First, I want to thank you for following this blog. To date, we have had nearly 1.2 million views! I take great pleasure in being able to offer assistance to those who are struggling through the grind of bar studies. It is truly humbling to have your readership. Thank you!
If you would like to have a more focused approach for these next days leading up to the exam, here is a link to purchase the Bar Exam Predictions with Selected Essays based upon my predictions: July 2019 Bar Exam Predictions and Selected Essays
Gisele R. (July 2019 Bar Applicant)
Last February all five essays came from the 7 essay scenarios that we predict and last July, all five essay topics came from the 8 essays scenarios that we provided. I do not claim to be able to predict the bar exam. But, being able to focus on some of the more likely to be tested essays is really helpful. For example, in July I thought that the dormant commerce clause could be tested, so it was on my list and I provided two sample essays with released answers from the last time it was tested (2005 and 2004). It showed up up on essay 5 in July (along with others I had provided).
You still have time to pass! The bar exam is now 4 days away. This weekend is really the most critical weekend in a July bar examinee’s review period. Many are starting to realize the sheer weight of what has to be done and fear starts to creep in and even take over. Anxiety starts to run high, and if allowed to go unchecked, can be any bar examinee’s demise.
It is normal to feel this way. However, it is important that you put things into perspective. The bar exam, while now 4 days away, is not tomorrow. You still have time.
One of the most common questions I field every bar round is: How can I possibly memorize everything in time? How can I pull this together?
First of all, know that YOU CAN do this. Believe that!
One of the best things to do . . . right now . . . is to review past California bar exam essays and released answers.
There are so many more reasons to read essays and study the answers but, I will focus on just a few:
- If only I could see the test in advance: Past bar exam essays repeat and repeat over the years. In fact, most bar exam administrations do not test anything new or anything in a different way than has been tested previously. This means that if you study past bar exam essays, you increase the likelihood of seeing something on the actual bar exam that you have read and studied before. How great would it be to walk into the bar exam (in 4 days) and open your test booklet for the essays and read the first essay and realize that you had just studied a very similar essay and the accompanying answer. It would be pretty great. Our “Predictions” email includes selected essays and answers that correspond to the predictions and areas that I feel are most likely to be tested.
- Reviewing essays and answers is actually a form of substantive review: Another reason to study and review and read the answers to past California bar essays is because it is actually a type of substantive review but, in a more memorable context.
- Learn what the examiners want from you: Finally, and this is a big one, by reading past California bar essays and studying the released answers (selected by the California bar examiners as the answers that should be released) you will learn what the examiners were looking for – this is critical. And it is much more important to be able to identify the correct issues than it is to have perfect rule statements.
Understand this: you may think you know the law at this point but, if you are not able to translate your knowledge and memorization into correctly identifying the issues that the bar examiners wanted addressed for a particular essay, you will likely fail the bar exam. I know, this is blunt and sounds harsh. But, it is true and I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t think that you still had time to fix this (assuming it is an issue for you) with the time remaining.
Regardless of where you are in your studies right now, do yourself a favor and read past California bar exam essays and really study the answers. This is how you will know what the examiners are truly looking for on a given fact pattern.
All the best to all who are preparing for the July 2019 bar exam!
Lisa Duncanson Bar Exam Guru Founder/Program Directo Bar None Review (established 1999) email: firstname.lastname@example.org