What Should I Do If I Failed The Montana Bar Exam?
Montana’s overall passage rate has plummeted since it adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in July 2013. Pre-UBE, Montana’s passage rate averaged close to 90%. In 2015, the overall passage rate was 66%, and in 2016, it was 74%. Montana lowered it’s passing score from 270 to 266 due to this precipitous decline. If you failed the Montana bar exam, remember that you are not the only one! In this article, we will guide you on what to do if you failed the Montana Bar Exam.
Update: If you failed the Montana Bar Exam, check out this new, excellent, and free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
What Should I Do If I Failed The Montana Bar Exam?
Step 1: Give yourself some time to cope.
Failing the bar exam can initially feel crushing. It’s hard to describe to someone who hasn’t failed. It is a combination of dread, anxiety, disappointment, anger, frustration — among many other emotions. Ultimately, there is no quick-fix to getting past these emotions. However, they will get better in time!
So, give yourself a couple of 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.
This step can take a day, 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 Montana Bar Exam score report and request your essays if possible.
The minimum passing scaled score on the Montana bar exam is now 266. Even if you failed, you may have exceeded the passing score in several other states if you scored at least a 260. It’s a silver lining, but can be a confidence builder in the days after getting your results.
Since Montana 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.
Warning: Don’t take this step lightly. Some students are convinced that they fell short on the MBE, when really it was the essay portion or MPT which held them back. Make sure to 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 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: Evaluate how you studied for the Montana bar exam.
Now that we have looked at how you performed on the exam day, it is necessary to look at how you prepared on the days leading up to the Montana bar exam. You want to collect as much information about your last approach so you can figure out what to change moving forward.
Some important questions to ask yourself are:
- Did you study effectively and productively?
- How long did you study for? (Was it enough time?)
- 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?
- Did you practice enough MPTs? (A lot of students don’t!)
- How many timed exams did you take?
- Did you memorize the black letter law for the most highly tested issues?
It will take some time, but answering these questions is an important thing to do so that you can effectively complete the next step.
Step 4: Implement changes to your study approach for the next Montana bar exam.
If you want a different result, don’t repeat your past mistakes! Make changes in how you study this time around. And we truly do not recommend you take your commercial course again and you can read more about that here . . .). Thus, you need to do something different if you want a different (and passing) result on the next bar exam you take. So, see where your preparation fell short and make an adjustment.
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) on the exam day (Step 2, above) and in terms of your personal preparation leading up to exam day (Step 3 above) (for example, 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.).
Finally, consider using a different approach for the next exam. 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 Montana bar exam. Our resources are extremely high quality and tailored to what is tested!
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