If you are retaking the July 2016 New York Bar Exam, you may wonder how you should be studying it. Many students have called us and asked about the New York Bar Exam changes and how that should impact what they study. In this post, we give a summary of the major New York Bar Exam changes that takers of the July 2016 New York Bar Exam (and beyond) should be well aware of:
Five New York Bar Exam Changes to Be Aware Of
1. The New York Bar Exam scoring has changed. The MBE matters More now.
Back in the day (February 2016 and before), your New York Bar Exam Score was calculated as follows:
- The written portion of the February 2016 New York Bar Exam counts for 50 percent (40 percent for the essays, 10 percent for the MPT).
- The MBE portion counts for 40 percent.
- The score on the New York multiple-choice counts for 10 percent.
The Uniform Bar Exam: consists of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE). The score breakdown is as follows:
- The six essays are worth 30% of your overall score.
- The two MPTs are worth 20% of your overall score.
- The MBE is worth 50% of your overall score.
If you struggled with the MBE up until this point–that is, if you consistently scored lower than a 135 scaled score — it is time to finally tackle it once and for all. It is worth ten percent more than it was and can certainly make the difference between passing and failing. (If you are looking for private tutoring, we help students dramatically improve their MBE scores every administration.)
2. The MPTs matter more
If you were one of those people that said, “eh, the MPT is only 10%” and put it to the side, it’s time to bring those materials back to the center. It is now worth a sizeable chunk of your score—20%—and can no longer be ignored!
If you were doing well on the MPTs, this is obviously good news for you! Even if you struggled with them, your score can improve greatly through practice. (We help several students increase their MPT score each administration). To read more about how to improve your MPT score, see these posts.
3. The New York Bar Exam essay subjects have changed.
There are fewer subjects to study. 14 is much more bearable than 22!
We have chart and analysis of subjects tested on the multistate essay exam in this post (if you are looking to see the frequency of subjects tested). The MEE tests: all of the MBE subjects plus: Trusts, Decedent’s Estates, Conflict of Laws, Corporations and LLC’s, Agency and Partnership, Secured Transactions, and Family Law. This is MBE topics + Seven. This makes studying more bearable, especially given that you do not have to know New York distinctions.
Further, each essay is only written in 30 minutes. This should make you more concise and focused when you write. It also means you want to practice essays so you get used to spending less time per essay.
4. There is no New York Law tested on the New York Bar Exam.
This will make it easier for students who have trouble remembering the two sets of law for every MBE subject. There is also no New York Multiple Choice Exam as part of the bar exam. You will be required to do this post-bar exam, to practice law. But that is not the same as it determining whether you pass or fail the bar exam.
5. Even the structure of the day is different.
According to the New York Board of Law Examiners, the schedule for the UBE in New York is as follows:
- Tuesday: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (in the morning, you will have three hours to complete two MPT’s and in the afternoon you will have three hours to answer six essays)
- Wednesday: 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm (in the morning, you will have three hours to complete 100 multiple-choice questions and in the afternoon you will have three hours to complete another 100 multiple-choice questions).
The “new” New York Bar Exam is a fresh start, even for bar exam retakers. If you struggled on past bar exams, it might be just the change you need to improve your score.
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