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Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:17 am
by Angel66
I've read almost every article I could find on the PT strategies. Everyone says you need to outline, outline, outline... But in reality, there's no way that I can draw a nice grid in the designated time frame. For those who successfully passed the bar exam (especially the CBX), I have two questions:

(1) Did you actually make outline when you were doing the PT?
(2) How many practice PTs did you do before the exam?

Thanks!

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:21 am
by justanotheruser
Angel66 wrote:I've read almost every article I could find on the PT strategies. Everyone says you need to outline, outline, outline... But in reality, there's no way that I can draw a nice grid in the designated time frame. For those who successfully passed the bar exam (especially the CBX), I have two questions:

(1) Did you actually make outline when you were doing the PT?
(2) How many practice PTs did you do before the exam?

Thanks!


Multi-time repeater who just passed the Feb '18 CA exam here.

(1) I did outline, but they were very basic. If the directions specify 3 issues, I'd briefly outline each issue by noting (a) the law, (b) notable exception, and (c) key/ambiguous facts. This provided me a general roadmap that helped me manage my time as I wrote the PT on-the-go. Generally, I wanted to be done reading the cases and outlining within 30-40 minutes.

(2) Most of the time, I did a full practice PT every other week. But during the last 3 weeks, I think I did at least one a week. In total, I did about 8 full practice PTs. The biggest thing about practice was having a time management strategy and getting better at executing under time crunch.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:42 am
by northwood
I did but it was extremely basic and was more of an organizational method where I made the sections for the and put a brief reminder of what I wanted to put in each section. Took less than 5 minutes to do it.

I think I did 3 or 4 total

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:10 am
by sprintin23
I "outlined" if you call it that. I took the test via laptop and what I did is took about 5 minutes to make a basic template of the sections and then started writing as soon as I got done reading the library and file. I found myself running out of time making an outline on separate sheet of paper and converting it. Also, I did about 7 PT's during prep. The more you do, the more you get into a routine.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:32 pm
by JohnnieSockran
Yes, I outlined. You need to be doing this in practice, writing down any rules you find in your materials, and then adding in facts that fit under each rule statement to support the rule (argue facts both in your favor and against your argument--use them all)

I did a PT every week or other week, probably did about 5/6 total.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:06 pm
by scard
not a passer yet but did receive 65'a on my PT multiple times in my attempts.

I bring different color highlighters and I will highlight parts of cases/statues/facts pertaining to one call/issue in one color and other coordinating facts/cases/statutes with another color.

that way when its time to actually start writing, I don't have to keep looking for the text and can just refer to the color coding highlights.

for example, if the 1st call is about whether or not a city owes a duty, all caselaw that I intend to quote will be highlighted in yellow, along with all facts in our issue that the caselaw would apply to as well as any statutes.

if the second call is about what constitutes a breach I will highlight all caselaw statutes, and facts pertaining to breach in orange, etc...

then when its time to write, IRAC YELLOW, IRAC ORANGE, etc..

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 7:02 am
by northwood
If you want to use highlighters or what it, double check what is permitted for the specific jurisdiction where you are taking the test. Some states do not allow highlighters but others will.. you don’t want to practice something that you can’t use on the bar exam and you also don’t want to unintentionally violate a bar exam rule.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 9:28 am
by Neilt001
My style is more to make my outline as I go, rather than wasting time up front. Sure, I've got a general outline in my head, but I constantly changed my outline as my answers developed, and I would often go back and tweak things as I wrote (using a laptop). I took this approach and passed the NYBX first go. Obviously this is not advisable for everyone, and there's a risk (for some people) that you're making changes too late in the game and will run out of time. However I found my time better spent just writing the damn answer and moulding my answer/outlines as I went. That's the beauty of using a laptop!

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:13 am
by okaygo
Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 11:41 am
by sarahbeck10
Angel66 wrote:I've read almost every article I could find on the PT strategies. Everyone says you need to outline, outline, outline... But in reality, there's no way that I can draw a nice grid in the designated time frame. For those who successfully passed the bar exam (especially the CBX), I have two questions:

(1) Did you actually make outline when you were doing the PT?
(2) How many practice PTs did you do before the exam?

Thanks!



No. For me, the MPT timing is super tight and I knew I wouldn't be able to create an outline like the one taught in bar prep. Anytime I practiced I spent way too much time outlining so I knew I needed to skip it on the day of. Instead, I just created rough sections and sentences in the actual exam as I was going through the material and then cleaned everything up and added the substance once I was done reading. I feel like time is better spent cleaning up your answer and making sure you have it tailored to the specific task asked for, rather than creating a perfect outline to go off of. I believe the way they teach how to do outlines in bar prep is almost impossible to do within the time limit. They make them so detailed.

I did 2 full MPTs under timed conditions and read through the packet and then model answers for another 2-3. I really didn't make the MPT a priority but I took the exam in IL and we only do one, rather than the 2 I believe UBE jx take. That said, I do think its easy points if you prepare. I think the biggest thing is making sure you familiarize yourself with the different types of tasks (briefs, memos, motions, etc.) that are likely to show up and know how to respond in each. You will get points for responding in the correct format.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:30 pm
by Neilt001
okaygo wrote:Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.


Totally agreed. I do it on the fly, and change it as the essay slowly comes together. It always works. I can type and analyse at the same time. I remember sitting there during the bar exam and immediately starting to type after finishing the readings. The two people sitting next to me spent another 10 mins doing some stupid outline on paper, while I continued to type and rack up points. Scored in the 89th percentile on MEE/MPT.

But obviously this system isn't for everyone!

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 2:31 pm
by Neilt001
sarahbeck10 wrote:
No. For me, the MPT timing is super tight and I knew I wouldn't be able to create an outline like the one taught in bar prep. Anytime I practiced I spent way too much time outlining so I knew I needed to skip it on the day of. Instead, I just created rough sections and sentences in the actual exam as I was going through the material and then cleaned everything up and added the substance once I was done reading. I feel like time is better spent cleaning up your answer and making sure you have it tailored to the specific task asked for, rather than creating a perfect outline to go off of. I believe the way they teach how to do outlines in bar prep is almost impossible to do within the time limit. They make them so detailed.

I did 2 full MPTs under timed conditions and read through the packet and then model answers for another 2-3. I really didn't make the MPT a priority but I took the exam in IL and we only do one, rather than the 2 I believe UBE jx take. That said, I do think its easy points if you prepare. I think the biggest thing is making sure you familiarize yourself with the different types of tasks (briefs, memos, motions, etc.) that are likely to show up and know how to respond in each. You will get points for responding in the correct format.


Totally! Down with outlines!!!

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:23 pm
by justanotheruser
Can echo a lot of the sentiments expressed here. For me, highlighting/underlining was kept MINIMAL. The only thing I highlighted/underlined were the few things I wanted to jot down in my very sparse outline -- the major rule, major exception, and key/ambiguous facts.

When you're trying to outline/highlight/undelrine EVERYTHING, you end up forgetting a lot and forcing yourself to go back and re-read, etc. Instead, it was much better for me to have a basic outline (as described above) and get into writing asap.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:03 pm
by LockBox
I found a system that worked for me. I read the instruction memo and if the PT was straight forward I started typing right away. If I knew there would be three sections, I did those sections and then as I read the file, I would type the rules (w/citation after each sentence) right then and there. No highlighting and going back etc. Later I would copy/paste as needed. I always scored 65/70 on the PT's so ymmv.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 8:04 pm
by LaShuanMichelle
okaygo wrote:Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.


I am very interested in any tips that you may have to offer regarding format. This will be my 3rd time taking the bar I always come so close but not enough to pass, this last attempt I scored a 257. Good news is I only need to retake the MPT/MEE part of the exam, bad news is, I am a slow reader and a moderately paced typer. Any way, I went to review my essays today and I noticed that my format is different from the sample answers. I usually stick to IRAC for the MEE but in the model answers I see they put all the legal questions in the beginning, then do a summary then they go into each question using a CRAC . I also label each area, Issue: then state the issue, Rule then state all the rules, Analysis: .... and Conclusion..... However I noted the sample answers did not do this they wrote a response in a more fluid way.

Im just wondering whether it is worth it to spend time on changing my format and whether it will get me the extra points I need to pass or focus more on writing better answers. My last exam I got four 3's and a 4, and a 1 ( because I wasn't familiar with the topic and I answered it 75% incorrect.)

I am also averaging a 3 on my MPTs. I also have not done well with formatting on the MPTs either. Any help you can give, based on your experience, that would help me focus my time on the most beneficial things would be greatly appreciated.

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:31 am
by sarahbeck10
LaShuanMichelle wrote:
okaygo wrote:Absolutely not. I just typed out/retyped what appeared to be the relevant facts while I was reading it and then reorganized them and sprinkled in some analysis. I scored significantly higher on my MEE/MPT portion than MBE and I think its from racking up points on the MPT. I personally didn’t get the point in sitting there and reading and underlining but I’m a good typer who can type and read at the same time.


I am very interested in any tips that you may have to offer regarding format. This will be my 3rd time taking the bar I always come so close but not enough to pass, this last attempt I scored a 257. Good news is I only need to retake the MPT/MEE part of the exam, bad news is, I am a slow reader and a moderately paced typer. Any way, I went to review my essays today and I noticed that my format is different from the sample answers. I usually stick to IRAC for the MEE but in the model answers I see they put all the legal questions in the beginning, then do a summary then they go into each question using a CRAC . I also label each area, Issue: then state the issue, Rule then state all the rules, Analysis: .... and Conclusion..... However I noted the sample answers did not do this they wrote a response in a more fluid way.

Im just wondering whether it is worth it to spend time on changing my format and whether it will get me the extra points I need to pass or focus more on writing better answers. My last exam I got four 3's and a 4, and a 1 ( because I wasn't familiar with the topic and I answered it 75% incorrect.)

I am also averaging a 3 on my MPTs. I also have not done well with formatting on the MPTs either. Any help you can give, based on your experience, that would help me focus my time on the most beneficial things would be greatly appreciated.



I would recommend against using the "Issue: Rule: Analysis: Conclusion:" headings. Whoever grades your essay should be able to determine which paragraph is what just from reading. Maybe you could insert them to help yourself as you write and then take out before submitting? I find that alot of model answers have the topic as a heading to organize the flow, and that is how I formatted my answers on the exam. For example:

1.
Battery
IRAC

Assault

It doesn't work for every single answer, but probably for most. The biggest thing is they want you to have picked out the right rules/analysis, so doing it this way helps. I think this is an underrated issue that isn't really addressed heavily by bar prep companies, but should be. Just remember every grader is reading hundreds of essays and the more clear and concise you make your answer, the easier it is for them, making it more likely for you to get max points. Good luck!

Re: Successful bar passers, did you really outline for the Performance Test in the real exam?

Posted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:33 pm
by northwood
This is more of a response for the mee/ state bar essay than for the mpt but if you can find a way to highlight or underline key words, it may help ensure maximum points since the graders may just skim more than read your essays