A Step-by-Step Guide on What to Do if you Failed the Washington Bar Exam: The Washington bar exam passage rate has been falling lately, as have many state bar pass rates. If you failed the Washington 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 Washington Bar Exam.
Update: If you failed the Arizona Bar Exam, check out this new, excellent, and free guide on what to do if you failed the Uniform Bar Exam.
A Step-by-Step Guide on What to Do if you Failed the
Washington Bar Exam
Step 1: 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 Washington Bar Exam score report and your Washington essays!
The minimum passing scaled score on the Washington bar exam is 270. (And even if you failed the Washington bar exam, you may be surprised to know that you may have exceeded the passing score in several other states if you scored a 260 or above).
Since Washington 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.
Also note that Washington is one of the only states we are aware of that will tell you how you scored in each MBE subject! This is invaluable information moving forward. Some students, for example, think they know Torts very well, but upon examining their score report, see that they scored in the bottom 5th percentile. The lower your percentile is, the more work you have to do to acheive a passing score. For example, if you scored in the 5th percentile, that means you only scored higher than 5% of examinees. So you have a ways to go! But if you scored in the 90th percentile, you scored higher than 90% of examinees. This information can be helpful in determining what you need to work on moving forward.
Don’t take this step lightly. If you need help with this step, feel free to contact us here.
Lastly, you will also receive your written essay and performance test answers if you failed. Study these closely! 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 your Washington essays. If you do not know how to go about analyzing your score report or essay, we offer free consultations as well as paid bar exam consultations for detailed help!
Step 3: Think critically about how you studied for the Washington bar exam.
This step is not a “fun” step either, but it is very necessary if you want to pass the Washington 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 Washington 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?
Step 4: Figure out what you need to change for the upcoming 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, which you can read more about 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.).
Consider using a different approach for the next exam. Below are some additional resources worth checking out. We have listed them in order of what you may need help with if you failed the Washington bar exam. Our resources are extremely high quality and tailored to what is tested. One of our course instructors and tutors recently scored in the 95th percentile on the Washington bar exam. So we know what it is like to take – and succeed on – this exam.
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