July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Feb17TBE
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2016 2:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Feb17TBE » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:57 pm

You guys, I have Critical Pass that I'm not gonna use this time. If interested, PM me.
And for those of you wondering if you should try AdaptiBar, DO IT. The other one I would suggest for the MBE is Emanuel Law in a Flash. It's Q&A type flash cards that is very good for hitting the black letter law. It's organized by subject and topic and it's very good for testing yourself on the law. The ones I have are old and don't have civil procedure but I'm sure they sell one now which includes it.

vandyclark
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:56 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby vandyclark » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:03 am

Estecontre wrote:
_cant_deal wrote:Here. Thanks for setting this up-I admire your drive! I'll follow you all and maybe it'll help inform my decision.


Don't give up! Don't let this fail define you. Read my post about how I improved by 121 points and am ready to conquer the next one!!



Hi Estecontre- Can you copy the link to that post here? I get lost in this forum!

Any advice for retakers is very very welcome. :mrgreen:

vandyclark
Posts: 41
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 5:56 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby vandyclark » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:03 am

I have a referral code for AdaptiBar for $30 off. If you want it, just PM me the email address you'll use to register.

User avatar
Leprechaun
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:00 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Leprechaun » Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:50 pm

I posted this in my school's facebook group and thought it might help some of the recent graduates here as well.

For my friends that are about to graduate, congratulations, you did it! If you are like me, it became “real” pretty quickly that now you have another major hurdle to clear, the bar exam. I realize that everyone learns differently, and that everyone requires different motivation and strategies, but I know when I graduated, I really did not know what to expect concerning the bar exam, and I searched all over the web reading things about people that had been there and done that. Therefore, I thought I’d put my experience here, in the hope that it would help some of my friends to know what to expect and how to approach this endeavor.

First things first, I did not take “Prepping for the Bar”, (a course offered at my school) so I can’t speak as to how that might change your experience. I learn best from lectures, not notes. If you knew me in law school, you probably know that I’d have writers cramp if I took more than 3 to 5 pages of notes the whole semester for a course, many courses I’d have maybe 1 or 2 pages as I was much better at just paying attention to the professor and learning from their lecture, not from reading notes or outlines.

My exam prep style in school was typically one of cramming. I’d hit each exam really hard right before it came up (the days leading up to it) and would only prep for one subject at a time when possible. I never really experienced test anxiety as I viewed exams as “opportunities to compete”, and there is not a whole lot of things I love on this planet more than the joy of competing. Quite frequently, on exam days, my only prep would consist of listening to old school rap music, eating out, and doing things like go cart riding or shooting, things that would basically get me mentally “pumped up” to compete that night on exams.

I write all of that to let you know that is NOT a good approach to the bar exam. It will not work. I had to commit myself to a significant change to be successful in this journey. I began my prep 2-3 days after graduation, and I probably averaged 3 .5 hours per day of prepping up through the final day of the bar exam. I took Barbri, as I knew I had to have some structure and some accountability in my study plan, or else I would have not done well. After taking their course, I highly recommend it, and no, I’m not a Barbri rep.

Since I had not taken Prepping for the Bar, I really did not even know what the bar exam encompassed, so I’ll cover that first in case you were like me. Day one begins with the MPT and is 10% of your bar exam score. The MPT is basically a closed universe, performance task, in a short time window (90 minutes). The great thing about the MPT is that everything you need is provided, you just show up, synthesize the material, and roll with it. You don’t need to memorize, you just read, apply, and produce a written work product. It could be anything from a will to a brief to a memorandum, but they will include a basic template or instructions that will give you an idea of what they expect as output, so you don’t have to be an expert at creating wills or briefs, or demand letters or memorandums, etc.

Day one ends with a 90 minute session that is ½ Texas Civil Procedure and Evidence (5% of your bar exam grade) short answer 20 questions, and ½ Texas Criminal Procedure and Evidence (5% of your bar exam grade) short answer 20 questions. When I say short answer, that is exactly what I mean. You literally only have a few hundred characters to answer the questions. It basically covers a walkthrough of a civil case and a criminal case from beginning to the end based on a fact set it will give you.

Day 2 of the bar exam is a 200 question, multiple choice beast that accounts for 40% of your bar exam score. 100 questions in the AM, and 100 questions in the PM. Covers Evidence, Torts, Criminal Procedure & Criminal Law, Property, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law and Contracts. You get 3 hours for each set of 100 questions and a break for lunch in between.

Day 3 is the Texas Essays and accounts for 40% of your bar exam score. You have 12 essays (with multiple parts) and you have 6 essays in the 3 hour AM session, and 6 essays in the 3 hour PM session and a lunch break in between. Topics that are fair game include Trusts & Guardianships, Wills & Estate Administration, Family Law, Uniform Commercial Code, Consumer Rights including DTPA & Insurance, Business Associations, and Real Property including Oil and Gas. This also includes crossover from the MBE topics and can include additional topics such as Income Tax, bankruptcy and estate and gift taxes.

You can use your laptop for the MPT, and for the Texas Essays. On the MBE, you use scantron. One nice thing about using your laptop, unlike on our law school exams, you can copy and not just cut and paste. That can save you tremendously valuable time when doing rule statements.

Now that you know what all the exam encompasses, it can help you figure out your gameplan of attacking it. Barbri can absolutely consume you if you let it. They have a step by step schedule for every day of the week and if you follow that, you could literally put in 8 to 10 hours a day, which if you work full time like I do, that is not a possibility. I had to study more efficiently than that. What you choose to do or not to do, again will depend largely on your study style and learning methods.

Barbri has lecture books which contain fill in the blanks that correspond to their lectures. I listened to every lecture and I filled out every blank in that book. I would do the lectures on 1.0x to 2.00x speed, depending on the professor, and depending on how much I was understanding. Many times, I would find myself going back and “rewinding” to cover concepts again if I found myself daydreaming or otherwise interrupted. I followed their schedule religiously when it came to the lectures. I did not skip around, and I took them in the order they presented them.

The other major things I did with Barbri, was the practice multiple choice questions. I did over 1100 questions, and when I say I “did” them, I didn’t simply answer them and move on. I would go through and read the explanations whether or not I got the question right or not, this was probably the most valuable thing I did. I really do feel that if you have time for nothing else, do all the multiple choice questions and review them to find out why you got them right and why you got them wrong.

The great thing about Barbri is the questions have timers so it helps you figure out the proper pace, also, at the end of the question modules, it will break it down within topic and category so you can see what areas you are strong in and what areas you are weak in. You can use this to brush up on learning the law of weak areas by using Barbri Amps which are short, interactive questions that teach you the law, rather than trying to trick you with hypotheticals. They served me well as memorization drills that really helped me learn the black letter law.

Things that I did not do in Barbri - I did not skim the sections, outlines, etc, in advance like they recommended. I did not have time for that and I didn’t want to reinforce and teach myself the wrong stuff or interpretations by reading it in advance, I don’t learn well that way. Also, I did not read the outlines after the lectures, like Barbri recommends, again, I am an auditory learner and learner through interactive questions, not through reading. I like to see the law being applied, not just reading the law.

I did not write out the essay questions that Barbri would assign, other than the few that were graded. I’m fairly good at producing a coherent essay if I know the law so I thought that would be a waste of valuable time, but you know your own learning style.

I did not do any of the practice MPT’s other than the graded ones. Everything is included that you will need for the MPT on gameday, and I’m not one that makes outlines, drafts, etc, and I’m good at processing things within time deadlines, so I didn’t feel necessary to waste limited study time on MPT practice. However, that being said, when you do practice them, put yourself under time constraints so you figure out whether or not you can do it. If you can’t, you will need to work heavily on producing a product under timed, stressed conditions. That is an area you should be able to nail down if you practice and manage time well.

There is simply no substitute for putting in the time. The nice thing about Barbri is it shows you how you are doing against your peers percentage wise. Use this to tailor your study plan. Don’t be concerned if you are literally getting only 20% to 40% of the questions right in the beginning, that’s all I was getting and it scared the hell out of me, but again, I hadn’t taken Prepping for the Bar, so some of the material I literally had not seen since 1L year.

Barbri gives you short question sets, 18 at a time, so it’s not overwhelming and if you just learn the concepts that questions are presenting, you will do fine. Their multiple choice question sets are very difficult and a “good” score is 9 to 12 of the 18 correct generally. That will get you where you need to be. Keep in mind for the bar, you don’t have to know EVERYTHING, you only have to know ENOUGH.

Barbri offers practice tests and these are key to understanding where you stand. Take these tests as scheduled, and use them to figure out what areas you are weak in and watch the videos in the couple of days afterward explaining why each question is right or wrong. If you are doing exceptionally well in some topics, don’t waste time studying that topic, that is not efficient, move to a weak area instead. Redo the Barbri Amps if necessary to learn the law, you have to learn the law, period, and there is a lot of law to learn.

Towards the exam date, Barbri offered additional workshops on the Procedure and Evidence Portions. They were worth it even if for nothing more than getting the handouts. The handouts if I remember correctly were only 40 to 60 pages each and they are "memorizable" as some of the questions are used over and over and over again, just worded slightly differently

. If you can kill the MPT and the P&E, that’s 20% of the test you will have done well in and you can give yourself some breathing room on the rest.

Now, the Texas Essays. The absolutely best thing I did for the Texas Essays was not to even look at the questions that Barbri had, but to memorize the Barbri suggested answers. The examiners tend to ask the same types of questions over and over with different facts, so if you memorize the answers, you will be well ahead of the game and can apply the answers to many different fact sets just by changing the names.

Additionally, this will show you the areas they test out of the broad categories, so you won’t spend valuable time learning crap that has a small probability of being tested

. Now, the hardest part for me was mental management. I’m not one that feels anxiety usually, but the weight of this exam can do that to you. Bar prep will beat you down, it will piss you off, it will make you feel STUPID and feel that you have wasted the last few years of your life.

Admittedly, there were a couple nights of prep where I did little more than sit in my office and cry, literally. That might make me sound weak, but I did.

You will be scared that you are only getting 60% of the questions right. Don’t let that get you down. If necessary, take a day off, refresh, and then get back to it. Get some accountability partners. I’m not one that used study groups in law school, and I didn’t either for the bar, but I did use mental help partners from my classmates that I could talk to, share thoughts with, share fears with, and share strategy with. Don’t be afraid to talk to your classmates and be there for them if they need you too, it’s a two way street.

A lot of people say don’t study the week of the exam, I wouldn’t do that if I were you. I got down to Austin on the day before the exam. I studied that day for a couple hours on the P&E portion memorizing those Barbri handouts. The next day, I used the “one sheets” and “leansheets” to brush up one last time for the MBE rules. You have to know the rules or you won’t do well. I found the MBE to be much easier than the Barbri questions, not nearly as long, and not nearly as many “twists”, therefore if you were on track with Barbri time management, there was plenty of time on the real exam. The next night I studied the essay answers hard to get the patterns down for the next day’s essays. I got up at 4:30 AM that morning and spent two more hours getting those patterns down. After the morning session, I then spent a few minutes at lunch going over the topics I still knew where upcoming in the afternoon session. It helped me greatly in my opinion.

My biggest problems were lack of time due to work along the way, and in feeling grossly inadequate by missing so many questions along the way. However, that kept me going and motivated and made me work harder, and again, you don’t have to know everything. Good luck to y’all, I hope that helps some and hope it gives you an expectation of what lies ahead, you CAN do it. If you have any questions or just need someone to holler at, feel free to holler, people were there for me, and I plan to be here for other people.

A couple more things, make sure you do the practice tests under exam conditions, I was quite surprised by how exhausted I got doing that. I would always do a lot better on the first half then I would the 2nd half. Sometimes toward the end, I would even miss 10-15 questions in a row as I lost focus. Deshun made a great suggestion to me and it worked, after every 20 to 25 questions, I’d take a few minutes off and would just sit there and go to my “happy place” in my mind, it gave me the stamina to power through. I’m not one that typically has text anxiety, this was different, I was literally throwing up the 1st day of the exam before it started. This test will mess with your psyche like no other. Just realize that’s normal and that you aren’t weak and that you can do it. Good luck!!

Estecontre
Posts: 113
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2016 6:03 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Estecontre » Sun Apr 30, 2017 8:34 pm

vandyclark wrote:
Estecontre wrote:
_cant_deal wrote:Here. Thanks for setting this up-I admire your drive! I'll follow you all and maybe it'll help inform my decision.


Don't give up! Don't let this fail define you. Read my post about how I improved by 121 points and am ready to conquer the next one!!



Hi Estecontre- Can you copy the link to that post here? I get lost in this forum!

Any advice for retakers is very very welcome. :mrgreen:


Hey, sorry I've been off this thing for awhile. I got fired the day after results came out and I've been kinda of bummed, not so much for losing the job (I hated working for that attorney), but I was planning to save up to survive through bar prep, but now I'll have to figure something out. Anyways, I'm not sure how you link from other threads and the post didn't really contain any information on how I did it so I'll re-type it out so other people can see. The first time I took it I "completed" about 94% of Themis, I use the word completed very loosely because its really simple to cheat the progress meter. This second time I changed a lot of my studying and improved my score by 131 points and missed out by 20 points (that's the huge bummer for me, all I had to do was 10 points in the MBE or essays and I would've been fine). So how did I do this? One: I didn't follow Themis' plan, not that its bad and I actually recommend Themis but I think the huge bulk of these programs are content based and their lectures account for so much of their "progress." Two: I did something that worked for me which was learn the black letter law. I got sick during studying (after studying late already) and instead of just doing practice questions like most of these programs have I just reviewed for most of the day. By review I mean read outline after outline for each subject. At first I tried making my own outlines, but I was really low on time and during the end Themis sends you their outlines which is what I used. I'm not sure what they use to make those outlines but I feel like they pretty much touch base on the most commonly asked subjects. It sucks, but my thinking was I have no problem with writing for essays (IRAC is a super simple format for me, but I understand that some people struggle with it) and I have no problem with my timing either (assign yourself a strict 30 minute timeline per essay and stick by it), so I told myself you can't write an essay if you don't know the law so know the law.

Here's a breakdown of my essays in case you're think of doing this for yourself, I don't recommend this if it won't work for you, but it works for me: I received a scaled score of 136.5 on my essays.

Trusts & Guardianships 64.2% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Consumer Rights 33.4% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
UCC 56.1% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
UCC 20.4% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Family law 63.5% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Family law 46.9% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Real property 65.2% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Real property 81.4% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Wills and administration 60.8% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Wills and administration 19.9% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Business associations 77.3% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Business associations 9.9% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours

I know where I missed up with my essays.

Three: A shit ton of practice questions. I started off using Themis and stopped with a month left. There's nothing wrong with their questions it's just that there were a couple that I recognized from the first time I took it so I needed to switch it up. So I bought Adaptibar with a month to go and started off doing anyhwhere from 50-100 a day. I did mixed then once I started to see my weak areas I would do focus sessions on those subjects. I made sure to read why I was getting questions wrong and if I got it right I also made sure to check that I got it right because I had the right law in mind and not because of luck.

I think these methods worked for me even though I failed and will probably be doing this again. My setback was not doing any MPT's and not practicing for them. It was my lowest score and I mismanaged my time when it came test time and it sadly cost me. I'm stuck between buying another program, maybe Themis again, but I'm leaning more towards just getting Adaptibar, BarMax, and maybe Emmanuel for some tips. My problem isn't writing it's multiple choice and it shows. I truly recommend Themis, but like any other program you will get, a bulk of their material is based on lectures (which is one of the best things about them, because they're short and it makes it easier to watch) and practice questions. I have an above average memory and I used that to my advantage this time around and I think my improvement shows that. This is what worked for me and I really recommend that you do what I did in the sense that you need to look back at when you studied for the test. What worked for you, what didn't work for you? I realized about halfway that following a program just wasn't the best thing for me so I literally stopped logging in time on Themis and focused my method. That helped me tremendously.

As far as those of you on here that are debating whether or not to take it the next time around I wanted to tell my story as motivation. If I can improve by so much, so can you. It's a doable test you just need to figure out a way to conquer it your way. I know that I will get it next time because I will be doing things my way (and I will be sure to practice a couple of MPTS). If any one has any other questions please feel free to ask. Do not give up hope, trust me I was really bummed the first time I failed, but I didn't let that bring me down.

P.S. If anyone has ever used BarMax and has some thought on it, please let me know. Like I said, I'm really reluctant to buy Themis again because I won't be using their lectures nor their practice questions. I would rather save money by buying BarMax, Adaptibar, and Emmanuel and save a lot of money doing it that way.

Hottexas
Posts: 25
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2017 2:31 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Hottexas » Sun Apr 30, 2017 10:18 pm

Estecontre wrote:
vandyclark wrote:
Estecontre wrote:
_cant_deal wrote:Here. Thanks for setting this up-I admire your drive! I'll follow you all and maybe it'll help inform my decision.


Don't give up! Don't let this fail define you. Read my post about how I improved by 121 points and am ready to conquer the next one!!



Hi Estecontre- Can you copy the link to that post here? I get lost in this forum!

Any advice for retakers is very very welcome. :mrgreen:


Hey, sorry I've been off this thing for awhile. I got fired the day after results came out and I've been kinda of bummed, not so much for losing the job (I hated working for that attorney), but I was planning to save up to survive through bar prep, but now I'll have to figure something out. Anyways, I'm not sure how you link from other threads and the post didn't really contain any information on how I did it so I'll re-type it out so other people can see. The first time I took it I "completed" about 94% of Themis, I use the word completed very loosely because its really simple to cheat the progress meter. This second time I changed a lot of my studying and improved my score by 131 points and missed out by 20 points (that's the huge bummer for me, all I had to do was 10 points in the MBE or essays and I would've been fine). So how did I do this? One: I didn't follow Themis' plan, not that its bad and I actually recommend Themis but I think the huge bulk of these programs are content based and their lectures account for so much of their "progress." Two: I did something that worked for me which was learn the black letter law. I got sick during studying (after studying late already) and instead of just doing practice questions like most of these programs have I just reviewed for most of the day. By review I mean read outline after outline for each subject. At first I tried making my own outlines, but I was really low on time and during the end Themis sends you their outlines which is what I used. I'm not sure what they use to make those outlines but I feel like they pretty much touch base on the most commonly asked subjects. It sucks, but my thinking was I have no problem with writing for essays (IRAC is a super simple format for me, but I understand that some people struggle with it) and I have no problem with my timing either (assign yourself a strict 30 minute timeline per essay and stick by it), so I told myself you can't write an essay if you don't know the law so know the law.

Here's a breakdown of my essays in case you're think of doing this for yourself, I don't recommend this if it won't work for you, but it works for me: I received a scaled score of 136.5 on my essays.

Trusts & Guardianships 64.2% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Consumer Rights 33.4% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
UCC 56.1% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
UCC 20.4% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Family law 63.5% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Family law 46.9% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Real property 65.2% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Real property 81.4% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Wills and administration 60.8% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Wills and administration 19.9% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Business associations 77.3% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours
Business associations 9.9% of all scores on this part of the exam were below yours

I know where I missed up with my essays.

Three: A shit ton of practice questions. I started off using Themis and stopped with a month left. There's nothing wrong with their questions it's just that there were a couple that I recognized from the first time I took it so I needed to switch it up. So I bought Adaptibar with a month to go and started off doing anyhwhere from 50-100 a day. I did mixed then once I started to see my weak areas I would do focus sessions on those subjects. I made sure to read why I was getting questions wrong and if I got it right I also made sure to check that I got it right because I had the right law in mind and not because of luck.

I think these methods worked for me even though I failed and will probably be doing this again. My setback was not doing any MPT's and not practicing for them. It was my lowest score and I mismanaged my time when it came test time and it sadly cost me. I'm stuck between buying another program, maybe Themis again, but I'm leaning more towards just getting Adaptibar, BarMax, and maybe Emmanuel for some tips. My problem isn't writing it's multiple choice and it shows. I truly recommend Themis, but like any other program you will get, a bulk of their material is based on lectures (which is one of the best things about them, because they're short and it makes it easier to watch) and practice questions. I have an above average memory and I used that to my advantage this time around and I think my improvement shows that. This is what worked for me and I really recommend that you do what I did in the sense that you need to look back at when you studied for the test. What worked for you, what didn't work for you? I realized about halfway that following a program just wasn't the best thing for me so I literally stopped logging in time on Themis and focused my method. That helped me tremendously.

As far as those of you on here that are debating whether or not to take it the next time around I wanted to tell my story as motivation. If I can improve by so much, so can you. It's a doable test you just need to figure out a way to conquer it your way. I know that I will get it next time because I will be doing things my way (and I will be sure to practice a couple of MPTS). If any one has any other questions please feel free to ask. Do not give up hope, trust me I was really bummed the first time I failed, but I didn't let that bring me down.

P.S. If anyone has ever used BarMax and has some thought on it, please let me know. Like I said, I'm really reluctant to buy Themis again because I won't be using their lectures nor their practice questions. I would rather save money by buying BarMax, Adaptibar, and Emmanuel and save a lot of money doing it that way.

My experience with barmax is that they don't explain the wrong alternatives. I guess adaptibar does explain.

quirky
Posts: 60
Joined: Tue Apr 25, 2017 8:39 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby quirky » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:14 pm

Hey everyone! Just checking in. 1st time bar taker, DFW area, using Themis. Any prior bar takers have advice for studying while taking care of a kid? And by kid I really mean baby.

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:23 pm

FYI for people just chiming in....there's a study group on WhatsApp mobile application...please private message me or post your phone number if you'd like to be added to the group! WE GOT THIS!!!!


Deb

lovesthelaw
Posts: 50
Joined: Thu Nov 14, 2013 11:44 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby lovesthelaw » Mon May 01, 2017 10:17 am

For those doing Barbri, does anyone know when we get access to all the lectures/online portal? Right now, mine is still just showing me the Early Start stuff. Thanks!

Tmlaw
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 01, 2017 10:48 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Tmlaw » Mon May 01, 2017 11:00 am

Hey I have to say this forum is very encouraging, I am a foreign lawyer which means English is not my first language, I didn't pass the bar exam for 113 points and honestly I was thinking I'm not gonna be able to do it again. Too much stress and I am tired but thank you all for your posts.
I don't know if I should do the bar by July or wait until February next year to do it. What do you think about it? I'm currently working full time but I have nights and weekend free. Is it enough time to study?
I took Kaplan, any advice to study? Anyone took Kaplan?

maztastic247
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:06 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby maztastic247 » Mon May 01, 2017 12:45 pm

Hey all, good luck to everyone taking the J17 bar!

I took the J16 bar and didn't pass, I took and passed the F17 exam. I just wanted to pop in and offer some encouragement to all the retakers out there. Having failed before I know how disheartening it can be, but don't give up. After failing the first time this forum and all the retakers that offered any advice helped me tremendously and I was able to take study advise from a bunch of different people/methods and mold them into something that worked for me.

I used barbri the first time around a completed 91% of the program (i failed by 8 points)

The second time around I changed things up but still used barbri as a guide line maybe completing 25-30% of the program. I worked so I had to make the most of my time and only watched the lectures on topics that I struggled with.

I focused my energies where I knew there was the most room improvement and points, the MBE and essays. I did decent on the P&E the first time so I didn't spend a lot of time on that, and I didn't practice the MPT really at all. My theory behind this is every point earned on the MBE and essays is multiplied by 2 while every point earned for the remaining sections is divided by 2.

P&E if you are taking barbri take the P&E workshop if you haven't already, it is extremely helpful! For the last two weeks I did 1 crim&civ P&E everyday.

MBE. I highly recommend adaptibar I used it the second time around (just the questions portion I didn't get anything else from them) and I was able to raise my MBE from a 132.2 to a 147.7. Toss time adaptibar was all I used. I did 50 questions a day usually in increments of 5 or 10. If I 100% knew the answer I didn't read the explanations though that didn't happen often. If I narrowed it down to 2 answers and guessed right I read the explanation the correct answer and the other answer that I thought could be right. If I got the question wrong I read every explanation. Over all I completed 2400 questions with adaptibar at 70% correct at the end (i was averaging about 85% correct the last 3 weeks). On the Barbri midterm for J16 I scored a 117, and for the F17 midterm I scored a 142. Some of adaptibar's explanations suck, but for the most part, I found them helpful because they were short and to the point. Don't get discouraged at the civ and property questions they ask... when you compare your percentage to others on there you will see that the average is low for those topics. Adaptibar will break everything down into subtopics and you can go back and review the areas you need improvement on (this is where critical pass flashcards may come in handy).

Essays. I did about 4 to 5 essays a week, most were just outlines, then checking them against the model answers in the barbri book. The last two weeks (i took off from work) I did 3 essays from every topic a day, outlining them and checking them against the module answers. They use question over all the time, just changing names so if you do enough questions come test day there is bound to be a question(s) that looks very similar, if not exactly like a question from a previous exams. Whenever I got a rule wrong I made a flash card w/ general issue on the front and the rule on the back. Then before I would work on an essay topic I would review all the flash cards for that topic. Now, this part maybe a little over the top for most people, but I have an associative memory so I bought multi color flashcards and every topic had its own color (T&E, and Consumer law had a shared color) and I also had a color coordinating pen, so the rules were also written in the same color, as we're the practice essays. On exam day I brought the same pens and used the corresponding color to outline/underline the essays.

I by no means got a stellar score on the exam, but it is possible to work and study as a retaker and pass. It's about studying smarter not harder. I studied about 2-3 hours a day until 2 weeks before where I studied everyday for about 7-8 hours. I never had a set amount of hours I was going to study I always had daily goals and I studied/worked for as long as it took me to accomplish them. It is all about quality of study and not quantity I definitely learned that the second time around. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!

P.s. if anyone is in the Katy area or willing to drive into Katy I have a bunch of study aids I am willing to give you like critical pass flashcards, leans sheets, barbri outlines (minor highlighting in some) Barbri and Kaplan MBE books, etc. Pm me if you are interested, and good luck!

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Mon May 01, 2017 2:04 pm

maztastic247 wrote:Hey all, good luck to everyone taking the J17 bar!

I took the J16 bar and didn't pass, I took and passed the F17 exam. I just wanted to pop in and offer some encouragement to all the retakers out there. Having failed before I know how disheartening it can be, but don't give up. After failing the first time this forum and all the retakers that offered any advice helped me tremendously and I was able to take study advise from a bunch of different people/methods and mold them into something that worked for me.

I used barbri the first time around a completed 91% of the program (i failed by 8 points)

The second time around I changed things up but still used barbri as a guide line maybe completing 25-30% of the program. I worked so I had to make the most of my time and only watched the lectures on topics that I struggled with.

I focused my energies where I knew there was the most room improvement and points, the MBE and essays. I did decent on the P&E the first time so I didn't spend a lot of time on that, and I didn't practice the MPT really at all. My theory behind this is every point earned on the MBE and essays is multiplied by 2 while every point earned for the remaining sections is divided by 2.

P&E if you are taking barbri take the P&E workshop if you haven't already, it is extremely helpful! For the last two weeks I did 1 crim&civ P&E everyday.

MBE. I highly recommend adaptibar I used it the second time around (just the questions portion I didn't get anything else from them) and I was able to raise my MBE from a 132.2 to a 147.7. Toss time adaptibar was all I used. I did 50 questions a day usually in increments of 5 or 10. If I 100% knew the answer I didn't read the explanations though that didn't happen often. If I narrowed it down to 2 answers and guessed right I read the explanation the correct answer and the other answer that I thought could be right. If I got the question wrong I read every explanation. Over all I completed 2400 questions with adaptibar at 70% correct at the end (i was averaging about 85% correct the last 3 weeks). On the Barbri midterm for J16 I scored a 117, and for the F17 midterm I scored a 142. Some of adaptibar's explanations suck, but for the most part, I found them helpful because they were short and to the point. Don't get discouraged at the civ and property questions they ask... when you compare your percentage to others on there you will see that the average is low for those topics. Adaptibar will break everything down into subtopics and you can go back and review the areas you need improvement on (this is where critical pass flashcards may come in handy).

Essays. I did about 4 to 5 essays a week, most were just outlines, then checking them against the model answers in the barbri book. The last two weeks (i took off from work) I did 3 essays from every topic a day, outlining them and checking them against the module answers. They use question over all the time, just changing names so if you do enough questions come test day there is bound to be a question(s) that looks very similar, if not exactly like a question from a previous exams. Whenever I got a rule wrong I made a flash card w/ general issue on the front and the rule on the back. Then before I would work on an essay topic I would review all the flash cards for that topic. Now, this part maybe a little over the top for most people, but I have an associative memory so I bought multi color flashcards and every topic had its own color (T&E, and Consumer law had a shared color) and I also had a color coordinating pen, so the rules were also written in the same color, as we're the practice essays. On exam day I brought the same pens and used the corresponding color to outline/underline the essays.

I by no means got a stellar score on the exam, but it is possible to work and study as a retaker and pass. It's about studying smarter not harder. I studied about 2-3 hours a day until 2 weeks before where I studied everyday for about 7-8 hours. I never had a set amount of hours I was going to study I always had daily goals and I studied/worked for as long as it took me to accomplish them. It is all about quality of study and not quantity I definitely learned that the second time around. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!

P.s. if anyone is in the Katy area or willing to drive into Katy I have a bunch of study aids I am willing to give you like critical pass flashcards, leans sheets, barbri outlines (minor highlighting in some) Barbri and Kaplan MBE books, etc. Pm me if you are interested, and good luck!



OMG I wish I were near Katy! My stuff is sooo ancient. really appreciate your post, I was comparing your info to my study style/plan. Here's my plan, I'm taking February Bar:
Today until Sep 30:
P & E - Alternate days with Civ or Crim P&E - using previous exams starting back say...10 years worth and work to most recent then start over
MBE - Alternate days with Contracts, Evidence and Civil Procedure then Torts, Constitutional and Criminal Procedure
Essays - Alternate days with Oil & Gas, Wills, Trusts, Guardianships, Family, Community Property and then Business Associations, Secured Transactions, Negotiable Instruments, DTPA/Consumer and Bankruptcy. I'm not sure if I should split the essays in two 3 days...it seems like a lot each day.

From Oct 1 - Jan 1:
Start focusing on time management and throw in MPT and MPRE (I take in November) in place of P & E when it feels ridiculously clear I'm ok on P & E.
MBE: Increase the number of questions
Essays: Reduce the amount of time on crossover subjects and make sure I get through all previous essays shown on the last 10 years of exams.

From Jan 1 - Jan 30:
One full simulated exam in either one or two day.

From Feb 1 - Feb 15th or 16th:
GO GO GO ensure every area feels strong...work on what I've had the lowest scores or most struggles with over the last 9 months..

Head to Austin on Feb 16 or 17th:
RELAX the weekend, get acclimated to studying in the hotel room and get on a "bar schedule" (I have chronic fatigue so that's super important for me)

Feb 19th: Review my accumulated mess...err notes and get things set out for each day so I can review before/lunch/after each day.

Feb 20: PRAY....then look at each subject before that section of the exam....PRAY AGAIN!

I know this all looks rigid but with my ADD (squirrel!!!!) And chronic fatigue, I just can't get enough structure and even though I think I handled the February exam beautifully as far as time and stress management....that bar wasn't nearly as important to me as this one will be because my fatigue started right in the middle of my study schedule and I couldn't even get my name right....I had improved a ton by exam day but I think it's just learning to deal with the fatigue instead of it actually reducing.

Any additional thought/advice to my plan would be great!!!

maztastic247
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2016 4:06 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby maztastic247 » Mon May 01, 2017 2:45 pm

dtjustice wrote:
maztastic247 wrote:Hey all, good luck to everyone taking the J17 bar!

I took the J16 bar and didn't pass, I took and passed the F17 exam. I just wanted to pop in and offer some encouragement to all the retakers out there. Having failed before I know how disheartening it can be, but don't give up. After failing the first time this forum and all the retakers that offered any advice helped me tremendously and I was able to take study advise from a bunch of different people/methods and mold them into something that worked for me.

I used barbri the first time around a completed 91% of the program (i failed by 8 points)

The second time around I changed things up but still used barbri as a guide line maybe completing 25-30% of the program. I worked so I had to make the most of my time and only watched the lectures on topics that I struggled with.

I focused my energies where I knew there was the most room improvement and points, the MBE and essays. I did decent on the P&E the first time so I didn't spend a lot of time on that, and I didn't practice the MPT really at all. My theory behind this is every point earned on the MBE and essays is multiplied by 2 while every point earned for the remaining sections is divided by 2.

P&E if you are taking barbri take the P&E workshop if you haven't already, it is extremely helpful! For the last two weeks I did 1 crim&civ P&E everyday.

MBE. I highly recommend adaptibar I used it the second time around (just the questions portion I didn't get anything else from them) and I was able to raise my MBE from a 132.2 to a 147.7. Toss time adaptibar was all I used. I did 50 questions a day usually in increments of 5 or 10. If I 100% knew the answer I didn't read the explanations though that didn't happen often. If I narrowed it down to 2 answers and guessed right I read the explanation the correct answer and the other answer that I thought could be right. If I got the question wrong I read every explanation. Over all I completed 2400 questions with adaptibar at 70% correct at the end (i was averaging about 85% correct the last 3 weeks). On the Barbri midterm for J16 I scored a 117, and for the F17 midterm I scored a 142. Some of adaptibar's explanations suck, but for the most part, I found them helpful because they were short and to the point. Don't get discouraged at the civ and property questions they ask... when you compare your percentage to others on there you will see that the average is low for those topics. Adaptibar will break everything down into subtopics and you can go back and review the areas you need improvement on (this is where critical pass flashcards may come in handy).

Essays. I did about 4 to 5 essays a week, most were just outlines, then checking them against the model answers in the barbri book. The last two weeks (i took off from work) I did 3 essays from every topic a day, outlining them and checking them against the module answers. They use question over all the time, just changing names so if you do enough questions come test day there is bound to be a question(s) that looks very similar, if not exactly like a question from a previous exams. Whenever I got a rule wrong I made a flash card w/ general issue on the front and the rule on the back. Then before I would work on an essay topic I would review all the flash cards for that topic. Now, this part maybe a little over the top for most people, but I have an associative memory so I bought multi color flashcards and every topic had its own color (T&E, and Consumer law had a shared color) and I also had a color coordinating pen, so the rules were also written in the same color, as we're the practice essays. On exam day I brought the same pens and used the corresponding color to outline/underline the essays.

I by no means got a stellar score on the exam, but it is possible to work and study as a retaker and pass. It's about studying smarter not harder. I studied about 2-3 hours a day until 2 weeks before where I studied everyday for about 7-8 hours. I never had a set amount of hours I was going to study I always had daily goals and I studied/worked for as long as it took me to accomplish them. It is all about quality of study and not quantity I definitely learned that the second time around. If anyone has any questions feel free to ask!

P.s. if anyone is in the Katy area or willing to drive into Katy I have a bunch of study aids I am willing to give you like critical pass flashcards, leans sheets, barbri outlines (minor highlighting in some) Barbri and Kaplan MBE books, etc. Pm me if you are interested, and good luck!



OMG I wish I were near Katy! My stuff is sooo ancient. really appreciate your post, I was comparing your info to my study style/plan. Here's my plan, I'm taking February Bar:
Today until Sep 30:
P & E - Alternate days with Civ or Crim P&E - using previous exams starting back say...10 years worth and work to most recent then start over
MBE - Alternate days with Contracts, Evidence and Civil Procedure then Torts, Constitutional and Criminal Procedure
Essays - Alternate days with Oil & Gas, Wills, Trusts, Guardianships, Family, Community Property and then Business Associations, Secured Transactions, Negotiable Instruments, DTPA/Consumer and Bankruptcy. I'm not sure if I should split the essays in two 3 days...it seems like a lot each day.

From Oct 1 - Jan 1:
Start focusing on time management and throw in MPT and MPRE (I take in November) in place of P & E when it feels ridiculously clear I'm ok on P & E.
MBE: Increase the number of questions
Essays: Reduce the amount of time on crossover subjects and make sure I get through all previous essays shown on the last 10 years of exams.

From Jan 1 - Jan 30:
One full simulated exam in either one or two day.

From Feb 1 - Feb 15th or 16th:
GO GO GO ensure every area feels strong...work on what I've had the lowest scores or most struggles with over the last 9 months..

Head to Austin on Feb 16 or 17th:
RELAX the weekend, get acclimated to studying in the hotel room and get on a "bar schedule" (I have chronic fatigue so that's super important for me)

Feb 19th: Review my accumulated mess...err notes and get things set out for each day so I can review before/lunch/after each day.

Feb 20: PRAY....then look at each subject before that section of the exam....PRAY AGAIN!

I know this all looks rigid but with my ADD (squirrel!!!!) And chronic fatigue, I just can't get enough structure and even though I think I handled the February exam beautifully as far as time and stress management....that bar wasn't nearly as important to me as this one will be because my fatigue started right in the middle of my study schedule and I couldn't even get my name right....I had improved a ton by exam day but I think it's just learning to deal with the fatigue instead of it actually reducing.

Any additional thought/advice to my plan would be great!!!


I think you have good plan! Prayer is always helpful. I totally get the ADD/ADHD thing I cannot sit and study for an extended period of time and be able to focus. That is why all my studying was done in short increments through out the day (except the simulated MBE I did) the two weeks before i forced myself to start studying for longer blocks to help build up my stamina for game day! I also made sure that when I was doing my timing for the essays and the multiple choice to leave myself time to get up and go to the bathroom/ get a drink of water a couple of times for each 3 hour section. Becuase 1. I need to drink a ton of water so if I get dehydrated I get a horrible headache along with other miserable side effects, and 2. It's nice to be able to take a couple minutes and clear your mind/ walk around to help refocus. You have a great plan of attack, stick to it and don't get discouraged and you can pass next year!

jgar3
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2017 7:05 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby jgar3 » Mon May 01, 2017 4:59 pm

Feb17TBE wrote:Anyone here taking the bar for the FIFTH time? anyone? anyone? No? Just me? Yes, my friends, I have fought with this beast four times now. And I am, in no way in hell, giving up. Remember that story about the spider who kept climbing up the wall and falling? I am that spider. He climbed and fell, climbed and fell, but he never gave up. Failure is not when you fall down, failure is when you don't get up. This does not define me. But if I stop trying, it will. So, am I disappointed that I failed this time by 13 points? Yes and no. It had always been the essays that brought my score down, scoring even in the 0th percentile at times (if you can even call that a "score"). But this time I scored mostly between 48-87th range. So I focused all my energy on the essays this time and did as well as I could have hoped. I'd always scored in the 130s for the MBE but this time I got 117! lowest ever! It would have been nice to pass. So there's a tinge of disappointment there but I was actually very happy with my essay scores. I also scored on 79th and 86th for the P&Es and went from 20th percentile on the MPT to 58th this time. As a side note, I'd scored on 4th percentile on Feb16. I only see how much I've improved. I don't see how bad I've done it anymore. This is just how it's gonna work for me. I'm gonna be the girl who failed the bar 4 times. And that's ok. But I'm also gonna be the girl who never gave up. And that's the whole point.
So, if you've failed once, twice, or thrice, know that it doesn't define you. I went through phases of sobbing uncontrollably to taking the stairs at work so I don't have to feel embarrassed around other people. So, believe me, I know what you're going through. And you know what? nobody gives a shit. They'll give you strange looks for a few days, then they'll get on with their lives. Nobody has the time to go out of their way to think about how you failed and make you feel badly for it. If they do, they're just assholes. And they probably were assholes to begin with. So don't waste your time thinking about these types of people. Most people will encourage you, most will say, don't worry, you'll get it next time. Be grateful for these people but it doesn't matter what these people say either. What matters is what YOU think of yourself. You know how you studied, you know how much time you put into it. You even knew going into that exam hall how you prepared you were. Nobody needs to know or understand that but yourself. I've learnt that this exam is a beast. I just see myself as gathering more weapons to my arsenal every time I take this. It's a lesson learned each time. This time I've learned that you can't ignore or under-prepare for any portion of the exam. Know that you have 2.5 months to prepare yourself for the next battle. Prepare and prepare well. You have an advantage over the first-time takers. Know your weaknesses and focus on the weaker portions of the exam. Come up with a strategy. And the one that applies to me now, don't ignore the stuff you think you already know.
So let's do this. Feel free to message me if you wanna know my strategies or need help coming up with one. Because you need one. You need a plan of attack for this beast. Let's get crackin'. Kill the beast.



Hi, Yes I am taking the Bar for the fifth time as well. I agree, its definitely a beast. For a moment after seeing my results, I thought about doing something else with my life, but that would be giving up. I was 23 points away, so close! I am not going to give up now, that is not who I am. We can not let this thing beat us! Especially after so much time and energy spent on this! Thank you for posting this I felt I was the only one dealing with this. Emotionally, I am not 100% yet, and it is very scary to think about the possibility of not seeing my name on that list again, but that doesn't mean I will give up. I am too close to give up now.

Rhyder
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 3:33 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Rhyder » Tue May 02, 2017 8:54 am

I took the J16 bar and failed by 57 points. Took the F17 exam and passed, improving my overall score by over 100 points and my MBE by 27 points. Failing sucks, but passing on the second (or third or fourth or fifth) attempt is so worth it. Learning from those who passed was extremely helpful for me in my 2nd round of study. Please PM me and I'd be more than happy to break down my study schedule, materials I used, overall Exam attack plan and all that good stuff.

My best piece of advice is, after you get your study plan together, keep your head down and work like crazy. Don't waste precious time scouring forums or blogs for shortcuts or quick fixes. Don't compare your journey or timeline to anyone else. Stay in your own lane, put the work in and you will pass! Good luck!

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Mon May 08, 2017 5:55 pm

For any new people to this thread who haven't seen an earlier post.... we are getting a great study group together on WhatsApp..... post or message me with your phone number to be added to the group and don't forget to download the app.... hope to see you all there!

Debbie

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Pneumonia » Mon May 08, 2017 6:07 pm

Tag

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Thu May 11, 2017 2:05 pm

Pneumonia wrote:Tag


What does that mean?

User avatar
Pneumonia
Posts: 1787
Joined: Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:05 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby Pneumonia » Thu May 11, 2017 2:24 pm

dtjustice wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Tag


What does that mean?

It means I was saying something in the thread so that it would show up in my "posts" feed. I'm taking the bar in Austin (hopefully). Hello everyone. Do any of you know when we can expect to be informed of the city in which we'll be sitting? Do most people usually get their first-choice city?

User avatar
BVest
Posts: 7231
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:51 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby BVest » Thu May 11, 2017 8:35 pm

Here's the distribution of the most recent UCC and Trust/Guardianship questions:

Image

And here are MPT assignments:

Image

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Sat May 13, 2017 1:56 am

Pneumonia wrote:
dtjustice wrote:
Pneumonia wrote:Tag


What does that mean?

It means I was saying something in the thread so that it would show up in my "posts" feed. I'm taking the bar in Austin (hopefully). Hello everyone. Do any of you know when we can expect to be informed of the city in which we'll be sitting? Do most people usually get their first-choice city?



Ah... ok :-)

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Sun May 14, 2017 7:07 pm

Mnemonics help me a ton! Anyone have any for Trusts?

desertgirl
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 20, 2017 11:16 pm

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby desertgirl » Sat May 20, 2017 11:26 pm

I'm so glad I found this forum. I am an out of state taker and will be retaking the TX bar in July after missing it in Feb by 18 pts. I self studied for Feb and used critical pass. This time I am trying Kaplan and definitely need motivation as I have to continue to work while studying.

Anyone have any tips on study while working and managing family obligations?

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Sun May 21, 2017 9:00 am

desertgirl wrote:I'm so glad I found this forum. I am an out of state taker and will be retaking the TX bar in July after missing it in Feb by 18 pts. I self studied for Feb and used critical pass. This time I am trying Kaplan and definitely need motivation as I have to continue to work while studying.

Anyone have any tips on study while working and managing family obligations?


It is challenging but you're sooo close! You got this!!! If you'd like to join our study group, we're on WhatsApp...post or message me your phone number and I'll add you. There are others like you on there who are out of state and working...

This will be my 4th attempt which sounds bad but it's been over the course of almost 20 years that I've taken it 3 times....I just took February as one final practice so I can knock it out next February. The group is geared for July takers on the app so that will help you! I only work weekends with a few hours in between but it's still a pain to stop studying when I have to.

Good luck!

Deb

dtjustice
Posts: 63
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2016 8:15 am

Re: July 2017 Texas Bar Exam

Postby dtjustice » Thu May 25, 2017 6:36 pm

I'm looking at Wills/Estates essay information. It looks like there is no limit to finding a living heir, so in essence, Texas does not ever have an escheat situation....correct?




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