Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

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jmart17225

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Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by jmart17225 » Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:15 am

Hey I just got my NY bar exam results back and I found out that I failed again. I took Barbri twice now. Almost the same result. I went down by one point actually. I am not sure what course to use for taking it once again now. I know there is a course named Themis that is less expensive. I am not working right now so money is a big factor for me. Does anyone know of a course that is good for people taking the exam who failed before that is not that expensive? Or should I just take Themis this time? I am very unsure

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by SilvermanBarPrep » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:31 am

Rather than taking a full course you might consider using the books that you already have from your previous course to learn the law and then picking up some new material for this next exam. For practice MBE questions, I'd recommend Strategies and Tactics for the MBE (7th edition). Purchase the essays directly from the NCBE website; they now sell them by subject rather than by test so if you're struggling in a specific subject you can get a set of essays to see how all that law has been tested over the years.

Focus on the skills you need to excel at the exam by practicing MBE questions and essays. Continue to learn the law of course but understand that this is ultimately a test of legal analysis and knowing the law though necessary isn't sufficient.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

spylog19

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by spylog19 » Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:16 am

I can share with you what worked for me (it is going to be a long read). Here are the key takeaways which worked for me (in case if you don't want to spend your time on a long read :))

1) Get a tutor (if you can afford it or Themis may do just fine I think)

2) Get Adaptibar/ Use Smartbarprep or similar concised outlines

3) Focus on highly tested topics and practice as much as you can under the test like conditions using only NCBE released materials

Now, the long read part. By way of a background, I am coming from a civil law country and English is not my first language.

Also I would say I am quite mediocre (like, in everything :))) and I wasn't like the best in law school (though it was the best law school in my home country and one of the best on the European continent). While preparing for my bar exam I was working full time in a big law firm and had to attend to various family issues on an ongoing basis.

I failed the bar exam two times back in good old times when it used to be a non UBE exam, it was like 8 or so years ago (or as some folks say it, a real NY bar exam :)) First time I failed, because I think I focused too much on learning all intricacies and complexities of the law and paid little to attention to practicing essays (it was the bummer to learn that I only missed passing by a few points) and the second time I devoted just very little time to preparing for the exam (I had already an ongoing career in home country and wasn't really serious about this exam).

After that I decided to ditch that idea entirely, moved to my home country and just lived happily until I was asked by my law firm for whatever reason (and I don't even live in the US) to still go through this inhuman ordeal people call the bar exam in US.

So technically speaking, prior to my third attempt I never actually sat a UBE type exam and my last attempt was my first UBE exam type attempt (by the way, in my opinion, an old school NY bar exam was actually harder than UBE).

I also used Barbri like both times and it just did not seem to work for me. What I did differently my last time:

1) Purchased and used Emmanuel Strategies and Tactics for MBE latest edition and read it thoroughly and several times and do tests in it and read the answers.

2) Purchased and used Adaptibar. Yes, I know it is expensive and I know some people doubt its efficacy, though they are the best in analyzing your ups and downs in MBE prep. I also purchased and watched some MBE tactics videos from that guy at Adaptibar and they were actually great, though pricey. Watch or listen to those on the go.

3) Used outlines from Smartbarprep and learned them very well.

4) For my general course provider I used a tutor from Bar Exam Toolbox (yes, a tutor, now you may finally start despising me :)), as I thought that general mainstream bar course providers were just not for me.

I cannot commend those people enough as they have been absolutely fantastic, professional and supportive all the way. The price was quite reasonable compared to other competitors. They drafted my individually tailored very reasonable and well thought through study schedule and adjusted on the go as was needed, granted access to all MEE/ MPT materials from NCBE (this is part of the package), have very nice short videos on the topics and had my tutor reviewing and grading in detail a lot of essays/ MPTs and otherwise acted like an accountability partner during the calls like once in a week or two, which was essentially what I really needed in light of my hectic life schedule. Their packages are very flexible in pricing. Disclaimer: I am not being paid a penny for this recommendation and otherwise have not, do not and will not receive any types of compensation, benefit or remuneration in any form for this endorsement.

5) Used JD Advising MBE and MEE sheets and attended JD Advising MEE seminar that they deliver a week or two before the bar exam.

6) I have practiced a lot, like a lot of essays/ MPTs and a lot of MBEs under test like conditions. For MEE/MPT I used only NCBE released materials.

7) I did not watch any Barbri or Themis videos as they were just too much for me and took too much time.

8) I read Barbri Conviser book just one time only and only in cases where I had difficulty grasping the concepts, though I admit that this a great studying resource overall. I did not read or otherwise used any other outlines from Barbri/ Themis or the like course providers.

9) I bought and glanced through Critical Pass flashcards a few times, they now have an app with MBE and MEE flashcards which I checked while commuting to and from work or otherwise when I had some free time. I thought they were great.

10) Last but not least, as I had only an hour or two to devote to preparation on the weekdays and like 7-8 hours on the weekends to prepare, I started preparing early, like five months before the exam.

I know that the above sounds like a real overkill and I admit this is a lot of money (maybe too much money :((, time and effort (taking into account that potential failure of NY bar exam had zero effect on my legal career in my home country), but I did not want to take my chances (the mere idea of flying again 10 plus hours to NYC and back, going through a jet lag, wasting most of my vacation days and all my weekends for yet another round of preparation was a great motivator).

So I passed the bar exam with score high enough to be qualified in any UBE jurisdiction and when I was actually sitting the bar exam surprisingly I felt like I was decently prepared.

Sorry for somewhat sporadic writing and such a long read, hope this helps a little. Wishing you all the best in preparing for this exam.

jmart17225

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by jmart17225 » Thu May 07, 2020 12:07 pm

Thank you, yes in the last week I have been doing my research and have ruled out Themis, as it seems like it would be a lot like Babrbi. Even though it is much less expensive, I don't want something similar to Barbri again. I signed up for Adaptibar as I have heard a lot good things about the program. A friend of mine who also had failed the exam twice just got her results back and she passed using Marino Bar Review, so I am now considering Marino retaker course. I am also thinking about getting a bar exam tutor as spylog suggested, it's just that I know they can be very expensive.I am hoping to have everything firmly in place by the last week of May, and that should give me 3 solid months of part time study (last week I finally got a remote job -I will have to work about 20 hours a week) I am curious, does anyone think that I would need to study full time (40-80 hours a week)? I think that because I will have at least an extra month now, it is not necessary, but I will try to do whatever I have to do to pass this time.

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by Neve » Fri May 15, 2020 11:32 pm

My running list of MBE supplements:

1) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE - available on Amazon. Fairly cheap book. Has good tips on approaching the MBE and contains lots of practice questions.

2) Adaptibar (http://www.adaptibar.com) - I didn't use this, but wish I had since it has received raving reviews. The only con to Adaptibar is the price.

3) Barmax MBE Questions (https://getbarmax.com/barmax-mbe-questions/ - supposedly "comparable" to Adaptibar). At only $249, it's a good price, but Adaptibar has tracking tools to individualize your MBE study and show your progress in a method that Barmax can't. But Barmax seems to be more economical than Adaptibar. You also need an iOS device to use it.

4) OPE from the MBE site to practice the most recent test questions: http://store.ncbex.org/all-online-practice-exams/. OPE it isn't the cheapest option, but these are real, recent MBE questions and not the souped up Barbri ones. Barbri questions are not representative of the modern MBE. I hear Barmax has all these OPEs included.

5) Critical Pass (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/5JT8KCP referral link contains a discount code for $$ off) - Great flashcards for the MBE! You can't apply the law to an MBE question, if you don't know the law. I used Critical Pass for my bar study along with the CMR from Barbri and their simulated questions (although the Barbri questions are very different than actual MBE questions). I also used Emanuel's S&T during my study period, but not as much as I should have since it's a great resource.

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sarahd32186

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by sarahd32186 » Sat May 16, 2020 7:15 am

As someone who took Barbri my first time and failed the bar exam, I really think you need to try a completely different approach, you are right not to just do Themis, which while I have not taken, sounds like a very similar type of course to the one you already used and did not pass with. I did not use Adaptibar but I have also heard pretty decent things about it. If nothing else, it will be a source of a lot of MBE Practice. What worked for me was Marino Bar Review, specifically their retaker course which came with a personal tutor who I really credit with raising my essay scores a lot, enough to get me to pass on my second try. Someone I know used Lean sheets and said they were worth the price, so that may be worth checking out as well if you want supplemental material, although I don't have personal knowledge about it.

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by FutureLawyer2 » Tue May 19, 2020 6:57 pm

Hey - make sure you purchase critical pass mbe flashcards for the upcoming bar exam. They are super easy to use and learn from, teach you what exactly what you need to know to pass, and are great for those that enjoy studying on the go. Trust me, I used them and passed. Best of luck!

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rcharter1978

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by rcharter1978 » Wed May 20, 2020 2:31 pm

You've gotten great advice.

I'd only add that you should choose the methods that feel right. The Barbri supplements are great but their system never FELT right for me. When I retook (and passed) I reverted back to the way I studied in school and it felt so much better.

If it doesn't feel right, IMO, then there is a reason why.

Also, beware the temptation to use every resource and supplement available. I understand why people do this and at first, I did this too.

You'll hear from one person that this worked or that worked and you figure it can't hurt to have it and use it too.

But I think, for me at least, I was best served by paring down the number of resources I used but really making the best use of those resources.

You'll figure out what works for you and don't be afraid to get rid of those things that don't work for you.

Good luck!!!!

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by nthp » Fri May 22, 2020 1:24 am

I agree that you’ve been given good advice. I’ll only add this: I am by no means a good test taker. Multiple choice is just not my forte. But I did pass the Bar on the first try. And the only reason that happened was because I sat down, reassessed my lifestyle, and made changes accordingly.

I was living by myself at the time, and all throughout law school. I assessed it to be really unhealthy. Next, I had to figure out, did I need total quiet to study? For me, as it turns out, I like to have the presence of somebody around in the morning and evening time just to have some company. With that, I moved in with my sibling and his family for a couple of months. And then on to another family member’s house. Literally, one day when I was practicing AdaptiBar, my young cousin had a full on conversation with me, not knowing that I was studying. And I made one of my highest scores to date.

If you have the luxury, I would highly recommend reassessing your lifestyle and make changes accordingly and conducive to the best studying possible. It did wonders for me.

And the last advice I’d like to give is to not beat yourself up if you’re not perfect, or you’re struggling on a subject. It’s very psychologically damaging, and you end up being so down on yourself that you don’t perform as well when the Bar actually arrives.

Good luck on the Bar!

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Hllcyrli

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by Hllcyrli » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:32 pm

I failed with 263 but l passed my second try pm for details.

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 09, 2020 7:07 am

How did you practice answering MEE and MPT? Did you make outline first or did you read it and then tried to answer the MEE questions? I don't know how to study for MEE.


spylog19 wrote:
Thu Apr 30, 2020 9:16 am
I can share with you what worked for me (it is going to be a long read). Here are the key takeaways which worked for me (in case if you don't want to spend your time on a long read :))

1) Get a tutor (if you can afford it or Themis may do just fine I think)

2) Get Adaptibar/ Use Smartbarprep or similar concised outlines

3) Focus on highly tested topics and practice as much as you can under the test like conditions using only NCBE released materials

Now, the long read part. By way of a background, I am coming from a civil law country and English is not my first language.

Also I would say I am quite mediocre (like, in everything :))) and I wasn't like the best in law school (though it was the best law school in my home country and one of the best on the European continent). While preparing for my bar exam I was working full time in a big law firm and had to attend to various family issues on an ongoing basis.

I failed the bar exam two times back in good old times when it used to be a non UBE exam, it was like 8 or so years ago (or as some folks say it, a real NY bar exam :)) First time I failed, because I think I focused too much on learning all intricacies and complexities of the law and paid little to attention to practicing essays (it was the bummer to learn that I only missed passing by a few points) and the second time I devoted just very little time to preparing for the exam (I had already an ongoing career in home country and wasn't really serious about this exam).

After that I decided to ditch that idea entirely, moved to my home country and just lived happily until I was asked by my law firm for whatever reason (and I don't even live in the US) to still go through this inhuman ordeal people call the bar exam in US.

So technically speaking, prior to my third attempt I never actually sat a UBE type exam and my last attempt was my first UBE exam type attempt (by the way, in my opinion, an old school NY bar exam was actually harder than UBE).

I also used Barbri like both times and it just did not seem to work for me. What I did differently my last time:

1) Purchased and used Emmanuel Strategies and Tactics for MBE latest edition and read it thoroughly and several times and do tests in it and read the answers.

2) Purchased and used Adaptibar. Yes, I know it is expensive and I know some people doubt its efficacy, though they are the best in analyzing your ups and downs in MBE prep. I also purchased and watched some MBE tactics videos from that guy at Adaptibar and they were actually great, though pricey. Watch or listen to those on the go.

3) Used outlines from Smartbarprep and learned them very well.

4) For my general course provider I used a tutor from Bar Exam Toolbox (yes, a tutor, now you may finally start despising me :)), as I thought that general mainstream bar course providers were just not for me.

I cannot commend those people enough as they have been absolutely fantastic, professional and supportive all the way. The price was quite reasonable compared to other competitors. They drafted my individually tailored very reasonable and well thought through study schedule and adjusted on the go as was needed, granted access to all MEE/ MPT materials from NCBE (this is part of the package), have very nice short videos on the topics and had my tutor reviewing and grading in detail a lot of essays/ MPTs and otherwise acted like an accountability partner during the calls like once in a week or two, which was essentially what I really needed in light of my hectic life schedule. Their packages are very flexible in pricing. Disclaimer: I am not being paid a penny for this recommendation and otherwise have not, do not and will not receive any types of compensation, benefit or remuneration in any form for this endorsement.

5) Used JD Advising MBE and MEE sheets and attended JD Advising MEE seminar that they deliver a week or two before the bar exam.

6) I have practiced a lot, like a lot of essays/ MPTs and a lot of MBEs under test like conditions. For MEE/MPT I used only NCBE released materials.

7) I did not watch any Barbri or Themis videos as they were just too much for me and took too much time.

8) I read Barbri Conviser book just one time only and only in cases where I had difficulty grasping the concepts, though I admit that this a great studying resource overall. I did not read or otherwise used any other outlines from Barbri/ Themis or the like course providers.

9) I bought and glanced through Critical Pass flashcards a few times, they now have an app with MBE and MEE flashcards which I checked while commuting to and from work or otherwise when I had some free time. I thought they were great.

10) Last but not least, as I had only an hour or two to devote to preparation on the weekdays and like 7-8 hours on the weekends to prepare, I started preparing early, like five months before the exam.

I know that the above sounds like a real overkill and I admit this is a lot of money (maybe too much money :((, time and effort (taking into account that potential failure of NY bar exam had zero effect on my legal career in my home country), but I did not want to take my chances (the mere idea of flying again 10 plus hours to NYC and back, going through a jet lag, wasting most of my vacation days and all my weekends for yet another round of preparation was a great motivator).

So I passed the bar exam with score high enough to be qualified in any UBE jurisdiction and when I was actually sitting the bar exam surprisingly I felt like I was decently prepared.

Sorry for somewhat sporadic writing and such a long read, hope this helps a little. Wishing you all the best in preparing for this exam.

spylog19

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by spylog19 » Thu Dec 10, 2020 2:28 am

For the MEE, the way worked for me is you read the question, then make a brief outline and then progress to the writing based on your outline. IRAC everything you can and be really quick but thorough and efficient. MEE is all about practice. Do not underestimate MPT, as with proper approach it can get some easy extra points.

Neve

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by Neve » Sat Dec 26, 2020 5:21 pm

My running list of MBE supplements:

1) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE - available on Amazon. Fairly cheap book. Has good tips on approaching the MBE and contains lots of practice questions.

2) Adaptibar (http://www.adaptibar.com) - I didn't use this, but wish I had since it has received raving reviews. The only con to Adaptibar is the price.

3) Barmax MBE Questions (https://getbarmax.com/barmax-mbe-questions/ - supposedly "comparable" to Adaptibar). At only $249, it's a good price, but Adaptibar has tracking tools to individualize your MBE study and show your progress in a method that Barmax can't. But Barmax seems to be more economical than Adaptibar. You also need an iOS device to use it.

4) OPE from the MBE site to practice the most recent test questions: http://store.ncbex.org/all-online-practice-exams/. OPE it isn't the cheapest option, but these are real, recent MBE questions and not the souped up Barbri ones. Barbri questions are not representative of the modern MBE. I hear Barmax has all these OPEs included.

5) Critical Pass (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/MVL2ZG3 referral link contains a discount code for $$ off) - Great flashcards for the MBE! You can't apply the law to an MBE question, if you don't know the law. I used Critical Pass for my bar study along with the CMR from Barbri and their simulated questions (although the Barbri questions are very different than actual MBE questions). I also used Emanuel's S&T during my study period, but not as much as I should have since it's a great resource.

tsam6842

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Re: Advice for bar prep for third time bar exam taker

Post by tsam6842 » Wed Mar 24, 2021 2:55 pm

Hi, just curious if the original poster passed and what they used to study as I am also going to be taking the exam for the third time as well this July. I know from talking to friends who passed on their second and third tries as well as some posters on this board that it is indeed possible to pass after having failed the exam, which is hopeful. My friend who passed on his second try last time swears that Marino Bar Review (their retaker program) and the supplemental program Adaptibar are the magic that got him to pass on his second try. I also have heard of other bar preparation products that I see online reviews for that look pretty good and that were discussed in this thread like Critical Pass cards. So I am curious what original poster used and what the results were

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