If you failed the Massachusetts bar exam, you are not alone! Here are a few steps to take if you failed the Massachusetts bar exam:
Update: If you failed the Massachusetts Bar Exam, read this free guide on what to do if you fail the Uniform Bar Exam.
I Failed the Massachusetts Bar Exam – What Should I Do?
Give yourself a break.
Failing the bar exam is miserable. It is not something you can get over instantly. Allow yourself to be sad and process it. By doing this, you will be able to move on and clear your head for the next bar exam.
We recommend you read this note to those who failed the bar exam. You may even want to read over this list of famous people who failed the bar exam so you know you are not alone! Lastly, you may want to read over some quotes we recommend for those who failed the bar exam.
Examine your score report.
Did you score lower on the MBE portion or the essay portion? Sometimes students are surprised to see where their weaknesses are.
Massachusetts is now a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state. The breakdown of your bar exam score is as follows:
- the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) is worth 50%,
- the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) is worth 30% and
- the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is worth 20%.
To see what your score report means, check out this post called “What does my Uniform Bar Exam Score Report mean?” When looking at your score report, analyze what area you fell short on – the MBE, the MEE, the MPTs, or some combination of them. This will help you decide where you need to change your study strategy.
Don’t ignore your score report. It is a source of valuable information. In the same vein, you should not hesitate to take our next piece of advice…
Request your essays.
You can request your essays if you failed the Massachusetts bar exam. It is well worth it to request your essays to see where you went wrong. Maybe you had timing issues or organizational issues. Maybe you need to work on your rule statements.
While nobody looks forward to reading their essays, they can be a great source of information. There is no sense in repeating the same mistakes twice. (If you really do not want to read them, have a trusted friend or advisor read them. We are also happy to read them and dissect them as well!)
When you read over your essays, instead of just looking at where you need to improve, you can also examine what you did well. Knowing your strengths is just as important as knowing your weaknesses as this can give you confidence going into the exam.
Reflect on how you prepared for the Massachusetts bar exam.
Did you dedicate enough time to studying? Did you know the rules well enough? Did you practice enough essays? Ask yourself some hard questions. Please find an extensive list of questions in this post on what to do if you failed the bar exam.
Don’t do the same thing you did the last time.
Some students prepare for the bar exam the exact same way they prepared the first time. This is the “easier” approach because you may get a free repeat course with your commercial course, and then you don’t have to do the hard work of coming up with a plan. However, while it may be easier, it is often ineffective. You cannot do the same thing twice an expect a different result. And we truly do not recommend you take your commercial course again. You need to do something different if you want a different (and passing) result on the next bar exam you take.
Come up with a plan.
Once you know where you fell short, come up with a plan to conquer your weaknesses. Consider private tutoring if you need a lot of help. (We have helped several students pass the Massachusetts bar exam!) Your plan should be tailored to your weaknesses. If you struggled with the MBE, focus on the MBE. If you didn’t practice enough essays, come up with a schedule where you write at least five essays a week.
Note: Massachusetts now offers the Uniform Bar Exam. Below, we list additional resource for those that are seeking help conquering the Uniform Bar Exam!
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