Home Stretch – Bar Exam Crunch Time Advice

First, thank you to everyone who responded to the survey/poll! Apologies for my delayed post, but I realized making the last day of the survey before my post the day of the big game was foolish, so I allowed for more responses through yesterday. The results are below:


I am going to start with the easiest two groups first:
To the 6.9% of people that were at 85% or higher whether you hit it on January 31st when I first put the poll out or February 5th: I have no advice for you other than to continue practicing and reviewing. To be honest, I am in awe of you for reaching that percentage with four weeks to three weeks to go until the exam and you should be proud and feel good about going into the exam, because you killed it.

To the 31% who are on track: You are in an excellent position, you have likely hit your prep company’s pass percentage statistic or will shortly, and are on pace to finish probably a week ahead of time, if I recall correctly (obviously this is a generalization, a 20% range is fairly large). You have done enough to clearly see where your strengths and weaknesses are, so take advantage of any free time, either after you hit your goal percentage (theoretically everyone wants to hit 100%, but I think generally speaking we can agree hitting the pass statistic is satisfactory and also it can be borderline impossible to hit 100%) or simply when you are not doing the end of your bar prep assignments, hit those weaknesses. If you are not good at MPT’s for example, perhaps listen to a lecture again or go through an outline or read an example and sample answer from a prior exam or exams. As I have mentioned before and will discuss below, there are different ways to pass the UBE depending on your strengths, where you focus, and so on. However, you too should be entering the exam comfortable with the percentage completion you achieved.

To the approximately 27.6% who are or at the time of answering were between 45 and 65%, keep calm and study on. You still have 20 days to hit your par company pass statistic and bear in mind that you do and will remember more on test day than you think you do now. Trust me, you will be surprised. With that said, if possible continue on your program while targeting your weak areas; for example, instead of completing a multiple choice set, if you are not doing well on your essays or certain essay-only topics, opt for a practice or graded essay on the topic.

For the roughly 34.5% who answered either 25-35% (which was a typo, the 3 was meant to be a 4) or “Not talking about it,” either because you are 1. uncontrollably nervous regardless of how much you completed; 2.  Didn’t fall into a range because I had a typo; or 3. Feel as though Bar Prep has messed you up or confused you more or you just had a lot of circumstances arise that prevented you from studying, some tips:

  1. Depending on which company you have, you probably have had lecturers tell you that the Bar Exam is not a law school exam. They mean this predominantly regarding the standard (it is one of minimum competency, rather than a fight for the A+), in some circumstances, the form some questions take, MPT’s, and so on, do not let that undermine your confidence – the bar exam IS still like a law school exam/exams, or it was when I graduated a few years back. Multiple choice questions? Still “Pick the BEST answer.” Essay Writing? Still IRAC format (or some people use CRIAC or IRAirac, whichever) and still use headings as appropriate, still apply the rule to the facts at hand, etc. MPT’s? First year legal writing, you did memo’s and/or briefs and so forth. Since then, you have (presumably) worked in the field, honed your skills with your experience and your continued academic work. You know how to formulate a rule, you know how to write persuasively or objectively and the indicators for each. In other words, in some ways the Bar Exam is like or tests on skills you already developed in law school. My suggestions would be to enter the exam with your head held high and at the very least, you know it will be or has been a learning experience. But as the saying goes, don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
  2. Think about Different Ways to Slice the Cheesecake: Sorry, I was going to say pie or pizza but cheesecake feels more up my alley tonight. But as I have discussed before, the exam can be “sliced” different ways and logically speaking if you know your weaknesses and strengths, you still have time to tailor your studying method to one. For example, if you hate and do not get or do well on MPT’s, focus on “the Big 7” or the MBE topics and the MEE topics and get in as much practice and review as possible on both. Issue spot, do practice question sets, do practice essays and then compare them to sample answers. You can even buy last July’s Bar Exam Essay Questions and model answers with their grade breakdown from the National Conference of Bar Examiners study aid store for $20.00 and instant access via a downloadable file. If you want to see how the examiners grade or how answers are structured, I would recommend doing this. Note: The MBE and MEE account for 80% of your score; you can theoretically pass the exam if you kill those portions. The same is theoretically true if you are uncomfortable with MEE essays or a particular topic but like or are good at MPT’s – the MBE and MPT portion account for 70% of your score, and it would be nearly (I mean, you would have to try..) impossible for you to get a 0 on every MEE essay. Further, it is reasonable to assume that the interactions between some of the MBE topics and MEE topics and a review of past UBE’s that at least 10% (2 MEE essays or – more likely – possibly 4 hybrid essays) of your MEE score will come from MBE topics.
  3. Know the Bar Exam “Rules” cold: You should know by now that, for example, in criminal law assume common law applies unless stated otherwise, know that you are to assume pure comparative negligence unless otherwise stated, etc.
  4. Use different study techniques and tools and talk to other people – not about how far they are, not about who got what done, but just the law – auditory and conversational learners in particular can benefit from doing so.
  5. Invent mnemonics, acronyms, phrases etc. that work for you if you do not remember the short cuts, songs, phrases, acronyms, or songs that your bar prep program used. For example, some of mine: Specific Intent Crimes are a CATS BAFFFLER. Yes, I threw in an extra ‘f’ and yes, that is a silly memory device, but it works and I remember it (specific intent crimes are Conspiracy, Attempt, Solicitation, Burglary, Assault, First Degree Murder, Forgery, False Pretenses, Larceny, Embezzlement, Robbery). Need another example? I studied General Intent crimes in MKRIB (General Intent Crimes are Manslaughter, Kidnapping, Rape, False Imprisonment, and Battery.
  6. Take advantage of supplemental materials you have/purchased that are simpler to understand (for you) or are shorter and more concise if you are feeling the pressure with 20 days to go.
  7. Regardless of the above, practice, practice, review, and practice more. If actively interacting with material helps your recall, then by all means make your own diagrams or flowcharts, miniature outlines in a sequential format, and so on. Don’t stop there either. Write down side notes or things you recall in margins, color code things, highlight – anything that works for you and keeps you engaged with the material.

Finally, if you have other questions, remember you are not alone. There is a facebook group consisting of law students, bar examinees, and attorney’s that you can join/be invited to, you can comment or reach out to your bar prep company or a supplemental company, you can comment here, on twitter, on facebook – these days, communication is definitely not an issue. I may be uploading more materials but at this point I am not sure how useful doing so would be.

In the event that you find my tips terribly unhelpful, simply keep doing what you already know works for you. In the event that we (person to person) do not speak prior to the exam, I wish you all the best of luck and encourage you to go into the exam as optimistically and confidently as possible!

What’s Your Progress?

Okay, time to play the honest game. Anonymous Survey Time. What Percentage Complete are you at for your prep program and how are you feeling generally? Feel free to comment below or on Twitter!

SURVEY: How much have YOU done?

It’s game time/the home stretch examinees. Strengthen your weak points and drill, drill, drill, and practice, practice, practice. Issue Spot, Memorize, Apply. If you are freaking out and need an SOS Discount code for Critical Pass? http://criticalpass.refr.cc/ubestudying 

Need something more comprehensive that covers more than the MBE? Read our Product Review for Studicata and use the Discount Code “UBESTUDYING” to receive 20% off your purchase!

You Have Come This Far, Don’t Fear the Bar

As this is the approximate halfway mark into your bar examination studies I feel that it is prudent to remind students not to freak out. Yes, the study period is half over…which means you still have half of the study period to go and plenty of time to complete assignments, practice questions, do practice exams, and so forth.

While Bar Prep is not known for being fun or stress-free, it is important to remember the concept of mind over matter and shifting your perspective so that the Bar Exam is not your worst nightmare or a monster come test day. Now, I am not saying that it will be a dream or your best friend  – that would be a lie. But be diligent in your studies and go into the exam with the best frame of mind possible, knowing that you can pass the exam and you have prepared for it, and success will be just around the corner.

Lastly, I had a person ask me about tips I posted a little while ago. They asked with a healthy skepticism the why and how about my song/nursery rhyme tips. The why is because it can be almost fun and when put to a well known song or poem or nursery rhyme, quite memorable. The how? Well, without further ado, here is an example of one I somewhat embarrassingly wrote to the immortal tune of “Ice Ice Baby”:

Alright stop – adjudicate and listen, Brandeis is here with a landmark opinion,
Could be on free speech or right to privacy,
Olmstead, Louisville, even Erie don’t scare me,
Can you forum shop?
Under Erie, hell no,
Avoid inequity too, ‘n then go
To the extreme ‘cause exam day is comin’
Know Jurisdiction, pleadings, and how to motion,
Brandeis-eis baby Brandeis-eis baby….

Let’s talk the Intentional,
Startin’ with battery to be conventional,
Find intent, act, causation; go analytical,
Establish intent and look for contact,
Harmful or offensive and caused by D’s act,
Remember transferred intent,
Proof of damage? Not required,
But remember consent,
If it’s in a problem, yo don’t sweat it,
It’s a defense if in the scope and valid,
express consent baby, implied consent yeah baby,
both count, both count,
express and implied consent  yeah baby,
both count, both count.

Before anyone asks, no, I am not currently signed to a record label despite my undeniable talents

Taking the February Bar Exam? Start Here.

Greetings Bar Examinees!

Some of you may be taking the February exam because you took a break after graduation, you did not pass in the summer, or perhaps are part of a program such as “Pro Bono Scholars,” programs where you take the exam in February. Regardless of which category you fall under, I strongly recommend starting early if you have not already. Most Bar Prep courses from what I have been told are beginning on or around December 18th. While you may feel that starting early is futile or question how much it can help a mere 6 days out, think about how much work you did and the things you completed or accomplished during Law School. For those retaking the exam, recall what 6 days of bar prep entailed this past summer. Trust me, you can accomplish a fair amount in 6 days, which could turn into 6 free study days before the exam, ease some anxiety by giving you a head start and a little bit of breathing room on your Bar Prep schedule.

This week, I will be posting product reviews for 2 products that I have found useful and stand out among their peers, along with discount/promotional codes for each. I will also be working on more visual aids and – if necessary – updating those which are already posted.

I plan to reorganize my materials in the near future (if you are unfamiliar with my materials, they are visual aids/flow charts/ diagrams, etc.) so that they are all in one central location and easily accessible. In sum, start studying if possible and stay tuned this week for product reviews and my own materials, and follow me on here, Twitter [@UBEstudying] and/or Tumblr [Uniform Bar Exam Study and Prep] and Instagram [ubestudying] to be alerted to tips, tricks, product reviews and discount codes, and my own visual aids, as well as the occasional motivational post, quote, or memes.

Finally, do not hesitate to contact me with questions, comments, or requests!


Next Study Aid – VOTE!

If either or both our property charts and evidence flow chart have been helpful or useful, please take the time to visit our Twitter @ubestudying to vote in our poll on which mbe topic study aid will be posted next! If you do not like the 4 options, either tweet at me, direct message me, or reach me on instagram or via our contact page! Happy studying!

Evidence Hearsay Flowchart

Good Afternoon All,

Below I have attached two image versions of the hearsay flowchart I created today; initially a friend was supposed to do it, but he incorporated state law distinctions which made it very lengthy and more complicated than what UBE takers need. As always, feel free to contact me (or a member of our little team here) with questions, comments, concerns, requests, etc., via the Contact Page or via our instagram (ubestudying) or Twitter @UBEstudying.

The reason for the two images is that one seems to show color better than the other, but I also have them in two different sizes. If you are saving and printing, just make sure to select the “fit to page” option 🙂

Hearsay Diagram 1

hearsay diagram2

Happy Studying!


Forthcoming Materials & Update

To my dear fellow Bar Examinees and Followers:

I wanted to provide a belated update on my last post. Last week I became quite sick and subsequently fell slightly behind in my personal study schedule, which is why the study aids (the charts and diagrams mentioned in my last post have yet to be uploaded. However, rest assured that I am rapidly catching up and fully intend on getting them to you in the near future! For the time being, please know that some of our other contributors are working on other charts and diagrams. I know one person is doing a criminal law chart that starts with Specific vs. General Intent and Strict liability and flows on from there, and another person is wading through the waters of hearsay and its exceptions. Please accept my apologies and stay tuned! Also, make sure to learn from my mistake and get enough sleep before you get sick! Happy Studying and do not forget to download our property charts if you have not already done so. If you are in stress/panic mode or significantly behind, it may be a good idea to look into our post on Critical Pass Flashcards and/or Studicata if you need to drill and memorize rules.