A Step-by-Step Guide on What to Do if you Failed the Oregon Bar Exam: If you failed the Oregon bar exam, you are certainly not alone. The Oregon bar exam is challenging and many students struggle to pass it. Here, we tell you what steps you should take if you failed the Oregon bar exam.
Update: If you failed the Oregon Bar Exam, check out this new, excellent, and free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
Four Steps to Take if you Failed the Oregon Bar Exam
Step One: Give yourself time to process your results.
Failing the bar exam is a terrible feeling. You may feel dread, anxiety, anger, frustration, and several other emotions at once. These emotions take time to process. Give yourself a few days to be upset and take it all in. You will have plenty of time to study if you retake the July bar exam, so take much-needed time to process results. It may also help you to 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!
Sometimes this step takes a day. Sometimes it takes a week or a little longer. If you find yourself in a deep depression or sadness after too long, it is worth it to seek professional help.
Step 2: Study your Oregon Bar Exam score report and request your essays.
Where did you fall short on the Oregon bar exam? Was it your essay score or MBE score? If possible, request the written portion of your exam so you can review it and see where you fell short. It is critical to take these steps as you will know what you need to improve on moving forward.
Also, ask yourself how many points you failed by. If you only fell short by a few points on the Oregon bar exam, making some small changes may be all you need. If you failed by several points or if you have taken the Oregon bar exam several times, then you may need a totally new approach. Feel free to contact us here if you need help reviewing your score report.
Oregon’s passing score is a 274 on the Uniform Bar Exam. When you are analyzing the MBE and written portion of the bar exam, you want to see how close you were to 137. Technically, if you received a 137 on the MBE portion and a 137 on the written portion, you would pass with a 274.
Remember that the MBE portion and written portion are weighted equally in UBE states such as Oregon. Under UBE grading standards, your score is broken down 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.
Step 3: Analyze how you personally prepared for the Oregon Bar Exam.
In Step 2, you looked at your performance on the exam day itself. Now, it is time to take a broader picture, step back, and see how you prepared overall. You want to collect as much information about your last approach so you can figure out what to change moving forward.
Some questions you should ask if you failed the Oregon bar exam are as follows:
- Did you study effectively and productively?
- How long did you study for? Was it enough time? Did you have any obligations or obstacles that prevented you or distracted you from studying?
- Was your bar prep course (if you used one) helpful in preparing you for both the MBE and written portion of the exam?
- Did you practice using real MBE questions and real essay questions?
- How many timed exams did you take?
- Did you memorize the black letter law for the most highly tested issues?
Answering these questions will reveal what to do moving forward.
Step 4: Figure out what you need to change for the upcoming bar exam.
We do not recommend you do the same thing twice if you want a different result. And we truly do not recommend you take your commercial course again and you can read more about that here . . .)
You need to do something different if you want a different (and passing) result on the next bar exam you take.
Note that it is important to make a change whether you failed by 5 points or whether you failed by 60 points. We have had known some students to come within 5 points of passing six times – meaning they take the bar exam for three years of their lives before passing! And if they would have revamped their approach on the second time, they would have passed.
In Step 2, you analyzed where you fell short on exam day. In Step 3, you analyzed what you did well and what you needed to improve on in terms of personal preparation (maybe your outlines did not prepare you well enough, perhaps your bar review course did not fit your study style, perhaps you did not get feedback on enough of your essays, etc.).
By now, you should have an idea of what you need to change moving forward. Use a different approach if you want a different result. We have several resources that will help you pass the Oregon bar exam below.
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