together with barbri's lectures (just to understand the law). However, the latter is time consuming and if I could go back I would just rely on SmartBarPrep's outlines and the big Barbri's books if you don't understand certain rules. Those books help also if you get questions wrong on Adaptibar and you don't understand why. All these supplements are pretty cheap compared to Barbri's tuition cost.

Yes. Barbri is crazy expensive, but since you still get another “course” if you fail. I wanted to see what’s the best strategy. I felt the lectures gave me the big picture but I didn’t trust them when they said “oh this is heavily tested” versus another thing. I just believe everything is heavily tested.


Agree with not trusting them. You never understand if they are referring to the MBE or the essays. Plus, those lectures are always a few years old.

Watch out for the retake course, it’s the same identical course. They basically extend your access to it for another 3 months. I didn’t like it the first time, and the second time wasn’t much different. If you like busy work and leave memorization for the last two weeks, barbri is your best option. If, like me, you need months to memorize and find busy work mostly useless, then follow what I did.


Thanks for this. I'll keep that in mind. I'll try to change my strategy this time and just do more practice instead of wasting my time trying to understand everything. Because truth is, I'll never understand everything, it's just too much. I was too focused to understand everything that I didn't practice enough at all (I did about 1000 MBE questions and 3 essays and 1 PT). However, I wasn't too concerned about the essay because I understood the "Strategy", same goes with the PT. I think what will mess me up is the MBE.


Yeah, some things will never click. However, understanding well at least the basic concepts is a huge help in both memorizing faster and applying. For the essays I practiced very few just to lay down my writing/IRAC skills but I read 5-10 model answers per subject to understand how to approach different questions. For the PT I just practiced 5 each time looking at the MPTs from the Georgia bar website. It’s a lot f hard work but in the end you’ll understand what works for you and what doesn’t. Good luck! And hopefully this time I passed so the advice I gave you wasn’t totally wrong lol. Last time I passed the written part though, so it can’t be that bad.

LockBox

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Re: CA Bar Retakers Strategy

Postby LockBox » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:27 pm

Happy88 wrote:I just took the July 18 exam and I’m 99.9% sure I failed it. I’m a foreign practicing lawyer and English is not my first language. I have never studied US laws, so studying for the bar itself was a huge breakdown/accomplishment for me.

Now I think I have a better idea on how to study each topic and where I’m weak at. My question is, should I just skip Barbri lectures this time around? And just stick to the “personal study plan” on Barbri and the mini review, magic sheets and AdaptiBar?


Here is what I think you should do.

1. Hire a tutor who is a previous (or current) bar grader. Hire them only to review/grade essays (and/or PT's if you need them).

2. For 10 weeks leading up to the bar, treat bar prep as a full time job. 8 am - 5pm M-F.

3. Write no less than 2 essays per day. Do no less than 50 MBE's per day. Write no less than 1 PT every two weeks. Revise as needed based on your strengths/weaknesses.

This should be a minimum given your background if you want to put yourself in a position to pass if you do in fact fail.



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