What Do I Do If I Failed The Vermont Bar Exam?
Vermont had a big increase in its overall passage rate from 2015 to 2016, as did many states. In 2015, only 50% of people passed the bar exam, whereas 65% passed in 2016. The 2016 passage rate of 65% is right on par with Vermont’s average passage rate over the last 10 years.
For the February 2017 Vermont bar exam, only 21 people passed. And the pass rates in 2018 have fallen nationwide. So, if you failed the Vermont bar exam, you are definitely not alone. In this article we outline a step-by-step guide on what to do if you failed the Vermont Bar Exam.
Update: If you failed the Vermont Bar Exam, check out this new, excellent, and free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
What Do I Do If I Failed The Vermont Bar Exam?
Step 1: It’s normal to be upset, so let yourself take it all 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 quick-fix to getting past these emotions. However, they will get better in time!
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.
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 score report and request your essays if possible.
The minimum passing scaled score on the Vermont bar exam is 270. Remember that, even if you failed the Vermont bar exam, your score could have exceeded the passing score in several other states if you scored a 260 or above. So take heart, you may have the potential to be licensed elsewhere!
Since Vermont 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. Make sure to be analytical when you review your report! Some students are convinced that they fell short on the MBE, when really it was the essay portion or MPT which held them back. Be honest with yourself. You are welcome to contact us here if you need help with this step.
Lastly, if possible, request your essays and MPTs from the state bar. It’s unclear if Vermont allows this based on the Board of Law Examiner’s website, so inquire directly if this is possible. This can be invaluable in determining where you went wrong and what you need to fix next time.
Step 3: Review and critically assess how you studied for the Vermont bar exam.
Now that you have analyzed your score report and the information from the exam day, it is now time to take a broader perspective and look at your personal preparation for the bar exam. This is not something that is “fun” but it is very necessary if you want to pass the Vermont 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 Vermont bar exam are as follows:
- 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 memorize your outlines well enough?
- 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?
- Were you aware of and did you focus on the highly-tested issues?
Step 4: Make the necessary changes to how you study for the upcoming Vermont bar exam.
Repeating how you study for the next Vermont bar exam will, more likely than not, result in a similar outcome. So change it up! 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) from Step 2 and in terms of your personal preparation from Step 3 (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.).
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 Vermont bar exam. Our resources are extremely high quality and tailored to what is tested!
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