California Bar Exam: Congratulations Everyone – Nearing the Finish Line!

Hell All,

Congratulations on nearing the finish line! You are almost done!

I have received a bit of information now about what was tested on day three’s essays. Contracts, Torts and Wills (as you know if you just took the exam) were all tested. It appears that the Contracts essay may have involved a hybrid contract (remember, I have not seen the fact pattern, so I am going by what people have written in). I don’t want to say too much about the essays right now because 1) I haven’t seen the fact patterns, and 2) whatever was tested doesn’t really matter now – it is over and your focus should be on moving forward to the performance test.

Evidence did not show up on today’s essays (despite the fact that it was on everyone’s “predictions” list) – which just goes to show you how important it is to be prepared for everything. Perhaps you will see some Evidence on today’s Performance Test – but, either way, whatever the topic – be sure to follow directions to a “T”.

One of the most important things about the Performance Test is following instructions. Make sure that you do exactly what you are asked to do and in the form you are asked to do it in. There is a lot to the Performance Test – much more than I can possibly get into here. But, truly the single most important thing you need to do this afternoon is to commit to following the instructions and to finishing – no matter what – finish today’s performance test. If you were among those that did not finish the performance test on day one – let it go, don’t worry about it (it was challenging for everyone) – and commit to finishing today’s performance test – no matter what.

You should begin writing your answer within 70 to 90 minutes. Most do not start before 90 minutes is up. Do not let any more time go by before you get going on the task or tasks at hand.

The bar examiners have not tested multiple documents (tasks) on the performance test in some time. It is not as common for this kind of testing (where you are asked to prepare two memos, for example or asked to write a memo and then prepare a discovery plan or something like that). However, it has been done. If you see multiple tasks assigned, then be sure to check the boiler plate instructions to see if any percentages are given weighing each task this way you can budget your time accordingly.

Historically, multiple documents were not unusual (being asked to prepare more than one document was not unusual). But, the examiners have mostly stuck to single task performance tests for several years now. So, odds are you will have one document. But, don’t let it get to you if they resurrect an older type of performance test – it is all fair game.

Remember that the performance test could be on any topic (a bar tested subject, including professional responsibility, or a subject that you have no familiarity with). Whatever you get, you can handle it. Believe that and simply do your very best. Watch the time – be careful with respect to the time – don’t allow yourself to get bogged down by cases or facts – forge your way through and blaze a trail – one that looks like the document you were asked to produce!

All the best to you on today’s performance test!


Lisa Duncanson
Bar None Review


  1. Would the bar candidates with accommodations now know what subjects they will be tested on in their coming essay days because of this email?


    • No they do not. I will not be writing about today’s performance test on this blog until those with accommodations have already finished performance test B. Here is how it works – those with double time take essays 1, 2 and 3 on day one, performance test A on day two, essays 4, 5 and 6 on day three (that was today) and then the will be taking performance test B tomorrow (their day 4), the AM MBEs on their day five and the PM MBEs on their day 6). Examinees with six day testing accommodations took the essays today – at the same time as everyone else – but they had extended time.

      So no, they do not know what was on the performance test today unless someone shares that – and that is of course not allowed. I have always been conscious of this in terms of what I choose to write or not write about on the blog.

      I have heard from examinees about what was on the performance test today, but will not be discussing it until everyone has taken it. Unfortunately, this is not something that everyone observes.

      Congratulations on being done with the bar exam! You should be proud of your accomplishment!

      I wish you all the best! Thank you for following the blog!