California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

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JakeTappers

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California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby JakeTappers » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:54 pm

Posted elsewhere but looking for advice from those who have become Cal bar gurus. I took the attorneys exam this past summer with exactly three weeks of studying, during which I was moderately working as well. Ended up failing with a 1382 scaled - 60/65/60/55/55/60 essay scores. Haven't taken a multiple choice bar in 6 years now and trying to decide whether to take attorneys or full. Recently did 200 MBE test on barprephero (not sure how accurate or reliable those questions are...please weigh in if possible) and got a 152 right without re-studying. Unless someone can speak to the quality of those questions, I am guessing it would be greatly beneficial for me to take the full exam, no? Just wanted to throw out these two "scores" and gather advice (any advice on how to frugally study going forward (in terms of both time and money) are welcome).

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:17 am

The attorney exam had a very low pass rate for July 18, I think around 30%. IMHO, it's always better to take the full exam, because doing so allows you to have 50% of your test objectively graded (MBE).

As for Barprephero, I hear that their free MBE materials tend to be on the easier side. I always suggest reviewing from real MBE materials (Adaptibar.com, NCBE site, etc)

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rcharter1978

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby rcharter1978 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 12:24 am

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:The attorney exam had a very low pass rate for July 18, I think around 30%. IMHO, it's always better to take the full exam, because doing so allows you to have 50% of your test objectively graded (MBE).

As for Barprephero, I hear that their free MBE materials tend to be on the easier side. I always suggest reviewing from real MBE materials (Adaptibar.com, NCBE site, etc)


This sounds like really good advice. Studying for the MBE should (SHOULD) also help bolster your general knowledge base which should (SHOULD) help with the essays.

JakeTappers

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby JakeTappers » Thu Dec 06, 2018 3:32 am

What would be an “auto-pass” MBE %? The one timerz calculator is super confusing since it’s out of 200 “raw” but appears to be really out of 175 or else is otherwise providing grossly higher passage rates than it should. Just trying to figure this out.

scard

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby scard » Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:20 am

Use this calculator instead.

https://seperac.com/calculators/BAR-CA.htm

I think for an auto pass (pretty much 50's and 55'a on all your writing), you need a 170+ scaled. Lots of people in other states reported achieving that score so its very doable and that's what I studied to achieve this last time. I was successful thank god!

Definitely shoot for the full exam. California is the hardest exam because the graders are tough. the exam material itself is not much different from other states' but where one state would grade an essay passing or high passing, CA may grade it 55 or failing. It is too objective and getting a Good MBE score to average out to 1440 is the way to go. You are looking at about 75% on the MBE to hit that 170 scaled mark. Good Luck!

jptx

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby jptx » Mon Dec 10, 2018 4:23 pm

After failing the attorney's exam (barely) in February 2018, I took the full two day exam and passed. If you are an attorney from another state it is likely you know general law, which is what is tested on the MBE. There are a lot of issues with the essay. Obviously grading is subjective, and quantitative word regurgitation is rewarded (but discouraged in real legal practice). But more important it is scaled to the mean MBE (even though you don't take the MBE), which in both last February (1355) and last July (2018) (1404) equates a failing score (below 1440). I think of this as starting the Essay portion with a failing score in July, and down nearly 100 points in February administration. (There is an argument about the strength of takers requires scaling, but I don't really buy into it.).

I incorrectly assumed time is money and the loss of one extra day was lost income. Obviously I was incorrect. As an attorney you took the MBE before (in my case it was 1986), and you probably won't score much differently than you did the first time. (I really did not study for the MBE portion) I don't know the exact score but it was above 150 [you can pay the MBE to find this out]. I am pretty sure I did worse on the essays this time (especially the dormant commerce clause issue), but averaging the MBE almost certainly helped.

Another gripe is I don't understand why the California bar does not offer scores to those who pass. I certainly could give future takers a little better information if I knew precise numbers.

FinallyPassedTheBar

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Mon Dec 10, 2018 10:04 pm

jptx wrote:After failing the attorney's exam (barely) in February 2018, I took the full two day exam and passed. If you are an attorney from another state it is likely you know general law, which is what is tested on the MBE. There are a lot of issues with the essay. Obviously grading is subjective, and quantitative word regurgitation is rewarded (but discouraged in real legal practice). But more important it is scaled to the mean MBE (even though you don't take the MBE), which in both last February (1355) and last July (2018) (1404) equates a failing score (below 1440). I think of this as starting the Essay portion with a failing score in July, and down nearly 100 points in February administration. (There is an argument about the strength of takers requires scaling, but I don't really buy into it.).

I incorrectly assumed time is money and the loss of one extra day was lost income. Obviously I was incorrect. As an attorney you took the MBE before (in my case it was 1986), and you probably won't score much differently than you did the first time. (I really did not study for the MBE portion) I don't know the exact score but it was above 150 [you can pay the MBE to find this out]. I am pretty sure I did worse on the essays this time (especially the dormant commerce clause issue), but averaging the MBE almost certainly helped.

Another gripe is I don't understand why the California bar does not offer scores to those who pass. I certainly could give future takers a little better information if I knew precise numbers.


I think that might be the reason! Perhaps the bar doesn't want you to give out better info.

Congrats on passing BTW!

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rcharter1978

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Re: California Bar - Attorneys/Full Exam Advice

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 11:09 pm

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
jptx wrote:After failing the attorney's exam (barely) in February 2018, I took the full two day exam and passed. If you are an attorney from another state it is likely you know general law, which is what is tested on the MBE. There are a lot of issues with the essay. Obviously grading is subjective, and quantitative word regurgitation is rewarded (but discouraged in real legal practice). But more important it is scaled to the mean MBE (even though you don't take the MBE), which in both last February (1355) and last July (2018) (1404) equates a failing score (below 1440). I think of this as starting the Essay portion with a failing score in July, and down nearly 100 points in February administration. (There is an argument about the strength of takers requires scaling, but I don't really buy into it.).

I incorrectly assumed time is money and the loss of one extra day was lost income. Obviously I was incorrect. As an attorney you took the MBE before (in my case it was 1986), and you probably won't score much differently than you did the first time. (I really did not study for the MBE portion) I don't know the exact score but it was above 150 [you can pay the MBE to find this out]. I am pretty sure I did worse on the essays this time (especially the dormant commerce clause issue), but averaging the MBE almost certainly helped.

Another gripe is I don't understand why the California bar does not offer scores to those who pass. I certainly could give future takers a little better information if I knew precise numbers.


I think that might be the reason! Perhaps the bar doesn't want you to give out better info.

Congrats on passing BTW!


If people got together and compared essay notes it would really highlight how much of a subjective crapshoot the whole thing is.



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