5 Steps you should take if you Failed the Wisconsin Bar Exam
If you failed the Wisconsin bar exam, you are not alone. Between 85 and 90 people take the July Wisconsin bar exam each year and closer to 60-80 take the February bar exam. The number of Wisconsin bar exam takers has decreased recently and so has the passage rate. The passage rate for repeat bar exam takers in Wisconsin is very low. (In 2016, the passage rate for repeat takers was 31% on the February bar exam and 32% on the July bar exam. In 2015 the passage rate for repeat takers was 14% on the July bar exam and 50% on the February bar exam.) The Wisconsin bar exam requires a score of 258 out of 400 (or 129 on a 200-point scale). The Wisconsin bar exam is composed of:
- the Multistate Bar Exam
- the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) – and Wisconsin will decide which questions to administer
- the Mutlistate Performance Test (MPT) is an option
- Wisconsin also reserves the right to include a Wisconsin-specific portion
So, while Wisconsin reserves the right to include a Wisconsin-specific portion, much of the Wisconsin exam mimics the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). Indeed, the UBE is composed of the MBE, MEE, and MPT—and all three portions also show up on the Wisconsin bar exam.
Let’s say it is the worst-case scenario: You’ve received your bar exam results only to learn that you’ve failed the Wisconsin Bar Exam. This is an incredibly disappointing and stressful moment. And you may wonder what the next steps are. Here, we outline the next steps for you to take.
I Failed The Wisconsin Bar Exam. What Should I Do?
Step 1: Carefully review your score report.
The minimum passing scaled score on the Wisconsin Bar Exam is 258, as mentioned above. The essay portion is worth 50% of your score and the MBE portion is worth 50% of your score. That means, in order to pass the Wisconsin bar exam, you should aim for a score of at least 129 on each portion. If you need help deciphering your Wisconsin bar exam score report, please feel free to contact us here. We are happy to look over it and advise you about which portion you need to improve on.
Step 2: If Wisconsin allows you to, order your answers to the essays and MPT.
It is unclear on their website if Wisconsin allows examinees to order their essay and MPT answers. To determine your approach to upcoming exam, it is necessary to figure out missed out on points on the last exam. Therefore, if possible, we recommend ordering your answers to the essays and MPT. (If you are permitted to do this, instructions on how to request your written answers will likely be with your score breakdown that is mailed the day results are released.) This information is valuable to you for the next time you take the Wisconsin bar. You may find, after rereading it, that you could not recall enough law. Or perhaps you had timing issues or structural issues you were unaware of. While nobody wants to relive the exam that they failed, this information can be invaluable in making sure you don’t repeat the same mistakes twice!
Step 3: Take some time for yourself after finding out you did not pass
Figuring out why you failed the Wisconsin bar exam is not something you want to do right after receiving the news that you failed the Wisconsin bar exam. Take some time for yourself first.
Step 4: Assess how you studied to determine why you failed the Wisconsin bar exam.
After taking a break, when you are ready, sit down and critically evaluate how you prepared for the Wisconsin exam. You want to ask your self a number of questions, including:
- Did you study effectively and productively?
- Did you study enough hours?
- 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?
- How many timed exams did you take?
- Did you memorize the black letter law for the most highly tested issues?
Please check out our post for a comprehensive list of questions to ask yourself. No one knows the answers to these questions better than you do. It is an important step in figuring out your approach to the next exam.
Step 5: Consider what bar prep options are available to you for the upcoming exam.
Look into resources that will help you pass the Wisconsin Bar Exam. If you are looking for a change from your commercial course, you are in luck! (In fact, we truly do not recommend you take your commercial course twice . . .) We truly believe you need to do something different if you want to pass. If you keep preparing the same way, you should not expect a different result.
Here are some resources worth checking out. We have listed them in order of what you need help with. Our resources are extremely high quality and tailored to what is tested!
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