February 2014 Bar Exam Results – Score Maximizer Program

And, now the reason why I do what I do . . . because as much as I love helping examinees pass on their first attempt, there is something that is especially rewarding to be able to assist examinees who, for whatever reason, passing the bar exam has not happened on their first (or second, or third or fourth attempts, or . . . you get my point). When an examinee comes to me having taken the bar exam previously, it requires a different approach. Often examinees tell me that “this is there last time” they will take the bar exam. That is some pressure – to know that after several attempts a student has chosen to give it one more try and has decided to place their trust in me to help them. It is something that I take very seriously. February was a particularly rewarding bar round.

Here is a testimonial from one of our February 2014 Score Maximizer students:

“Dear Lisa,

Well, you did it!! With your guidance, I finally passed the California bar exam. I owe such a debt of gratitude to you and your invaluable instruction! I am utterly convinced there is no method of bar prep like yours out there — it is not only uniquely effective, it is also based on the soundest of principles and practices. In short, it is nothing short of brilliant.

All my academic life — since high school and through three graduate degrees — I have had enormous trouble with standardized tests. While my grades were very good, and I attended excellent schools (including Yale), I kept underperforming on standardized tests. I went to many people for help, and tried many different things, from a variety of disciplines. But nothing did the trick. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand the material, it was that i was a terrible test-taker. But amazingly enough, you did the impossible: with your tutelage, I passed the bar!!

By the time I found Bar None Review, I had looked into, or taken courses from, more than a few bar prep providers. I can say with confidence that your methodology is unique. While so many bar prep courses offer unfounded speculation, flawed materials or recondite methods that don’t work, yours is the only one grounded in research and a 100% rational and pragmatic approach to giving the bar examiners what they want. What you’re doing makes so much sense it hardly seems right to even compare it to other bar prep companies. Plus, the ongoing guidance — up to and even through the actual bar exam — was a lifeline, pure and simple. Since I have taught at major universities including Yale, UCLA and UCSD, I know a bit about what it takes to teach, and you have that special gift. Your curriculum, approach and presentation is as solid as it gets.

No question, the best choice I made in the past year was to sign up for your full program, the Score Maximizer Program. You gave me a fresh approach for all parts of the exam, including the Performance Tests, and it was as though the proverbial lightbulb went off. I would not hesitate to recommend you to anyone needing to retake the bar, or to attorney takers. You were the perfect teacher for me, and that’s no small thing.

After 20 years as a journalist with the LA Times, as well as many years working in the entertainment industry, I will now be working full-time for a law firm — starting Monday! I will be forever in your debt. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

All the best,
Jan Breslauer, MA, MFA, JD

California Bar Exam Score Sheets: Free Score Review

Hello all,

If you failed the February 2014 bar exam, you should know that you are not alone. February bar exam pass rates are typically between 41% and 43%. So, if you did not pass, you know that you are among a significant number of people who are in the very same position.

What do I do now?

So what do you do now? Do you take another bar review course? Do you hire a private tutor? Do you study on your own? The answers to those questions will be different for everyone. First, you need to properly evaluate why it is that you failed. Second, consider attending one of our free bar exam workshops.

Free Bar Exam Workshops

We will offer at least one free bar exam workshop for the July 2014 bar exam. Our next free bar exam workshop is on Thursday, May 22nd from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. To register, click here.

Free Bar Exam Score Review

We provide, for a limited period of time (as our classes and private tutoring obligations begin and then we are just not available to provide this service) a free review of your past bar scores. In order to participate in this program, you will need to send your scores to pass@barnonereview.com. We only accept scanned in score sheets (but we do not accept your typed in scores in an email). We have to be sure that we are dealing with you. In addition, provide a phone number where you can be reached (all score reviews and evaluations are conducted via phone). Apologies – we no longer receive score sheets via fax.

Why should I have my scores reviewed?

As a repeat bar examinee, the first step to passing the next bar exam is to review your bar exam score sheet. This can be a very confusing piece of paper. Partly because it is simply just painful to look at. Here you are, you have just received the terrible news that you have failed the bar exam and now you have to make sense of the scores. In my experience, examinees very often do not understand how the scaling works or what equals a passing “raw” score. So hopefully, what follows below will be of help to you.

Because the scoring of the California Bar Exam is scaled, it is not easy to understand what a given raw score means nor is it clear where you will need to focus from numbers alone. For example, if an examinee scores consistently the same scores on their essays (i.e., all sixties or three fifty-fives and three sixties) it will indicate a different problem than an examinee whose scores have a greater range (i.e., one 45, one 75, two 65s and two 60s etc.).

What is a passing raw score for an essay or performance test?

First of all, the raw score that is passing for the essays, performance tests and the MBEs varies from bar exam to bar exam. Most examinees incorrectly believe that a 70 is always required for an essay to be passing. However, this is simply not the case. In the past several bar rounds, a passing raw score on the essay has been as low as a 61 and as high as a 63 – not a 70. Of course, a 70 is a much better score to receive and better yet, 80s are really what you should be shooting for – this is the score we do our best to teach our students to be able to achieve consistently.

What is up, why are scores missing on my score sheet?

If you were unsuccessful on the February 2014 California bar exam, you have probably already received your score sheet from the the California bar examiners. If you have taken the bar exam more than once, you will notice that your score sheet is different this year. There is no raw MBE score provided (how many out of 200 MBEs you completed correctly), instead only the “scaled score” is provided. In past years, the bar examiners always provided a total “raw MBE score” as well as a breakdown of your raw MBE score for each MBE subject.

I personally do not think that this changes much of anything about what is actually necessary or what it takes to pass the bar exam. However, it does mean there is one less diagnostic tool to use to evaluate an examinee’s performance. Mostly, that just makes the exam scoring to be even a bit more mysterious and perhaps confusing. But, the fact that there isn’t a break down or a raw score provided does not make the test any harder (or easier). It is still the same test.

Wishing you all the best of luck in your studies! Stay tuned for bar exam study tips!

 

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review & Bar Exam Cram Session
(213) 529-0990

California Bar Results February 2014: What Should I Do If I Just Failed The Bar Exam?

NOTE: This is a repeat of a former posting, but relevant now, if you have just received failing results. Therefore I have posted it again. Good luck to all of you who are either repeating the bar exam this July or taking the bar exam for the first time this July. Time is on your side, especially if you utilize it. Here is my earlier post about “What to do if I failed the bar exam” – Also, please consider attending one of our free upcoming workshops: OUR NEXT FREE “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop” will be held on May 22, at 7 pm in the city of Torrance, California, to register for this free workshop, click here.  And, for tips on how to create a study plan, click here.

We offer a variety of course options (including a live course designed specifically for the repeat taker as well as home study options, tutoring online and in person, The Score Maximizer Program, Performance Test Courses, Attorney taker bar review and of course our Bar Exam Cram Sessions). Best of luck to all.

What should I do if I just failed the bar exam?

If you have failed the bar exam, keep in mind that you are in good company. Also, realize that the bar exam is not an IQ test. Many very bright and hardworking examinees fail the exam. If you have failed, you will need to do the following:

1) Get past being devastated as quickly as possible – as harsh as this sounds, you really do just need to get back to work as soon as you can. Those that do, have the best chance of passing the next exam. Start by doing MBEs.

2) This is going to hurt, but – find out why you failed - this starts by getting your scores back from the bar. The bar will automatically mail score sheets to all examinees who failed the bar. This usually takes 1 – 3 days after bar results come out. When you get your scores, don’t panic and don’t make assumptions about any one section. You will receive both a raw score and a scaled score. Take the time to read the materials that come with your score sheet that explain the raw and scaled scores. See also, other posts on this blog about making it to re-read and interpreting bar scores. And, if you need help interpreting your scores, you can get it free through Bar None Review – contact me (Lisa Duncanson) directly at: pass@barnonereview.com

3) Commit to taking and passing the next exam – in almost every case, I would recommend taking the very next bar exam. Obviously there are sometimes reasons to sit out a bar exam administration – but in most cases, the best advice is to take the very next exam. Think about it, the material seems like it has fallen out of your head right now – just think how hard it will be to put it all back together if you wait another six months – that would be a whole year since your last review – not a good plan.

4) Develop a plan of attack – Your plan might include taking another bar review course, hiring a tutor, or continuing your studies on your own. There are many courses available (assuming you already tried barbri) that cater to different needs – small classes, private tutorials. Do your research and due diligence before enrolling in a course. Ask for references, ask to see the course materials before enrolling, make sure the bar review provider is a good fit for your needs. And, don’t abandon your common sense – if it sounds too good to be true – it probably is. But, whatever you do (take a course or study on your own) make a plan – figure out how many hours you will study each day, where you will study, how long will you have to review each topic, how many essays you will write each week, how many MBEs you will do each day, how many PTs you will write – figure it out, map it out and develop a plan. For tips on how to create a study plan, click here.

5) Work hard - no matter how hard you worked the first time, you are going to have to work just that hard again. And, if in your honest assessment of your prior bar studies you conclude that you did not work hard enough – well then you are going to have to work harder. There simply is no magic bullet.

Best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(213) 529-0990
barexamcramsession.com

barnonereview.com

California Bar Exam Results: How to Get Your Name on the Pass List

Hello all,

In the coming days I will be posting specific tips on how to ensure success on the July 2014 bar exam. We still have availability in our Score Maximizer Program and we have opened up another Bar Exam Cram Session to accommodate those who were unsuccessful on the February 2014 bar.

If you are about to take the bar exam, and especially if you are a repeat taker, please consider attending our free “How to Pass the Bar Exam” workshop this coming Thursday as well as our Bar Exam Cram Session on May 31st and June 1st enter promo code: GURU for a $50.00 discount!

Here is another testimonial from one of our February 2014 bar exam students!

“Dear Lisa,

Honestly I do not know where to begin. I have dreamt of this day for a while now. When I put my information in yesterday evening and saw that magic phrase, “the name above matches a name on the pass list,” only one thing came to mind; LISA!!! If it wasn’t for you, I would not be sitting here today. Law school came very easy to me and gave be a very big head. The first time around taking Barbri was difficult, frustrating, and over whelming.

Barbri just kept saying do what you did in law school you can do this. So I did what I in law school. That certainly worked in law school but the California Bar just sat there and laughed! My soul and spirit was crushed first time around and not knowing what to do. I have never failed at anything and you came to my rescue! I owe this all to you and bar none review! Your teaching gave me the opportunity to attack the California Bar like no-one else! On every essay there was something that I can remember you teaching us. It is not just about the information…everyone in your room knew what to talk about for every essay, you taught me how to say it in a way that showed the graders that I deserved to be a lawyer. Look at me now, because of you and Bar None Review, I am an associate attorney at one of the biggest law firms in the state of California!!!! Thank you so much, I owe you everything.”

Brett S. Sachs, Esq.

Free “How to Pass the California Bar Exam” Workshop for the July 2014 Bar Exam

It is that time of year again . . .

Our How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop is back by popular demand.

When: Thursday, May 22nd from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm

Where: Los Angeles, California 

Our workshops fill up quickly. Reservations are on a first-come, first-served basis. This workshop is free and includes free bar exam templates. Space is limited. Note: the address will be made available to registrants on 5/18/14.

Click here to make your reservation

All the best to everyone studying for the July 2014 bar exam and best of luck to those awaiting bar results for the February 2014 bar exam!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(213) 529-0990

California Bar Exam: Good Luck to Examinees Waiting for Bar Results!

Hello Everyone,

Bar results for the February 2014 California bar exam will be released Friday, May 16, 2014. Good luck to all who are awaiting results!!!

Best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(213) 529-0990
barnonereview.com

Bar Exam Tips: #1 Reason Why People Fail the California Bar Exam

California Bar Exam: Not Compromised

Hello Everyone,

I have received quite a few emails and facebook messages suggesting that I “prematurely revealed” what was tested on the bar exam thereby giving an unfair advantage to examinees with accommodations who are still taking the bar exam. (Click on the image below if you want to see a readable size). :)

No, really, I didn't compromise the bar exam :)

No, really, I didn’t compromise the bar exam. And, I would like to think that anyone who follows my blog would have the sense to know that I would never, ever do that :)

First of all, I would never do that. Second, the examiners would never allow a situation where this could even happen (because while I would never compromise the test, there are certainly others who might). So, the examiners, being pretty wise about maintaining the integrity of the exam, administer the exam in such a way that all who are taking it have completed the essays on Thursday (most examinees last day of testing).

Here is how it works for examinees who take the bar exam over six days (which, by the way, is no treat – six days is really tough):

Tuesday: Essays 1, 2 and 3 are administered

Wednesday: Performance Test A is administered

Thursday: Essays 4, 5 and 6 are administered

Friday: Performance Test B is administered

Saturday: MBEs 1-100 are administered

Sunday: MBEs 101-200 are administered

I discuss essays 1, 2 and 3 only after everyone has begun the essay portion. I do not discuss Performance Test A until the end of Wednesday’s testing . I discuss essays 4, 5 and 6 after everyone has begun the essay portion on Thursday . I do not discuss Performance Test B until after Friday. I never discuss the MBEs per the National Conference of Bar Examiners’s rules.

Okay, just wanted to clear that up.

Congratulations to all who have completed the bar exam! You should be proud of your accomplishment.

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder (213) 529-0990
Bar None Review and The Bar Exam Cram Session (TM)

Published in: on March 1, 2014 at 4:05 pm  Comments (4)  

California Bar Exam: Day Three . . . And That’s All She Wrote . . . Congratulations Everyone!

Hello All,

Congratulations on completing the bar exam of repeats and three-peats. I am sure you are all glad to have this test behind you. I know that I am. I always tell my students that they should be at least as tired from studying as I am from prepping my students. It has been a great bar round and truly a pleasure to work with all of the wonderful students I get to work with, thank you to everyone who enrolled in one of our programs and to everyone following my blog.

Today was (in my opinion) a bit of race horse for the essays. I have also heard about what was on the performance test, however, I will not be discussing PTB on the blog until tomorrow afternoon. The reason is because there are still examinees taking the bar – some examinees with test accommodations will be taking PTB tomorrow. As a result, I will reserve any comment about the topic that was covered until tomorrow.

Congratulations to all of you and thank you again for following the blog. If you have questions, please feel free to send me an email at: pass@barnonereview.com or you can comment on the blog and I will reply to you here.

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson

Published in: on February 27, 2014 at 6:01 pm  Comments (2)  

California Bar Exam: Day Three’s Essays – Congratulations, almost done!

Congratulations to everyone who has just completed the essay portion of the California bar exam! The topics for today included: Property (three calls, including an issue with subjacent and lateral support), Constitutional Law (First Amendment, both religion and speech – so I am told) and Tort & Contract Remedies. Please understand, that this is what I have heard so far. If you have a different recollection from this morning or a different interpretation, don’t worry.

Our students were given a Property essay (from many years back) that included a subjacent and lateral support issue. It is a lesser tested area, and one that we have not seen on the California bar exam and as a result, I thought that it might show up. Incidentally, I gave this same essay out last bar round – just in case.

For those of you following the blog who have yet to take the bar exam, do not underestimate the importance of reviewing and studying past bar exam essays and answers. This is key for my student’s success. I promised my students that if they reviewed all of the essays that I provided that they would walk into the bar exam seeing essays that they have already seen before. I thoroughly enjoy preparing examinees for this exam. It is so satisfying to see these areas show up and to know that my students are so well prepared.

Now onto the Performance Test!

All the best of luck to everyone! You are almost done!

 

Published in: on February 27, 2014 at 12:35 pm  Leave a Comment  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,410 other followers