My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

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Repeattaker123456

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby Repeattaker123456 » Sun May 19, 2019 10:14 am

Thank you so much for your post. I really needed to see something like that right now. I failed the bar exam yesterday again on my 5th attempt. Needless to say, I’m incredibly disappointed and frustrated. I work full time, but over the course of my 4 attempts, my employer gave me two separate 6 week periods off work to study. I’m not sure how I am going to go in on Monday with my disappointing result, yet again. I’m also certain there won’t be an option for me to take any more time.

Historically, I’ve been weak in both MBEs and essays (including PTs), but over the course of 4 failed exams my MBEs climbed steadily each time. The essays seems to be my kryptonite because it’s never improved. I hired a private tutor to help with essays last exam cycle, but I personally didn’t get much from the experience. I walked out of the exam feeling confident on MBEs and confused as heck on the essays portion. Until I get my scores, I won’t know what went wrong for sure though.

Every time I finish the exam, I toss all my stuff aside and focus on life. After 2-3 months, I feel like I’ve forgotten what I learned. My question to you all is: Should I spend the next 15 days reading the Barbri mini conviser outline so that I can “re-familiarize” myself with the rules again before diving back in? I’ll definitely incorporate the lessons OP gave, but my instinct is to read the conviser so I feel ready. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

justanotheruser

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby justanotheruser » Thu May 23, 2019 1:02 am

Repeattaker123456 wrote:Every time I finish the exam, I toss all my stuff aside and focus on life. After 2-3 months, I feel like I’ve forgotten what I learned. My question to you all is: Should I spend the next 15 days reading the Barbri mini conviser outline so that I can “re-familiarize” myself with the rules again before diving back in? I’ll definitely incorporate the lessons OP gave, but my instinct is to read the conviser so I feel ready. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


You should do whatever you feel you need to do. Part of the way I approached my final study was making sure I left no stones unturned. If you feel going through the conviser to transition back into studying will help, do so. But if I were in your position, I'm not sure it would be that helpful to me because I'd probably forget most of it within a week or two anyhow.

Good luck!

spikey424

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby spikey424 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:18 am

Hello, thank you for your post. I came across your post when I googled something about the bar exam. I am new on this site (20 minutes) and I signed up because what you wrote seem like it is a great way to pass this exam. I am reaching out to ask if you still have a copy of your daily schedule? I feel like I am floundering and this I know is no good. I really need to study efficiently and effectively and right now that is not happening and I do not want to lost one more day of just winging this test. I love the law and have spent a lot of money such as yourself in this process and I am needing some direction as to the best way to study. As I mentioned, I like what you wrote and ask if you have a copy of the schedule that you would be willing to share with me so I can spend the next 8 1/2 weeks feeling good about giving this test my all. Thank you in advance.

justanotheruser

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby justanotheruser » Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:22 am

spikey424 wrote:Hello, thank you for your post. I came across your post when I googled something about the bar exam. I am new on this site (20 minutes) and I signed up because what you wrote seem like it is a great way to pass this exam. I am reaching out to ask if you still have a copy of your daily schedule? I feel like I am floundering and this I know is no good. I really need to study efficiently and effectively and right now that is not happening and I do not want to lost one more day of just winging this test. I love the law and have spent a lot of money such as yourself in this process and I am needing some direction as to the best way to study. As I mentioned, I like what you wrote and ask if you have a copy of the schedule that you would be willing to share with me so I can spend the next 8 1/2 weeks feeling good about giving this test my all. Thank you in advance.


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Alexandra99

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby Alexandra99 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:16 pm

justanotheruser wrote:
spikey424 wrote:Hello, thank you for your post. I came across your post when I googled something about the bar exam. I am new on this site (20 minutes) and I signed up because what you wrote seem like it is a great way to pass this exam. I am reaching out to ask if you still have a copy of your daily schedule? I feel like I am floundering and this I know is no good. I really need to study efficiently and effectively and right now that is not happening and I do not want to lost one more day of just winging this test. I love the law and have spent a lot of money such as yourself in this process and I am needing some direction as to the best way to study. As I mentioned, I like what you wrote and ask if you have a copy of the schedule that you would be willing to share with me so I can spend the next 8 1/2 weeks feeling good about giving this test my all. Thank you in advance.


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I have to echo spikey424's sentiments exactly: Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your experience with the exam. I too just joined this forum due solely to your and spikey424's posts. I have attempted four times to pass and am planning on taking it in Feb. 2020. It is comforting to hear that there are others who share the frustration, anxiety, loss, expenses, fear that leads to inaction that leads to self-loathing, etc. of being multi-test takers. My thoughts and feelings are exactly the same so I won't go through my own litany here except I will add "migraines" to the list.

I've used most of the materials that I've seen listed in this other posts: I do like Emanuel's S&T for the MBE - I just got it recently. I used Barbri my first and second attempts; I've inherited resources from friends from other box prep companies; my outlines, friend's outlines, outlines from the web and even a box of the infamous Critical Pass flash cards (should I really use them?) I'm drowning though I'm going to look up Mary Basick's book right after I hit the "Submit" button on this message. I too have been hung up on memorization because I can't seem to do it.

I have researched tutors but unfortunately can't afford a good one right now. I feel like spending the $2-$3k low end of the pricing spectrum would just be throwing money away. I don't need another program of books and videos. All I need is someone to tell me what and how to study.

Additionally, I too am working full time. I will get a couple of weeks off prior to the test and will definitely be taking advantage of the time off for holiday season. With that being said, would you be willing to share a copy of your schedule with me as well and would it be easily adaptable to a four-month study schedule?

Thank you to ALL who have taken the time to post/reply about this topic. It has been immensely helpful and so very appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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justanotheruser

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby justanotheruser » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:37 am

Alexandra99 wrote:I have researched tutors but unfortunately can't afford a good one right now. I feel like spending the $2-$3k low end of the pricing spectrum would just be throwing money away. I don't need another program of books and videos. All I need is someone to tell me what and how to study.

Additionally, I too am working full time. I will get a couple of weeks off prior to the test and will definitely be taking advantage of the time off for holiday season. With that being said, would you be willing to share a copy of your schedule with me as well and would it be easily adaptable to a four-month study schedule?


You raise many points that tie back to my own experience. I felt like I went from one study method to another, hoping one of those approaches would be the magic solution. But I kept failing over and over again.

I think sitting down and actually making a study schedule that made sense to my habits was huge. I'm sorry to say I no longer have the file on my computer, but my schedule wasn't really anything crazy. What I did was set the total number of essays and MBEs I wanted to do and divided them over a 10-week period. I think you can certainly adapt this to a longer study period based on your own circumstances, schedule, etc.

For the essays, I prioritized based on likelihood of subjects showing up on the bar (just based on my own educated guessing, bar exam predictors like BarSecrets/Saccuzzo, etc.). For the subjects I deemed least likely to show up on the bar, I only did 4-6 essays per subject. For subjects with medium-level likelihood of showing up on the exam, I did 6-8 essays per subject. For subjects with the highest-level likelihood of showing up on the exam, I did 8-12 essays per subject.

Each day, I would do 30 MBEs + review before lunch and 2-4 essays (or essay outlining/sketching) + review after lunch. Every other week or so, I would do a practice PT. Around the halfway point (Week 4 or 5), I did a full practice bar exam on a Tuesday (Written Portion) and Wednesday (MBE Portion). That's the general overview of my schedule. I don't think I studied on the weekends until the last two weeks. I also took the occasional day off from studying once every 8-10 days.

There was an article that was very informative when I put together my own study schedule. The website's author posts here as "A Male Human", so I'd reach out to him or read the article here: https://www.makethisyourlasttime.com/ma ... -schedule/

Good luck!

Alexandra99

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby Alexandra99 » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:22 am

justanotheruser wrote:
Alexandra99 wrote:I have researched tutors but unfortunately can't afford a good one right now. I feel like spending the $2-$3k low end of the pricing spectrum would just be throwing money away. I don't need another program of books and videos. All I need is someone to tell me what and how to study.

Additionally, I too am working full time. I will get a couple of weeks off prior to the test and will definitely be taking advantage of the time off for holiday season. With that being said, would you be willing to share a copy of your schedule with me as well and would it be easily adaptable to a four-month study schedule?


You raise many points that tie back to my own experience. I felt like I went from one study method to another, hoping one of those approaches would be the magic solution. But I kept failing over and over again.

I think sitting down and actually making a study schedule that made sense to my habits was huge. I'm sorry to say I no longer have the file on my computer, but my schedule wasn't really anything crazy. What I did was set the total number of essays and MBEs I wanted to do and divided them over a 10-week period. I think you can certainly adapt this to a longer study period based on your own circumstances, schedule, etc.

For the essays, I prioritized based on likelihood of subjects showing up on the bar (just based on my own educated guessing, bar exam predictors like BarSecrets/Saccuzzo, etc.). For the subjects I deemed least likely to show up on the bar, I only did 4-6 essays per subject. For subjects with medium-level likelihood of showing up on the exam, I did 6-8 essays per subject. For subjects with the highest-level likelihood of showing up on the exam, I did 8-12 essays per subject.

Each day, I would do 30 MBEs + review before lunch and 2-4 essays (or essay outlining/sketching) + review after lunch. Every other week or so, I would do a practice PT. Around the halfway point (Week 4 or 5), I did a full practice bar exam on a Tuesday (Written Portion) and Wednesday (MBE Portion). That's the general overview of my schedule. I don't think I studied on the weekends until the last two weeks. I also took the occasional day off from studying once every 8-10 days.

There was an article that was very informative when I put together my own study schedule. The website's author posts here as "A Male Human", so I'd reach out to him or read the article here: https://www.makethisyourlasttime.com/ma ... -schedule/

Good luck!


Thank you for taking the time to reply! I truly appreciate your input. I will check out the link you sent.

justanotheruser

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby justanotheruser » Sat Nov 16, 2019 4:00 am

Bumping this in hopes it can help anyone out there.

hastingsgal

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby hastingsgal » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:18 pm

justanotheruser wrote:Bumping this in hopes it can help anyone out there.


Thanks for sharing!

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barjamie8

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby barjamie8 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:45 pm

Great post and congrats!!

carcollector

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby carcollector » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:01 pm

Thank you for this post. It makes tremendous sense. I have 7 full weeks to study for the exam. Do you have any suggested plans? I took the bar a while back and have a very rough memory of the rules.

justanotheruser

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby justanotheruser » Tue Jan 07, 2020 2:07 am

carcollector wrote:Thank you for this post. It makes tremendous sense. I have 7 full weeks to study for the exam. Do you have any suggested plans? I took the bar a while back and have a very rough memory of the rules.


Hmm. It's hard to say since I had almost 10 full weeks to study.

If you still want to apply my study approach, I wouldn't change much - at least with the MBEs. I might do a practice PT once every week though (instead of once every other week). I also would probably do more essays per day. I had the benefit of being able to focus on only two essay topics a day (one full essay per topic). In your situation, I might increase that to 3-4 essays across 2-3 topics a day. I'd look into the essay cooking study method on makethisyourlasttime.com to squeeze in more essay practice. The website owner posts here as 'A Male Human'. His blog was incredibly invaluable in passing the bar after failing multiple times.

The main thing is knowing your weaknesses/strengths and tailoring your study plan accordingly. The one clear advice I'd share with 7 weeks left is to just jump into doing actual MBEs and essays. Don't spend time memorizing rule statements, etc. You'll pick those up better by doing actual practice problems and tearing through MBEs and essays.

Good luck!

RTP821

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby RTP821 » Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:45 am

justanotheruser wrote:
CamaLegal wrote:Should I go with Barbri, which will likely help my memory come back on these forgotten topics, or Themis, which is less expensive but was somewhat boring?

Would appreciate your feedback.

Second, I only used Barbri my very first attempt and since then moved onto the resources I discuss in the main post. Based on your description, it sounds like Barbri would be the better choice since it makes for an easier study. But I would strongly urge that you consider some of the resources I mentioned using in my own studies.

Third, and maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but when I read "help my memory come back", it reminded me of a key lesson I learned when I finally passed the bar exam. Successful studying isn't about rote memorization, but it's about learning the basic rules (to a point) and then practicing them in real problems over and over again.

I hope this helps and good luck!


Congratulations! Thank you so much for your positivity and in depth explanation on your past experience. I am about to sit for a bar exam for 5th time..
I graduated from an out of state law school many years ago..so it has been difficult to study for this complicated bar exam “on my own.” While I knew it would not be easy, I thought by signing up for kaplan, specialized state courses, adaptibar, s&t, and using numerous tutors that that would be enough to get me over my hurdle. I recently signed up for Barbri for my last attempt, however I am aware of the trap of listening to lectures and blindly making flashcards, without devoting much time and energy to practice essays.
I just started primarily focusing on practicing essays like you mentioned and though my confidence is not particularly high after comparing my practice essays with some of these assigned barbri essay answers, I am hoping to start seeing patterns like you mentioned! There are many new variables with this last attempt so I am hoping these changes will help me become proficient with issue spotting and my analysis to pass. Thanks again for the post.

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justanotheruser

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Re: My experience of passing the California bar on my sixth attempt (February 2018 exam)

Postby justanotheruser » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:03 am

RTP821 wrote:I just started primarily focusing on practicing essays like you mentioned and though my confidence is not particularly high after comparing my practice essays with some of these assigned barbri essay answers, I am hoping to start seeing patterns like you mentioned! There are many new variables with this last attempt so I am hoping these changes will help me become proficient with issue spotting and my analysis to pass. Thanks again for the post.


Always happy my experience can be a positive story for others. I promise you that if you work hard and smart at the essays, you will start seeing the patterns (a la Neo seeing the Matrix) sooner than later. With time, you'll realize that while it takes hard work, tackling the essays starts to feel more and more manageable.

I don't know if I mentioned this in my original post, but a study method that was especially helpful (especially the last week or two before the exam) was "cooking" essays. Look it up on the "make this your last time" bar exam blog. The blog's author posts here as "A Male Human" and his thoughts/strategies were invaluable for my own journey.

Good luck!

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