Ray Hayden, J.D.

Ray Hayden, J.D.

Ray Hayden's Book

Ray Hayden's Book

Cat(s) of the Month:

Bella and Linus

Bella and Linus

Ray's J.D. (Juris Doctor)

Ray's Essays:

When you click on these links - the PDF file will download and open. You don't get taken to another page, it just opens with whatever PDF viewer you use.

The Transparency Project is just a natural progression from publishing my law study grades from day one.

I used open and distance learning to complete my bachelors and masters degrees and I could not have done it any other way. The study of law is a subject that can be mastered by those who are successful in the realm of distance education.

My entire purpose with this website is to demonstrate what can be accomplished through distance education.

I add to that purpose, the strong desire to assist others in being able to accomplish their goals to the best of my ability to do so.

For the FYLSX, that is what The Transparency Project is all about... join me in the good fight to make a difference for others who choose this difficult path to a worthwhile goal.

Ray's Essays:

Just a quick table with the links.

Ray's Essays California Bar Questions & Samples
Jun 2012 FYLSX essays. Jun 2012 Q&A's.
Oct 2012 FYLSX essays. Oct 2012 Q&A's.
Jun 2013 FYLSX essays. Jun 2013 Q&A's.
Oct 2013 FYLSX essays. Oct 2013 Q&A's.
Jun 2014 FYLSX essays. June 2014 Q&A's.
Oct 2014 FYLSX essays. Oct 2014 Q&A's

Discussion about my attempts at the FYLSX:

June 2012, First Attempt:

This was my first attempt at the FYLSX. The goal was to master the MCQ's and nail 100% on those, I scored a 65!

The other part of the plan was to "do as well as I could" on the essays.

The problem is that I prepared by doing many hundreds of MBE style MCQ's, only to end up memorizing them - which doesn't help on the FYLSX because they are NOT the exact questions we will see.

I went in, did the best I thought I could do, actually thought I had a shot at passing the FYLSX - and got my first dose of reality in mid August.

This is when my One Sheets and Definition Sheets had been born, and I worked my rear end off researching and preparing for the October 2012 FYLSX.

October 2012, Second Attempt:

I scored a 72 on the MCQ's this attempt, which is still far lower than I want to score on them.

For this, and all future attempts at the FYLSX, I have had more than 100% of the issues required to pass the exam in front of me on the One Sheets that I bang out when the proctor tells us to "begin."

On this attempt, I was doing very well with the procedure, but I missed a couple of issues and made two drastically stupid mistakes.

On Q1, I answered the first part of the question for the second part. Instead of just using cut and paste to move what I wrote to the correct location on the answer, I "went back up" into the answer and wrote from scratch.

By the time I got back to the second part of the answer - in my head - I had already answered it, so I just left my outline and wrote a conclusion without applying any analysis... this mistake killed my chances of passing the October 2012 FYLSX in the first hour of the day!

On Q3, I had moved on to Q4 when I remembered some issues that I forgot to discuss, so I jumped back over to Q3 and put them in the wrong part of the answer, and that sealed my fate.

I scored two 65's on this exam, and that would have been higher, but for my missing an important issue on Q2, and writing up the wrong party with the wrong injury on Q4 - and missing another issue on Q4.

I was very happy about the two 65's, but destroyed by the obvious mistakes that I will never make again.

June 2013, Third Attempt:.

Painfully, I scored a 65 on the MCQ's.

At the very last second, just before starting to write, I decided to change the style in which I write things up on this exam.

The only thing that kept me from being suicidal on this failure was that I actually exceeded several of my goals in case I did fail. I hit a 70 on one of the answers, and I did not score a single 55 on any of them.

The three 60's hurt, but the 65 on the MCQ's really hurt. This is the first FYLSX that I really had a shot at passing once the essays had been done, but it required that I score a 79 on the MCQ's - my goal was to beat an 80.

The most painful part of this FYLSX was that it was the third attempt, and I failed it. I had already completed all of the work for the 2L year, so I really needed to pass this exam. Failing this one cost me an extra $2,850 for the 2L tuition.

October 2013 FYLSX, Fourth Attempt:

In June 2013, a 79 on the MCQ's would have got me over the top. For October 2013, with only five more points on the essays, I only needed 73 MCQ points to pass.

I very much want to score higher than an 80 on the MCQ's - it is no secret. My problem on the MCQ's is reading comprehension. I am missing what it is that they are really looking for, and I also misread the options - choosing the wrong one.

When I fully grasp (correctly) the MCQ, I nail it home, almost every time. It is when I fail to properly read the question, or I confuse the option, that I get my head handed to me more often than not.

I also still miss issues on the essays.

For the MCQ's, I will be drilling on those with the intent to clearly identify why I am missing the correct answer, and this means I will be working with smaller numbers of MCQ's. In the past, I worked on massive numbers of MCQ's and ended up blasting through them and memorizing the darn questions... most of the ones I am practicing with now are all too familiar, and I have not looked at them in months!

If there is excellent news that makes me very happy at this point, it is in that I have now taken two FYLSX's without scoring a 55 or lower on any of the essays, and I have not scored lower than a 65 on the MCQ's.

My new goals are to score better than an 80 on the MCQ's and to score 65 or better on the essays. That combination should almost always pass the FYLSX.

I am looking forward to the June 2014 FYLSX.

June 2014 FYLSX, Fifth Attempt:

I am close to getting over the hump. I have written two 70's (one in contracts, one in criminal law), and three 65's (two in criminal law, one in torts), so I know that I can write close to passing scores.

I have scored 72 twice on the MCQ section of the exam, but I must score much higher than this.

I really need more thna 80 points on the MCQ's in order to really have a shot at passing the exam, and I need at least one 75 on the essays to help me out - along with nothing lower than a 65.

I head back for a sixth attempt in October 2014, so I hope that in mid December that I have much better news on this exam.

October 2014 FYLSX, Sixth Attempt:

The average of my four passing essays was 65 - what I call a low passing score. I scored 70, 65, 65, 60, on the October 2014 FYLSX.

The 78 on the MCQ's saved me this time out. Previously, I never scored above a 72 - and I only did that twice on my five previous attempts. With the essay scores I had this time out, I needed a 73 to pass... I got lucky with the 78!

I did two things differently for the October 2014 FYLSX.

First, I formatted my answers to look more like the passing samples in layout and how they might look to a grader. I think this helped me out somewhat. Another thing I did was to force myself not to tag the Conclusion at the end of the Analysis, and to make sure it was a stand alone statement - I think that helped too.

That was a planned change from how I had previously answered the essays, the other thing was a last second change that I thought of just as I started the exam. I read all four essays prior to starting any of them.

I always answered the essays 1 through 4, and I did this time too, but I fully read all four essays prior to starting my answers, and that is something I never did before.

The reason why I decided to do that is in that I work too fast and get ahead of myself, so I decided to force myself to slow down a bit more by actually taking my time to relax and read all four of the essays.

I did indeed take my sweet time looking over them too. This is the very reason why I sort of thought I failed the essays when I was almost done with Q4 when the proctor gave the One Hour Remaining Warning. I thought that I must have missed a LOT of material, because I had about 45 minutes left after wrapping up Q4 - the shortest answer I had at just over 500 words.

On the MCQ's, I answer them the same way every time. I start from 1 through 100, and I answer the MCQ's in the question booklet.

If I find an MCQ that is too long, too confusing, a pain in the rear end, I skip it and move on - I make notes about anything I skip as I move forward so that I know what I had in mind when I come back to it.

When I get done with Q100, I have an idea if I skipped a lot of MCQ's or not. For the most part, I did not skip a lot of them, so I start to fill in the answer sheet at this point and I make a second run through the exam booklet. When I come up on one of the questions I skipped, I look at the note I made and decide if I am going to skip it again or not... often, I do.

At the end of the second trip through the exam booklet, I should only have a few questions left unanswered, so I go back to those and take my sweet time thinking them through and make a decision. The third time is usually the last time I go through the booklet.

I then go from 1 through 100 and check to make sure that the answer I have on my answer sheet is the one I wanted to select to the best of my ability... then I do it again... then I do it again, and this last time, I make sure all the marks are as perfect as they can be, and that no extra marks are on the answer sheet.

Then I check the other side of the answer sheet with my name and information on it to be sure that is all perfect as well.

I have tried to be in the room until they release us, but I have never made it that long.

Normally, a proctor sees that I am obviously done, and they check me out. This time, I raised my hand until someone came over, then I checked out and left.

Part of my decompression from the exam is to sit outside until the last group is released from the exam site... I just want that last connection with all the warriors who went to battle with this beast of an exam.

I passed the October 2014 FYLSX, but I know that I got lucky... maybe it was part of the "practice effect" from taking the exam six times. They only have so many MCQ's, and I think I have seen them all. Part of my passing this version of the FYLSX absolutely had to do with the rotation of the MCQ's. I got more correct this time than any other time because of the MCQ's that we had on the exam... and with that, I got lucky... and I know it.

The essays had not been "my" essays... but a 78 is a very good score on the MCQ's, I know it, and I know I got lucky with the MCQ's that I saw.

Part of what helped me out was that I re-read the back of the exam booklet instructions several times during the exam. Some of the MCQ's have answers that WOULD have been correct - but for the instructions - which change what the right answer is.

I changed two of my answers almost immediately because of that point, and it affected how I selected several other answers, so the instructions on the back of the exam booklet did indeed help me out.