Your Early Bar Prep Questions – Answered!
We asked you to submit bar exam questions, and we are happy with the amount of questions we received! If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with “EBP Question” as the subject line and we will answer them. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our early bar prep campaign where we cover bar prep tips in five minutes a day!
Your Early Bar Prep Questions – Answered!
I am taking the UBE as a first time taker. I did pretty well in law school. What is one piece of advice you can give me to help maximize my chances of passing?
Don’t ignore the MPT!
The #1 mistake I see first-time takers who did well in law school make is they ignore the MPT, run out of time, and risk failing the bar exam. The MPT is worth 20% of your score in a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions. That means that it is not unreasonable to spend 20% of your time (one full study day if you study five days a week) studying for it! Many students put off studying for the MPT and don’t take it seriously.
Is it true that I cannot wear a watch to the bar exam?
Yes, in some jurisdictions. For example, Michigan forbids any kind of watch whatsoever. Some jurisdictions allow non-digital watches. The best thing to do is to closely consult with your jurisdiction’s rules.
I am studying early for the bar exam. I am planning on taking a fall bar exam. What is your advice to someone stretching out their studying over a long period of time?
Great question. It is great to start studying early and there are a lot of benefits to doing so. Many first time takers say they wish they would have started before the traditional bar prep period began!
But, there are also disadvantages to studying early. Being proactive can minimize these potential disadvantages. The two main downsides are: not retaining the information you have learned, and burning out! So my two pieces of advice are:
- Make sure that you set up a retention schedule for memorization. For example, if you are memorizing Evidence in Week One, make sure to come back to it in Weeks two, three, and four, and even consider setting aside a week just to review past subjects. It is great to start early but you do risk forgetting information if you do not make an active plan to retain it.
- Take breaks! Do not study seven days a week. It is wise to consider taking weekends off, or scheduling time off around holidays, etc. If you try to study all day every day for several months then there is a serious risk of burn out!
I am interested in your on demand course. Will I only have access through July if my state is administering a July bar exam?
Thank you for your interest in the On Demand course. We would love to help you pass the bar exam.
To better support our students in this time, we are giving all On Demand course students access to the course through October 1. That way, if a bar exam is delayed or if a student wishes to take more than one bar exam, the student will have access to materials for the duration of their prep time.
How will a September bar exam impact passage rates? Specifically, in New York, there will be no July bar exam and the September bar exam will be limited to certain priority applicants. How do you think that will impact the passage rate? Will the September bar exam be more difficult?
That is a very insightful question! I do not think that the September bar exam will necessarily be a more difficult exam in terms of the bar exam questions asked. However, there are a couple of arguments as to how this could affect the pass rate.
If New York decides to deprioritize repeat takers (who are statistically less likely to pass than first-time takers) then there is an argument that the pass rate will improve significantly because the pool of bar exam takers are statistically speaking more likely to pass the bar exam. There is also an argument that it will be harder to pass the bar exam (even if the ultimate pass rate is higher) because examinees will all be competing against other examinees who are more likely to pass the bar exam (rather than competing against a bar exam taker that has taken the exam multiple times and is therefore less likely to pass, statistically speaking). Perhaps, for example, essay graders, who are used to seeing essays on both spectrums (really good essays and not-so-great essays) will naturally grade harder as the quality of essay improves.
We’ll have to see what New York says about its system of prioritizing bar exam takers to better speculate as to how this might affect bar pass rates/relative difficulty in passing the bar exam.
Hello what about those who g-d forbid failed February 2020 should they be penalized. Even though NY hasnt issued their results yet why aren’t those who failed being considered.
Why hasn’t NY and other states who have an online exam like NY simply waive the MBE portion and accept the results of their on line exam or simply lower passage on UBE to say 250 across the nation retroactive to when the UBE first started?
Hi, thanks for your question!
We do not know how New York is going to “prioritize” bar exam takers. We do speculate that they might make repeat-takers a lower priority than first-time takers (or perhaps make those who have repeatedly taken the bar exam a lower priority). However, we are not sure.
A lot of people have the same question as you regarding passing scores — it sometimes seems like each state sets its own arbitrary passing score, thus nullifying some of the “uniformity” that is supposed to come with the Uniform Bar Exam. I wish I knew the answer to this question!
FYI the letter from the CA BAR Board of Trustees to the CA Supreme Court Justices, could ONLINE BAR EXAM be in our future?
States are considering offering an online bar exam. (The NCBE has also stated it is exploring options to offer this.) Other standardized tests have moved online so it is definitely not out of the question. However, the NCBE has always exercised so much control over the distribution of MBE and essay questions that I don’t foresee them easily moving in this direction.
For example, once the bar exam is over, the MBE questions are never released (until they are “retired”) and all examinees are prohibited from even talking about questions on the exam. The NCBE even polices forums online and sends notices to anyone who talks about any of the questions tested. They would lose all of this control if they made the questions available electronically and also make it easier for future examinees to cheat (i.e., by getting pictures of the MBE questions tested).
To be clear, I am not saying it is a bad idea to move the exam online. It seems like a safer alternative in this pandemic. I am just saying I would be surprised if this was actually the route taken!
Thank you for your great questions! We will continue to answer them as they come in.
If you have any questions that you are curious about, please email email@example.com with “EBP Question” as the subject line and we will answer them in our next post. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our early bar prep campaign where we answer even more questions and cover bar prep tips in five minutes a day!
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