I really love your observation even if it is inaccurate:
"For you to score in the 60's on the essay portion means that you were objectively bad at understanding how to apply the law to a set of facts."
It was not "bad at understanding" it was not hitting all the issues, but my skill set improved, I just passed the FYLSE in October. Have no idea on my score since snail mail hasn't arrived here in Oregon.
An attorney at work made the same quick judgement about my June test, he said, "I must not have enough substantive knowledge." That was clearly an opinion that kicked my butt, because it just wasn't true.
As for the cat negligence question on the Tort question in October, I pretty much flew threw that explanation this time: RACE HORSE STYLE. I originally put how the day care operater should kill the cat, (that's what I would have done) but after I wrote that, I quickly deleted it and stated her options were clear, call the local animal shelter and have them trap the cats and keep the children indoors so no child would be harmed. The day careoperator was negligent in her actions when she knew the danger existed outside and her duty of care for those children as invitees - DofC of reasonable care to known dangers: those wild fury cats which can be pretty vicious and Oh MY Goodness: poop in the sand box, what state was she in, she would have been a trained operator in CA and would have known to pour Ammonia - a caustic hazardous substance in a sand box is a NO NO? Her license should be revoked. I had fun, but I was so drained after that test, the last 8 MPC's had to answer in the last 5 minutes so the last 3 were guesses. We then HAD to drive 11 hours home to Portland so I could be at work the next day!
At least we went to the Oakland Raider game the Sunday before;) That was my day of rest prior to the test.
My advice again, KNOW your RULE statements, speed writing or typing is the only way to score passing scores on the essays, missing one issue will be a BIG deduction, the lawyers who grade the essay give no mercy. We are all at mercy - even some students from brick and mortar schools suffer the consequence of taking this test, but at a 20% pass rate it isn't that anyone is a moron or that some people don't get the issues quickly or missed the issues, some under pressure have a hard time.
My test in June, we had a question that was a criminal law question and some answered it as a tort - Doc sent an emergency room patient home without seeing him because the nurse diagnosed the guy with indegestion when he had chest pains. On his way home, he suffered a heart attack while driving and crashed into a truck. He died. The call of the question was WHAT CRIMES could be found against the Doctor? LOL most who read that question thought TORT! One simple word and they got credit for their answer but most were 35 and 45 for missing the call of the question. I answered it correctly, my mistake was my opening statement or I would have passed that one. My conclusion, fry the doc (LOL not really) I put it could be negligent homicide due to his inaction but had to go through the entire MURDER fact pattern to conclude NH or No Crime if the court viewed it was reasonable for him to rely on the nurse's indegestion conclusion. I also put that if the state does find him guilty of negligence homicide, the state medical board might also consider the crime some sort of violation to his license and he might loose his license - but that shouldn't have been even put in the discussion.