Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

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Bar4Me0

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Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby Bar4Me0 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:37 am

Hi all, first off, congratulations to those who passed, job well done!

I just found out that I didn't pass the CA bar for the 4th time. I feel like I've exhausted all (most) resources and still cannot pass this damn exam. My highest score has been 1416 and I really do not know what else to do in order to improve. I've used Barbi, AdaptiBar, Strategies & Tactics for the MBE (Emanuel), Kaplan MBE questions, BarMax MBE questions and a couple more I'm sure I'm forgetting. I've done so many MBE questions that I started seeing repeats between different prep courses.

Does any one have any tips/advice on what I should try/do differently? I'm very exhausted emotionally and I just want to give up and start something totally unrelated to law; I am so embarrassed/discouraged of failing so many times.

QContinuum

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby QContinuum » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:24 pm

Bar4Me0 wrote:Does any one have any tips/advice on what I should try/do differently? I'm very exhausted emotionally and I just want to give up and start something totally unrelated to law; I am so embarrassed/discouraged of failing so many times.

Have you considered taking the bar in a UBE state instead? If you're willing to consider working outside CA, at least temporarily, getting barred somewhere will 1) allow you to actually practice law, and 2) also rebuild your confidence.

Bar4Me0

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby Bar4Me0 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 4:08 pm

QContinuum wrote:
Bar4Me0 wrote:Does any one have any tips/advice on what I should try/do differently? I'm very exhausted emotionally and I just want to give up and start something totally unrelated to law; I am so embarrassed/discouraged of failing so many times.

Have you considered taking the bar in a UBE state instead? If you're willing to consider working outside CA, at least temporarily, getting barred somewhere will 1) allow you to actually practice law, and 2) also rebuild your confidence.


Thanks for responding. I don't think this is an option for me right now, but I do see the benefit.

LockBox

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby LockBox » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:27 pm

The key issue is whether you are doing what needs to be done in order to pass. It's not about supplements, books or test prep courses. It's about an invasive look at what's going on with your scores, and then shoring up those weaknesses to ensure a passing result.

It's a war and you really need to be committed to doing what is necessary. Have you used a tutor? It might be worth it to have someone with specialized knowledge on the exam test you over and over to get you ready.

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rcharter1978

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:41 pm

You have been really close. At a 1416 I think it's almost a matter of luck because essays are still subjective.

I remember people posting the difference between their scores on a first and second read and there were some with consistent 10+ point differentials.

If you're that close this time, I think you should just take it again because you've been sooo close.

I passed on my second try but my first scores were just horrible....like so bad that when I passed I knew I had improved by like nearly 200 points. In MY case, I absolutely had to get a writing tutor. There was no other way. I had to change my strategy....but when someone is as close as you, it seems like they are on the right path.

I also don't think you should be embarrassed. The exam is tough and once you pass it's all in your rearview.

I think it does mess with your head and your confidence to fail even once, let alone multiple times, and from that perspective I can see the value in taking the bar in another jurisdiction just to get a win under your belt. But man, if you're so close it seems like you could pass.

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:59 am

One piece of advice I'd give not knowing if you've already done this is to be sure that for every MBE question that you work on try to understand not only why the correct answer is correct but truly understand what it is about every wrong answer that makes it worse than the correct answer. You'll start to actually get an intuition for how wrong answers present themselves on the MBE and that intuition along with a thorough knowledge of the substantive law will allow you to perform very well on the exam. It's a time consuming process for sure but getting really good at this test just takes a lot of work.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

Bar4Me0

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby Bar4Me0 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:12 pm

LockBox wrote:The key issue is whether you are doing what needs to be done in order to pass. It's not about supplements, books or test prep courses. It's about an invasive look at what's going on with your scores, and then shoring up those weaknesses to ensure a passing result.

It's a war and you really need to be committed to doing what is necessary. Have you used a tutor? It might be worth it to have someone with specialized knowledge on the exam test you over and over to get you ready.


Thanks for the advice. I am trying to make the necessary changes to hopefully try one last time. Thank you.

Bar4Me0

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby Bar4Me0 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:16 pm

rcharter1978 wrote:You have been really close. At a 1416 I think it's almost a matter of luck because essays are still subjective.

I remember people posting the difference between their scores on a first and second read and there were some with consistent 10+ point differentials.

If you're that close this time, I think you should just take it again because you've been sooo close.

I passed on my second try but my first scores were just horrible....like so bad that when I passed I knew I had improved by like nearly 200 points. In MY case, I absolutely had to get a writing tutor. There was no other way. I had to change my strategy....but when someone is as close as you, it seems like they are on the right path.

I also don't think you should be embarrassed. The exam is tough and once you pass it's all in your rearview.

I think it does mess with your head and your confidence to fail even once, let alone multiple times, and from that perspective I can see the value in taking the bar in another jurisdiction just to get a win under your belt. But man, if you're so close it seems like you could pass.


Thanks for sharing and for the encouragement! It feels like I just need a little more improvement in both the writing and MBE section and I could pass. But again, it's been messing with my mind that I still have not passed. Thanks again!

Bar4Me0

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby Bar4Me0 » Tue Nov 19, 2019 8:21 pm

SilvermanBarPrep wrote:One piece of advice I'd give not knowing if you've already done this is to be sure that for every MBE question that you work on try to understand not only why the correct answer is correct but truly understand what it is about every wrong answer that makes it worse than the correct answer. You'll start to actually get an intuition for how wrong answers present themselves on the MBE and that intuition along with a thorough knowledge of the substantive law will allow you to perform very well on the exam. It's a time consuming process for sure but getting really good at this test just takes a lot of work.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)


Thanks for the advice, Sean. I've tried going through each MBE question I got wrong and even made separate notebooks for each subject, but I think at some point it was taking so long that I gave up. But I'll try very hard to even look at the answers that I answer correctly to make sure I understand the law.

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby onemoretimenow » Wed Nov 20, 2019 3:10 am

You are really close and just need a bit more to push you over the threshold. I know it seems discouraging, but try to keep the faith. You have put in a lot of effort already with law school and studying, and you are closer to the finish line than you think. I agree with rcharter1978 that a 1416 is close enough that a bad day versus a good day for an essay reader could be the difference.

What have your score breakdowns been between MBE, essays, and PT? If you are not scoring 70 or higher on the PT, that may be one area to focus on for consistent points. The practice carries over as it does not require recall of any law. The PT is getting comfortable with the format of finding the relevant rule, understanding the key facts distinguishing the caselaw, and IRAC/TREAT.

It seems like you have already done a lot of MBE questions, so just try not to burn yourself out. When you do the MBE questions, have you been remembering the right answers or have you been analyzing why the wrong answers were wrong? I found the latter to be more helpful in improving MBE scores.

If you have a job that pays the bills for now, and can do it, it may be worthwhile to consider skipping Feb to give yourself a mental breather. The scaling tends to be worse anyways on February.

But again, I think you are so close that you can definitely get the CA bar done. I just think you need some time to recharge and get your mind ready for the fight. You are so close that just a handful of points will get you there.

jennimarcy

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby jennimarcy » Thu Nov 21, 2019 1:46 pm

It is disappointing to fail and we all have to do it in areas of our lives.

First, I've failed this exam many times, 6, and the last two times just 33 and 53 points away from 1440 after the second read. I did not take it in July.

My advice:

Each day from now until the bar exam is a study day. Try to do only 15 mcq's a day, at least one essay.

Buy a good PT book, I have one by Sara Berman, it is old but she is thorough, as I have found you have to distinguish first at the exam whether you will be writing objectively or persuasively.

Essay approach: A bar passer at the Feb test told me, after failing July 2018, that he took his Kaplan essay book and did it at first open book and not in the time allowed. Then he would type the model answers. He said he started to see a pattern. He passed the Feb test. I am now, seeing the patterns, what the subject areas group together.

At night, while I am waiting to fall asleep, I go over in my head my rule statements from the essays that day and any missed mcq's to try and hold on to what I've memorized.

I have also watched a lot of YouTube videos. The shorter ones are good for reminders and tips, one tip I found helpful was on flash cards. Once you have a rule statement down from a flash card, put that one in a separate pile away from the rules you have trouble remembering. A week later pick up that pile of known rules statements and make sure you know them. If you do, put them aside again for two weeks. The pile should really grow after about a month. Soon you'll be able to say a rule out loud without even blinking. If a rule is not sticking because it has too many elements, break it down further to small bites.

You'll pass this, just do not give up if you truly want to practice law in California.

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Re: Just failed my 4th attempt at the CA bar. Contemplating giving up law and starting fresh, need some advice please.

Postby justanotheruser » Mon Nov 25, 2019 2:03 am

Bar4Me0 wrote:Hi all, first off, congratulations to those who passed, job well done!

I just found out that I didn't pass the CA bar for the 4th time. I feel like I've exhausted all (most) resources and still cannot pass this damn exam. My highest score has been 1416 and I really do not know what else to do in order to improve. I've used Barbi, AdaptiBar, Strategies & Tactics for the MBE (Emanuel), Kaplan MBE questions, BarMax MBE questions and a couple more I'm sure I'm forgetting. I've done so many MBE questions that I started seeing repeats between different prep courses.

Does any one have any tips/advice on what I should try/do differently? I'm very exhausted emotionally and I just want to give up and start something totally unrelated to law; I am so embarrassed/discouraged of failing so many times.


Sorry to hear that. As someone who didn't pass until their 6th try (on the Feb 2018 exam, no less!), I can relate to what you're feeling. The good news is that you're very close. Not sure if I'm misreading your post, but I noticed you seemed to be emphasizing the MBEs. In my experience, MBEs were my experience and so I kept trying to double down on that as a strength instead of putting in due diligence by practicing essays and the PT. It wasn't until I embraced an all-around preparation that I finally passed the exam. In case you're curious, I wrote about my experience in this TLS post: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=298888

Good luck!



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