We have already written an extensive post on what to do if you failed the Michigan bar exam. We recommend that you start by reading that post. It goes through a detailed step-by-step approach on what to do prior to retaking the Michigan bar exam.
In this post, we are giving some additional tips on what to do if you find yourself in the position of retaking the Michigan bar exam. These are tips that we find retakers benefit a lot from.
Retaking the Michigan Bar Exam? Here are some tips!
1. Don’t simply repeat your commercial course.
If you do the same thing twice, it is not wise to expect a different result. A lot of students follow their commercial course to a tee — then they are disappointed when they do not pass. The solution is not to follow your commercial course to a tee again. Instead, do something different if you want to pass the Michigan bar exam!
We specialize in helping repeat takers pass the Michigan bar exam, so if you find yourself in the position of needing to retake the Michigan bar exam, please contact us and we are happy to give you our tailored recommendation!
2. How different your approach is will depend, in large part, on your score.
Now that you have taken the Michigan bar exam once, you have valuable data under your belt. You can analyze your Michigan bar exam score report and determine which portion you need the most help on.
You can also request your essays (which we highly recommend you do!) to discover other issues you may have had during the bar exam (recalling information, timing, structure and organization, etc.).
You should also analyze your overall score. If you scored a 120 or below, you probably need an extremely new and different approach as your score is not very close to passing. If you scored a 134, for example, not only should you consider appealing, but you should be comforted that you have the fundamental concepts nailed down and that you probably need to fine-tune your knowledge of the law.
3. Use released MBE questions.
Don’t use the same old MBE question book you were using before. We highly recommend you use released MBE questions. (These are questions written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and are the closest you will get to the “real” bar exam questions.) Many courses simply invent their own questions, which are not nearly as helpful as the real deal. So if you were using Barbri, Kaplan, or Themis questions, it is time to make the switch to actual released questions.
If you felt very surprised by the questions you saw on the MBE, this step is especially important for you to take! We have real MBE questions here.
4. Practice answering essay questions!
Many students fail the Michigan bar exam because they do not practice answering enough essay questions! This may be because most students worry about the MBE or it may be because most commercial courses simply do not assign enough essay questions. It is critical to practice answering essay questions prior to the Michigan bar exam. To give you an idea of how important we think it is, we assign between 5 and 10 essay questions a week to students in our Michigan bar exam course.
Make answering essay questions a priority. It is a great way to boost your Michigan bar exam score.
5. Don’t ignore any subjects!
The Michigan Board of Law Examiners has been less predictable in terms of what it is testing each administration. Subjects that used to hardly ever show up on the Michigan bar exam (e.g., Agency, Equity, Conflicts) are now coming up regularly. If you walked into the bar exam without studying every subject, make sure to at least focus on the highly tested areas for every subject that is fair game for the exam. This can go a long way if you see something surprising on the Michigan bar exam!
Check out our Michigan bar exam frequency chart here to see exactly what has been tested in past years!
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