Bar Exam Tips, Predictions Available Now

Hello all,

Wishing everyone who is studying for the bar exam, the very best of luck next week!

Thank you to everyone who is following this blog, I am truly humbled by the following. All of our bar exam predictions are available for purchase, using the link provided below.

With the bar exam just a few days away, I wanted to provide some suggestions for how to utilize your time.


Review Essays and Answers. Obviously, memorization is important. But, many examinees fail to recognize how important it is to review essays close in time to the bar exam. Reviewing essays – not to test yourself, but to read the fact pattern and review the answers – is critical to passing the actual exam. The more essays and essay answers you can review right before the exam, the better. Think of it this way: if you get to the bar and see any of the essays you have reviewed, you will know how to handle it and how to approach it because you just recently saw it.

If you have followed this blog, you will know that I recommend reading and reviewing essays and answers as a way to put your knowledge of the law into the context of the exam. In addition, the more essays you review, the more likely you will see something similar or even identical, on the actual exam.

Last July I put together, as I always do, about 8 essay scenarios that I thought we’re likely. All five essays that showed up on the July 2018 bar exam were from the eight essay scenarios, including essay 5, the dormant commerce clause essay. The last time this was tested was in 2005 and the year before, in 2004. It was more than due.

One of my predictions (as probably most would predict) is a Criminal Law Murder essay, possibly crossed with Criminal Procedure. It may or may not show up, but the last time murder was tested was in February 2008. So it has been eleven years since it was last tested. It will most definitely, in my opinion, show up in the next year or two. But, the odds of it showing up increase each bar round that it has been absent. So I would be prepared for it. In addition, should Criminal Law murder is tested with Criminal Procedure – you should think about what has not been tested from Criminal Procedure in many, many years: 8th Amendment issues (bail, capital punishment) and 6th Amendment jury issues (peremptory challenges that appear to be based upon race, peremptory challenges that are based upon a strong opposition to imposition of the death penalty. The most common combination with Criminal Law Murder and Criminal Procedure is the 4th Amendment. But, it has been tested quite a bit, so I am leaning more towards 5th, 6th and/or 8th Amendment issues.

It may or may not show up. But, review it so that if it does, you are prepared. By the way, the February 2008 bar exam has a great example of Criminal Law Murder crossed with a 5th and 6th Amendment issue. It centered around right to counsel.

My predictions/essay scenarios, along with associated essays based upon those predictions is available for purchase. We can no longer ship the Bar Exam Cram Sheets book as there just isn’t time to guarantee delivery prior to the bar exam. So our last purchases were today. However, if you would like to purchase the Essay Predictions, we are making these available for $295. You can use the this link to purchase and you will receive our Predictions email along with the associated essays based upon the predictions.

Whatever you do, remain positive, review essays and answers, work on memorization and do your best to relax and be calm. Telling yourself that you CAN pass and WILL PASS this exam, is really important. Believe in yourself, be confident when you write your answers and use headings on your exam. It is SO important to utilize heading on the essays and performance test. You want your essay to be as easy for the grader to read as possible. Provide sign posts for the grader (headings) so that the grader sees, at a glance, what you are addressing. This is key.

All the best to everyone who is taking the exam next week! Please feel free to reach out if you have any last minute questions – you can email me at

I do my best to answer every email.

All the best,

Lisa Duncanson
Bar Exam Guru
Founder/Program Director
Bar None Review, established in 1998


    • Hello Sam, Great question. Definitely review the California bar exam questions and released answers over “model” answers from a bar review provider. These answers are unrealistic. Also, it is so important to review the actual released answers because you will really see what the California bar examiners are embracing. In addition, you should take note of how much “real estate” or space that each issue is given in the released answers. Some issues are addressed with a heading and just a few sentences, while other issues might be two or three full paragraphs. This is really important to pick up on because it will show you how you can best utilize your time on an exam. All the best to you in your studies and on the California bar exam!