Law School Discussion

Nine Years of Discussion
;

Author Topic: Gearing up for the bar exam  (Read 7386 times)

Special Agent Dana Scully

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 8991
  • aka MCB
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2008, 10:23:41 PM »
tag
Columbia 3L

unlvcrjchick

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 249
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2008, 10:42:22 PM »
Question for those of you who took BarBri: would you say knowing the outlines in the Conviser book (I think that's what it's called) cold is all that you need to know to pass, or is it a must to study cover to cover the in-depth outlines in the other books as well?  I ask because someone - who passed the bar the first time - said that all he did was study the Conviser  to get the substantive law down cold, and the rest of the time, he just did practice essays/MBE questions.  I hope what he said is true, for it seems downright impossible to memorize all of the stuff in the 8 BarBri books.  It would also help ease the pressure, for I have to go out of town 5 days before the bar exam, and won't return until the Sunday before the bar exam; I plan on studying by listening the audio lectures I have uploaded to my iPod, and I'm hoping that is enough.

The thicker outlines are just more narrative than Conviser, but it's all the same thing. You should memorize Conviser and only look to the thick outlines if you don't understand something or if you missed a lecture. Otherwise, Conviser plus MBE practice should be enough.

Which Bar are you taking?

I'm taking the Nevada bar.  And thank you to those of you who responded to my question.  I figured that the Conviser would be more than sufficient, considering that the Conviser is pretty thick itself. I'm going to try to not stress so much - this is why I dropped the Essay Advantage course (taking 3 courses is definitely overkill!).  And I'm going to try to focus on writing practice essays (and practicing some MBE questions via my Study Smart software on my laptop) during my trip than on relying solely on my iPod lectures.  Again, thank you to all of you for your insights; helps lessen my anxiety a bit.

LawstCause

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #32 on: May 15, 2008, 11:50:20 AM »
Hey Smujd, how is that presidential library coming along?  The whole university should lose accreditation for allowing it.   After all, how can a serious scholarly institute allow a tribute to a giant d-bag.

smujd2007

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 2417
  • January 6, 2007
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #33 on: May 15, 2008, 10:08:25 PM »
The main thing is making sure you get in enough practice and having a structured review over all of the topics.  You don't want to do overkill on classes--you need time to digest outside of class, similar to what goes on in law school.  An hour prepping outside of class is just as important as an hour spent in class.  Also, the Conviser should be fine for most of your studies.  Most of the rules you need to know will prob. be there. 

Question for those of you who took BarBri: would you say knowing the outlines in the Conviser book (I think that's what it's called) cold is all that you need to know to pass, or is it a must to study cover to cover the in-depth outlines in the other books as well?  I ask because someone - who passed the bar the first time - said that all he did was study the Conviser  to get the substantive law down cold, and the rest of the time, he just did practice essays/MBE questions.  I hope what he said is true, for it seems downright impossible to memorize all of the stuff in the 8 BarBri books.  It would also help ease the pressure, for I have to go out of town 5 days before the bar exam, and won't return until the Sunday before the bar exam; I plan on studying by listening the audio lectures I have uploaded to my iPod, and I'm hoping that is enough.

The thicker outlines are just more narrative than Conviser, but it's all the same thing. You should memorize Conviser and only look to the thick outlines if you don't understand something or if you missed a lecture. Otherwise, Conviser plus MBE practice should be enough.

Which Bar are you taking?

I'm taking the Nevada bar.  And thank you to those of you who responded to my question.  I figured that the Conviser would be more than sufficient, considering that the Conviser is pretty thick itself. I'm going to try to not stress so much - this is why I dropped the Essay Advantage course (taking 3 courses is definitely overkill!).  And I'm going to try to focus on writing practice essays (and practicing some MBE questions via my Study Smart software on my laptop) during my trip than on relying solely on my iPod lectures.  Again, thank you to all of you for your insights; helps lessen my anxiety a bit.
smujd2007 is now an Attorney at Law!

AmazingGrace

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 6
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #34 on: May 18, 2008, 10:22:29 PM »
These answers are really going to be different for everyone...depending on how you learn best.  I only remember things that I write down...by hand.  So the Barbri lectures where the lecturers basically read what was on the outline in front of us and there was very little to write down, I had no knowledge of so it was time wasted. 

My regimen was...I did at least two essays and at least 66 MBEs every day.  Once a week I would do a performance test instead of essays.  I would then write down the explanations of the questions I got wrong and what subject matter they covered. I began noticing that I was always getting the same things wrong and that helped focus my studying for the last week and a half or so.  I also made a notation on the questions I guessed on.  If I guessed right, I went back and read the answers to see if I guessed based on the correct premise.  If I did not, I counted that as a wrong answer and treated it like the rest.  By the end, I had a whole journal full of answers and explanations to the things I kept getting wrong and I read over it the day before the exam instead of cramming anything else into my brain.  (This may seem weird) but I also took 11x17 paper and wrote out dozens of "posters" with rules i had a difficult time remembering and plastered them all over my apt.  That way, even when I was slacking off, watching tv, cooking dinner, washing dishes etc (and you will slack off sometimes, just accept it and move on)...there was still subliminal studying going on whenever I looked up.  Commercial breaks became mini study sessions.

Another thing I did that ended up working for me is that I went through the practice essay book and whited out/ covered the subject of the essay.  I did this becasue (at least on the CA bar) they won't tell you what the subject of the essay is (for ex: property/contracts crossover) like BarBri does and you'd be surprised how much you may rely on that label to guide your writing, especially when the call of the question is very general.  With most essays it will be fairly obvious what the subject matter is but others may not be as clear.  In any case, be cautious of leaning on things like that that won't be available to you during the test.   

All of that seems kinda anal now that I read it but it worked for me, which is kinda the point. figuring out what works for you is the biggest hurdle and the most important thing you can do when preparing.

uh huh.

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 121
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #35 on: May 19, 2008, 06:19:31 PM »
AmazingGrace - awesome advice. Thanks for posting. Thanks also for the hint about whiting out the title of the essays - NY is the same way with their essays, and I would not have thought to white out the titles on the practice ones.

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #36 on: May 19, 2008, 07:41:37 PM »
Ugh. I just picked up stuff. There's SOOO much.  And the study schedule is insane.

philibusters

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1076
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #37 on: May 19, 2008, 08:00:11 PM »
Ugh. I just picked up stuff. There's SOOO much.  And the study schedule is insane.

I am going to study a little everyday.  I don't care what there study schedule is because there is no way I am putting in 6 hours outside class a day.  I figure as long as I put in two or three hours a day without any distractions, I should be fine.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

jacy85

  • LSD Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 6859
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #38 on: May 19, 2008, 08:28:40 PM »
Ugh. I just picked up stuff. There's SOOO much.  And the study schedule is insane.

I am going to study a little everyday.  I don't care what there study schedule is because there is no way I am putting in 6 hours outside class a day.  I figure as long as I put in two or three hours a day without any distractions, I should be fine.

Yeah, that's my plan too.  A good friend of mine told me anywhere from 3-5 is enough (at least for the state I'm taking).  And there's no way in hell I'll be reading the big outlines.  I'll be going through the Conviser mini outline, and going to the big ones if I have any trouble.

unlvcrjchick

  • Sr. Citizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 249
    • View Profile
Re: Gearing up for the bar exam
« Reply #39 on: May 20, 2008, 02:47:05 AM »
Ugh. I just picked up stuff. There's SOOO much.  And the study schedule is insane.

I am going to study a little everyday.  I don't care what there study schedule is because there is no way I am putting in 6 hours outside class a day.  I figure as long as I put in two or three hours a day without any distractions, I should be fine.

Yeah, that's my plan too.  A good friend of mine told me anywhere from 3-5 is enough (at least for the state I'm taking).  And there's no way in hell I'll be reading the big outlines.  I'll be going through the Conviser mini outline, and going to the big ones if I have any trouble.

Yep, that's all I plan on doing, too. Today was the first day of the 6-day PMBR course, and all it did was scare the sh*t out of me. They make you take a 50-question test on the MBE subject of the day (today was Con Law), before you've even had a chance to study the outline. Well, today I got 20/50 correct, meaning I got a failing score on the MBE (you need around a 65-70 % to pass).  Then after the test, you watch a video where the professor goes over in detail all of the questions, and discusses why the correct answer is correct and why the wrong answers are wrong.

Although I found the lecture somewhat useful, I still don't like the PMBR approach of first testing you cold on a subject you haven't studied in years, for all it does is scare you to death as opposed to getting you in the mindset of studying.  Man, if I would have known I would have felt this bummed after the first test, I wouldn't have bothered taking the course.  For this reason, BarBri is a lot more realistic in that they don't test you immediately on the first day of class!  Anyone else feel the same way about PMBR?  It's a shame you can't get your money back...