Sunday, May 18, 2008


... whaddya' know? The sun came up yesterday. And today as well. I guess that means I'm really going to have to dig back into that bookshelf of stuff.

If there's a bright side to doing this a third time it's that I have a pretty good grasp of the substantive law. All I have to work on is my writing. Yep. That's all. Just my writing. Those were the famous last words for some famous people. Some famous, successful people who never went back to work on their writing and just blew the test off altogether. I wonder if I should follow in their footsteps?


Not gonna' happen.

I've quit a couple of things in my life. I quit smoking when I was 21. I quit a couple of sucky jobs. But I don't think I'll quit trying to pass the CA Bar Exam.

But I think I will quit using tutors.

I'll probably get my scores tomorrow. Curious, I am. I suspect I blew the PTs again. I pray that that's all I have to work on.

We shall see.

Oh, yeah. Congratulations to all who passed. From my position deep down at the bottom of the black pit of despair, I nearly forgot that 39.6% of takers passed the February exam. That 39.6% included two of my study partners. Hmmm.. some partners they turned out to be. They've got some nerve, passing the exam when I didn't. If I ever talk to them again I'll have to chastise them thoroughly. (;-)>

But on the bright side, they get to pick up the dinner tab for the rest of the year. I wonder if I can eat $648 worth of dinner between now and the middle of November. Probably not. But I can try! And if I make them feel real guilty I just might manage it. (;-)>


Anonymous said...

GP, fresh start, on with the charge and slaying of the July Bar, good thoughts, positive energy and a kind spirit to carry everyone through the next 10 weeks.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,
Thank you for the blog, G.P., and keep your head up. I failed in July 07 and passed this February. Someone was asking for feedback from retakers who passed... Here is my two cents. What I did differently this time (besides being more relaxed and having more of a chance to focus on my studying) was this: I used Barbri's substantive law summaries, and beyond that, relied on the study that have always worked for me before in school, not on what BarBri or anyone else said I should be doing. For me personally, that meant composing and writing down my own outlines, reading everything in order (instead of i.e. call of the question first) and trying to really focus on fine details, specific buzzwords.
Anyway, for me I would say BarBri's materials accounted for about 20-25% of success.
For multiple choice, beyond knowing the basic law, I'd say be extra attentive to detals and look out for all the standard multiple choice tricks (nothing that new under the sun on the exam).
For essays, practice and read released answers (answers released by the Bar) to get an idea of what sorts of things the Bar likes.
For P.T.s, keep track of time and be attentive to detail, specific words/ ideas that are being repeated and emphasized. Period. I actually did not do any P.TR.s as I was preparing for the February exam - focused on MBEs and essays.
Here is what I generally did for each subject: I would read BarBri's substantive summary, compose my essay (about 5 pages per topic), do MBEs (about 30-50), review all MBE answers, write about 3 essays (preferably ones from previous administrations that had released answers) and review answers. Then on to next subject. Then a few days before the exam I did 200 MBEs (timed, no water, no bathroom between two halves) and six essays (on the subjects that I thought were likely to appear; aimed to do cross-overs with released answers).
One more thing... California attorney (whatever his exact nick was, the one that posted negative comments) may have a point of sorts: try maybe not to rely so much on whiners... Listening to condolences, dwelling on condolences, does not help any - at least it didn't work for me. Reall try to relax. It's just an exam. You've taken so many exams before, you can handle this one as well. Don't think of it as a "beast" that needs to be slain, or this horrendous thing, or this grand secret that needs to be unraveled or a lottery for which you need extra luck to win. It's an exam. Just an exam. You can handle it. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

My wife (the previous poster) has been drinking a lot of champagne and is rambling a bit. Anyway, as someone with a similar profession (I am a developer) I have been rooting for you, G.P. since November. Reboot and try again. Next time it is going to work. Good luck, man.

P.S. My wife had a couple of typos in her post, she says. She meant to say she relied on the study "methods" (not just "study") that worked for her before, and wrote 5-page outlines right after reviewing the substantive law (not 5-page essays).

The Grand Poobah said...

Ahhhh... Champagne! Congratulations to the both of you!

Those typos were minimal, and the post was completely understandable despite them. In fact, with a comment that long, it's very difficult not to have an inadvertent typo or three. It's all good. Especially because she passed!

Again, Congratulations!

Anonymous said...

GP, I am taking this cyber opportunity to thank you for being a nice person. This is the cyber world... you don't know who a lot of us are... but you have helped us all out with sending outlines, various essay exams, etc. You didn't have to do that, but you did.

All this stuff is coming out now--why? Because DON'T EVER QUIT, BUDDY... it would be a grave disservice to people out there, who will need an attorney that has this "something".... humor mixed with kindness, intelligence and compassion. You're accessible.. don't ever change that. Clients want that and respect that.

CHARACTER IS WHAT YOU HAVE, MY FRIEND... and that is what will make you the honorable, fine attorney as opposed to the ignorant, obnoxious ones that flood the courtrooms. Judges complain about it regularly.

God love ya.

nygirlmovingtocali said...

I know plenty of people that have taken the CA bar more than twice and passed on their third or fourth try. You'll do it this time - and I look forward to hearing about your success on the July 08 bar.
Good luck & thanks again for this blog!

last call at the bar said...

Congrats to getting back on the wagon. I won't be this next July, my anger/frustration need a while longer to cool. Since I did get my scores Saturday, I can tell you one method that a friend recommended which worked out really for me with respect to the MBEs. My prediction of how I would do was right on, I got a scaled 150. One bad PT (PTA - lower than I have ever scored on a PT in practice or on an exam) was my downfall. Of course, better essays would have helped (Day 3 was terrible for essays).

If you saved old scoring sheets from PMBR or whatever questions you used, that will help greatly. I repeated questions that I had done for prior bar exams and found that I repeatedly answered certain questions wrong. I then highlighted the explanations of those and really analyzed what law or reasoning I tripped up on. I even did questions a third time in my weaker subjects towards the end of February. I also reviewed the week before the exam all the questions I got wrong more than once and the highlighted explanations. When I took a practice exam a couple weeks before I got 68% correct. I ended up doing only about 800-900 MBEs but the quality of my attention in doing them really helped. I expected to get 65 to 70% correct on the actual exam and I did.

Another thing I did was warmed up on 10 MBEs Wednesday morning of the exam since I was proned to bombing the first 10 MBEs of the day. I don't think I checked the answers, I really just warmed up my brain by doing them.

Good luck!

Marsha said...

Poobah, so sorry to read that you didn't get happy results. The overall pass rate looks horrible - I hate that you guys in California have to deal with this.

Hopefully you can get some helpful information from going through your scored exam. You seem like a person of character and up to the task. I wish you the best!!!

Anonymous said...


as a first time feb failer.. I've read your blog through the last exam and you have helped me so much. I am now trying to pick myself up and start studying. You will do it this time.. you have the tools.. the main thing is just to keep going!


Anonymous said...

GP: It goes without saying that the self entitled "California Attorney at Law" does not speak for those who have come across your blog and found it to be an inspirational forum illustrating the difficulties involved in passing the California Bar Exam. That you willingly place yourself in such a public position where most others seek solitude takes a great deal of courage. I have been (and will continue to be) cheering you on in your efforts to join the ranks.

There comes a point, however, where you need to analyze the effect this blog has on your ability to pass. Is it the source of support that it appears to be? Then by all means, continue this blog and support not only yourself, but those others who also draw strength from knowing they are not alone. Does it distract from the absolute focus the Bar Exam demands? Only you can know the answer to that question. Either way, I wish you the best of luck in making "the third time the charm."

Anonymous said...

Dear TGP,

This is my first comment in your Blog. My heart goes out to you my friend and also, all of my prayers. I took the February 2008 exam myself, for the first time, and failed miserably. I got my letter in the mail today and stared at a TOTAL SCALED SCORE of 1269.1569. (E1-60.0, E2-60.0, E3-60.0, E4-50.0, E5-55.0, E6-55.0), (PTA-55.0, PTB-70.0), (Constitutional-16, Contracts-17, Criminal-16, Evidence-8, Real Property-14, Torts-22). I feel really devestated, not for having failed on my first try, but for performing so poorly. I have no clue what your scores were the previous two times, but what am I suppose to do with scores as low as the ones that I got? Do I move forward? Am I even within a striking distance for the next exam? Any HELP that you or anyone else can provide me with would be so appreciated. Once again, I am so sorry and I do pray for all of us that are in the same position as of right now.

99 problems said...


If you used a tutor both times, definitely do your own thing this time. I have a hard time believing that you will not pass. I am glad you controlled yourself with that mean dude, however, I am upset that you even responded to him. For lack of a better phrase. xxxx HIM. But, I do agree with one thing he said. Get an edge, get an attitude about this thing, not outwardly obviously, but get mad at this thing, stare at the beast and scream "DO YOUR WORST!" and I shall do mine! Be sure to take a break once in a while.

To Anon 12:32- Your essay scores are not terrible. Did you pound the facts and analysis? Need to.
As for your MBE, yikes, but the good news is the MBE is MUCH easier to improve on. You can do it. Obviously, you need to improve and change your study strategy for the multiple choice. Get the PMBR books. I have only used those, I was lucky enough to score a 157 in Michigan and pass this Cal exam on my first try. Man, I really sound like a moron! Ignore the self-promotion, I just want you to know that I really think the PMBR books, the explanatory answers, will drastically improve your score. I used the same books five years later. I did at least 2000 each time.

Anonymous said...

I second the comments about the PMBR for MBEs.

Also, get this:

In addition to taking the PMBR 3-day, I did questions in the big blue book. I started out doing 10 questions per night in each subject and outlining the answers, wrong or right [you need to learn to distinguish lucky guesses from right answers].

A couple of weeks later, I moved to 15, adding 5 or so until I could do 50 questions at a time.
I passed the second time around.

Anonymous said...


Once again and with others I sympathize with your situation. I have been following your blog since July 07, and like yourself I have been unable to succeed on the CA bar on my second try. However, like yourself I refuse to take no for an answer and have already began preparations for July 08. I would highly recommend securing your hotel reservations in Ontario as soon as possible as I noticed a large majority of hotels have been already sold out. (note: Aryes hotel still has bar rates and availability as well as of yesterday) In anycase, I wish you the best in your upcoming studies. It is not a matter of if you will succeed but rather when. Continue to always FIGHT ON!! Sincerely, another frustrated 2nd time bar taker in the wonderful state of California!

Anonymous said...

For self study, I recommend Jeff Adachi's Bar Breaker series. I prepared part time for 6 weeks and wrote 3 essays/day. In my experience, the essays are so much more about the facts than about the law. What helped me most was to highlight every fact in the question as I wrote my answer. If there were surplus facts, I found a place to discuss them. Once you've worked every last factoid into your answer, chances are that you'll have a complete analysis. Whether the analysis is "right" doesn't seem to matter much.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry I know you will pass. I think it is about a positive attitude along with the studying. I will be taking it again in July for the 6th time and I'm convinced that this exam we will all pass! We have to believe that good things will happen and in the greater scope of life, this is just one small obstacle, and I think failure actually builds character. I'm rooting for you GP it's going to happen this time, visualize your name on the pass list in November!

Anonymous said...

GP It's Ok...I feel your pain i too failed :( and was at the top of the class and yada yada yada and feel like crap and like I let everyone my scores today and I had a scaled 1386 so it was a little comforting I guess...but I BLEW the MBEs....if anyone or you has any advice I can use it...I used Barbri and was getting a raw score of about 130 on mbes but test day was a 97 horrible I know...but did get 75s on both PTs and passed the essays...should i start doing actual realeased questions like Adaptibar or Micromash...any advice and please let me know if I can help you with anything :) You are in my prayers :)

Anonymous said...

Happy to see you're keeping this in perspective, and also impressed by your spirit and determination.

FWIW, I've passed a few bars - including CA Feb '08 - and used the same method everytime. Listened to the BarBri lectures (not plugging for BarBri, so save the vitriol), drafted my own detailed outlines based on the lecture notes (only consulted the MiniReview and long outlines if I was puzzled by something) and spent 3 weeks memorizing my outlines and constantly reducing them down as I retained more. Not eliminating stuff, mind you, but reducing sentences to short bullet points. I'd often consult my long outlines to make sure my bullet points in my reduced outlines were triggering all the details found in my original outlines. It's mostly an exercise in memorization, but you're dead on re: writing skills. Also, don't take anything for granted and remember the graders can't read your mind. Don't skip over elementary analysis and always integrate given facts into yor analysis. If you fail to do so you leave valuable points on the table. I don't mean to lecture, just offering pointers and wishing you success in July.

legis said...

I'll be right there with you. I admire your determination and persistence.

Anonymous said...

I read somewhere that 85% pass within 3 attempts. Like the guy at BarBri said for the PT's they don't want people who know the law, they want people who think like lawyers. I am a Canadian attorney who learned all my US law (however much that was) in two months. I passed, but I honestly think it was because I could sit back and spot issues and come up with enough BS to show that I was working the problem, as opposed to worrying about whether every word I said was 100% correct.

I am about your age, and I have taken a lots of exams in my life. One thing I have learned is how much I can write in a set period of time. I can tell you that every one of the 6 essays was outlined and written in 60 minutes, and each performance test was finished with about 5 minutes to spare - I outlined for about 75 -80.

Having said that, that works for me, so I am not going to try and tell you to do it my way or any other way. I don't know whether you find you're running out of time, or not saying enough, or what.

I know that the 2nd PT this year had my brain reeling for about 25 minutes while I tried to figure what the structure of the answer should be. It wasn't until about 30 minutes in I caught on to the fact that one of the cases has a two part test, and the second case broke one of the those into a five part test. One thing I know is that anytime a court gives you a test, it's like elements of a crime - you trot it back piece by piece and that's your outline.

Things I am sure would have worked out different if I hadn't seen the pattern. So, my two cents is to get really good at spotting issues, and really good at figuring out a logical story to tell to deal with them. You do that, I think you're golden.

And, I kinda agree with CAAL you should avoid wallowing too much in the "it's okay you failed cuz you're a great guy" because that doesn't get you a bar number. I have read your blog and have a lot of respect for you because you've laid it out there, but as I am sure you already know, it only gets done by doing. From what little I read of you I get the sense you aren't a quitter, and you will keep building on the experience until you reach your goal.

Kudos - I'm not sure I would have had the motivation to do this again.

Anonymous said...

Hey - totally different subject. Your profile says something about motorcycles. What do you ride.

Anonymous said...

I too have had problems with PT portion of the CA bar exam. The difference this time around was Essay Advantage (I'm not a BarBri troll - as a matter of fact, I did not take a Barbri course prior to taking Essay Advantage). The instructor taught me to approach PT in the following way:
1. Read and outline the task memo
2. Read the library before reading the case fact pattern! I used to read the facts of the case before I went on to the library. Well, I felt like I was spending too much time before I got started on my essay. What I did was I outlined the statutes, if any, then read the cases to see how they interpret them. Sometimes, the cases offer a structure of elements within a statute. As you are reading the cases, you'll figure out what facts you need to gather when you finally read the case fact pattern. As I was exiting the February 2008 exam, I heard from so many people that they had trouble with PT2, not because it was hard, but that it was too long. I had 15 minutes to spare thanks to Essay Advantage's method. I highly recommend it.

Anonymous said...

I passed a neighboring state's February exam. I am also licensed in CA.

While I was sitting in a Barbri class one evening in January, Honigsberg ("Good idea?") recognized a repeating student and said, "Why are you here? You should be at home writing essays."

The truth is, I took a chance on the MPT by not doing all of the assigned problems. A couple of nights before the exam, I took a look at the MPT book and saw a question that required the drafting of a will. (I assume you had the same questions in your materials.) I found the level of detail in the memo/library for the will question to be extremely distressing. Had I taken a question like that cold on the exam, I would have panicked, since it took me 30 minutes just to get the cast of characters and devises straight.

Honigsberg's advice is good. There are supposed to be 10-12 different types of MPT questions that are tested. Familiarity may breed contempt, but it also breeds, well, familiarity.

Trust that you will feel differently about life when you throw your study materials into the recycling bin. That golden three-page attack outline for Civ Pro will look decidedly unimportant.

Get some exercise, and try to eat. Good luck.

Midwesterner in D.C. said...


You've obviously got the right stuff to keep charging ahead. News like this sucks, but when you pass it next time, victory is all that much sweeter.

I'll be rooting for you and checking the list in November!

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Hello Friends. For those of you who took Barbri (happens to be the one I took)and did not pass. What is the most reasonable and efficient course of action now? Do I sit in on all of their classes again and to all the assigned work load all over again? I ended up with a TSS of 1269.1569 on the exam. is it reasonable for me to think that I can come up by at least 171 points or more and pass this beast on the next try? I would like to hear what some others have done in terms of changing the strategies that I tried using the best I can, that were prescribed in the Barbri course. Appreciate any input on this. Good luck and health to all of us.

Anonymous said...

I hate the MBE's! I was 20 points away from passing the Feb. 08 CA Bar. My MBE score was 125 and my essays and PT ranged from 75 to 55 (question #6 = 55).

I used "The Bar Code Cheet Sheets" to study for my essays. This book gives you a great road map on how the bar graders like to see answers to the various issues.

For the PT section, I used Flemings' approach. His approach gives an efficient method of writing a passing answer.

For July, I am going to study my MBE using flashcards and memorize the Bar Code. Does anyone else have some good advice on the MBE?

Anonymous said...

To anonymous with a 1259 score. Based on the score, I expect you have a couple issues to address. It is possible that you don't know enough substantive law, although that is hard to tell. What was your MBE score? Second, it is likely that you're not getting your points across in the formula the examiners are looking for. Will sitting in BarBri all over again help? One definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. Right now you probably need to honestly ask yourself whether you really studied hard enough, did you do all the stuff BarBri suggested, etc. If you didn't maybe it might be helpful, but only if you change something about your approach (e.g., write all the practice essays, look at old exams, have a daily routine of 25 MBE's I think you probably get what I mean.

If on the other hand you honestly did everything BarBri asked, then maybe their approach doesn't work for you.

Anonymous said...

To anon with 125 MBE, get this book:

No, I'm not affiliated with the company. I used it, and read through it once. Then started practicing the PMBR questions with this booklet by my side. It puts the rules of law in plain language, non-legal common-sense terms, and offers good multi-choice test strategies.
Once I understood what the heck was going on in a novation and accord and satisfaction and all that other legal mumbo jumbo, I could use those words and terms in my essays and recognize them in the MBE questions. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

GP It's Ok...I feel your pain i too failed :( and was at the top of the class and yada yada yada and feel like crap and like I let everyone my scores today and I had a scaled 1386 so it was a little comforting I guess...but I BLEW the MBEs....if anyone or you has any advice I can use it...I used Barbri and was getting a raw score of about 130 on mbes but test day was a 97 horrible I know...but did get 75s on both PTs and passed the essays...should i start doing actual realeased questions like Adaptibar or Micromash...any advice and please let me know if I can help you with anything :) You are in my prayers :)

ANY ADVICE ON WHAT TO DO WITH A 1386?? Is there hope for me in July?? Any advice on MBEs? Should I look at actual released qs or not :(

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 1:16 pm: I understand your desire for guidance. I'm in the same boat (see me over here, on the other bank of oars, about eight rows behind you?).

At this point, I really don't believe I should be giving advice to anyone. A couple of people have asked me what I did to prepare for this exam. I haven't answered them in detail because, based on my performance, I believe I would be doing them a grave disservice.

Perhaps someone else (someone who was successful) can offer advice. In the meantime, until someone addresses your question specifically, there's plenty of advice in the comments of the last few posts here.


Anonymous said...

To those who are getting scaled scores below 1300. Let's rip off the bandaid here. You're gonna need a major overhaul.

With MBEs, are you sure you are reading the fact pattern thoroughly? Slow it down during practice a lot, at least in the beginning. You will probably find you are missing words. There was a person in lawschool like that who constantly read something and left out key words.

To slow you down while practicing, start marking up the MBE fact pattern. Granted Adaptibar is great, but see if you can print them out. You lose something, especially if you are having trouble, with getting involved with the question. Go slow in the beginning while studying and think it through. Before you look at an answer, talk to yourself and explain to yourself why you are selecting that answer and why it is the best choice. Then look at the answer.

Eventually, you can ramp up and build up speed. But if you are getting really low MBE scores, either you don't really know the law or it is a reading issue. Make sure it is not something like missing words. If you have to, read the fact pattern out loud and analyze that fact pattern in the same manner as an essay. Once you get used to it, you will be doing it automatically.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

For July 07, I got a 1394 and failed b/c of the MBE. For Feb 08, I got a 1405 and failed because of the essays/PTs. Telling my family/friends that I got close but didn't make it is getting OLD...

On another note, does anybody remember what the essay subjects were?

All I remember is the following:
#1 - Torts (SPL and landowner liability)
#2 - Crim Law?
#3 - ?
#4 - PR?
#5 - Community Property
#6 - Wills/Trusts

and can anybody recommend a tutoring service for the BAR? Has anybody tried and can recommend I am NOT going back to BARBRI to give them more money I don't have...

- Extremely Frustrated

Anonymous said...

Extremely Frustrated:

Essay subjects for Feb were the following:

1. Torts
2. PR
3. Crim/Crimpro

4. wills/trusts
5. Comm Prop
6. Corp/Agency

I know its hard to continually come so close to passing yet, not. I assure you that all your friends and family members are rooting for you and know just how difficult the CALIFORNIA BAR EXAM is. It is notoriously hard. No one will think any different of you no matter how many times you have to take the exam. I promise. To sit down and continue to try is quite admirable. Keep at it. You will pass.

I failed in July and had a scaled score of 1430. I was devistated to come so close. With that in mind I decided to hire a tutor through BarBri, and study even harder this second time (passed this Feb!) The tutor (his name is Chuck) is awesome. He read my essays and assisted me with not only my writing, but also the structure and order of my essays. He had me make out flashcards for every MBE question I got wrong throughout the study process, and go over them daily.

It certainly was expensive to have a tutor to speak with several times, but so worth it. He has been in the California Bar Exam business for years, and knows his stuff. At the end of the day, I passed on my own, but am damn glad I worked with Chuck to remain accountable to someone and continue to work hard. Racing to the finish line.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

There was a Prof Resp in there and also a sort of agency/corps/Prof Resp crossover in there too.

I have not used Bargraders, but I am hearing good stuff about them. They have a free deal going on up in Los Angeles coming up at the end of May.

Check out the free deal and see what you think. I have heard people saying good stuff about their essay review.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I am so glad, that I came across this wonderful Blog, which is contributed to by so many wonderful folks, sharing in the same goal, to pass the CBE.
Pursuant to everyone's imput and other research for the last several days, i have decided to take the following path in preparing for the next exam.

ESSAY - I will be using the "Bar Code Cheat Sheets in Action"-Whitney Roberts to better understand how to structure my essays. (on the last exam received: 60-60-60-50-55-55 respectively). I will be doing all the essays in the "Barbri CA Essay Workbook" running parallel to their pace program (I will not be sitting in any of their class sessions). I will have my essays read and critiqued by a law professor that used to grade for the CBE for the last seven years.

MBE - I will be doing all the questions in both books that I purchased, I believe about 1,800 of them and i will sit in on their 3-day Final Review session. This time around, I will pull my head out of my ass, and really do the flash cards for all of the ones that I miss.

PERFORMANCE - I will be taking the Fleming's 4-day live class and doing all the work that he recommends in order to get a grasp on this portion of the exam.

So here we go again, nothing like running your credit card up again for another $1,388 plus $529 to take the exam and an additional $505 to try to get a few minutes of sleep in a bed that may or may not feel comfortable for three nights. Ahead we move however, we will not claim defeat, we will wipe away all of our tears and sorrows and steam roll ahead for the next 10 weeks in the hope and expectation to first of all remain healthy and sane and finally PASS this animal once and for all.

Gabriel N.

Anonymous said...

To the poster who recommended Chuck from Barbri, thanks I'll ask about this guy.

To Gabriel N: Where did you hear about the Fleming's course ie. did someone recommend it to you? How much does it cost?

Oh yeah, I came across the following post on the California Bar Exam Primer yahoo group.

"I found Jason Tolerico via a web search and decided to use his services for my
second attempt at the bar exam in February 2008. After working with Jason, I
scored a 1439.9512. I MISSED BY ONLY 0.048735. That is how good his methods
are. My MBE score went from a 109 to a 133. Five of my six essays were
passing...with two of them having scores of 75."

Dude, is it even possible to come that close and NOT pass? I mean, WTF, did this guy fail by 1/2 of a single MBE question? I have no idea how the math behind the grading works, but I'm skeptical...

- Extremely Frustrated

Anonymous said...

anonymous @ 4:22,

Yes, Fleming's Performance Test Review has been mentioned in this blog on several ocassions. It is supposed to be the best of it's kind. Me personally i do not know for a fact as of right now, but what have I got to lose (outside of the $450 which covers 4-day seminar and all the materials. I got a 55 and a 70 on the PT's in February, so i really need some help there. Hope this helps.

Gabriel N.

Anonymous said...

For all of you who are retaking the bar...
I think whatever program you take to help prepare this time around, remember that a specific approach or format is not the key to passing the bar (what I mean is that while not everyone passes, BAR/Bri is a success for some, private tutoring is a success for others, etc.)
the key is to keep practicing MBE's and writing essays and PT's over and over again.
The repetitive nature of re-writing essays and doing flashcards for MBE's will make the material stick.

Anonymous said...

First of all, let me say that none of us that have passed have any idea what our scores were. For all we know we got 1390 the first round and miraculously got 1440 at the re-read. We have no idea which sections we did good on and which we did bad on (we may have a suspicion, but you never know). Also keep in mind that people learn differently so what may work for one person may not work for another.

That being said, as a person who passed on my 1st try last July, I would like to offer my 2 cents. I took BarBri (not a troll here either) and worked part time up until two weeks before the exam. Didn't take PMBR but played the CDs whenever I was in the car (ended up going through all 6 subjects almost 3 times). I did every single BarBri assignment in the schedule. I had no free time and took BarBri at night, and studied about 10 hours each weekend day. If I could get everything done, people who aren't working have no excuse. I kept hearing people complain that they never got all the work done and then they would say "well nobody does". That is BS. You have to do the work, and more importantly, do it like you are taking the exam. I did every assigned essay, including the graded ones, under timed conditions on my laptop, with no cheating or looking at model answers. I did all MBEs the same way. I read each and every MBE explanation including for the Qs I got right. I made flash cards for the ones I missed. The last couple weeks before the exam I downloaded all the available past CA Qs & answers (about 6 years = 12 exams' worth) and issue spotted then read the answers. As to released Qs, those are good for practice but I wouldn't rely on them. Based on my experience doing the released Qs in the BarBri books and paying 26$ to get the NCBEX, it appears they release only the *easy* Qs. Seriously. I was getting about 85% and feeling good about the MBEs then during the exam last July I was like "what?!"--the Qs were so much harder. Anyway, for me BarBri was enough. I liked having a calendar telling me what to do (even though by nature I am very self-disciplined). I wouldn't have had time for anything else anyway, but since I was doing well and felt confident about what I knew I didn't feel the need to do anything else. The last couple weeks before the exam I read through the Conviser and long outlines a few times, especially on areas I felt weak on. Once I got to the MBE portion I wished I had read the long outline a little more since it seemed a lot of the Qs were re very specific, narrow areas of law not covered in the lectures necessarily. Speaking of which, if you do BarBri, go to the damn lectures and stay there, even for the boring essay ones. Tons of people would leave or not be there then line up to take the CDs home the next day, and I wonder how many of those people failed. It's hard to catch up once you miss a lecture or two.

Anyway, enough of my potentially useless advice.

Anonymous said...

Is 1386 close? Anyone...and what do you guys means by making flaschcards for the mbes? Just write out the law? HELP! I bombed the MBEs :(

Anonymous said...

anon 2:09PM,

that was my score exactly the first time around... from what i hear it is considered close, and i did pass the 2d time so don't fret.

when ppl suggest note carding the mbe they mean write out the law and the question you missed. it may sound like an exercise in futility but that's all i did and i only did a few questions (relative to other ppl, not quite 1000 questions) and i was scoring somewhere between 65-75 correct in my studies.

Anonymous said...

In terms of making flashcards for the MBEs, the best method for me was to write down the rule of law of a flashcard for each question I missed. Everyday I would read the rule of law over. After enough repetition, I had it all memorized. I swear it accounted for like an extra 10-15 question on the MBE that I normally wouldnt have known.

Just keep at it...good luck!

Anonymous said...

GP - My girlfriend found your blog today and sent it to me. I don't even know where to begin...

First let me say THANK YOU for this blog - it's been very helpful and has also given some much-needed perspective.

My story - After graduating from a top-ten law school 7 years ago, I went to work at a big Wall Street sweat shop for about 5 years. Then I decided to take a year off and move to California to start enjoying life, swearing I'd never be a lawyer again.

After coming back to reality and realizing I needed to keep making money, I ended up getting a job at an awesome firm in So-Cal. All I had to do was pass the California Bar "Attorney's" Exam. Piece of cake, right? WRONG!!!

I was SO devastated and my ego was demolished the first time I failed. "I've never failed at ANYTHING!" I kept thinking... But my firm was so good to me they let me take it again. And again. After the 3rd time (last November), they had to let me go. I won't even go into all the things that run through one's head when you get crushed by news of failing this Bar Exam, because you all know exactly what I mean.

Being a glutton for punishment, I decided I would keep taking it until I pass. I failed my 4th try back in February and am now on my 5th attempt this July.

You mention the definition of insanity in one of your posts, and yes, I was going insane. After reviewing all my past answers, I realized I kept going around and around doing the SAME thing over and over. I know the law like crazy and I write well. I know that and the several people who have reviewed my answers said that.

But I haven't been writing the way the graders want you to, so this time around I am going to try my hardest to do exactly that. Informative summary sentence headings bolded. underlined important issue elements in paragraph bodies. Short "The cat crossed the street."-type sentences. Address at least 7 issues per essay. Etc. etc.

I hope to the sweet baby manger Jesus that I pass this time. And I hope you and your other readers testing this month do as well. PERSEVERE!!!! Sooner or later, it WILL happen. I KNOW it.

Also, I am in the LA area as well and ride too (I also race out at Willow Springs) so if you're up for a ride up the Crest after the exam one of these days, drop me a line. The more the merrier (well, minus the squids) ;)

Best of Luck,

Duc Man

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