California Bar Exam: What’s on the Plate for Thursday?

Hello all,

Thank you again for writing in with your reports of what was tested today. I promised that I would put together my thoughts on what might be more likely to show up on Thursday’s essays. Again, today’s essays were all from the “predictions” posts – so I do not have any major changes. As I believe what is most likely still comes from these areas, I recommend that you take a look at my earlier posts: Predictions, Part One and Predictions, Part Two Still, I do have some additional thoughts based upon what I have heard was tested on day one.

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So here are my thoughts . . .
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 were already three MBE topic tested (Civil Procedure, Property and Contract/Remedies). Incidentally, I will not be writing about the Performance Test until next week as there are examinees who have testing accommodations that will be taking today’s PT later on in the week.

So far, Contracts and Remedies appear to have repeated from the February 2016. But, typically two or three subjects will repeat from one bar round to the next. I still think that you could see something else repeat from the February 2016 bar exam. Obviously, Professional Responsibility is likely (as it is almost always tested on the essay portion of the bar exam). But, as I mentioned earlier, possibly Evidence could show up as a cross-over with another topic. For example, you could see privileges or hearsay easily as a tack on type of issue on Community Property, Wills, Criminal Law, or really most any subject. This is just something to keep in mind. Be sure to review my earlier “predictions” posts.

Remember that each bar round the examiners usually repeat two to three subjects from the prior bar exam round. I still feel that Constitutional Law or Criminal Law murder (possibly crossed with Criminal Procedure) are likely for Thursday’s essays. The thing is that if you were to see both subjects, that only leaves room for one essay that is a non-MBE topic. It is possible, but, I could easily see Thursday being Criminal Law (murder and the areas that I have suggested earlier) OR Constitutional Law (in the areas I have suggested earlier) and then a Professional Responsibility essay or Business Organizations crossed with Professional Responsibility and Wills or Community Property as a third essay for the day. I think Criminal Law and Constitutional Law are equally likely to show up on Thursday’s essays. However, what would make for a good set of essays (given what was already tested on day one) might not include two additional MBE topics appearing on day three. So, obviously, we will just have to see.

Keep in mind that anything could be tested. But, given what we have seen so far, I stand by my earlier predictions. Be sure to be prepared for any of the suggested topics and essay scenarios. But, more importantly, be sure to review any subject that you feel you need to give more attention. And, by the way, these suggestions are for tomorrow – Wednesday. I wouldn’t expect you to study tonight for Thursday’s essays. Wait until you are done with the MBEs for that.

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. 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 Civil Procedure, Property and Contracts and Remedies briefly as you never know. And, given that Remedies often repeats (not only from bar round to bar round, but from day one to day three) be certain to give this a little time. One of the areas that I was thinking could be tested this bar round was Remedies. It was tested today, but could come up again on Thursday. We haven’t seen testing of injunctive relief (at least not from what I have been told). So, I could certainly envision additional Remedies testing for Thursday’s essays – the bar has done it before.

How should you study for Thursday?
I do recommend studying tomorrow (Wednesday) 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.

Remember that anything can be tested. And, remember, 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. And, I am super excited that Property – with Easements in the context of a land-sale contract was tested – I felt that this area was long over due.

So, does this mean that my other predictions are more likely to show up? Not necessarily. But, I would definitely review the “predictions” again. As I mentioned earlier, there were two posts for the predictions (Predictions, Part One and Predictions, Part Two). In between, I included coverage of a basic approach to writing Criminal Law Murder exams.

I will write more tomorrow. If you haven’t already, be sure to join our tips list, below!

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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