Day One of the California Bar Exam

pexels-photo-210660Hello All,

Congratulations on completing day one of the bar exam!

I have heard about the main areas of testing for today’s exams. So far, the topics tested on the essay were subjects on my list of predicted areas. As a result, I do not have any real changes to my predictions. But, I do have a few thoughts based upon the topics that were tested today.

Also, for more tips and insights, be sure to sign up for the Bar Exam Tips List here.

So here are my thoughts . . .

You are likely to see more MBE topics tested on day three’s essays
Generally, each bar exam you will see at least two or three (sometimes more) of the MBE topics tested on the essays. Today, based upon what I have heard, so far there was only on MBE topic tested (Torts). Therefore, I would not be surprised if you see two or more MBE topics on Thursday. I am still sticking to my list of predictions. (See my two previous posts, Predictions Part One and Predictions Part Two)

I still think that you will see something else repeat from the July 2015 bar exam. Remember that each bar round the examiners usually repeat two to three subjects from the prior bar exam round. I still feel that Evidence or Criminal Law murder (possibly crossed with Criminal Procedure), or a repeat of Constitutional Law (in the areas that I have already suggested) or possibly a repeat of Property (in the areas that I have already suggested). Contracts and or Contracts Remedies is also possible. I am not saying that you will see all of these areas. In fact, that would be very unlikely. I am suggesting that I think some of what you will see on day three will come from the remaining “predicted” areas that were not tested on today’s exam. Keep in mind that anything could be tested.

Don’t put away the subjects that were tested today
In addition, I want to caution you that sometimes we see subjects from day one’s testing repeat on day three. For example, we have seen Torts tested on day one and then show up on a cross-over with Contracts and Remedies on day three. I am not saying this is a great likelihood, but it has happened and you should be aware of this. It never feels good to put a subject away – thinking it will not be tested again – and then seeing it on an essay. So just be sure to still take a look at Torts briefly. The same is true for Professional Responsibility. It has shown up on past bar exams not only an essay and the PT on day one, but then a third time on an essay on day three. Again, not my first pick of what will happen, but you should be aware that it could happen.

Put today behind you!
Whatever you did today, however you felt about your performance today, it is over, history. There is no point in dwelling on it and there is no point in rehashing it. Do your best to put it out of your mind. We are often our own worst critics. If you have your doubts about today’s performance, I encourage you to put that behind you. You likely did better than you think. And, thinking that you did not do well is not going to improve your chances of doing well tomorrow or Thursday. So Put today behind you.

How should you study for Thursday?
I do recommend studying tomorrow for Thursday’s essays. However, no extreme late night studying as it is important to get some rest if you can. That being said, I have never slept much at all the night before days of the bar exam. But, I did not spend the whole night studying – I still rested my eyes and brain and did my best to try to sleep. Some review is a good idea, just don’t pull an all-nighter. You will perform far better on Thursday if you get some rest. Also, remember that you know this stuff. Basically you do. Tell yourself this and it will help your confidence tomorrow and Thursday.

I will post more tomorrow. Also, as I hear further details about what was tested on day one, I may update my predictions. For now, however, I am sticking with my original “predictions” – remember, I no one can predict this exam. I certainly can’t. I simply think it is helpful to be reminded of essay scenarios that might come up. If nothing else, it can serve to calm your nerves.

If you have any questions about the exam, feel free to email me at: and I will do my best to get back to you.

Congratulations again on your completion of day one of the bar exam!

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Bar None Review