I Failed the Arizona Bar Exam. What Should I Do?
A Step-by-Step Guide on What to Do if you Failed the Arizona Bar Exam: Arizona bar exam results have been released. If you failed the Arizona bar exam, you are definitely not alone!! You may be wondering what to do next. Having a plan can be an immense source of comfort. Here, we give you a step-by-step guide on what to do if you failed the Arizona Bar Exam.
Update: If you failed the Arizona Bar Exam, read this excellent and free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
I Failed the Arizona Bar Exam. What Should I Do?
Step 1: Take a few days or a week to accept the news.
If you failed the Arizona bar exam, you will have to wait for your score report to arrive in the mail. During this time, allow yourself to feel whatever emotions you need to – anxiety, disappointment, anger, frustration — and anything else. It will take some time to get past the news and to move on.
The first few days of waiting can be difficult because you do not know how far or how close you were to passing. In fact, it can actually be a relief to get your score report!
In the meantime, we also recommend you read this note to those who failed the bar exam and 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. However, 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 how you performed on exam day when you get your Arizona score report.
The minimum passing scaled score on the Arizona bar exam is 273. It may be a relief to know that if you scored above a 260 your score is actually considered passing in many states. Arizona sets the bar relatively high when it comes to passing UBE scores.
Arizona 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.
Note that, technically, a “passing” score on the MBE is 136.5 for Arizona and a passing score on the written portion is 136.5 (to make up the 273 that Arizona requires). The farther you were away from 136.5 on the MBE or written section, the more you need to work on that section. Wondering how much help you need on the MBE? Read this post on “What does my MBE score mean?” or watch this youtube video. We break it down for you here.
Note: Many students just assume that it was, say, their MBE score that resulted in them failing. However, many times, upon closer examination, it was their essay score or a combination of both! So don’t just gloss over this score report — study it so you can change your approach moving forward.
Note: If you have trouble with this step or want a second opinion, feel free to contact us or email your score report to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help you decipher what your score report means. We also have the option to sign up for a personal consultation if you would like to speak to a bar exam expert!
Step 3: Make sure to carefully review your essays and MPTs from the Arizona state bar.
Arizona will let you review the written portion of the exam if you did not achieve a score of 273 on the exam. While nobody enjoys rereading what they wrote on exam day, it is a necessary step. You can gain a lot of invaluable information – maybe your organization was lacking. Or maybe you missed issues. Or maybe your legal statements were inaccurate. So, make sure to get your essays and MPTs.
Note: Arizona used to have an appeals system for those unhappy with their score. However, after adopting the Uniform Bar Exam, they only allow appeals for “extraordinary circumstances.” You usually have to appeal relatively quickly if you plan on appealing. We have not heard of Arizona bar exam appeals being successful under this measure. So unless you truly have an extraordinary circumstance, even if you were close to passing, you should probably plan on retaking the bar exam.
Step 4: Look at how you prepared for the Arizona bar exam.
Now that you have analyzed your Arizona score report and how you performed on the actual essays in Steps 2 and 3, it is time to look at how you spent the days leading up to the bar exam. Specifically, analyze exactly how you prepared. What did you do well? What did you need to work on? Are there areas of law you still do not understand? Did you spend enough time studying or did you also have other obligations? Were you able to take enough practice MPTs, MEEs, and MBEs? Were you using released questions or did you use questions a course made up? Was your study schedule helpful? How many timed exams did you take? Did you memorize the law to the extent you needed to?
So, be very honest with yourself! A few hours of truly analyzing your preparation can make a huge difference in how you prepare for (and if you pass) the next Arizona bar exam.
Step 5: Figure out your plan for the upcoming Arizona bar exam.
In Step 2, you looked at your score report for the Arizona bar exam. Then, in Step 3, you analyzed your essays, and how you performed on exam day. Finally, in Step 4, you looked carefully at your preparation leading up to the Arizona Bar Exam.
So, 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.). Now it is time to figure out what you can do leading up to the next exam to change your exam score to a passing one! Hopefully, you have identified some areas you fell short on and need to work on.
Note: 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 . . .) Therefore, you need to do something different if you want a different (and passing) result on the next bar exam you take.
In conclusion, consider using a different approach for the next exam. Here are some additional resources worth checking out. We also offer personal consultations for those who feel lost and want some expert help!
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