Sunday, April 29, 2012

Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, ...

... Oh What A Relief Passing The Bar Exam Is!

The only other time I felt confident about having passed before the results were released was right after I took it for the first time. Since then, I've always had doubts. Until now. You can call it "irrational optimism" (as I've done before), or simply a survival instinct - the desperate imagination that hope exists in a hopeless situation. I, however, prefer to call it, "confidence born of experience."

In the past, when I've been asked whether or not I think I passed, I've constructed an artificial sense of hope around the thought that, as arbitrary as the method of scoring appears to be, there's at least a 50/50 chance that I will fall on the upside of 1440 rather than below. I did this because even though I still understood the law and had spent at least a month refreshing that understanding, I had done nothing substantive to improve my writing style. In contrast, this time I was able to change, and hopefully improve, my style of writing on both the essays and the PTs, and I put in a substantial amount of work to improve my MBEs.

On recent exams, July 2011 for example, even with my historically average (for me) raw score of 140 on the MBEs, if I had averaged just 60s on my writing scores I would have passed. On the other hand, if I had achieved a 153 161* raw without improving my writing at all I would also have passed. This time, my gut instinct is that I improved my writing at least marginally, and I also improved my MBEs. Therefore, for the first time since the July 2007 exam, I am confident that I passed. And that's a huge relief.  Of course, I reserve the right to have failed again, but I don't think that's going to happen.

So at the risk of being prematurely premature, counting my chickens they're hatched, tallying up my passing score before it's ... tallied, etc, I believe it's time to start planning the parties.

(* Okay, so I was wrong. With a 153 raw I would have had to average 57.5 on my writing (instead of the 56 that I did average) to score above 1440. Still, I think that's easily within my abilities and, with the insight I gained through Jason's program this time, I believe I've done that. Regardless of what I score, however, I'm confident that if I didn't pass it this time then I will pass the July 2012 exam. (I know, hope springs eternal!))


Anonymous said...

I think you've done it. For myself, I'm unsure enough to have finally cracked the books. I hit the MBE study today and the started on essay study yesterday.

Let's hope we've both gotten it out of the way.... May 18th is almost here...

Anonymous said...

Hoping all the best for you this time around big guy! :) I for one think you did it! :)

Anonymous said...


To be entirely frank, I am not sure your abilities as a soothsayer are to be trusted...And, honestly, I think your "post of confidence" puts out bad vibes into the universe. Keep your confidence to yourself, why give the haters a reason to gloat if things do not go as you believe?


The Grand Poobah said...

Yeah, I thought about that. But I decided to post it anyway. I figured, "what the heck", the bar exam gods hate me anyway, might as well piss them off before they get to me.

And regarding the other malcontents here waiting in the wings to pounce on me, I figured they were going to do that anyway so I might as well go all in up front.

Besides, if it turns out that my first act after May 18 at 6:00 p.m. is to register for the next exam, I'll have bigger things to worry about than the constant chatter and sniping of the biennial carpers.

Anonymous said...

I think you should start studying now. If you pass, then no biggie, you just brushed up on the law for a few weeks... but if you don't pass, then you'll have a head start for July.

Anonymous said...

As I stated in one of the older threads, my buddy who couldn't write a passing anything to save himself (a 55 writer), always scored low 150's raw (without ever studying the mebe's) and failed. Re the mbe's, he simply said he saw their tricks. He finally passed on number 6. We figured he scored above 155 raw on the mbe's to pass. He's a great attorney. How do intelligent people continually fail the bar due to low mbe scores? Someone should do a study on why people who know the law and have the ability to analyze enough to score passing bar answers, can't pick the correct mbe answer 70+ % of the time. I don't get it. Particularly when mbe grading is not subjective. I see so many pleas "Need help with mbes!" You read their writing and they score 70 PT's and 60/65 essays (and 115 mbe). How does that happen?

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The Grand Poobah said...
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Anonymous said...

In response to the post above, I am one of "those" people who have problems with MBE's and scores High on essays. The following excerpt may help clarify what may happen. I have taken the bar 2x, scored a 106/111 on MBE's and average 60-70 on essays/PT's including a 75 on the last testing. I also had childhood epilepsy for 12 years and am convinced it effected the part of brain that processes reading comprehension, but because it was so long ago and I have no "proof" I cannot get an accommodation.

A learning disability is a disorder in one or more of the central nervous system processes involved in perceiving, understanding, and/or using concepts through verbal (spoken or written) language or nonverbal means. This disorder manifests itself with a deficit in one or more of the following areas: attention, reasoning, processing, memory, communication, reading, writing, spelling, calculation, coordination, social competence, and emotional maturity.

Each definition of specific learning disability concludes that individuals with this disability have:

Average to superior intelligence;
A chronic disorder of neurological origin which causes difficulty in receiving, processing, integrating, and/or expressing information;
A severe discrepancy between achievement and intellectual capacity in one or more areas that did not primarily result from inadequate sensory acuity; environmental, economic or academic disadvantage; emotional disturbance; or mental retardation.
Often people assume that students with learning disabilities are unmotivated and less intelligent. Many question whether these students can succeed in college. Students with learning disabilities are not intellectually limited. They have the potential to succeed in higher education and are accepted based on the same qualifications as other students. In fact, students with learning disabilities attend the top academic institutions in our nation." U.S. Dept. Ed.

While this may not be the case for many it is for some. I think that's why you see the variance in people doing well in one area but failing in the others.

Not suggesting GP is effected by this - just sharing my experience and thoughts about it...

The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 4:42: It's certainly possible that I suffer from some neurological condition that affects my ability to focus on the essays and PTs.

I'm told that I write excellent answers when I am not under time constraints, but for some reason I don't do as well when under the gun, so to speak.

Perhaps it's some version of ADD? I've never been officially diagnosed, but I believe it's a possibility. I'm pretty certain, though, that if I was 8 years old today I would be diagnosed as such.

Regardless, I have friends who managed to get through law school with definite ADD challenges but are unable to get accommodations for the bar exam because they, like you, don't have a medical history.

If I may make a recommendation, Jason Tolerico's MBE program is excellent. As good as I am on the MBEs, he showed me how to do even better.

Best of luck to you, and thanks for the info on childhood epilepsy. I'll wager you're not the only one out there struggling with the effects of that illness.

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The Grand Poobah said...

Anon 8:27: And I still don't know BC. S/he apparently quickly created a Gmail account and sent me a personal email. We exchanged a couple of emails in which I asked a number of times for some identifying information, I even asked for simple stuff such as whether it was male or female. I received no definitive answer to any of my questions.

So, to say that I know that person is stretching what I said in my earlier email beyond recognition.

And on a related note, I've approved various comments that make reference to BC but, from this point on, I'm going to wield a heavy censorship hammer.

Again, I will not allow this blog to be used as a guerrilla marketing tool for the purposes of another disingenuous tool.

The Mighty GP Has Spoken!