The essays may be subjective in grading but it you don't spot the issues, know the rule statements and can't analyze to why someone should or should not be found guilty of murder (for example) then you won't pass.
The state manipulates the results. Why? The goal is qualify students who don't attend traditional law school or who failed first year at an ABA law school. I failed the first time by a close margin. In October 2012, I scored higher and the degree of difficulty was less, so I passed. I am a better student now because of the FYLSE. CLS gives sufficient preparation to pass but I didn't attend everything they offered. Bottom line, I just wasn't prepared enough the first time around. I know intelligent people who failed the test too. So many variables to taking any test, who writes the questions, who grades, the degree a difficulty, preparation, health, working and sleep all play a factor in the results.