Congratulations to everyone who took the July bar exam

Yes, congratulations to everyone. I know that if you failed, it doesn’t feel like much of an accomplishment or something to be congratulated for . . . but, you did stick it out and you are closer to your goal – if only one more bar administration away from your goal. I know that may sound awful, but don’t discount what you have already accomplished. You got through the three days (the study that preceded it) and the waiting . . . and while it is painful that you did not get passing results – you survived it and life will go on. Take stock in what you have achieved and also what you still need to do (areas of improvement) in order to pass. You will receive your bar exam scores in a few days (you might even already have your score sheet from the bar). Once you receive your scores, you will be able to begin to sort out where you need to improve.

For example, generally anything less than 75% on the MBEs is quite risky. 75% equates to a raw score of 150. Nevermind the scaling aspect here (at least for now). Instead, look at your raw number and the individual raw scores for each topic. Which topic is your lowest MBE score and which topic is your highest MBE score? What is your total raw score? If it is under a 110, you’ve got a ways to go. But, there is hope and it is possible to fix a score of even a 101 (that’s less than 51%) in one bar round. I know, I have worked with students who had scores of 100, 101, 102 and who had only 6 weeks before the bar exam to fix it – and guess what, they were able to do it. (Not without a lot of hard, focused work on the MBEs and not without the right MBEs – you have got to use the released questions to get better at the real MBEs on the bar exam).

Keep in mind that the hard work that you have already put in will definitely be a part of why you pass the next exam. Yes, it will take a little time to get that material back in your head. But, you will be able to do it. And, before you know it, you will have the law back at your fingertips.

Also, don’t forget what you have gained from your first experience with the bar exam. You learned that you can survive the three days. Perhaps you learned that you ran out of time on some of the essays (therfore, you will need to do more timed practice this round), you learned what it was like to do 2oo MBE questions under real exam conditions. Think back on your experience – what felt right about it, what felt like it wasn’t working? Think hard about how you prepared – did you write practice exams? Did you get exam feedback in a timely fashion? Was the feedback valuable? Did you find that you studied better in the morning or the afternoon? What would you do differently this time?

Regardless of what you might do differently the next time, one key thing to remember is that you need to practice. In my experience, most examinees fail from a lack of practice . . . a lack of MBE practice, a lack of essay writing practice and a lack of performance test practice. It is understandable because so many bar review courses down play the need to write exams and to do MBEs. And, even if your bar review course did not under emphasize exam practice, the schedule that most bar reviews put you on leaves little time for practice. However, you need to do it. So be sure to carve out time throughout each week to write exams and to complete MBEs on a daily basis.

Students need to spend most of their practice on the MBEs and the Essays. While it is important to practice the Performance Test section as well, the most important part of the written portion to practice is the essay section. This is because essays repeat and so once you master how to write a defamation exam then you will be able to write most any defamation exam. Once you have mastered a contracts formation exam, then you will be able to write any contracts formation exam well. The language and approach just doesn’t change.

Get back to studying right away. The longer you delay, the harder it will be to get going and make progress. Most repeat examinees get started too late. Look at the pass rates for repeat bar examinees – it is very low. You can take yourself right out of that low statistic by hitting those MBEs right away. It is the best first step you can take. Do it now. Do it by Thanksgiving – seriously! Start out with 25, then do 50 a day. If you have to work, then make it 15 a day (do 15 mbes before you go to work). This sends the message that YOUR bar studies are important and you are making it a priority. It is a good thing to do and it will help you break away from that low statistic. The sooner you start, the bigger the advantage you have over those who delay.

Well, hang in there. You can do it. The first step towards doing it is simply opening up your books again and working through those MBEs. See for free bar exam writing templates and to learn more about a free bar exam score review.

Good luck to everyone!

Lisa Duncanson
Program Director/Founder
Bar None Review
(562) 799-5581