Saturday, July 18, 2009

Alrighty then ....

... I've jettisoned the baggage because I'm a guy and I pack light. I think the reason it bugs me so much is that I'm basically a creature of logic and I'm unused to having all these emotions bouncing around inside my head. But as long as I stay busy and don't think about anything other than the task ahead, I'm fine.

On my writing, I almost finished a PT today - and it actually looked like a regular answer. Okay, well, even if it didn't look like a real regular released answer it at least looked better than anything I've produced before. And that, my friends, is progress.

I'm memorizing now, and I'm trying to send a couple of essays per day to bargraders.com. My plan is to keep writing essays until next Saturday. MBEs are on the back burner and probably won't be moved to the front again until Tuesday night.

Rambling, I am. Don't have much to say. Best of luck to all.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are doing great! This is it.
This time next year you will be wishing other bar candidates best of luck

Anonymous said...

To all of you taking it again...Godspeed.

Anonymous said...

Although the stress feels palpable one week away from the exam, keep memorizing and working through essays (issue spot 2-3 each night). Be steadfast with the study schedule for your final week yet flexible enough to change strategy if you need to concentrate on a particular area of weakness (for me it was ca/fed distinctions). Just work through it and don't try to make up time by adding on additional hours of study. If you have been pulling 8-10 hours each day, keep the pace. Good luck to all taking the July CA bar, particularly GP!

Anonymous said...

rooting for you, dude!

Anonymous said...

Only six more days.....I'm getting nervous......

Anonymous said...

Just checking in... What do you think is required at this point to have been prepared?

The Grand Poobah said...

Ummm... you're not asking me, are you?

My picture of the ideally prepared candidate is as follows: 1) for each subject, be able to recite a subset of your outline that contains the most tested issues, including the rules and elements, from memory; 2) able to write a "complete" essay in 55 minutes; 3) able to write a "complete" PT in 2 hours and 50 minutes; 4) able to do 100 mixed subject MBEs, from multiple sources, with a 75% success rate, in 2 hours and 50 minutes.

I'm good on item 4) only. What does that tell you?

Anonymous said...

Timewise, I'd not worry so much if you can. You will have enough pressure that yiu will have to just make sure you do...just move on.

Anonymous said...

From a multi-repeater who has decided today that I am withdrawing (not California - different jurisdiction):

I have met the definition of insanity: I’ve repeated for the 9th or 10th time the same techniques that have led to consistent failure. The only difference this time is that I consistently measured (non) progress during the preparation and therefore have a much more analytical basis for knowing I am really not ready.

I fear that I’ll lose my job, and that I have insufficient skills and abilities to secure an equal or better income, and therefore I fear that I will ultimately fail my wife and kids.

Past attempts indicate that I can pass the fucking thing, but I will have to do something radically more effective, and likely more expensive, to get properly prepared.

The longer I wait, the more difficult it will be. On the other hand, while I was a shitty law student, I could probably sit for a bar exam with no preparation and still come within 20 points of passing.

There is some relief in knowing that I am withdrawing – I won’t have to share with anyone who would know I’m sitting that I failed again. And I can redirect my intellectual capital toward something that might be more fruitful, though I have no idea what.

I’ll try to discount the fact that I wasted 3 days of personal vacation and another 80-100 hours of personal time in May/June/July in trying to get myself ready again.

If I had all the time I wanted, I am now convinced I cannot do this as a self-prep exercise. If I am going to succeed, I will need to get re-trained via formal, direct instruction which will take additional time and money. If I want to do that, it will again be a sacrifice of personal/family time, and a distraction from work. It seems as though the only way I’ll be able to get properly motivated to do this is if I (a) have no other alternatives – no job, no prospects, etc., and (b) willingness to part with another $1500-3000 necessary for a class.

Bottom line is that I do not have the personal fortitude, self-discipline, and incentive to do this right.

James said...

1:57--what state?

i hope everyone is in memorization mode at this point. until i finally passed on my 5th attempt, i never took the time to do this, but it was one of the key changes that enabled me to pass. because my essay scores were low, i always wrote and issue spotted essays until the bitter end, which was a tactical error. memorizing the law at the end really helped me visualize and compartmentalize each subject and the specific topics within them. this really helped me to see the bushes, the trees, and the forest. i would review the big picture issues at the beginning and end of each memorization period and really drill the issues i didn’t know well.

i also changed my approach on the pt’s. on previous exams, there was always a pt i didn’t finish completely—sometimes by just a sentence and other times by complete issues. on my passing attempt, knowing how important it was to finish, i made sure to write a conclusion even before completing the analysis of all the issues. having written the conclusion, i would just go back and edit the pt. this approach ensured that I “finished” the pt even when i was running behind on time. not sure how i scored on the pt’s, but i’d be willing to guess this approach helped me.

having walked a mile in your shoes, i wish everyone well.

The Grand Poobah said...

James, I'm encouraged by what you wrote. My plan for this exam is very similar to what you did to finally pass.

And at this late date, with all that I've been through, and all that I'm going through, that's exactly what I needed to hear.

Thanks for that!

Anon 1:57: perhaps this will help you as well. I know they say the only way to fail is to stop trying, but sometimes it seems impossible to go on. Taking a break is not a bad idea. But, maybe, if you haven't actually withdrawn yet, spending the last few days memorizing will help.

As for me, I'm doing that and outlining (among other things). When I outline essays I'm sticking strictly to the calls. No wandering off the reservation for me. Not anymore. Doing that, I'm sure, will help me finish on time.

I'm doing the same thing on PTs. On all previous exams I spent lots of time trying to understand the relationship between the cases in the library and the case in the file. No more. I'm sticking strictly to rules and facts this time around. On the last few I've written I've actually come close, real close, to finishing on time with something that looks much more organized and well thought out than the crap I've written before.

Hopeful, I am.

Anonymous said...

GP - this is Anon 1:57 again -- I think you are right on track. Totally agree with you and James regarding rote memorization of the key stuff. And if you're hitting 150/200 on your MBE practices, I can't imagine you will have anything other than success next week. Personally, I can only dream of getting to that level. CA is much tougher than my state, but still, on the *%#& MBE, seems I stick in the 110-120 range no matter how hard I try to memorize the nuances, read the questions carefully, and not fall for the headfakes. I'm an idiot.

But, I am beholden to this sound piece by Dr. Gallagher from barwriteblog 4/23/09: "Do not use taking the bar exam to find out whether or not you are ready for the bar exam!" I ain't ready.

So, I'm pulling out and re-grouping until some future timeframe in which I can really get my sh_t pulled together.

Good luck to you. I'm believing you will be righteously celebrating your "Esqhood" at the time I'm thinking about trying this again!

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 1:57: Alrighty then, it sounds like you've made a rational decision based on sound facts.

When you decide to hit it again, take a look at the Emanuel MBE program. I think it's a bargain for what you get. Or, if I don't need my course material any more [knocking on my wooden head again], I'll send them on to you.

James said...

anon 1:57, i'm wondering what methods you've utilized to improve on the mbe's? is your main culprit time management issues? if so, do you pace yourself on practice exams and during the actual exam? have you made flashcards of the rule statements for the questions you get wrong or looked at the pmbr outlines, which are much different than the barbri outlines? also, how many questions are you going through? are you doing 25 a day? 50? i generally do well on multiple choice tests (including the mbe), so i'd like to help you if i can.

gp, i think you and i have similar strengths and weaknesses in regards to the bar exam. we know the law and tend to do well on the mbe's (i've averaged about a 145 raw), while we struggle with the essays and pt's (most of mine were in the 60 range). like you, i wrote too much about non-issues and struggled with creating effective outlines (that i actually use!), essay organization, and time management. as i mentioned before, the last week of memorization really helped me to see where things fit in the bigger scheme of things. so, although it helped me spit out rule statements better/faster, more importantly it helped me visualize where those rule statements fit in relation to the other issues/topics and in compartmentalizing the info in my brain.

keep it going, if i can pass…

Anonymous said...

One more weekend, are you guys ready? I'm nervous, my first time and hopefully only time. Any last minute tips?

Anonymous said...

Looks like the pass rate is going to be less than 50 percent this time. The fu@?"_/ ba.,@-;''! - the state bar is out to screw us even in this economy...I mean, even if it was 80 percent, its not like its going to be a piece of cae to find a job. CA bar: give us a break for gods sake.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious how you discern that "the pass rate is going to be less than 50 percent this time."

Best of luck, GP, you have yet another anonymous supporter pulling for you.

Anonymous said...

I applaud everybody taking the exam. I especially appalud the early post-er who listened to himself and decided to withdraw from sitting for the exam next week.

I found myself in a similar situation for the Feb 07 exam. I was sick and pushing myself, and finally realized there was no way I was ready. It was a huge relief once I had made the difficult decision to withdraw.

I passed the exam in July 08. Anybody who finds him/her self in panic mode this weekend - I urge you to make a rational decision as to whether or not you are ready. There is no shame in waiting until you feel confident (and there's a big difference between confident and cocky). Just my .02

Anonymous said...

I just don't see the point in withdrawing this close to the exam. You lose all the money you paid to register. If they're going to take your money, wouldn't you rather take a stab at it? If you pass, awesome! If you don't, at least you get one more data point to help you improve your performance next time. Withdrawing at the last minute seems like a silly idea (and an expensive one).

Anonymous said...

GP and the rest of you wild and crazy people out there...

If you are still reading your case books STOP...

If you are still reading your outlines STOP...

If you are still issue spotting and writing out essays STOP...

If you are still doing MBE's STOP...

If you are still issue spotting and writing performance tests STOP...

With 72 hours prior to the exam the only thing you should be doing is READING CHECKLISTS, GETTING LAID and GETTING LOTS OF REST...

That means starting tomorrow morning at 9:00am...

Folks get this through your heads, glancing at your checklists, orgasming and sleeping are three factors that will help you tremendously in going to the exam in a relaxed and not in a panic state...try it what have you got to lose...

Sincere good luck to all of you next week...

Anonymous said...

GP,

Hey man, I'm with you in spirit if not in body.
(I've decided to take the summer off:())

Now, I know some will say that's wise but I'm unsure.

I want to tell you I think, as always you are a wise one,
and You are the Key- None Else- To Getting Across This River

GP,
Take care, keep forgin' ahead,
Get enough rest and nutrients,
Laugh with you kid,
Kiss your Familia before you depart,
and
I wish you many successful answers next week.

I hope someday to meet on the other side of the Bar with you,

Keep Dreamin' Big Poobah- You and yours deserve IT!

Cheers to all-
Be that Top 50 Percent That You Can Be on This Beast! :P

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the Bar next week!!! I am rooting for all of you. Do your best and leave it all out there on the field.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 11:47 a.m. and all bar candidates!
I stopped studying Sunday before the bar and I passed.
Rest your mind and get laid it is an amazing stress reliever! I checked in late Sunday before the bar in order to get use to the bed.
The bar is a mind game; you all can overcome it!
Best of luck!

p.s. My lover gave me a orgasm every morning and every evening and it really relaxed me for all three days. If you can laid I swear it helps!

Anonymous said...

whoa too much information.

Anonymous said...

Whatever works, right?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:40 you and your pass rate predictions are a kook. I'm guessing you're a troll, just trying to stir up anxiety for the folks talking the test. Hopefully they have their troll armor on and ignore your post.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:59, your ad hominem attack is rather pathetic. Just because you don't like the message doesn't mean that you have to lash out and attack the messenger.

I don't think that the previous poster was trying to stir up any anxiety. In fact, he made a fairly legitimate point, one that I have also heard from some of my law school professors, as well as the instructors at Barbri. Those sources have pointed out that the 61.7% pass rate for the July 2008 exam was significantly higher than in preceding years, so much so that a substantial downward correction is not beyond the realm of possibility.

The pass rate for the CA Bar has exceeded 60% for only three administrations of the exam in the past 30 years. The last time it exceeded 60% was in July 1997, with a pass rate of 62.9%. A year later, the pass rate dipped to 52.5% for the July 1998 exam.

I have no idea whether the same thing will occur for this administration of the bar exam, though I certainly hope that it doesn't. At any rate, the Anon 6:40 made a valid point and I am rather bemused by your inclination to dismiss him as a troll simply because his comments piqued feelings of fear and frustation on your part.

kris said...

while our anon friend has given tmi, he does have a point: my brains need sleep to file all the information away.

Getting that while being wired is the trick.

Anonymous said...

GP: Best of luck. Keep up the good work, I really hope it pays off for you.

Anonymous said...

Kris,
Why would you presume it was a man who wrote that? Can't a woman be pleased?

kris said...

because only a man would brag about it on a passing the bar exam blog!

:-D

Hey, whatever works, dude!

The Grand Poobah said...

I'll tell all y'all one thing, y'all never fail to make me smile!

I'm so glad that everyone here is smart and has a great sense of humor. That's a big part of why the occasional troll never gets any traction. I'm contemplating turning this thing into a discussion group after I pass the g'damn exam. The exchange of ideas and opinions in the comments has been intelligent and positive. That's something not always found on Bar Prep forums. Not that this is a 'forum', per se. And that's probably the reason the discourse here is (with very few exceptions) so civilized.

Thanks, everyone, and good luck this week!

Anonymous said...

Well... I am a woman who wrote that comment and I have an extraordinary lover. I think we all need some thing or someone to "Take the edge" of the bar.

Good luck to everyone out there. I will be thinking of all the potentional bar candidates this week. YOU WILL PASS!

Be well,
MS. Lawyer

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:51....you said it yourself. The pass rate has only been over 60% three times so what exactly is the purpose of the previous poster coming on here and "predicting" a pass rate of 50%? that's a "yeah....duh?!?!?!" moment not some insightful prediction. Hope you leave those fantastic reasoning skills at home while taking the test because here's a prediction== the exam graders probably won't be giving top notch scores for stating the obvious.

Good luck to all!!! GP, you've put so much work into this, I 'predict' you'll do fine.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck GP! And do what feels right for you. Don't pay too much attention to those who are advising "the only things you should do for the next 3 days are..." Each person is different.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the battle has arrived!

I passed but I bet it was by the skin of my teeth. I got extra time too. What cracks me up is that I saw some of my "friends" who were receiving "special accommodations.

I advise anyone who has not passed and have test anxiety to get tested and let the bar know you want extra time. I know there will be some high and mighty people who will make ill spirited comments. Suffice to say, I had stage four colon and appendix cancer. So I did have a reason. The LAX Radisson is a great location!

You are going to pass. If not, maybe you just need some extra time.

Anonymous said...

Best luck to all of you brave guys!!!

Anonymous said...

***THE BAR EXAM SECRET THEY DONT WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT**

A friend of mine who is a grader told me about a conspiracy among the UC Davis exam graders (there are a few) and the Davis exam takers.

Basically, there is a tacit agreement that if an exam includes the phrase "&&Boaltfuck&&" in the penultimate (second to last) paragraph of an essay or PT, that essay or PT will receive the near maximum score. This would explain the solid performance of UC Davis on the bar exam, and the scam is nearly foolproof so far!! Take advantage while you can!!!

Anonymous said...

10:14 anon = troll.

Anonymous said...

Nineteen hours! Nineteen hours till my first bar exam! AHHHHHHHHH!

Anonymous said...

Don't stress. Breathe and go in knowing you've seen it all and you can write it all! No stress, no worries. Best of luck to all.

Anonymous said...

good luck - you'll do it this time.

Anonymous said...

Best of luck to you, sir.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:41, why do you feel the need to criticize and cry about comments that were not directed towards you?

You obviously have issues with basic reading comprehension. Your own neurosis led you to interpret the original poster’s remarks as an attempt to “stir up anxiety” among other test-takers, but a normal person would obviously realize that he was simply lamenting the possibility that the high pass rate last July would make for a more stringent curve this time around. I suggest that you stop wasting your energy trying to control others and direct it towards a more constructive, realistic goal, such as passing this administration of the bar exam. It appears that you have some deficiencies with respect to reading comprehension, so perhaps you might ask GP for some advice, that is, after GP aces this exam. Good luck GP!