Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Forty Two (42) Days Until The February 2012 Bar Exam

That's it.  Just wanted to say that. 

We now return you to our regularly scheduled programing, already in progress.

Be sure to drink your Ovaltine!


Anonymous said...

Let's do this!

What does your MBE practice look like? I want to score in the 140's too!

The Grand Poobah said...

Well, I'm trying to maintain my edge on the MBEs so I'm doing 30-40 a day and I'm reading the explanations for all of the answers so I can confirm that I understood why I chose the answer I did (whether right or wrong.)

Anonymous said...

Just some advice from a repeater. You need to cut down on the MBE review by maybe just do 20 a day, maximum. People claim you know the law, but it is not true just because of your MBE score. Don;t fool yourself or others. There are 14 subjects. The MBE only covers 6. Do you know the other 8 subjects inside and out?

The BAR examiners are also crossing subjects, sometimes 3 subjects together in one essay. If you miss one subject in a cross-over, you will likely fail. PTEs - Read them all. Go back in time - everything that's published online. Read both answers. The format types of questions come up every once in a while, and they twist them up to fool those who think they know what it is all about. Practice essays and get them reviewed from a past bar examiner or a good tutor, That's all I can say. Otherwise, you are wasting your time. Seriously.

The Grand Poobah said...

That's a good point, and I understand where you're coming from. However, since there are 6 MBE subjects, and we can reasonably expect at least 3 of the essays to be on MBE subjects, going through MBEs helps me to remember and understand the rules. And after so many years, I do honestly need to reinforce them from time to time (like every 6 months!)(But hopefully never again after this exam.)

The Grand Poobah said...

What's more, I am still reviewing, outlining, and (mostly) writing at least 2 essays per day. Reviewing the rules by practicing MBEs reduces the number of times I have to reference an outline.

For better or worse, that's my plan. I understand if it doesn't, or didn't, work for you. My goal is to increase my MBE score while also improving my writing (on which I am diligently working) because on a couple of past exams, I would have passed if I my MBE score was 150, which I think is a realistic goal for me.

Anonymous said...

I want this website to either go away or change in both scope and title to "How I passed the California Bar Exam" in the worst way. Accordingly, I really hope you get it this time!

Anonymous said...


I am not sure whether they test more than just your state of mind on this exam.

Psychologists have said anyone studying for more than 66-67 days prior to the exam is foolish.

They gave out this formula for success if you can call it that:

1. 1,400 MBE's @ 21 per day
2. 100 Essays @ 3 every 2 days
3. 7 Perfoemance Tests @ 1 every 9-10 days

I just wonder if that would work for some in terms of making the experience less stressful.

Good luck in February

The Grand Poobah said...

Well, considering that I split my time between work and study, I'm probably well within the 66-67 day time frame considering the actual number of hours I have to study.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you're going to fail again-regrettably. Listen to Anon 11:39. You need to be outlining/doing more than 2 essays a day. A higher MBE score will not save you. Do 20 MBE a day and do a lot of essays and PTs with the rest of your time.

Have you seen the show kitchen nightmares with Gordon Ramsey? Well, you in a version called Bar Nightmares. He'd be yelling at you now for neglecting to properly prepare for the writing portion.

If you don't we all now how this will turn out.

The Grand Poobah said...

Only two things are certain in life, and the bar exam involves neither death nor taxes. Although, arguably, the costs and fees associated with taking the exam could be considered a "tax" of sorts. That leaves only death, and if that issue raises its ugly head I'll not be in a position to care. Of course, if one if the proctors is wearing a black hooded cape and is carrying a scythe I might change my mind!

Anonymous said...

Dude - I don't mean to be harsh. But you need to hear REAL advice, not a bunch of BS from liberal arts clowns who can't balance their check book and know ZERO about math and how the bar scores affect whether you pass.

Great MBE score! Skim MBE's until the bar (perhaps 20-30 a day - you'll find the MBE easier for February, and your overall score will INCREASE from February). I don't have the time or energy to explain to mental midgets why this is mathematically true - it just is.

PT's - that is your MAIN weakness. Each PT counts for TWO ESSAYS. Got that? You MUST focus on pulling all sample PT's from the bar website, and copying the format for each (memo, persuasive letter, brief, etc.). Do at least 20 of them. By the time the PT's hit, you'll be so memorized as to format, that you'll fly. Remember - the PT's are HARDER for February than July.

Essays - crap scores. Use more headings, avoid long paragraphs, and MAKE CORRECT rule statement, and INCLUDE ALL FACTS. If a fact is irrelevant, say so in one sentence. Read the directions - it mentions how well you analyze FACTS determines your score.

You'll pass. You are very close.

Anonymous said...

GP, I really like you. I put another encouraging comment elsewhere on a previous post.

So this comes from a place of love: I don't think you need to do any MBE review at all. Have you considered that you might be doing MBE review as a way to avoid the pain of the written sections that you've stored up (resentment, frustration, anger, hurt)? The MBE gives you joy, most likely, because you know can do it (as proven time and time again).

But I wonder if you might be using it as an emotional anchor to slog through the essay prep. That emotional anchor, unfortunately, costs you time and energy that should be placed into PT review and essay review.

The Grand Poobah said...

Yes, you're exactly right. Everything you said is spot on. Were you a psychologist before you went to law school? I am acutely, painfully, aware of exactly what you are talking about and I am consciously (knowingly, willfully, intentionally) taking care to make sure I don't overdo the MBEs and give adequate time to the essays.

As a matter of fact, I've already gone through most of my practice MBEs and, starting next week, I'll be spending most of my time on writing (both essays and PTs). I think my MBE practice to date has pretty much brought me back up to speed on the rules so I feel more comfortable now when I'm writing.

The negative thoughts are still there, but my confidence is growing. I've already spent more time studying for this exam than I did on most of the past exams.

Your thoughts are valid and appropriate, but I think I have a good plan (this time!)

And I am working with a tutor, so there is a method to this round of my madness.

Anonymous said...

You're doing 2 essays a day? crap. I struggle to do 1. Of course, this is my first attempt at the CA bar, so I have to learn the subjects, too. Man, I have to step up my game... you're an inspiration.

John Doe Attorney said...

Keep up the work!

Anonymous said...

GP: Whatever you think should be a sufficient amount of time dedicated to any one bar related task to prevail (whether MBEs, PTs, or essays), double it and dedicate yourself to that amount of time....Hasn't your previous experience taught you that you are not dedicating enough time to beating this exam? Yours in hope, my friend.....

Anonymous said...

29 days left. Woo-hoo!

Anonymous said...

I love Anonymous' comment about liberal arts clowns. I was an art major before I got into a Top tier law school and I still can't do math for shiiieeett. Fortunately, my wife is a banker and broke some numbers down for me. The MBE's CAP at what, 35%? I don't remember. This means that no matter how well you do, it will only be worth 35% of your exam. Even if you get 150. Not saying that a high score on MBE won't help, IT WILL HELP but your focus really needs to shift to your writing.

You MUST eliminate the 50s from your score. ALL OF THEM. Get them at least in the 60s. If you get 60s across the board you still MIGHT be able to pass, although your chances are still pretty low. BarBri is not exaggerating when it says that a 65 is the minimum to guarantee pass. Either you get 65's, or you get more than one 70 and nothing less than a 55. I know it's tough to hear, but this is the accurate reflection if you want to crunch numbers.

I understand needing to do the MBE's as an emotional anchor. Sometimes we just need that reassurance to get through a
difficult study day. However, in order to succeed you need to just grab the bull by the horns. Remember, the bar exam is not testing your knowledge of the law. It's how well you play the game.

Good luck to all the bar takers!

The Grand Poobah said...

Indeed. With the MBE scores I got on my last three exams (139, 145, 140) I would have passed each of them if I had averaged a score of 60 on the essays and PTs.

And if I had initial MBE scores above 155 on my last two exams, I would have passed even with my crappy writing.

My goal this time is to bring my writing up as high as possible (hasn't it always been?) and also bring my raw MBE score up by about 10 points.

Should be easy, eh?

Anonymous said...

Straight 60's and a 139. That's how you pass. Focus on the essays. To do well on the essays you NEED strong analysis. The bottom line is that you do not seem to know what legal analysis is. Get a tutor, stop reading other peoples essays, and really write the essays instead of color-coding and organizing study notes. Good luck.