February 2020 Texas Bar Exam

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February 2020 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:19 am

Hello everyone,

Just wanted to go ahead and get this thread set up....I will be back in the "stressed" group since I'm taking Feb 2020 exam. Although, I must admit, there's a part of me that wonders if I should wait for the UBE....I would like some pros/cons to that idea....it's super stressful to think about switching my whole study plan.

Feel free to join the WhatsApp bar study group - just shoot me a text with your first name and make sure you get the app. (325) 267-1160

Hope to see you all there!

(325) 267-1160 text anytime!


Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2019 2:02 am

Re: February 2020 Texas Bar Exam

Postby donexyz » Sun Apr 28, 2019 8:24 am

donexyz wrote:Sorry for the long post!

First of all, I have to thank a million to all TLS bloggers for all the support you have given me time and again and encouraged me. There are many TLS people who share valuable information on bar exam study strategies and techniques. Don’t get bogged down by negative comments but at the same time, it is important to set realistic goals and work towards them. Trust Yourself, Because No One Knows You Better Than You Do!!!

If anyone failed, let me tell you one thing that the bar exam is not easy but at the same time it is not impossible. It is an exam and there is a set syllabus and structure to it. Yes there will be few surprises in the exam but there are many that have been repeated and you would know it if you practice well and do past exams. Before I explain how to study, let me briefly tell you about myself.

I am an LLM graduate and an average student. I passed NY on my third attempt, mainly because I did not prepare well and understand how to study for this exam the first two times. I took pieper law review and believe me it was trash. I hated their outlines and mnemonics (not my cup of tea). Finally bought 2nd hand barbri books and I felt really good reading the conviser as I understood the subjects better. Second time I had to take TX bar which was a monster as it was for 2 and 1/2 days. I failed it last July 2018 because I did not prepare sufficiently and had many health issues. I knew how to attack the exam but was really lazy and mentally not prepared to put much effort due to various reasons (still not a good excuse). Then cried for a 1-2 days and vented my frustration on family members but finally started my study journey again. I decided this was going to be my last attempt and was not going to take another exam after this. I then began my study plan which was similar to what I did for my NY bar.

I am sharing this because it might help someone someday. All of us try and use different study strategies and that’s perfectly fine because once you find your strategy it is easy to study. There is no one mantra and it changes depending on the day and our personal circumstances. But overall there are few things common to many bar exam passers and I would like to share them with you.

STUDY SCHEDULE: - SET A PLAN ASAP. finish your venting and start ASAP. study all days or monday to saturday (its your preference). I personally studied all days but sunday was little lighter as I had miscellaneous work to catch up. Time - If you are not working then - between 8am to 6pm. After that my brain was drained and it was hard for me to concentrate because I had to take care of my son. If you are working then I can understand how hard it is to study and work, so schedule as per your requirement. Allot one MBE subject per week or atleast 5 days to study and finish the practice questions. I finished MBE topics first and then started essays. By now you would know your strengths i.e. are you good at MBE or essays or both. I realized I was good at essays than MBE and did my best to memorize essays well :D . KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS and WEAKNESS and concentrate accordingly. Dont give up on MBE but it is a beast. Last 2 - 3 weeks before bar exam is meant for revision only and not for studying new topics. If you can plan it this way you will surely pass the exam because the brain needs time to recollect the 10000 rules you just read the last 2-3 months :D :D . I finished studying and practicing past exams only 2 weeks before the bar exam but still had few minor topics to cover. What I am trying to tell you is that do not start studying civil procedure just one week before bar exam because your brain does not have capacity to store so much information at the last minute :shock: :shock: :shock: . I am talking about average people and not brainies. It's hard but give yourself 2 weeks to revise/recollect this load of material. As many say bar exam is a marathon. So you have to prepare for this exam atleast 2-4 months before the real exam. I took 4 months to study both the times I passed but it depends from person to person.

[u][b]A. MBE: I seriously think this is the tough part of the bar exam mainly because you learn as you practice more and not just by studying the outlines.[/u][/b] and the real exam always feels awful (atleast to me).
1. Reading material: You must understand what you read, so pick materials that simplify this process. I really love barbri conviser for MBE. Well prepared. I personally did not like Kaplan or pieper (but its your preference end of the day). IF you have time add Emanuel as it is very helpful.
2. Outline: please buy it from seperac or get it from someone. Do not waste time preparing from scratch. I used seperac outlines as my main draft and started editing them based on what I read from conviser and practice exams. I edited some parts because it just helped me understand better (may be added more explanation on certain areas or deleted few that I thought irrelevant). So make changes as per your requirements. I personally think SEPERAC outlines are the BEST because his outlines reflect barbri conviser, barbri outlines and ncbe past exams. Even other bar preps don’t have such good outlines.
3. First Practice: DO NOT SKIP. IT IS IMPORTANT TO PRACTICE AND THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO PREPARE FOR MBE. Study one subject at a time. I took I week per subject but you decide based on your schedule. After you study and make an outline on one subject take the practice exam relating to that subject immediately. Do not delay as you will need time to revise and refresh your brain several times on these topics. I used Kaplan practice questions for my NY bar, and used Barbri and emanuel for TX bar. I even purchased adaptibar but I was very uncomfortable studying them online. So I stuck to studying from books than online. I did barbri and Emanuel this time. Both these books were good for practicing. I took 18 questions every time (barbri divides them into 6 sets) and read the explanation for all the questions. I probably did 36 or 54 questions per day. Please do not skip reading the explanation just because you got them right. Also make changes to your outlines as you learn more from your practice exams.
----- After reading alll explanations, I retook the same exam and wrote the relevant rules for every questions. So it was like a double revision. It was exhausting but that's how I could remember the rules.
4. Read and memorize your outlines once: This is the hard bit because you must have studied a subject one month before and you have to refresh your brain now. It’s hard but do it. Memorize and write your outlines and see what you missed (off course we cannot remember everything).
5. Second practice: After you finish memorizing the outlines then start taking mixed questions. You can use barbri midterm/final or ncbe questions. Again, make changes to your outlines if needed. Finally, concise your outlines and keep a photographic memory of them.
6. NCBE questions: are good. If you have the time just do them. I had time to do just one OPE and honestly, I was getting mentally exhausted (and it happens to all of us ). But when I did actual MBE, I really felt the OPE were very close to real MBE questions. I really wished I practiced but did not have time.
7. Final: after exhausting all practice exams. Just look at your concised outlines and memorize!!!! By now all those topics will be hovering in your brain .
8. Last 2 weeks before the bar exam: Memorize and take mixed mbes - may be 10 or 17 a day. depending on your time.
9. Simulated final MBE: please complete this by end of Jan (if taking Feb) or June (if taking July). If you are scores are low then you have time to improve. Do not take simulated mbe last one week before the exam because you have very little time to improve.
10. Simulated score and actual score: my barbri final was 101 (50%) and actual mbe was 131. Not a good score but I passed because of essays.
11. Totally practiced: 1200-1400 approximately

[b][u]B. MEE or Essay: [/u][/b] - most predictable if you practice past exams
1. NY bar exam material: barbri was great.
2. TX bar exam material: barbri lecture notes were bad. Conviser was ok but too long. So I chose - Tackling the Texas Essays: Efficient Preparation for the Texas Bar Exam (its on amazon) and it was an excellent book. Since there are 12 essays, this book deals with specific topics that will be questioned. For example, in real property they only test you on mortgage, foreclosure etc and not much on present estates or servitudes.
3. Outline: For NY, I used seperac outlines. For TX, I used tacking the essays book. Read outlines and memorize them.
3. Practice real past essays: If you are good at essays you can just read them. If not, then practice past essays for the last 5-6 years. Some people even do 10 years but I just couldn’t do so much. Print the questions and sample answers for all topics from the state bar websites. I did not like barbri essay book as their answers are too exhausting and believe me its hard to write so much in 30 mins. The actual sample answers in the state bar website are more realistic.
4. How to practice: First, read the question. Then, read the answer. Now read the question again and write the answer. Compare your answer and sample answer and see what you missed. Repeat this for 2-3 questions and believe me you will automatically know how to attack these essays. Also, make an outline of these essays answers. You will soon realize that the bar examiners do repeat the essay questions – atleast 70-80% is repeated. There will be 10-20% that may surprise you but overall this exam is lot more predictable if you practice past essays.
5. Last 2 weeks - I prepared final outlines and memorized them and then practiced the questions again but this time, I just outlined the answers as I could recollect the answers well.

[b][u]C. MPT: Practice, practice. [/b][/u]I did not get enough time and I just did 2 MPTs. Any MPT material is ok. You need to practice to understand what the examiners may expect. Use NCBE past exams for better understanding. You dont know what may come but practicing the format of memos or briefs will help.

[b][u]D. P & E: [/u][/b]This is specific to TX. Find outlines for TX Civil Proc, Crim Proc and Evi. Do past exams and you can easily pass this portion of the exam. I did about 6 past exams and 90% of the exam is repeated. 10% might surprise.

If anyone wants outlines that have been passed to me by past TLS candidates then message me and I will send them to you. Some outlines were helpful and some were not but having them is useful.

Good luck and you can do it!!!!!!!!!!

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