I Failed the North Dakota Bar Exam. What Should I Do?
North Dakota bar exam results have been released! North Dakota has administered the Uniform Bar Exam since February 2011, so has a long track record with the exam. Pass rates have been falling nationwide and they also hit a recent low in North Dakota. In this article, we outline a step-by-step guide on what to do if you failed the North Dakota Bar Exam.
Update: If you failed the North Dakota Bar Exam, check out this new, excellent, and free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
I Failed the North Dakota Bar Exam. What Should I Do?
Step 1: It’s normal to be upset, so give yourself time to take it in.
There is no feeling like failing the bar exam. It is a combination of dread, anxiety, disappointment, anger, frustration — among many other emotions. Unfortunately, there is no fast way 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.
For some, this step takes a day. For others, 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 North Dakota Bar Exam score report and request your essays if possible.
The minimum passing scaled score on the North Dakota bar exam is 260. Since North Dakota 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%.
You should aim for a score of 130 on the MBE to pass it. If you are wondering what your MBE score means, see this post! If you scored really low on the MBE (110 -115, for example) then you have a lot more work to do than if you scored higher.
You should aim for a score of 130 on the written portion to pass it. The farther away you were from 130, the more work you have to do!
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: This is an important step! Some students are convinced that they fell short on the MBE, when really it was the essay portion or MPT which held them back. Thus, 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 failure from exam day. However, this information is too valuable to overlook. For example, maybe you did not organize your essays well, or you wrote too little, or recalled too little law. You cant find this out without reviewing your previous exam!
Step 3: Critically think about how you studied for the North Dakota bar exam.
This step is not a “fun” step either, but it is very necessary if you want to pass the North Dakota 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.
Some questions you should ask if you failed the North Dakota bar exam are as follows:
- 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?
Answering these questions can make a big difference in your new approach to the North Dakota bar exam.
Step 4: Finally, implement changes for the upcoming North Dakota 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 also 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.).
In conclusion, think about 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 North Dakota bar exam. Our resources are extremely high quality and tailored to what is tested!
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