California Bar Releases July 2016 Bar Exam Questions

Hello All,

Today the California State Bar released the essays and performance tests from the July 2016 bar exam. Click here to view the July 2016 California bar exam questions. From my initial review of the essays, I can say that the exam seems straightforward. However, this is not to say that it should have felt like a walk in the park. While the fact patterns were pretty straightforward (nothing unusual) and the issue coverage consistent with what the bar examiners have tested in past years, there were areas that would be tricky if you have not seen a lot of bar exam essays. But, given the proper preparation, the essays would be very doable. One of the keys to success on the essays is exposure to past bar exam essays. This is essential as it is one of the best ways to learn what the California bar examiners are looking for and what they are actually testing on a given fact pattern (more on this in a later post).

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The results for the July 2016 California bar exam will be released on Friday, November 18th. I wish all of you who are waiting for results the very best of luck! I know this week, and next, may feel like the longest weeks of your life, but it is nearly over. It is normal to feel anxious (for many, saying they are feeling “anxious” would be an understatement). Nerves and anxiety are simply at an all time high in these final days leading up to the bar results. Hang in there, soon you will hopefully receive good news.

For those of you who are studying for the February 2017 bar exam, you will want to include extensive review of past bar exam essays. This is critical not only to learn what the bar examiners are looking for, but also to improve your understanding of the tested issues and topics. And, no, it is not too early to start studying for the February 2017 bar exam. For those of you who are studying for the February 2017 bar exam, our next free “How to Pass the California Bar Exam Workshop” will be held on November 22nd in Los Angeles.

Best of luck to all who are waiting on July 2016 bar exam results!

Lisa Duncanson
Founder/Program Director
Bar None Review and Bar Exam Cram Session
(213) 529-0990


    • Hello Justin, thank you for your comment. The short answer is that the California bar could release the answers to the questions for July 2016 at any time. However, historically the answers for the July bar round are released sometime in mid December to early January. But, in the past few years, the California bar has had a quicker turn around in a few areas. For example, for examinees who were unsuccessful on the bar exam, it used to take quite some time for the bar examiners to return the examinee’s answers to them (answers are now automatically mailed to examinees who fail the bar exam).

      For the July bar exam, with results in November, examinees who failed would often not receive their past exams until the latter part of December or even into January. However, in recent years, the bar has returned exams much, much earlier. I personally think this is great as the sooner an examinee is able to view their exam answers, the sooner they can see what they did wrong, what they missed, etc. and how to correct it.

      I mention this simply because the bar has changed the turn around times with respect to these things. Until, and unless, the bar examiners state a date that something will be posted, there is really no way to know. We can only go by what they have done before. I do, however, see a trend, in more recent years, where the California bar exam has improved their turn around times by quite a bit – including releasing the questions, and ultimately the answers earlier and earlier.

      I hope this helps.

      I wish you all the best of luck on results day!

      Sincerely, Lisa Duncanson