Making Flash Cards Will Improve Your MBE Score!

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Hello Everyone,

MBEs are tough – you would have to look pretty hard to find someone to disagree with you on that one. However, you CAN make those MBEs easier. Here’s how – make flash cards of every missed MBE. Okay, I know what you might be thinking – Why should you make flash cards when you already go through and read the explanations for the questions you miss and then make notes, isn’t that enough?

Actually that method is not very effective. Here’s why, you never have the ability to store in one place all of the points of law and fact patterns that are causing you trouble. As a result, you never provide yourself the opportunity to continually review those specific trouble areas so that you can fix them.

Also, by only reading through the explanations you are studying in a very passive manner. Passive studying, while useful and better than not studying at all, will not likely work when it comes to making corrections. Think about it this way: if you are having trouble doing something, the way to do it correctly is to practice doing it until you get it right. If you simply read through explanations those explanations will likely leave you pretty quickly – you probably will not remember it the next time you see that same problem or issue.

By making flash cards you will create your own study tool that will be specifically designed (by you) to address your own problems. In addition, you are actively involved in your studying. By creating a flash card that fully explains the reason why you missed the MBE question, you will now have a tool that you can utilize to permanently fix that problem. This will only work if you actually take the time to think hard about the question – ask yourself why you missed it. Was it because you didn’t understand what a taking by force (in a robbery question) could factually include?

Whatever the reason is, write it down, make the correction on a flash card and then go back and “flash” the cards you have made. Re-read your flash cards regularly and you will be on your way to getting higher scores on those MBEs.

Remember that MBEs (the ones written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners) can often turn on little details. By practicing these questions and studying the explanations in an active way you will improve your score. It takes a great deal of work and real dedication to make a significant impact in your MBE scores. But, it is do-able. You simply have to work at it regularly and actively – passive reading of explanations will never cure a low MBE score.

For a free guide to making flash cards for the MBEs, send an email to: and ask for the free “How to Make MBE Flashcards” Handout. We will be happy to email it you.

Happy flash card making – do it – it really works!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review

Should I study while I am waiting for bar results?

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One of the common questions examinees ask is whether or not they should study while they wait for their bar exam results. My answer depends upon two things: 1) whether you took the July bar exam or the February bar exam and 2) whether you are a worrier or not.

JULY vs. FEBRUARY: If you have taken the July bar exam and are currently waiting for bar results, then my answer to you would be that it is safe for you to put your books away and wait for bar results. Here is why: because of the timing of the July bar exam results (November 16th) those who find out they did not pass the July bar exam, will know enough in advance to still adequately prepare for the next bar exam (the February bar exam). Since results come out on November 16, 2007, examinees who find out they failed the July 2007 bar exam will have almost 3 and 1/2 months to study for the February 2008 bar exam.

However, if you are awaiting results from a February bar examination, then your results will come at the end of May – only about eight weeks before the next July bar exam. This does not leave a lot of time to study before the next exam. As a result, my advice to February examinees is to study some in advance of the results so that in the event you do not pass the February bar exam you have already hedged your bet for the next bar round by reviewing early.

WORRIERS: For those of you who tend to worry more than others (and don’t get me wrong, worrying about your bar results just comes naturally, but some of us worry a lot more about things in general than others do) then it will just make sense for you to study at least some while you are awaiting your results.

So, what did I do when I took the bar? Well, after I packed up my bar review materials, lugged them back home after I took the last day of the bar exam, I didn’t turn another page in those books again. BUT, the week before bar results I tortured myself over the fact that I didn’t continue studying after taking the bar exam . . . what if I failed?

Well, fortunately I passed. But, I look at it this way: if you are worried about it, then go ahead and review your outlines for the MBE topics and even take a few MBE practice questions. If you receive passing results in November, you won’t be angry with yourself because you wasted a few hours studying while you waited for bar results. On the other hand, if you find out in November that you did not pass the bar exam, then at least you have a jump start on your studies.

In any event, I wish you the very best of luck to those of you who are waiting for bar results!

Bar Exam Guru

Who is this Bar Exam Guru?

About the Bar Exam Guru

​Lisa Duncanson is the woman behind this blog. Duncanson is the Program Director and founder of Bar None Review (a full service bar review company providing review courses and tutoring for the Bar Exam) and the Bar Exam Cram Session. Visit Bar None Review at: and Bar Exam Cram Session at:

Duncanson is the author and co-author of over 20 bar exam prep books and law school study guides. Her titles include: The Bar Exam Writing Template Book (ISBN 0-975-34725-X), The Performance Test Maximizer: A Guide to Mastering the Performance Test, The Essay Writer Series (a fourteen book law school study guide series). The Essay Writer Series provides a comprehensive collection of essay exams and answers for each major area tested in law school and on the bar exam) and The California Bar Essay Workbooks ( ISBN 0-975-34724-1, A two volume workbook containing over 100 past bar exam questions and answers) and the very popular Bar Exam Cram Sheets(condensed outlines and approaches for the 15 Bar Exam Subjects).

Several of the above titles, including The Essay Writer Series are available for purchase through the University of Hastings College of Law Bookstore, UCLA Law School Bookstore and The Law Bookstore.

Past bar review clients have included the law firms of: Wachtel, Lipton, Rosen and Katz (Manhattan, New York) and Best, Best and Krieger (Riverside and Palm Springs, California).

In addition to teaching and preparing students for the the bar exam, Duncanson is a patient rights advocate, a musician, a cancer survivor and currently serves as Board Member of a non-profit organization assisting cancer patients and survivors. Duncanson has also taught as an adjunct professor at four Southern California Law Schools.

July 2007 Bar Exam Results

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Hello Everyone!

Good luck to everyone who is waiting for bar results! As you know, the results will be available on Friday, November 16th at 6:00 pm via the California bar exam’s website: The bar results will become available to the public on Sunday, November 18, 2007.

Hang in there and the best of luck to you!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review