Post-bar Survey, 2019 July (Responses)
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TimestampYour biggest regret or mistake?What did you find surprising or counterintuitive about the bar prep process?What would you do differently in February (if there's a next time)?Let's talk positive. What went well? What made the biggest difference in your preparation? What kept you motivated?(OPTIONAL) What was your favorite part about my resources? (OPTIONAL) And how could I have helped you better?(OPTIONAL) Any other reflections regarding the preparation process?
8/1/2019 8:56:16Start doing essays sooner. Do Emanuel MBEs earlier. Not sleeping enough and getting sick. the amount of knowledge you gain in 1 day and then 1 week and reflecting on that goes a long way. I trusted barbri a lot and was nervous to stray from it but I eventually did, knowing that I need to focus on my weaker areas. Do more essays. Sleep moreI studied my ass off every single day. I journaled and wrote down questions I got wrong and that was helpful for me to review. I struggled thru all practice problems. I did 1 MPT a week and I sent them to my professors to help give me feedback. I wrote rules and elements on a whiteboard and made my own outlines - really sticking to my process from law schoolMy support system, knowing I wasn't doing it alone and that this test doesn't define me the appro and magic sheets! the emails were amazing reassurance that I was doing the right thing I didn't avoid the topics that I was struggling with and con law and contracts were those for me. I'm really glad I focused on those because they were on the exam
8/1/2019 9:01:13None. I studied the materials extensively and I completed the exam on July 30 & 31. MBE questions seemed much more manageable then I expected. Nothing. I stuck to my study schedules and I wouldn't change a thing. An incompetent individual(s) at the State Bar of California was kind enough to release the essay topics to select individuals before the exam and thus I got a 2-day preview the CA essay topics. My goal to pass the CA bar and to ultimately practice law in CA. I used your Magicsheets as a backup outline and found them quite helpful in certain subjects like civil procedure. Seriously, reduce the content of your e-mails. No bar applicant has time to read all that stuff - were already reading enough material. None
8/1/2019 9:14:49Not taking any breaks during prep. I burned out by mid July and struggled through the last bit. It is hard but not as hard as people scare you into think it is. Study only half days (5 hours) on weekends! Writing about 90 essays - I actually even had fun on the first day of the exam because I knew exactly what to do and felt super prepared. Personal satisfaction and looking back at this process at the end without any regret and feeling like I could have done more. Facebook group, Brian’s communications and mental engines program.
8/1/2019 9:21:55Not IRACing more incorrect mbesNo rule memorization needed, just essay practice Same: essay practice and mbes Consistency was very important I looked at bar exam like playoffsLoved score analysis it gave me psychological comfort. Emails had great advices Maybe provide a list of important issues that were tested in prior bar exam Essay practice + mbes + consistency =success
8/1/2019 9:23:00Not having enough time to study because I work full-time, but I had no choice. I have to pay the bills. :)The preparing process was definitely tough because of the materials that I had to digest/learn in a short period of time. Start the bar prep process from September while waiting to receive the result in Nov. I was able to organize my MPT and MEE answers; so, that was a huge accomplishment in itself. Practicing and reading all the answers from the MEE and MBE questions made the biggest difference in my preparation. (Well, let's hope this biggest difference will show in November when I received the result.)My job and the people that I work with. They are my role models and mentors and I want to be like them when I grow up (still growing up) - to be a great and down to earth attorney. So, they motivated me to pass this bar exam.
8/1/2019 9:46:02Not practicing essays on the “non major” topics (such as not having focused on interrogatories)It feels like you’re not retaining anything until about the last 2 weeksI hope there’s not a next time, but... I would write 10x the amount of practice essays to ensure confidenceDaily MBE and essay practiceThe thought that I never wanted to have to do bar prep againThey were REAL- you gave a realistic point of view and made me feel like I wasn’t crazy. You didn’t shy away from telling us this was going to be hard and require work and discipline, but you also didn’t make bar prep seem like an unrealistic achievement. sample rule statements!Relying just on Barbri would have been a disaster. It’s a great program, but if you don’t supplement it with something like MTYLT then you are screwed.
8/1/2019 9:51:21traveling to OaklandBar prep was surprisingly a good experience, I learned the practice every day helps prepare for the exam. At a 2 to 1 ration, prepare by writing essays and PTs and 30 MPQs a day, then reviewing. Those questions wrong I would review heavier than the ones right, but the right answered questions that were a guess, I reviewed too so that I knew how to spot it on the bar exam. For the essays, any rule statements I did not write correctly, I went over and over in my head from the bar review outlines. At night, and only at night was when I would listen to videos. Daytime was spent on actual practice changing it up with either essays in the am and MPQ's in the afternoons and the next day the opposite with one PT a week. February is my testing date because I withdrew from the bar exam on Monday night. I am back into studying now. This is day one. I'll do two essays this morning and review extensively. This afternoon I'll do 30 mpq's and review. This was supposed to be my 7th attempt, what went well was increased understanding what the graders want and what I was writing wasn't good enough. I think I have a good idea how to succeed in FebruaryBrian's emails helped keep me positive, the facebook page with others giving advice was also good. I also had a mentor from law school who passed the CA BAR who emailed me weekly with tips and encouragement.Overall, all the information provided was helpful.I was ok with all the studying up until Saturday, when I saw the released subject matters and new I probably had enough to pass which was so encouraging, that I really reviewed all those subjects just to make sure I was ready for Tuesday. I travelled to Oakland on Monday, it was the biggest mistake ever. In February, I am going a day earlier because on Monday night I felt that because the bar released the subjects for the written portion would do the opposite effect to my score. Scaling which has more people receiving better grades could be my downfall as I have failed the exam in February with a second read dropping my score to 53 points below passing and the scaling made only 3 out of 10 pass the bar. With the released subjects I felt the bar committee would do the unconscionable, fail more to meet their percentages. Retakers last July had just under a 16% pass rate, first timers just under 55% at total of about 8000 sat for that test. On that test, I failed on first read by 7 points, when the written was regraded I failed by 33 points after they averaged the two reads. With the release of the subjects and the bar stating we could withdraw, I knew that was my best option. I am hopeful with over 200 days to the next administration and taking my time with the schedule mentioned above that Feb. 2020 will be my last time.
8/1/2019 9:52:05Barely doing essays in June. I missed like half of my analysis on Tuesday. But I did fill in everything else, so I’m hoping I still got enough points to get 65s with hitting mostly all of the issues, rules, and putting the pertinent facts under each and concluding. But just not getting to the analysis “because” statements.I was surprised at how much I memorized just from doing practice questions rather than reading the massive outlines. Practice essays much earlier. I kept stressing over not remembering the law in advance to take them closed book, it would’ve been better to essay cook 50 essays in that same time period. AdaptiBar & Essay Cooking! There was a point in July where I just stopped following Barbri for MBE questions, and solely focused on AdaptiBar, and wow did it make it difference yesterday. My average score of 70% on AdaptiBar, on over 1200 questions (as of Tuesday night). Originally, I had been using AdaptiBar by creating custom quizzes of 10 questions in each subject. Not realizing until July that the best feature is doing the practice questions one by one and getting immediate feedback. I didn’t realize that it kept giving me questions in my weakest topics until I read about the algorithm. Receiving that green bar after submitting a question and seeing how fast I was able to get correct answers ended up becoming addicting and was already at 50 questions before I knew it. I also loved knowing my “optimal time” and it was really reassuring when I was able to finish both morning and afternoon session at least 5 minutes early with enough time to go back to the hardest questions. The Magicsheets, Approsheets, and your Passer’s Playbook were the best!!! Essay cooking in unison with was my favorite strategy for essays. I have to say the Magicsheets were so clutch in the final days of bar prep, especially for Civ Pro after finding out that we we’re going to be tested on it. The bolded CA Civ Pro distinctions and that chart was so helpful! I had been following your blog since the beginning of my 3L year, and I loved being able to learn from the mistakes and gain practical advice from a re-taker’s perspective. As much as I kept being fed about having to just follow “the Barbri Way,” listening to that Barbri regret audio and your advice was just the best encouragement to let go when necessary, and watch the lectures at 1.5x. I wish I had read your IRAC section at the start of law school, because man did I mess up in not taking any of my exams right. LolI feel like you could really capitalize on essay templates. Barbri was so weak at essays. Although the templates were awesome, I’m sure you could make them even better. I have so much regret about the essays and running out of time. Your advice about issue spotting and how you can never get a point for an issue missed was so helpful. And the Approsheets and the advice about using the facts to trigger the issues was so great.

Also, loved your advice for the PT. I wish I had read the whole File first, because I didn’t realize your advice about using blue and red pens in the Library would’ve worked much better with knowing the whole File.

But besides that, your advice in doing real MBE questions may be the reason why I pass come November. Because if not, I likely would’ve just done the Barbri questions and called it a day. But as I’ve been reading Reddit threads of people complaining about yesterday’s MBE because it was nothing like their Barbri and Themis questions, and was actually much harder for them, I never felt more reassured that I did the right thing in practicing 1200+ real QUALITY (like your advice suggested) questions. I feel like I only really struggled/educated guessed (between 2 answers that I thought were correct) with maybe 40 questions. But overall, nearly everything on there was similar and if not easier than the AdaptiBar questions. Especially those Civ Pro questions, night and day. And because I had done so many real questions, I was able to see the patterns and really catch what they were testing and where the trap was.
So overall, if I’m able to get the same score as my AdaptiBar average of 70% which supposedly translates to a 140 raw, I really feel like I passed even without doing the “because” analysis on most of my essays.
8/1/2019 10:06:16Having only one month to study because I was working full time prior to the Bar and didn’t have the energy to study after workIt is really important to stop studying and take breaks. Studying until 11pm and then waking up the next morning to study isn’t always going to be productive. Take a break. A real one, where you don’t think about the exam.Start sooner. I skipped most of the Themis lectures. I previously passed the New York Bar after law school with Themis and listened to the lectures and followed the plan. But with only one month, I prioritized my time and skipped the lectures and felt fine without them.The fear of failureThe various study schedules broken down by how many weeks we have was great. Appro Sheets were key for me. The FB community. And your responsiveness to emails.If you did this, ignore me. It was a special circumstance but a message on the FB group or email newsletter about what to do /what not to do with the last minute information from the CA Bar about the topics. From the posts online it seemed like a lot of us didn’t know how to beat proceed (some freaking out more than others).
8/1/2019 10:18:43Not spending more time on essays. Worrying about MBE more. You study so much more material than is actually tested. Don’t spend too much time on any one topic. But get to everything topic over and over. More essay prepRealizing that Barbri is not the only way to prep for the bar. There are other resources and advice to follow. Realizing that is was ok to do what worked for me. These emails helped. Talking to friends/internet resources and realizing that you are not alone in this. The emails were real and to the point. Also encouraging. Thank you.
8/1/2019 11:11:40I listen to too many people. Everyone had an opinion ( based on their filter) and many’s opinions are based on their conditioning and life experience. I felt that too many peoples egos are running their life around this test. You don’t need all the material out there. Find 3-4 things and go at it. Do as many practice essay questions that I can and work with a tutor that can help with substantive law not just tell me what to do each week and turn it in. Brian your material gives me great direction as to what to do. I need support with specific issues in certain subjects.

I will start doing MBE in a couple
Of weeks.
I will also not tell others what I am doing. It is too much outside pressure.
I will limit my time reading bar post. Way too much “ I know better than you energy and you are wrong energy on there.” When it comes to the bar.
I had someone that I connected with at least 3 times a week. This took away the isolation feeling. My mentors. My partner.Everything!!!! You are an amazing person Brian. I wouldn’t change a thing. I also liked that you took a step back and didn’t engage as much on the FB page. Not that I don’t like what you say because I do. I think. It helped us not lean so much on you and lean more and trust more of ourselves. Keep it all in its proper place. Way too much is put on this exam. It starts to feel selfish like this is all we do and the rest of the world needs to bow to our needs. I don’t like that part of it and have limited my time
on the MTYLT FB page
8/1/2019 11:21:12Time management. I knew it going in, but it still bit me. That, and using awful Examplify, the worst word processor imaginable.They don't start your time on the hour, half hour, or 15 minute marks. It's just...whenever.I saw almost nothing that surprised me. Substantively, I'm confident. I would just improve practicing strategy and letting go of essays where I still see points.Treating MBEs like trivia questions, and flashcards, often.Fear of bankruptcyUnlike the impossible Barbri model answers, your materials focused more on prioritizingI'm not sure--how can you teach someone how to not just know about the panic and adrenaline, but understand its effect?Memorizing is ok, but understanding is better.
8/1/2019 12:14:20Not reading more black letter law covering material that is not included in the magic sheets, MBEs, etc. which in my opinion should be provided by NCBE as a uniform book of lawNo matter how many MBEs you practice, you can't be overly confident and one hour to do essays kind of throws IRAC out the window and learn to analyze the law quickly and move on. Also, practice under similar conditions, it's very stressful to perform in those time constraints by memory.I think I would read the essay questions and PT assignment TWICE and read more black letter law to deal with the MBEs. There was a good handful of questions that are not in law school/bar review material, and I find that unfair.Magic Sheets for precise rules, Flemings Approach outlines, lots of MBE practice: Strategies & Tactics, Kaplan, Barbri, BarMax, Mary Basick's CA Bar "Blue Book"Wanted to be done and never have to do this again and pursue my dream as an attorney. I have clients waiting for me!Magic Sheets are great tools. I used your PR one especially because it was updated and it was so helpful. I was afraid to not have CA updated laws.It would be nice to have magic sheets updated with the stuff that appears on the MBEs. Example: Appellate standard of review (abuse of discretion, de novo, clearly erroneous) [it was on the MBE 3 times!!!!] Judgment on the Pleadings,
8/1/2019 12:57:30I did not take July examS.a.aS.a.aS.a.aS.a.aS.a.aS.a.a; these surveys address great but maybe 1st q should be did you take this last examS.a.a
8/1/2019 13:24:19I listen to too many people. Everyone had an opinion ( based on their filter) and many’s opinions are based on their conditioning and life experience. I felt that too many peoples egos are running their life around this test. You don’t need all the material out there. Find 3-4 things and go at it. Do as many practice essay questions that I can and work with a tutor that can help with substantive law not just tell me what to do each week and turn it in. Brian your material gives me great direction as to what to do. I need support with specific issues in certain subjects.

I will start doing MBE in a couple
Of weeks.
I will also not tell others what I am doing. It is too much outside pressure.
I will limit my time reading bar post. Way too much “ I know better than you energy and you are wrong energy on there.” When it comes to the bar.
I had someone that I connected with at least 3 times a week. This took away the isolation feeling. My mentors. My partner.Everything!!!! You are an amazing person Brian. I wouldn’t change a thing. I also liked that you took a step back and didn’t engage as much on the FB page. Not that I don’t like what you say because I do. I think. It helped us not lean so much on you and lean more and trust more of ourselves. Keep it all in its proper place. Way too much is put on this exam. It starts to feel selfish like this is all we do and the rest of the world needs to bow to our needs. I don’t like that part of it and have limited my time
on the MTYLT FB page
8/1/2019 15:44:20Not starting to do MBEs during law school (like first semester 1L).Don't write the essays on the bar exam the same way that you did in law school. In law school, the idea was to issue spot the narrow issue then analyze it. "Throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks" was the wrong way to go. But on the bar, write the essay as if you're throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing what sticks. The graders aren't deducting points. They're only giving them. So, make sure you cover all bases (e.g., write about Equal Protection as well as Due Process)--but of course, don't write about anything that's completely off-topic (e.g., Depositions on a 4th Amendment violation).I feel as if I did everything in my power to pass. But if I had to find something, I would say keep my mindset completely positive when I go from one question to the next (for the essays and especially the MBEs). I started to feel a bit of the self-doubt during the first session of the MBEs when I came across a few things I had never heard of. I started having that little voice pester me, "What if you fail?" But I immediately knocked it out of my head and said back, "No, look--you just knew the answer to that MBE. You got that right. Look for how many more you can get right."I think a combination of 1) finishing all the assignments given to me by my bar prep company, 2) doing over 4,000 MBEs from various sources and over 100 essays from past bar exams, and 3) having the support and encouragement of myself, my family, and friends. A lot of fear of failure, a dream to be the youngest attorney in the State of CA, and the desire to not let my loved ones down. The emails are great.
8/1/2019 19:06:00NonePractice essays by outliningProbably nothing, just keep tryingSudden release of the tested subjects! I studied them again in 2 daysBelieving that I can do it
8/1/2019 19:31:46I don't wanna say I have regrets because personally I told myself that I will go in that bar with no regrets whatsoever and do my best, which I did and overall I'm happy I did not give up. However, there are some things I would do differently if I could go back in time and study differently.

First, I should have trusted myself more with the study tools handed to me and trusted that I already know how to utilize these tools well. But the ultimate problem is that its hard to trust yourself with a variety of ammo when you're going into battle the first time. So what does a bar prepper do? Reach out to those who already took it. Those who went into battle, survived and won. Granted that part was really helpful which I did all the time and is also the reason why I love your site. BUT there's also a caveat to all of this. A bar prepper's biggest challenge during bar prep is the FEAR OF FAILING. Therefore because of that fear, we want reassurance, we want to hear, "I did ya-di yada and I pass." We heard all the "I did this, I did that, I passed with this" and we got tunnel visioned because we want to pass and we forgot what got us here in the first place, what helped me graduate law school, what I always did to study. The first thing I would tell a 3L is not "omg, get adaptibar, omg get themis i learned from them, omg practice all the essays and do question"; I would tell them "TRUST YOURSELF THAT YOU KNOW HOW TO STUDY. TRUST YOURSELF THAT IF A STUDY TOOL, A STUDY COACH ETC, HECK ALL THE AMMO THAT YOU GATHERED TO PREPARE FOR THIS EXAM, IS NOT WORKING FOR YOU...THEN DON'T KEEP USING IT. IF YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN THE PACE EVEN THOUGH THEMIS SAYS YOU'RE BEHIND, SLOW IT DOWN. IF YOU REALIZED THAT MEMORIZING EARLY HELPED YOU AND JUST DOING QUESTIONS DOESN'T REALLY WORK FOR YOU, THEN MEMORIZE EARLY AND ALSO DO QUESTIONS. DON'T JUST BLINDLY FOLLOW SOMEONE, A COACH, A REDDIT THREAD, A BAR PREP COMPANY BECAUSE THEY'RE TELLING YOU THAT'S HOW THEY PASSED. INSTEAD TRUST YOURSELF. AND HOW DO YOU KNOW IF ITS WORKING? WELL BY DOING THE QUESTIONS AND BEING HONEST WITH YOURSELF."

Second, I genuinely think your site in itself provided the right tools. I like reading the blogs and the suggestions and the weekly emails. I used your approsheets as a guide to help create my own. I didn't have to reinvent the wheel.

Third, I personally disagree that Adaptibar should be the only source of MBE questions. Use both Adaptibar and a different source. Why? There were a TON of MBE questions that does not look like the released NCBE questions/Adaptibar questions and I am positive some of them aren't experimental. I think the MBE is getting harder because they know these bar prep companies are getting good at predicting the MBE.
It's not as scary as they said it would be. The bar exam itself is not really bad. The bar prep itself is the challenge. The waiting before the bar exam is the worst feeling BUT you can use the time during bar prep to practice and train your mind to overcome this. I was lucky that the Ontario Convention Center opened the door for us the day before and we got to take a peek inside the testing center. It was awesome. Because I was not scared the next day. Heck, I was freaking excited. Hopefully, there's not a next time but I would focus on the MBE more. Why? Coz essays are subjective. I think I'm a decent writer, but the bar can throw you curveballs and sometimes you just forget a rule. I would also practice closed book more early. Everyone told me practice open book, sure, but don't be reliant on it. It became a crutch during bar prep. I should have manned up early and just do essays closed book. Practice how to pull those rules out of your ass. Its not even about rote memorization, its understanding the law and learning how to explain the law that you know to the grader under pressure and under timed conditions. The Emmanuels and Strategies Book. However, it won't make sense if you don't know the law period. Once you learn the substantive law, made a ton of errors on practice MBEs, reading that book is like Morpheus explaining to Neo "what the matrix is." But you won't be Neo right away, you still gotta train. I wish I had more time in that book instead of doing the Themis practice sets.Remembering why I wanted to go to law school in the first place. Why I wanted to become an attorney to begin with. You'll get days when you're like "Why the heck am I doing this to myself?" I always took my time to reconnect to the "Why?"The blog, the emails and the approsheets. I think your emails are so helpful. I look forward to it. Sometimes I actually type quotes on my daily planner that you have said on your emails to remind me.
8/1/2019 19:49:24Not selecting some “must know” rules on my state of Texas. In other words underestimating the need to know some stuff cold. All the knowledge you have is useless if you only have 30 minutes for an essay. Learn the key words and key points always. I am not doing it again. I will work in another business. Your pep talks. you!I had a little time to read but you always are so upbeat that I little was enough. I needed focus. Keep doing what you are doing.
8/1/2019 20:28:10None. I put in my best effort. I felt prepared.Having to constantly tell myself that I cannot know everything and my answers do not have to be perfect, but just good enough to pass.As a repeater I believe that this time around I did things differently. I wouldn't change anything.Using your Aprosheets was the best decision I made. Your thorough analysis on how to approach essays for the different subjects really helped my bar prep and saved time too. Also using baressays that you recommended made a huge difference, comparing different graded essays made me more familiar with applying the law to facts. It also opened my eyes to the fact that different issues can be raised by different applicants for the same questions and each will score a high score. This made me less stressed about knowing all the issues and made me calm on the exam day.Knowing that the worse that could happen would be that I would fail and I had already been down that road. So I told myself why not try again. Also focusing my mind on understanding the law so that I could know the answers instead of focusing on passing the bar did magic for me. I was not stressed anymore, no migraines. I rested when I had to, took breaks when I needed it. In essence I didn't let the bar control me, I controlled it.Approsheets and baressays
Emmanuels strategies and Adaptibar for Mbes
Nothing I can think of at the moment Your Weekly emails helped me a lot. I constantly referred to then when I got frustrated or worked up.
8/1/2019 20:32:16Practice Time management on PTIt is not difficult if you know rulesPractice Time MgmtStudying Elements of the RuleSelf MotovatedNice to get occasional e-mail E-mail needs to be shorter Nope
8/1/2019 21:13:58tough to say...was gifted with knowing topics beforehand so i did everything possible during those 48 hours after the topics were revealed. I would have to say that early on I would benefit from really incorporating more essays rather than pure MBE/conviser emphasis. The frequency charts are true for the topics but I would say that those are the fundamental must know categories ( for example jurisdiction for civ pro) and then you should know other categories just as well to be safe.i found lecture hand outs pretty useful. Barbri lecture notes and hypos were pretty good. One thing I found counterintuitive about bar prep was the self graded rubrics in BARBRI essay book. the issues and analysis they look for are probably accurate but the point system they assign is not. If you self grade essays in the BARBRI book you probably get 65 with ease. It is a million times better to look at real graded essays to get a hand of what the graders were looking for. For example, the July 2016 California Civ Pro Essay #1 you can look at 55s on your website and see that they missed out on big issues such as personal jx. Sure they did well on venue, removal, and notice but that personal jx issue was huge. That's like 8 elements they missed out on under that analysis so you can tell what got them a 55. Moreover the 65 was good but there was still deficiencies there such as analysis under fairness element of PJ and service. They were wrong about the latter, I don't think P served them right since it has to be a non party. For the fairness element there is a ton of stuff to be said under PJ for the german corporation and defendant from SF. They didn't say anything in the 65 answer and the 55 missed PJ entirely except for a heading about it.well at this point I would say I have a solid foundation of knowledge so this time I will just do a bunch of multiple choice questions from all sources - barbri adaptibar and Emmanuel book. The one questions that tripped me up were questions from areas of the conviser outline that are not tested frequently. That NCBE outline that shows what categories they draw it from is correct but they would throw in some weird questions from other areas such as doctor patient privilege, attributes of future interests holders of life estates, and guilty pleas. whatever the hot areas are that they test on (jurisdiction, formation of contracts, and so forth) I already know or have a good handle. Now I would just have to fill in the details. Since I have experience now with the "real thing" I should pass on 2nd attempt. But I really don't wanna go back. I don't want to tell my employer the bad news and be the one lawyer there that didn't pass on the first attempt. I don't want to go back and sit through another administration two days straight. knowing the topics. I will say that I passed the essay portion. Not sure if by a lot but I think I passed. fear of failure and fear of embarrassment and fear of ultimately being fired. I worked too hard and made to many sacrifices. I don't want it to go away because of this stupid test. But after sitting through one administration I feel I have a solid foundation to beat this test on the 2nd attempt. I just need to fill in the cracks.essay bank and your emails. Cooking was good too . Day before I would just read recent essays and outline issues and then read the answer. Borrow law that the model answers used.not sure if you could. THis was on me. I did the early start and was on track with barbri schedule. I think I just focused too much on the MBE and not so much on essays. So the week before I just did all essays basically and very few mbes - just 30-40 questions a day mixed. Once the essay topics were released Saturday night I just did all Essays.knowing the conviser outline inside and out and doing essays helped learn that topic. Practicing through barbri and adaptibar I was really good at evidence. The real questions on the bar were somewhat harder but I still did well. It was just harder because they asked questions about privileges like journalist privilege or spousal testimonial privilege (i'm only familiar with spousal immunity and marital communication privileges which is what Barbri calls them). ALl the impeachment, character, and hearsay questions I handled well. Property was hard. The adaptibar and barbri questions would test the normal stuff about property like multiple mortgages and priority when foreclosed on. Barbri/adaptibar also would have questions about race notice and notice jx. The real questions did not ask any of this. It was a lot harder. There were many questions I knew immediately. But there were also many questions that were legitimately new to me despite doing 600 questions on adaptibar and probably 600-800 barbri questions and 100 questions from Emmanuels. I am worried about MBE, on the barbri simulated 200 question test I got 116 which was close to the national average of all barbri students taking it. They said it was good and from there I could improve to get 60ish questiosn correct out of 100 question practice test on adaptibar. That real test was a lot harder though. We'll see, i'm hoping for the best and that my essay section helped out - it is 50% of the scoring afterall. Maybe it can make up for a deficiency in the mbe portion.
8/2/2019 14:14:41Being tired the first day.NoneSee a psychologist to manage anxiety, frustration, etc.Good tough real MBEs - hopefullyMy familyThe approsheets are pretty good.
8/2/2019 17:12:10My biggest regret is not practicing writing complete essays from the very beginning; I began writing consistently about halfway through. It was frustratingly difficult to retain information that I knew and tested well on week to week. I think I would get a tutor to evaluate more of my essays. Writing out practice essays and Essay Cooking (especially when I felt short on time and wanted exposure to more questions) helped me to learn the information in a meaningful way. I was motivated by my desire to have a "one and done" experience.Your emails and blog posts were useful and encouraging, the ApproSheets gave me a starting point that made sense to me (instead of thinking about the universe of course materials on any topic), and Magic Sheets were great for periodic review throughout prep. It would be helpful to offer schedule templates to ensure sufficient review of each topic. The emails are too long (maybe cut them and use more links to posts?), or maybe it's the format, but they look sketchy. Don't be afraid to change what you're doing if you committed and executed to a path that's no longer serving you. In my case, rote memorization of checklists was fine for initial (re)learning. But once I'd gone through each subject, I struggled to switch to prioritizing practice essays. The essays felt too time-consuming, but were effective in practicing how I wanted to perform, reinforcing what I knew, and exposing what I didn't know.
8/2/2019 17:15:52Spending first month of studying watching lectures. The bar prep program (Themis) was good and I think the lectures were very helpful, but I wish I would've finished it earlier. I was told that the lecture handouts are going to be useful so instead of reading the big outline, try to watch the lectures and fill in the handouts, but the MBE was so much more in detail that I did not even refer to the handouts at all. It's worse than three (or four for me as a part-time student) years of law school. I reevaluated all the choices I made in my life during the last two months (i.e. was going to law school really the right choice?). Be prepared mentally. Try to figure out your weak subjects before you start the bar prep. There is no time to figure out study plan or make an outline.
OH, something really important I realized. Do the Emmanuel S&T before bar prep or in the beginning of bar prep. I looked at it 3 weeks before the bar exam, which I regretted so much, because it had answers to very simple S&T explanations that I was wondering about during the whole bar prep process.
Review the big outlines for MBE. Get AdaptiBar. Don't get me wrong, Themis was very good and Themis' supposed to have old MBE questions. But not having the access to MBE questions from my phone was frustrating. I would go to bed and study a little more on my phone, or wake up and be lazy and review outlines on my phone (I had CriticalPass). It would have been very helpful if I could do some MBE questions from my phone so I can do them on the go. I would focus on my weak subjects if I had to take it again (crossing fingers). I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW ESSAY SUBJECTS 2 DAYS BEFORE THE TEST!!!! This messed me up for the last two days, losing all my concentration and all other things.Support from family and friends. I had an amazing support from my significant other. I did not have to think about anything else (i.e. what to eat for dinner, etc.) because my SO took care of everything. I was in another country while studying, which I think was a very good idea. Getting away from all of daily distractions and responsibilities at home helped me to just focus on studying. Also, avoiding too many discussions/talks about bar prep. I did not look at bar prep discussions until like 2 weeks before the bar (because I started to feel so anxious I couldn't go to sleep for the last two weeks before the bar), which I think I should've avoided. When I was just focusing on my studies, I was not distracted but when I started reading discussions, I started to feel that I am so not ready for the bar and almost went crazy trying to cram in everything. Believing that I can pass the bar and I will. My family and friends who believed in me. My boss who believed in me that he would hold the position for me so I can focus on studying and just waiting for me to pass the bar. Relatable emails. Whenever I needed 'pick-me-up' moment, Brian's email helped and after reading it, I got myself back in the position and went back to studying. Not the commercial bar prep companies that send out 'you can do it, you will do it, if you finish this, etc.' type of emails, but like 'you need to face the reality' type of emails. If I knew what was offered from Themis before I started, I would've prepared more. I inquired about how the program is like and what's offered in the last semester before graduating. But all they said was 'it's okay you are not late in the game, this year the bar is a week later than other years so you actually have more time'. I don't know how much more I could've prepared even if I knew, but if I knew that there was no MBE on the phone app, I probably figured out something else (I think this was the biggest thing for me).
8/3/2019 10:28:50Not passing the exam the first time I took it and still being on this pursuit of passing this examBar prep is more mental then gaining knowledge.NothingHiring a tutor and taking time-off completely from work instead of balancing both studying and working. It felt like a weight lifted to study for a little bit of time, full-time.My family, friends and tutor constantly reminded me that I could do this and kept me motivated along the way. Having a great support system is everything! Emails, Mental Engines and the FB communityN/A, I thought everything was great and really helpful in my opinion
8/5/2019 9:55:56Not working as hard as I could have in the first month (out of the 2 total months) of bar prep.No matter how much you prepare for the bar, you're never ready. I feel like the MBE questions were SO different from the ones I got on Themis.Memorize BLL, practice more PTsI made sure I had everything ready to go the night before during bar prep. I made all my meals and coffee in advance so that my time and energy was focused on studying instead of worrying about what to eat or how I was going to stay awake.The fear of failure.
8/6/2019 11:42:09started memorizing two weeks before examIt's all about being relaxed during the process. You have to enjoy the journeyI would begin memorizing right away. I would start with the final outlines.I was so calm! Thanks to the beliefs worksheet. It really helped me clear my mind.Brian's emails were a big factor when I was feeling unmotivated. Somehow they came into my inbox at just the right moment.The worksheets are amazing. The panic/anxiety modules were great too.More Gifs. They were really good and helped lighten up your emails.Thank you for your support. I didn't know that I could just reach out to you and that you would respond to me. It was really nice to have someone like you respond to my anxiety because you're a repeater like me and so I felt more comforted.
8/13/2019 13:11:53Not starting sooner it is so much material and anything is fair game during the exam Make sure I have learned as much of the law as possible before diving into multiple choice questions and essays creating my own outline based on multiple materials such as the magicsheets the Facebook group, friends in the same situation and exercise, lots of exercise. How concise and to the point they were perhaps suggesting tutors in certain areas for repeat-takers I really enjoyed using the outlines as guidance to create my outlines. The format followed was exactly like the one in the Emmanuel book. I think doing Adaptibar AND Emmanuel was not my smartest idea because I spent $400 and did about 100 questions from Adaptibar whereas I finished the Emmanuel book and spent so much less and felt the explanations were better.
8/13/2019 17:18:49Not creating a personal outline with rules. Practicing real questions helps, but it won't help if you only practice without rules revision.practice more full essaysSlowing down and taking more time to review each separate subject.I struggled with motivation. Magic sheets were really good for a quick review of the subject.E-mails were sometimes too long, there could be more substance in less text. Nothing to add for now, but I will be happy to contribute if I can remember anything else.
8/14/2019 8:13:20Not using Adaptibar sooner. I got it about halfway through bar prep and found it difficult to integrate into what I was already doing. It's JUST A TEST!!!!! Prep is so much worse than actually sitting for the exam. You've done this before. You've taken tests. Just focus on preparation and don't psych yourself out. IT'S JUST A TEST!NO BARBRI! Straight up adaptibar, Strategies & Tactics, and Mary Basick's book. THAT'S IT!Letting go of Barbri made the biggest difference. I was just not learning from Barbri. I made my own handwritten outlines for all topics except Wills & Trusts (I had just taken it in law school) and I just reviewed the outlines and practiced a ton.Not wanting to take it again. Your emails! I didn't use your magic/approsheets but I looked forward to your weekly emails. I told my husband it felt like you were in my brain because each week I'd read the email and it was as if you knew exactly what I was thinking/feeling. Thank you for that!More concrete examples of how to prep. My process was trial and error but I'd like to have concrete examples of how to prep. (EX. 50 MBES in AM, review, etc)I felt constant guilt that I wasn't spending 14+ hours per day studying but I learned to trust myself and do what I felt was best for me. Hopefully this is enough to get me past the finish line.