Results of the Pennsylvania July 2018 Bar Exam are Almost Upon Us...Has My Approach Worked?

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PhillyJD

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Results of the Pennsylvania July 2018 Bar Exam are Almost Upon Us...Has My Approach Worked?

Postby PhillyJD » Sun Sep 30, 2018 5:11 pm

Hey all. This isn’t my first time taking the bar exam. For those of you who took it or those of you who have already passed, tell me how my approach sounds. Obviously there’s nothing I can do about it now but I think I need some reassurance (or some brutal honesty if this wasn’t satisfactory).

So, this go-around, I found a tutor who went over things with me and bought a book called strategies and tactics for the MBE that he recommended It had a chapter for each MBE subject including civ pro. At the end of each chapter were a set of problems for that subject, anywhere from 40-72 questions. They were all real MBE questions except for civ pro since they just started testing that subject and none of those questions had been released yet. I’d get through a set, then I’d go to the four explanations for each question’s answer choice, and craft my own rule statement. I’d handwrite them all, then type them. The handwriting part would take a few days. Then I’d get on the adaptibar app (also real questions) and do sets of questions for that subject. From there, every rule explanation for every answer I got wrong or got right for the wrong reasons, I’d add to that list of rule statements for that subject that I made. I also spent a good deal of time on the essays. Had the tutor grading them for me and giving me pointers. After awhile I was able to write essays about as detailed and structured as law school essays with time to spare and hit most or all the issues. When it came time to do the simulated MBE, you know how they tell you you want to get a 115/200 to be close to the safe zone? I managed to get a 133/200. While taking the simulated test I didn’t know how I was doing, to be honest. I did finish with roughly 20 minutes to spare for both morning and afternoon though, and marked questions for review but never went back to look at them. I was sure this was a fluke. How could I get this score? 133, not scaled, but raw. 18 points higher than what they said the safe zone was. I took three more 100 question tests and my scores were 64/100, 86/100, and 79/100 respectively. At this point I started to believe it wasn’t a fluke. Must have done over 2000 questions total. For essays, instead of reading the model sample answers in the book like last time and seeing how close mynessays could be to those, I read the examiner analyses for them. I also remembered something: last time I took that test, i knew I was bad at corporations/partnerships/business organizations/conflict of laws. I thought that was just going to be the essay I took a loss in but everything else would make up for it. And I was almost right! 8 points away from passing, and I got a 5 on that question on the real thing. But also got a 7 on the con law/employment discrimination question, something i thought I had in the bag till i saw the big curveball on the test. What did I do for essays? Instead of writing skeleton answers, I wrote real essays for many different past exams for each subject under timed conditions and had them all graded by my tutor. Consistent high scores. Made sure I’d seen everything they tested in the past and if I hadn’t, I spent time on it, looked at the examiner analyses till I had it, then wrote essays for it. Hats off to Barbri’s essay book for using real essays. I also focused A LOT of attention on those essay subjects I deemed as weak because I was not going to let them be my undoing twice. Once I’d finished that, the day before the test or two days before, I went online and pulled up February’s essays and printed them out. I went straight for the essays that I scored the lowest in last time. Didn’t write them out fully, I’d written enough of those already. But I did issue spot and craft an answer in my head. Lo and behold, I looked at the examiners’ analysis and I was correct. I knew by then I was good. So I went to take the real thing, and when I saw that kind of question, the one that killed me before, I almost laughed because it was a breeze. Actually for both of the ones I got the lowest scores in. The only thing that I can remember giving me pause on the test was if I’d given all the possible hearsay exceptions for a particular question. I know I gave most of them so if I lost any points there it shouldn’t be enough to do damage. By the time the essay day was done, I felt like I could have written more. At least until I got home and wanted to just sleep. MBE day...well. Just like how during the last month of it I was not sure how well or badly I was doing but I was consistently crushing it and having time to spare, I finished both sessions with 20-30 minutes to spare and wasn’t 100% sure as I was taking it. The thing is though, who actually is that sure for every single question? But this time I actually did start going over stuff that I’d marked for return. I didn’t get to all of them but for the most part I left them alone. I remember there were times I remembered smiling to myself as I took it and saying, “oh I’m so going to be licensed after this” and times where I said, “hmmm. Am I sure?” I was definitely fried when I was done MBE day, actually had a bad headache by the time I got home that fortunately didn’t start till I was finished the test. Sorry this was so long but I just wanted to hear some feedback.


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