Failed the Alaska Bar Exam? Here’s What To Do Next!
Alaska’s bar exam results are not yet out but they are expected soon. Overall, Alaska’s passage rate has not changed much since adopting the Uniform Bar Exam in July 2014. Alaska’s overall passage rate has hovered between 60% and 66% since 2014. So, if you failed the Alaska bar exam, you are not alone. In this article we outline a step-by-step guide on what to do if you failed the Alaska Bar Exam.
Update for the Alaska Bar Exam: If you failed the Alaska Bar Exam, read this free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
Failed the Alaska Bar Exam? Here’s What To Do Next!
Step 1: Take time to come to grips with your score.
There’s nothing like failing the bar exam. It combines dread, anxiety, disappointment, anger, frustration — among many other emotions. Unfortunately, there is no quick-fix to getting past these emotions. However, they will get better in time!
So, take a few days to take it all in. 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.
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: Review your Alaska Bar Exam score report and get copies of your essays if possible.
The minimum passing scaled score on the Alaska bar exam is 280. (And even if you failed the Alaska bar exam, you may also be surprised to know that you may have exceeded the passing score in several other states if you scored a 260 or above.) Alaska is one of the states with the highest passing UBE requirements.
Since Alaska is a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state, the breakdown of your 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. The farther away you were from 140 on the MBE, the more you need to do to improve your score. If you want to see how much work you need to do on the MBE, please see this post called “What does my MBE score mean?” Similarly, the farther away you were from 140 on the essays, the more you need to do to improve your score.
Warning: Please take this step seriously! Some students are convinced that they fell short on the MBE, when really it was the MEE’s or MPTs which caused them to fail. Be honest with yourself when you look at your score report! If you need help with this step, feel free to contact us here.
Lastly, if possible, request your essays and MPTs from the Alaska state bar. Nobody likes to relive what they wrote on exam day. However, this information can be invaluable. Perhaps you did not organize your essays well, or you wrote too little, or recalled too little law. You can gather a lot of valuable information by reviewing this written portion!
Step 3: Critique how you studied for the Alaska bar exam.
This step is not enjoyable either, but it is very necessary if you want to pass the Alaska bar exam the next time you take it! You want to collect as much information about your last approach so you can figure out what to change moving forward.
So, some questions you should ask if you failed the Alaska bar exam are as follows:
- Did you study effectively and productively?
- How long did you study for? (Was it enough time? Did you start too early and burn out? Or too late and not learn enough information)
- 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 released MBE questions and real essay questions?
- Did you practice enough MPTs? (A lot of students don’t!)
- How many timed exams did you take? Did you run into timing issues on the real exam?
- Did you memorize the black letter law for the most highly tested issues?
To see an even more extensive list, please see this post on what to do if you failed the bar exam.
Step 4: Figure out what you need to change for the upcoming Alaska 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.
By now you should have an idea of where you fell short both in terms of the section(s) you fell short on (MBE, MEE, MPT) and in terms of your 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.).
Using this information, consider how you will change your approach for the next exam. You may want a completely different approach or you may just need to tweak some things here and there. Here are some additional resources worth checking out. We have listed them in order of what you may need help with if you failed the Alaska bar exam. Our resources are extremely high quality and tailored to what is tested!
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