July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Discussions related to the bar exam are found in this forum
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are sharing sensitive information about bar exam prep. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned."
ipsares

New
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 7:56 pm

July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby ipsares » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:29 pm

I wrote this up after the July 2019 CA bar exam and wasn’t going to post until I found out if I passed but it looks like some people are looking for info on study materials so here it is. A mini assessment of the study materials I used:


1. Mary Basick - Essay Exam Writing for the CA Bar -

This was definitely the most bang for the buck. I read this cover to cover multiple times. I used all parts of this book, the issues list, the memorization attack sheet, the condensed outlines, and the sample essays and answers in the back. This is the complete package for under $50. The only issue is that it is from a couple years ago so it has some old rules. Like Cal Prof Rep. is out of date.

2. Baressays.com
It was really nice for me to read the past essays. I liked the format where I could search by subject. I was reading a lot of the CA bar model answers (which are free on the calbar website). I found it convenient if I was focusing on Torts I could select torts and check all those essays. It was also nice to read the actual essays from students to see what the examiners wanted. It was a little confidence shaker to read some model answers, and then boost it up reading passing scores. I basically read all of the essay questions for the past 10-20 years depending on the subjects and a few model answers to get an idea of what is tested. There are patterns and flows that each subject tends to have. If you are worried about how to approach an essay I recommend this. Helped me a lot.

3. Themis Bar Review
Chose Themis because I heard the lectures were more digestible than Barbri. They were def easy to get through. Lectures were nice to get a crash course on subjects I didn’t know and a refresher on others. It was a nice foundation to do the real work. If you already have a foundation you could probably skip.

MBE: I ditched the long outlines after the first subject. I did tons of mbe questions to learn the materials instead. I liked the Themis questions. I found them to be a little bit harder than the adaptibar ones. I felt they prepared me well for the actual mbe. I did 2154 and got 69% overall. I did all of the assigned questions except the last set. Did not use the quiz builder because I was using Adaptibar

Essays: Essay workshops and outlines were helpful (a little more below).



4. Adaptibar
I debated this one because of the price tag and because I thought that all of the questions would be Themis Repeats. I did 1836 questions with 76.7% overall. I also did all of the ope’s and study aid materials in test mode. Those were on the easier side.
There may have been several repeats from Themis but I think it was mostly different. Super convenient as in it was the easiest to do questions using the app. Questions were reflective of the actual MBE questions that were on the 2019 exam. Some of the longer questions out of date but whatevs. I liked.

5. S&Ts
I went through a couple hundred questions here and then found repeats from the work with adaptibar and themis so I ditched this. Explanations are good but didn’t find necessary since I was getting what i needed from the other programs.

6. Finz
Ohhhhhh Finz. After taking the MBE I have confirmed my thoughts that the questions in Finz are 3-4 times longer than they need to be. That being said. This is like working out with a weighted vest. Like weighted calisthenics. I forced myself to do around 700 questions. If you are in a spot where Themis and Adaptibar questions are getting too normal or predictable I would suggest this one. 99% of the questions were unique and it did get into things that were not in Themis or Adaptibar. I recommend but prepare to slog through loooonnnnggg questions. Made the actual MBE easier for me because the questions were shorter in comparison.

8. MagicSheets/Approsheets
I got this later in the game. Approsheets I didn’t really use. I had already read so many sample essays I had the approach sorted out.
MagicSheets were nice to do quick refreshers. It was like the middle between the Basick memorization attack sheets and her condensed outlines. Used a little but not so much.

9. Critical Pass
Bought and didn’t use. Found out I am not a flash card person.



Some overall ideas

I felt like a good portion of study time was spent figuring out what to actually study. The long outlines and the stacks of books from Themis were just too crazy. No way to learn all of the materials and kind of a waste of time to print that much stuff TBH. Not going to be read, not covered in the lectures, and not needed on the actual exam. The best supplements were the ones with the most focused materials. The most important studying for me was focusing on building the core concepts, and then adding the supplementary stuff layer by layer. Its was really like building a house, lay the foundation then build up brick by brick. By the end I could see houses for each subject. Could see the gaps and what needed fixing.

Essays: These were tough even knowing what the subjects were. There is a lot to write about and a lot to know. Very helpful to read past essays to see what is commonly tested. Very helpful to do practice essays to practice putting ideas out of mind and onto paper. One thing to say a rule statement and one thing to type it out, flesh it out an analyze. I synthesized Basick’s info/approach with Themis’s info/approach in their essay workshops/outlines, and incorporated what I read from the sample answers.

MBE: I made a deal with myself that I didn’t have to read the long outlines as long as I did as many MBE questions as I could handle. I ended up doing around 4500 practice questions. In an ideal world I think I would recommend completing all the assigned themis questions, all adaptibar questions and all of the finz questions. That’s going to be about 5500+ questions. To do this I think you would need to start a month early. I read a lot of comments after the MBE that were saying Themis or Adaptibar did not prepare them. It was important for me to do both (That is exposure to 2000+ more questions, at least 400 of which will be unique). Towards the end I was flying through just to get to the harder questions or the unique questions I hadn't seen. If I was hitting 80% on a set, I am feasting on that 20% because the questions I got wrong are where the meat is.


The last week or so of prep I would knock out 100 questions in test mode right when I woke up. Like roll out of bed, and get started. This helped with speed and stamina. I wanted doing 100 questions to feel like part of my normal routine. Overall I think I probably did around 12-16 100 question sessions. I was completing 100 before 9am, leaving the rest of the day to study. On the MBE I finished both sessions in about 2:20. Marked roughly 20 on each session to review and left early both sessions. I felt the mbe questions were straight forward and not bad. I was worried there were going to be tons of trick questions that are “never released” but i did not find that to be the case. Again i don’t know if i passed yet, but I felt good about it and felt well prepared.


I hope I passed because i do not want to do this again!
Namaste!

Bingo_Bongo

Bronze
Posts: 161
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:25 pm

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby Bingo_Bongo » Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:27 pm

Oh my god. I'll personally be pissed off if you don't pass. That's a lot of prep materials.

Lydflorence

New
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:49 am

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby Lydflorence » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:33 am

I hope you pass. Thanks for sharing the information.

It looks like it's possible to do the MBE question without first reading through the law outlines? Do you just guess them and learn from the answer explanation?

Does the Themis lecture teach you how to apply the law? Do I have to listen to the lecture, or would reading the outline teach me the same thing? If I don't sign up for a bar prep course, do you think it is possible to learn the law knowledge by going through the outline from those big box bar prep course? I've learnt some of the subjects when I did my LLB and LLM, but I have distance memory of them, so I think I would need a refresher or crash course to learn the law knowledge.

Thanks!

ipsares

New
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby ipsares » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:38 am

Lydflorence wrote:I hope you pass. Thanks for sharing the information.

It looks like it's possible to do the MBE question without first reading through the law outlines? Do you just guess them and learn from the answer explanation?

Does the Themis lecture teach you how to apply the law? Do I have to listen to the lecture, or would reading the outline teach me the same thing? If I don't sign up for a bar prep course, do you think it is possible to learn the law knowledge by going through the outline from those big box bar prep course? I've learnt some of the subjects when I did my LLB and LLM, but I have distance memory of them, so I think I would need a refresher or crash course to learn the law knowledge.

Thanks!


Thanks and np! I got into the MBE questions for each subject after I listened to the lectures for that subject.

The Themis lectures will give some useful tips for each subject, get into black letter law, have examples, and exam tips. There are lecture handouts where you follow along and fill in the blanks. This was a base for me. The actual questions test stuff that are part of the foundation laid in the lectures, but many test more nuanced areas that the lectures don't cover. For me, that got filled in by doing the practice questions. Through practice questions I learned application and Themis has decent answer explanations.

I think you could learn from just getting the outline books from the bar prep courses depending on how you learn. The outlines are likely going to be you reading straight through black letter law. If you are able to do that and retain knowledge it will work for you. Themis has shorter "Final Review" outlines that were more manageable and useful. I also hear good things about barbris mini conviser but i don't have personal experience with that.

Also keep in mind that some answer explanations are not that great and it is useful to have something else to reference. I don't think I could have learned enough just from the Adaptibar explanations. They are sometimes really lacking. They are rolling out some beta explanations that are longer and more fleshed out but those were only accessible when I used it through my desktop.

ReasonablePersonSSC

New
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2019 9:14 pm

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:29 pm

OP post is spot on.

I also relied heavily on Mary Basick’s essay writing book, and consider it critical to why I was “one and done.” A new edition is available, and is conveniently ordered through Amazon.

Strategies and Tactics (not Finz) has excellent explanations and tips on each subject which explain how the item writers write the distractors to get you to pick the “not best answer.”

I would add to the post the use of the NCBE performance tests (free download from their site) for practicing at least one performance test a week for the couple months of bar prep. Their Point Sheets offer insights on what the graders are assigning points.

Good luck.

User avatar
SilvermanBarPrep

Partner
Posts: 369
Joined: Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:19 pm

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Aug 21, 2019 2:55 pm

For the MBE, the key is to do as many of the released questions as time permits! This includes the "MBE Study Aid" a recent document released by the NCBE with a little over 200 new released questions.

Be careful of getting prep material that will overlap. For example S&T for the MBE and Adaptibar both use the licensed MBE questions so you'll get overlap.

In addition to those released questions, I like Finz for some of the same reasons stated above.

Quality over quantity. Understand your errors and learn to spot patterns---the concepts are repeatedly tested but they are hidden well in new fact patterns.

--Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

ipsares

New
Posts: 51
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 7:56 pm

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby ipsares » Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:30 pm

I passed!!!

My three stages of MBE

1) Not Knowing Much - Doing ok navigating through the dark intuitively.
2) Knowing Enough to Get In Trouble - This is a bad place to be because I would know enough to get fooled by the questions.
3) Mastery - Obvi not every question but this is where I would not only know the right answer - but exactly why the others were wrong. This a tough test because each question is more like 3-8 questions. Tough to get to stage 3 but over many hours and questions it happens. Stage 2 is not fun.

hastingsgal

New
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu May 02, 2019 2:08 am

Re: July 2019 Bar Supplement Assessment

Postby hastingsgal » Sat Nov 30, 2019 2:07 pm

ipsares wrote:I passed!!!

My three stages of MBE

1) Not Knowing Much - Doing ok navigating through the dark intuitively.
2) Knowing Enough to Get In Trouble - This is a bad place to be because I would know enough to get fooled by the questions.
3) Mastery - Obvi not every question but this is where I would not only know the right answer - but exactly why the others were wrong. This a tough test because each question is more like 3-8 questions. Tough to get to stage 3 but over many hours and questions it happens. Stage 2 is not fun.




Congrats!!!!!!



Return to “Bar Exam Prep and Discussion Forum?

Who is online

The online users are hidden on this forum.