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UPDATE: 30 December 2017...I have not made any videos for a few weeks, but I have plenty to make, just no time (I wonder why???) right now.Bar Prep Books:
I plan on updating a lot of things on this site as soon as I am done with the February Bar Exam.
This is the book I am using for the MBE efforts that I am making in Bar Prep:
Strategies and Tactics for the MBE. This is the one I refer to as The MBE Book.
Essay Exam Writing for the California Bar Exam. This is the book I refer to as The California Bar Essay Book... this is THE go to item I use for intially creating my Definition Sheets!
I am flying through the 605 MBE questions that I am working with. I need to slow down a bit to make sure I am fresh on exam day.
In thinking about it, I should probably take some time off from the MBE practice and go to work with more intensity on the Definition Sheets, letting my mind relax a bit on the MBE side of the exam.
I am not sure what I am going to do exactly, but, knowing that these are not the actual MBE's I will see on the MBE exam, I need to make sure I am solid on the Design and Logic of it all going forward.
I need to put some solid focus into the writing side of the exam at this point, and see what I can come up with to make sure that I am as solid as I can be when I need it!
Much to think about... I might also take this coming weekend off from studying to let things sink in a bit...
At this point in time, my schedule consists of doing 605 MBE's every day, and working on the Definition Sheets.
The original plan of attack had me working on what I refer to as Essay Review, which would have been in the realm of "Pulling Issues" out of the old Passing Sample Essays for use in my Definition Sheets... however, like I discovered during my 2L year, this doesn't work.
Even though I have completed my school program, I couldn't really figure it out - I still can't, but I suspect it is that those Passing Sample Essays actually don't write out hard core IRAC, but more of a hidden IRAC. I refer to it as a hybrid story telling version of an essay answer.
If someone looked over the FYLSX Passing Samples, they would easily see the obvious difference, as we all write some absolute IRAC answers. I assume that the culprit are the Bar Prep programs, who likely teach folks how to write in a different format.
Fine Commercial Bar Prep Programs... let the games begin!
Here is the way I have to approach it. If you recall my discussions on other pages of the site, I Pulled Issues out of a good number of Passing Sample Essays from the FYLSX... I then went to work making perfectly imperfect Definitions (Rules), which is why I call my outlines Definition Sheets - now you know.
I also speak highly of the California Bar Essay Book. If there is an issue for me with that book, it is - as with many resources that I found, it still covers MORE than what we MUST know cold, and even I have difficulty memorizing that much data!
The process, therefore, is for me to basically type the California Bar Essay Book outlines into a new document... just typing what they have. Then I have to edit it down, a LOT.
I have to take most of what they have and reword it all into something that will work for my brain... then I have to tweak the hell out of that until I am happy with it - am I ever happy with it??
Then, because I cannot effectively Pull Issues out of the old Passing Sample Essays, I go about it a different way. I already decided that I would only use the five most recent administrations of each subject - this goes back to about 2011 to capture enough of them. What I do at this point is use those essays to ELIMINATE things from the rough draft of the Definition Sheets.
I then continue to go about tweaking and editing the material to make it work for me, but, in the process, I am working on memorizing the material... and it will - hopefully - be of an amount that I CAN memorize it all well enough to have a decent performance on the Bar Exam!
I'll let you know how all that works out in May.
I will not likely update the little chart anymore. At this point, I have scored 100% on the 210 MBE question group that I have... and this morning, I did that.
As a reward for my good fortune, I decided to take the 395 MBE group of questions that I have as well! The goal has always been to get to the point where I could do the 605 MBE questions in one day... this is why I started prepping for the Bar Exam with the MBE's, and the day after I completed my Final Exams.
I started them at 8:07am, and completed them at 10:45am. If my math is right, that is two hours and thirty eight minutes. That works out to be 158 minutes. 158 minutes divided by 605 MBE's works out to be about .26 minutes per MBE.
I can do better.
When I was in my wheel house on the FYLSX, and working with the 299 MCQ's from the Siegel's books, I could get them all done in under thirty minutes with 100% accuracy... that is around .10 minute per MCQ, and is almost as fast as I can turn pages.
I know why the right answers are right.
Here is a problem... these are NOT the MBE's we will actually be seeing on exam day!
Here is another problem... my essay writing skills suck... bad!
I need to try and get to the point where I can write a half decent essay answer. By that, I mean that I need to score 60's or better. With those sorts of scores, I am going to be right at the "just failing" side of the house. So I need to also hit a few 65's, and a 70 or two would be sweet... I seriously doubt I will hit higher than a 70 on any part of the written exam, and even 65's might be a dream.
I will try for the elusive, award winning, perfect 100... but in reality, I know... I know...
In my law study program, I had my head handed to me constantly on the essays.
What I did in school, was to force myself to focus on the Bar Exam Essays. Sure, I would try like hell to write perfect answers on my school essays, but I worked them like I was taking a Bar Exam on those subjects... to make sure I had some of the information in my head to have a shot at the Bar Exam down the road.
I also planned specifically to develop my own prep program targeting the areas where I needed the best opportunity at passing.
I'll let you know how it all works out in May, when the results are mailed out to us.
Always planning, and trying to get the job done better, more effectively and efficiently, I plan on prepping for July 2018 from the moment I get back from February 2018! I hope to not NEED to return, but the exam appears to be hungry for examinees, and it might just make a snack out of me... if it does... I'll be training for the rematch!
Chart Update:Updated: 210 MBE's, 30 in each subject, 11 January 2018The Real Property one I missed was due to not understanding the proper language. The one I missed in Civil Procedure was stupid. I knew the right answer, and I actually read the fact pattern because it was interesting and I wanted to review it in a little more detail, and I knew the right answer, I just - for some reason - wrote the wrong letter.
CivPro.......(-18, -2, -2, -1)
ConLaw.....(-12, -1, -2, -0)
Contracts..(-14, -1, -0, -0)
CrimLaw....(-15, -1, -0, -0)
Evidence...(-19, -0, -0, -0)
RealProp...(-11, -1, -1, -1)
Torts..........(..-5, -1, -0, -0)
Later on, after the Bar Exam, I will clean this page up a LOT, primarily it is to share what I am doing "Right Now," but it is also serving as a notebook to myself so I can reduce it all to a singular page later on for Bar Prep.
I placed two links at the top of this page for the two books I am focused on the most during prep, The MBE Book, and the California Bar Essay Book.
The MBE Book is what it is, and I will go into fine detail on all of it later on. I really need to experience the Bar Exam first hand so that I have practical experience with it, and can make intelligent analysis as to what I did to prepare.
Repeating myself, I am not using a commercial bar prep program. I believe I saw serious value in going at this in a self study fashion to get the job done. I also believe that I have proven myself to be tenacious enough to work my plan to make it work.
This might slap my in the head, but if my plan of attack works... can you imagine?
There are a couple of projects that I want to work on:1) Make a program to assist folks considering the study of law, a "look see" approach.My primary goals are effective efficiency, and at a very low price point.
2) A program to assist current students to be more efficient and effective.
3) Continue to tweak the FYLSX Prep Page and program.
4) Create my approach to prepping for a successful Bar Exam.
The way my programs will work is that they are not in competition with anyone, in fact, many of the programs out there could very well still be used with what I end up publishing... a person could add in anything they choose, we all learn in different ways, and flexibility is a powerful ally!
Enough about that for now... time to get back to work!
It is still 10 January 2018, but this evening, my grades started to roll in... as always, good, bad, or ugly, these are my grades from the Mid Term and Final Exams for the 4L year... I'll post the grand total final grades and over all GPA on the JD home page when I have those.Administrative Law Mid Term Grade (B-); Final Exam Grade (C+)My overall grades are easy enough to figure out based on what I am looking at here, but it is not "official" until I get it on the final transcript.
Community Property: Mid Term Grade (C); Final Exam Grade (A-)
Professional Responsibility: Mid Term Grade (B+); Final Exam Grade (B-)
Trusts: Mid Term Grade (B); Final Exam Grade (B-)
Wills: Mid Term Grade (C+); Final Exam Grade (B-)
Rather than going through all of the math, there is a shortcut. Simply take the numerical value of the grade and add them up.
For the Mid Terms, it came up to a 13.3. Then we have to take the total and divide that by the number of classes, which was five for the 4L year. That number is multiplied by .33, because the Mid Term is one third of our overall grade, and the Final is worth the other two thirds.
For the Mid Term, the score came out to be .8778, which is not as bad as it might look. From that number, I knew what I would need to graduate successfully. I simply take 2.0 and subtract the .8778, which is 1.1222.
As long as I did not completely fail all five of my Final Exams, I knew I would be successful - turns out I did better than I had on any group of exams I had taken at the school since I began! A nice ending!
The score for the Final Exams is figured out by adding up the Finals, 14.1, and dividing by 5, then multiplying by .66 to get the rest of the score. In this case, it ended up being a 1.8612, and when added together with the .8778, I graduate with a 4L GPA of 2.739 - about a B- for the year - my best finish yet.
My overall GPA is going to be slightly lower... but I graduate!
My reward? Tomorrow morning I get to test on 210 MBE's, and in the afternoon, I am working on the Real Property Definition Sheet!
First things first, let's hit that chart update:Updated: 210 MBE's, 30 in each subject, 10 January 2018Again, I have two sets of MBE's - Strategies and Tactics for the MBE. This is the one I refer to as The MBE Book.
CivPro.......(-18, -2, -2)
ConLaw.....(-12, -1, -2)
Contracts..(-14, -1, -0)
CrimLaw....(-15, -1, -0)
Evidence...(-19, -0, -0)
RealProp...(-11, -1, -1)
Torts..........(..-5, -1, -0)
The other set are also retired MBE's, just different - but not really all that much, which is what I was hoping for!
If you are working with the MBE's - and you have different sets of the MBE questions, take a look at them over time, doing them over and over again. See if you notice that they are really just changing words around a bit, but addressing the same areas of the subject.
I swear that I am seeing the exact same questions, asking the same exact thing... just in a different way, go figure! This, however, is excellent news for me, because I am seeing - and noticing - that these seem to be repeating ideas... and that gives me a shot at a possible passing score on the MBE side.
Now I want to address my Definition Sheets. To be really clear on what these are, "normal" law students would refer to these as their student created Outlines.
Let me know if mine seem different. I have a few requirements for mine, and the FYLSX Definition Sheets on the FYLSX Prep Page will have those for comparison.Let me see if I can remember those requirements...I continue to work on the Definition Sheets after I do my morning MBE testing... and it is time to get back to it!
1) One side printing only.
2) Minimum of a 10 point font, no smaller.
3) Plenty of "white" space (blank space (like the Taylor Swift song)) around the text.
4) 1" (one inch) margin on the left (for three hole punch).
5) .8 inch margins on the top, bottom, and right.
6) Title in 12 point font.
7) Font face is Aroania (it's like Verdana) (I use Libre Office, and Ubuntu (Linux)).
8) They must not be, not ever, more than five pages long!
On Saturday and Sunday, I finished off my efforts (for now) with the 395 MBE's I had been working with, and I actually did finally score 100% two times in a row.
When I began working with the MBE's in December 2017, I started off by reading every single word in The MBE Book, and instantly reviewing the right answer and why it was right, and why the answer I selected was wrong. For this new practice, I did not do it that way - instead, I just started testing.
I have an additional 210 MBE's that I am working with, and today was the first time through, just testing. Here are the results of that effort:Updated: 210 MBE's, 30 in each subject, 8 January 2018This could have been a whole lot worse... in fact, I actually scored a respectable 55% on this set. While I want to get a lot more of them correct - and I will be! - this is not such a bad start.
I am hoping to start nailing these at 100% very soon!
The rest of this week, I will be testing every morning on these MBE's, then working with my Definition Sheets the rest of the day.
If I can get all of my Definition Sheets where I want them to be, I will feel MUCH better about the exam!
Officially being done with school, I still have to wait for the notification that I was actually successful in graduating. If my math was correct, and I did not actually fail every single final exam... I graduate successfully.
Back to Bar Prep!Updated: 5 January 2018: 2:19pmSometimes I miss the same questions, other times I miss completely different ones. This is all part of the fun in working with the MBE's.
CivPro.......(-12, -3, -0, -0, -0, -0, -0, -0)
ConLaw.....(-5., -1, -1, -X, -1, -0, -0, 0)
Contracts..(-3., -1, -0, -0, -1, -0, -0, -0)
CrimLaw....(-6., -3, -1, -0, -0. -0, -0, -0)
Evidence...(-12.,-8, -2, -1, -2, -2, -1, -1)
RealProp...(-10, -9, -8, -6, -3, -2. -0, -1)
Torts..........(-3., -0, -0, -0, -0. -0, -0, -0)
I am getting closer to making a final selection on the laptop computer I will be using on the Bar Exam.
I wanted to use my FYLSX exam laptop, but it appears that I need to acquire a new laptop for the Bar Exam, just to be sure!
Since I need to acquire a new laptop (I hate HAVING to do so!), I decided that it ought to serve a number of purposes going forward, from the Bar Exam, to editing video files and playing video games. I am not completely locked in just yet, but I need to get into the work on my Definition Sheets and do the computer shopping as I can... but I will need to get the thing by around the end of the month.
Back to Essay Review!
I finally wrapped up initial review on Business Associations. The problem I was having with this one is that a lot of information did NOT look familiar to me. However, I never made up the Definition Sheets for 2L, and Agency and Partnership is part of that. I do not expect as much trouble with Criminal Law, but Criminal Procedure, part of it, is also a 2L stand alone subject for us... and I don't have that either.
Real Property and Remedies are the other two subjects I never made Definition Sheets for... which explains much on my head scratching of late.
The Essay Review is going to evolve to something other than what I thought it might have been. What I feel it is going to be is more of my creation of the missing elements of the Definition Sheets from 2L... and perhaps I ought to focus on that, but then, once I get those completed... then I focus on memorizing all of my Definition Sheets as well as trimming them down.
There is a lot of stuff that is not discussed in the most recent essays... and this is where things are going to get dicey for me. The deal is that in focusing ONLY on the five most recent administrations of each subject, what I am HOPING for, is that I capture all of the most important issues so that I might be able to have enough data in my head to write decent ENOUGH essays to pass the written side of the Bar Exam.
This is precisely where I might have my head handed to me on my game plan. I never did completely nail down all of the information that I wanted... for 1L, I did not have my Definition Sheets for the FYLSX - I did not create those until I failed the June 2012 FYLSX!
Painfully, for 2L, I never made them and was running out of time fast... which is why I never made them. A buddy of mine tipped me off to the California Bar Essay Book, and in 3L, I used that to assist me in finding what I needed to understand to create my Definition Sheets - but they had been much longer than I had hoped... to make them fit on five pages, I used a smaller font, and got rid of a lot of "white space" around the text... I like a lot of room around the text for formatting my Definition Sheets, so they look more like the FYLSX Definition Sheets... and are much easier to use and memorize!
Now, I am using the California Bar Essay Book along with the Passing Sample Essays to assist me in making the missing Definition Sheets from 2L, and also merging the subjects that need to be combined, Criminal Law with Criminal Procedure - and, Agency and Partnership with Corporations.
Basically, the only ones I have nothing for are Real Property, and Remedies. I should be able to get those completed in a decent time frame, and is typing about it, I will go ahead and focus on those next. I just need to fatten out the Business Associations section first, which I hope to have done tomorrow.
With typing about this, it helps me focus... so it is like a little diary for me now too. Starting next week, I will work on making my Definition Sheets for Remedies and Real Property... my initial goal is to get the Definition Sheets roughed up into shape. I will also be working, as I can, on Checking the other subjects to be sure I have the most current lists of issues.
Once I get that done, I will work on trimming down ALL of my Definition Sheets to be as lean as I dare make them.
And to wrap up the thought on all of that... I am hoping that the fine detail effort I am going to be putting into these things will assist me in memorizing enough of them to have a shot at passing the written side of the exam. For that, once I get them leaned out, I will go to work hard on memorizing 100% of what I come up with.
I just want to touch on memorizing for a second... I have seen so many things whereby the article is talking about NOT memorizing the material... flatly... I think that is stupid. We MUST memorize a TON of information - there is no way around it, if we do not have this information locked down, we are going to pay a price... I THINK what they mean is to not JUST memorize it... but to actually KNOW the material as well... and that would be fine... we still have to MEMORIZE it!!!
I would love to know all this stuff cold, I really would... just imagine if we all knew this stuff cold! It would be like every single one of us just passes the bar exam, no fuss, no muss. We all know our own names pretty well. All of us are going to pass that part of the exam - getting our name on the document! Wouldn't it be fantastic to have ALL of this stuff known as well as we know our own name?
That is what I am talking about when I discuss memorizing the material. And that is also why I must make mine as lean as I can, so I can not only memorize it all cold... but actually know what I am talking about.
The reality is that I started with the longest process first, to get up to speed as soon as I could - MBE efforts. I then added in the next most painful effort, Essay Review... which is painfully slow right now, but it will get here, where I need it to be soon enough, I hope!
I expect to be working with MBE's and the Essay Review/Definition Sheets from this point on, right up until exam day, and the MBE's one last time the night before the MBE exam!
Around the 29th or so, I will be adding in one last item (thus far)... Performance Test efforts. From that point, until the exam day gets here, I will be working with MBE's, Essay Review/Definition Sheets, and PT's every single day... all through February.
Thanks for letting me vent!
Today is my last official day of school. I previously mentioned the 5th, but that was my start date. The 4th is my end date.
To update my little chart:Updated: 4 January 2018: 2:00pmIn short, out of the 395 MBE's I am practicing with, today, I only got one wrong. I have three more efforts with this set of MBE's, then I switch over to the 210 additional ones I have. I will build up the speed on those, then bring back these 395 to work a larger set of 605 total MBE's... and I will work on those every single day once I get them together.
The little periods and things are my attempt to make it all line up better, for funsies.
CivPro.......(-12, -3, -0, -0, -0, -0, -0)
ConLaw.....(-5., -1, -1, -X, -1, -0, -0)
Contracts..(-3., -1, -0, -0, -1, -0, -0)
CrimLaw....(-6., -3, -1, -0, -0. -0, -0)
Evidence...(-12.,-8, -2, -1, -2, -2, -1)
RealProp...(-10, -9, -8, -6, -3, -2. -0)
Torts..........(-3., -0, -0, -0, -0. -0, -0)
Efforts on the Essay Review are painfully slow right now. Hopefully, I will move faster through them in the near future. I can invest the month of January into working these things up, then I have to change up on the mode of what I am actually doing with.
By the 29th, when I pull the PT efforts into the mix, I need to be working hard core on the Definition Sheets specifically.
After this exam, I am going to have some pretty strong opinions about things that I see on the exam. I have a pretty decent ability to recall what I see on these exams (based on my experience with the FYLSX), and I will make a lot of notes after the written portion, and on the flight back home in regard to the MBE's.
I will post some initial thoughts as soon as I am back online, but I have a lot of work to do now.
ExamSoft (Examplify), has the laptop requirements for the Bar Exam, and it seems like the little laptop I purchased just for Bar Exams is no longer any good for them... it has been an excellent computer though! I still use it to this day, and it has been good enough to edit video with (though slower than my new desktop computer!).
In the midst of all the prep, I have to "spec out" (identify the technology I want) a new laptop computer that is good enough to play some kick ass games
1) I like really great games, but more importantly, 2) A really great gaming laptop is also an excellent video editing computer... and no matter how rich and powerful I become as an attorney, I pretty much expect to be creating and editing video for the rest of my life.
To update my little chart:Updated: 3 January 2018: 12:16pmThis represents six runs of 395 MBE's (which includes 40 made up CivPro questions).
CivPro (-12, -3, -0, -0, -0, -0)
ConLaw (-5, -1, -1, X, -1, -0)
Contracts (-3, -1, -0, -0, -1, -0)
CrimLaw(-6, -3, -1, -0, -0. -0)
Evidence (-12,-8, -2, -1, -2, -2)
RealProp (-10, -9, -8, -6, -3, -2)
Torts (-3, -0, -0, -0, -0. -0)
Having to correct an error here. The "X" in ConLaw was really just a spacer. I was taking four subject exams, then I migrated to the "Big Test" of all seven subjects. That "X" is in the fourth spot, so I am counting that I have gone through the Big Test of all seven subjects only twice now.
That being the case, I want to go through all seven subjects in a single long test at least six times before evolving what I am doing with the MBE's.
I have a group of another 210 MBE's. After I go through the Big Test of these MBE's six times, I will switch over to the other 210 MBE's that I have (a total of 605). I will not be working on these 395 until I get to the point of working on a Big Test of all seven subjects in the 210 additional MBE's I have... but once I start working on those for a few runs, I will put them all together and start working on 605 MBE's in one huge test each day... I will make it clearer when I get there.
For the rest of the day, and each afternoon, I will be working on the Essay Review. The primary function is to work with the entirety of the Essay, from fact pattern to both Passing Sample Answers in an effort to master the Issues discussed and the flow of a Passing Sample Answer.
I have the five most recent exams in each subject (mostly), and I will be working with a total of 64 exams, and 128 Passing Sample Answers.
I took the Big MBE Test Today, here is the updated chart thing... the "X" in ConLaw is an exam I skipped because I just started taking the big test, which I will be doing from now on.
Today, I missed seven. It took me an hour and forty four minutes to go through 395 MBE's. I have memorized most of the Fact Patterns at this point.Updated: 2 January 2018: 2:21pmFor the rest of the day, I will be reading over the 64 exams which cover, for the most part, the five most recent Bar Exams on each subject. Wills and Trusts come up together as you might imagine, and they are not tested as often as the other subjects. I also have six of the Professional Responsibility exams due to some cross over exams along the way.
CivPro (-12, -3, -0, -0, -0)
ConLaw (-5, -1, -1, X, -1)
Contracts (-3, -1, -0, -0, -1)
CrimLaw(-6, -3, -1, -0, -0)
Evidence (-12,-8, -2, -1, -2)
RealProp (-10, -9, -8, -6, -3)
Torts (-3, -0, -0, -0, -0)
Again, what I am doing here may very well end up being a disaster, and slap me senseless. I am not using any commercial prep program to prepare for the Bar Exam.
If I fail in the right direction, it is a learning experience, and I go back in July 2018. If I actually do well enough, and pass the exam on the first attempt, then I can certainly offer a pretty solid way of gearing up for this thing on the back end of it all, and for very low cost... mostly in paper and toner ink, and a couple of books.
NOTE: As to the reading of the 64 Exams I had printed out, I completed reading through them today as planned - I was honestly concerned if I would actually get them done.
The good thing is that I had read a number of these already, and recognized the fact patterns. However, in the actual review part of what I am working on now, I will be going through them with a fine tooth comb to pull the issues from them, and this helps me in several different ways.
With the MBE's, I am seeking to master the Design and Logic. With the Essays, I am seeking to master the Issues, and Flow of the Answer.
This is my truly weak spot... I am not good on the written efforts at all, we get one hour per essay, and no do-over. For the PT, we get 90 minutes, and we have to allocate for that - also, with no second bite of the apple!
Happy New Year!
Currently working on Pulling the Subjects from the Index Pages of the old Bar Exams. After I organize that, I will start going through the Passing Sample Essays to "pull the issues" from them - from scratch. I like to work with them fresh so that I lock (hopefully!) more of what I need to know into my head for the Bar Exam!
I updated the little chart as to my progress as of today.Updated: 30 December 2017, 3:42pmYesterday, I took two tests covering four subject areas each. It took me about an hour and a half for each attempt, so I decided that I would go for one long exam today, covering all seven subjects, and try to get that done in less than three hours.
CivPro (-12, -3, -0, -0)
ConLaw (-5, -1, -1)
Contracts (-3, -1, -0, -0)
CrimLaw(-6, -3, -1, -0)
Evidence (-12,-8, -2, -1)
RealProp (-10, -9, -8, -6)
Torts (-3, -0, -0, -0)
In the group of MBE's (CivPro are the made up MCQ's), there are 395 questions. I completed all of them in just under two hours. I got eight wrong.
Now, this is not very impressive, it simply means that I have now memorized the fact patterns well enough to recall them by the options presented. On the real MBE exam, memorizing these fact patterns is not going to help me out very much, which is one of the primary reasons why I dislike memorizing the fact patterns in the first place.
However, when I recall WHY the right answer is right, based on the other options presented - and where in the fact pattern that became the important point... well... THAT is important.
I say it over and over again, I am not trying to learn the fact patterns and the right answers per se, I am trying to ingrain the Design and Logic of these MBE's into my mind. If I am successful in that process, I am better prepared to pick up on those things on the actual MBE Exam...
Or, at least I hope so!
Today, I did four exams, but this time, I did them all at once, one right after the other. Now, keep in mind that I am "single subject testing," and not practice MBE testing (where all the subjects are blended together).
This morning, I started at 10:13am and finished at 11:47am. I did CivPro, ConLaw, Contracts, and CrimLaw. In my pool of retired MBE's from the MBE Book, I had 211 MBE's. I completed them in about an hour and a half... I got 5 wrong, so I failed... again.NOTE: The MBE Book has a handy Answer KEY at the end of each subject. We must DOUBLE check that, because I found at least TWO of them to be incorrect... in the actual answer section, where they explain why the right answer is right, they have the correct letter.I might keep the little chart thing going... well, I will for my own purposes, but here it is in one nice package. The minus sign is simply how many I got wrong. The number of those in each bracket represents how many times I took the test.
In CivPro, however, Answer Key for Q5 (in my book) says A, but the correct answer is C. Q25 indicates A, but the answer is B. As I go through each section (three left to go), I will triple check the Answer Key to the Answers in the description section... these are the only errors I found so far.
I am doing four tests per day right now, that might increase rapidly, but I will see how things are going. A minus zero (-0) means I got them all correct.
The goal is to be nailing them 100% perfectly, every single time, other than that, and it is a failure.Updated: 29 December 2017, 7:19pmI have certain goals and objectives in this process, and I hope that I can meet my own expectations. In the end, each of us is up against the exam, and doing the best that we possibly can on exam day. I see several of the high priced ABA schools with rather significant pass rates (in a very good way). I see far too many of those taking the exam not doing so well by comparison.
CivPro (-12, -3, -0)
ConLaw (-5, -1)
Contracts (-3, -1, -0)
CrimLaw(-6, -3, -1)
Evidence (-12,-8, -2)
RealProp (-10, -9, -8)
Torts (-3, -0, -0)
For me, this is a project - or a series of them. I said from day one, that I would be using myself as the test subject. The reason is simple... I can give all the advice in the world, and it can be great stuff, with good evidence to demonstrate that I am correct in my opinions... but unless I can personally demonstrate that I have the direct insight, what good is it?
Unless I can prove the process for myself, it wouldn't hold much value.
My goals are to assist others in attaining their goals and objectives, without going broke in the process. I still intend on sharing what I learn with others, to make their trek smoother than mine has been... more efficient, and effective.
Part of the process is that I really want to pass the California Bar Exam on the first attempt! With that, I decided to give it a go at doing another four exams this afternoon, Evidence, Real Property, Torts, and Civil Procedure.
I updated the little chart above from this afternoon's efforts.
Testing Day 2:Torts: 31 min, 3 of 71 wrong.Note that Contracts was up first yesterday, and last today. See that Contracts has improved in time and accuracy. This does not always work out that way - which is fine. Based on my experiences with the FYLSX and the Siegel's books, just working toward the right goal helps to get me closer to where I want to be. As long as I am improving over time, and recognizing the Design and Logic used, I am in decent shape.
Civil Procedure: 1 hr 8 min, 12 of 40 wrong - ouch!
Constitutional Law: 38 min, 5 of 52 wrong.
Contracts: 24 min, 1 of 53 wrong.
I might not post this stuff every day, but I might post stuff each week in direct relation to this part of the process. Now, this specific part of the process is about to change very quickly.
On 1 January 2018, I add in the review of the Passing Sample Essays. If you recall from my YouTube Channel, this is what I do to "pull" the issues for my Definition Sheets. I was not able to successfully do this to the extent that I wanted during law study.
For the subjects of Torts, Contracts, and Criminal Law, specifically for the FYLSX, yes, I was, and I love those Definition Sheets! However, for the rest of the law study program? Not so much! I have them, and they are five pages or less, but they are not the fine tuned machine that I want for the California Bar Exam!
My review of the Passing Sample Essays is an effort to tweak my Definition Sheets down to what I need them to be, and it is like I am starting the process from scratch, but it really isn't - because I am familiar with all of the subjects now.
If I can really fine tune my Definition Sheets across the board, I will be in excellent shape to give the Bar Exam my best effort.
Testing Day 1:Contracts: 35 min, 3 of 53 wrong.OK, not too bad for a first day. There are seven subjects, and I got four of them done in one day, and those times listed actually include my review of the ones I got wrong.
Criminal Law: 33 min, 6 of 66 wrong.
Evidence: 52 min, 12 of 58 wrong.
Real Property: 53 min, 10 of 55 wrong.
Tomorrow will be Torts, Civil Procedure (MCQ's, not MBE's), and at least Constitutional Law, but also, perhaps, Contracts again too.
This is some 232 questions in a total time of less than three hours (2 hrs, 53 minutes). I'd be impressed, but I am not.
I will be hammering these home with pure perfection, and I will KNOW why the right answers are right.
What I am already finding is that I am able to recall the fact pattern (sometimes) very quickly, and - this is the fun part - I will also KNOW a portion of what the correct response is (and why it is). I can then look for it, and nail that answer right.
Now, in reality, we are NOT going to be seeing these exact MBE's - the NCBE is rather up front about that, but it doesn't matter in the regard that I am recalling a factual scenario, and I am able to identify what a correct response would be. This is good, but it is not going to save me by itself... not by a long shot!
What I am really working on is to train my brain to recognize what the heck I need to see on the actual exam... knowing that it is not going to be these exact questions. If I am able to get that Design and Logic in my head, I might have a snowballs chance in hell of surviving the MBE portion of the Bar Exam.
While this is OK-ish, the cold hard reality of it all is that none of this saves my hind quarters on the written portion of the Bar Exam - going into it with the very well documented (horrid) essays that I write.
And, for fun, I skimmed through the SIX PAGES of both of the PT's. Yeah... I won't be writing up six pages of an answer to most anything, I just don't have it in me... unless, of course, I can find "filler" and type that into my answer... as in, making reference to the fact file and law library stuff... if that fattens out my answer... well, then - maybe.
No matter what type of document we have to create on Exam Day, my personal goal will be to make whatever it is as short as possible.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone.
I did not get to wrap up Contracts today, but I did get the second review of Constitutional Law done. That being the case, and my not wanting to lose any more time on this project, I decided to start testing on them tomorrow. I will just start off with Contracts and keep moving from there.
I will be testing myself on the retired MBE's right up to the exam!
Next Monday, I will add in the Passing Sample Essay Review. I will be working on that right up to exam day as well.
In mid January, I will be adding in the review of the PT's. I will be placing a lot of effort into the July 2017 PT, because we actually reviewed that one in class before the Passing Samples had been published recently.
Of course, once I add something in, it is an addition to the other efforts, not "instead of."
My goal on the exam is to pass. If the "slim to none" actually happens, and I do pass, the California Bar will not be returning my scores or essays to me. Instead, I just learn that I pass.
If, however, I fail, I do have some goals on that part of it. On the written portion of the exam, I do not want any one part of it to score less than a 60, and I would love to have at least one score of 70 or better on something!
The MBE's are a completely different deal. We don't get scores, we get back a percentage of folks who scored lower than we did in each area - goofy, huh?
For the FYLSX, I always said I needed to score better than 84% of everyone else taking the same exam as I was - because repeaters tend to end up re-repeating again and again... the only way to be sure that we passed the FYLSX (as a repeater) was to nail it with an 84% or higher score... and they don't really give us those sorts of stats!
The MBE, however, can be looked at in that sort of way... doing better than everyone else taking the same exam as we are. That being the case, I am going to need to score better than about 60% of everyone across every part of the MBE to have a shot at passing. This is a very difficult thing to do. I have to fight the good fight the best I can and hope for the best.
Again, if I pass - fantastic - I will gladly take it, and hope that happens... however... should I pass, I will never know my scores, and the written portions are not returned to those who pass either.
Time to wrap it up for the evening... testing starts in the morning!
Before I discuss what I am up to, I want to make a note about a notification I got from the school today. While they did not have to do so, they actually took up my request for a grade on the Administrative Law Mid Term. I originally was awarded an "F" for that Mid Term Exam because I changed a word (exam used the word "xeroxed," and I edited it to be photocopy - I have an interest in intellectual property...). The Dean of the school and my Professor for the class decided to go ahead and grant a review for a grade on that particular exam, and I was awarded an overall "B-" for it. This meant that I scored a C- (better than an F!), and that upgraded to a B- due to my credit for participation.
I was reminded to never change any part of any question, and that editing, or changing what the school gives to us for testing is somewhat frowned upon.
Still, I was very happy about having my essay receive an actual grade! Let's talk about this weekend...
Today, I had a bit of a slow start, so I only got through Civil Procedure - which is still kicking my ass, but I will learn the MBE/MCQ's well enough, and I will work with other materials I have in that subject. Tomorrow, I plan on making it through Constitutional Law and Contracts. This will wrap up my second review of the MBE/MCQ's, and - on Monday, I plan to start testing on the subjects.
The primary difference between review and testing mode is that I do not immediately check to see what the right answer is and why, I just go through the material as if I am taking the exam (though on just the one subject). After I am done, I then review ONLY the ones I got wrong. See, it is still review, but only of the ones I got wrong, instead of every single question. This is a big step forward in moving faster through the material.
Moving faster through the material is key to my memorizing all of it better, and that - in turn - allows me to move through the material at an ever increasing rate. As I score more and more correct, I spend less time reviewing, and less time going through the whole process.
This is what allows me to ramp things up to the next level, which will be the Essay Reviews. I will be adding in the Passing Sample Essay Reviews on 1 January 2018.
At this moment, my plan is to work on MBE/MCQ's in the morning and Essays in the afternoon, every single day. As I work on the Essays, I will also be working with my own Definition Sheets.
The last step in ramping things up is to add in review of the Passing Sample PT's. As I get closer to that point in time, I suspect that I will refine that part of the plan.
Just as an update - I did make it out of the MBE Book last night, and into the Finz Book this morning. The Finz Book has not failed my memory of the questions being the most difficult that I have worked with so far. I am having my head handed to me by the book, but after a few times through it, I should be having less of a painful time with it.
A cohort of mine suggested that I might read fast. I never really thought about it, but I might read faster than some folks. My wife did take note that I seem to type fast.
I think that these two items can be an asset if I read correctly, and my typing stays on track... otherwise, if I screw up the comprehension of what I am reading... and blow it on the typing... I would be in a bad place at the end of the exam!
I expect my next update to be around Wednesday or Thursday... or, when I get through another section or two... I will also be leaving these updates on the page here for a while, so I can see how I am progressing with speed and efficiency.
The two books I am using now:Strategies and Tactics for the MBE. I call this one the MBE Book.Today, I wrapped up Real Property, and got through much of Torts. There are only 40 Civil Procedure Questions in this book, so I hope to get done with the book tomorrow... being Sunday, it is also cleaning day, which takes a bite out of the day.
Strategies and Tactics for the Finz Multistate Method. This is the one I call the Finz book.
Still, it will be very nice if I make it into the Finz Book on Monday!
I expect to end up memorizing all of the questions and correct answers... it would be great it these are the EXACT questions we see on the MBE exam... but sadly, they will not be. As long as I can get miy mind trained to learn the Design and Logic needed to make it through the MBE portion of the exam well, it might be OK.
Because of my writing skills, I - more than others - NEED to score very well on the MBE side of the Bar Exam to make up for that!
The day after the night before!
While I was panicking over math and if I graduated or not, I realize now that YESTERDAY was MAILING day for the results of the FYLSX back in October!
Recall that I had failed the FYLSX some five times in a row before passing in October 2014 - three years ago! I had to repeat the 2L year, and right up to the very end of law study, I had to drag myself across the finish line... I will indeed graduate.
This is why I say that the most important things we MUST have to prevail are Motivation, Dedication, and Determination... of all, only Determination is going to get us to the very end of the road.
I wish everyone who sat for the FYLSX the very best for success, but for those who did not pass, grab the California Bar Essay Book I talk about on the FYLSX Prep Page, and my Definition Sheets (my stuff is free to use - if you find it helped, make a donation if you choose)... follow that program, and you will be in decent shape to have a shot at passing the FYLSX.
The test is rough at best, we need every bit of help we can get... for the MCQ's, grab the Siegel's Books (on the FYLSX Prep Page, I have links to those too - used ones are fine as long as they have no writing in them!), and master the INSTRUCTIONS from the BACK of the FYLSX MCQ Exam Booklet - I have them on this page (lower down), and they should be on the FYLSX Prep Page as well.
Best wishes for much success, always!
Ray Hayden, JDc
My Final Exams are in the can!
According to my math, the very worst I can possibly do when all is said and done, is an overall GPA of 2.0157.
It is not possible for me to score lower than that - and this means I will indeed graduate!
I want to thank everyone who has been watching my journey on this project!
Ray Hayden, (and now I can use it), JDc.
I went ahead and made the Template for my Case Briefs in HTML, and I posted it on the Case Brief Books page. Feel free to use it as you might. It is designed for the NWCULaw program, and minor tweaks ought to make it work anywhere - but if YOUR school publishes a template - use that one!
Tomorrow, I need to do some work on video I shot this past week along with working on a web development / marketing project, but I will absolutely be doing some serious law study between (and during) parts of those projects (when the computer is working on "rendering" files, I have plenty of time to get some serious reading in)!
I will be back on track very soon, but this hit in the first month really hurts!
In every single year, there has been far too much outside drama that took time away from study... still, I might be a barely passing "C" student, but passing is passing... and this is my last year to wrap it all up... and I could not care less if I am the lowest passing score in school... just so long as I pass! For me... the JD will be worth all that much more!
I hope to try and make sense of the menu bar to the left of the pages. I try very hard to make the site easy to navigate, and to me - it makes perfect sense. It might not for others. Let's go over the menu.
It is in sections. The bold, centered text is the section.
My sections are:General Information: About me and what I am doing. This page, the "Right Now" page, is part of this section.So, I hope this menu thing makes more sense, especially for those who are just now finding my site!
Pre-Law: is meant to be helpful information for anyone studying law, anywhere.
The "Study Law???" page has a lot of information through Wikipedia Links on how you can study a lot of what you need to know for any law school - for free - and I have links to all of that right on that page!
Law Study Materials: This section describes the primary sorts of books I use(d) along the way with some additional insights. Again, this could be for any law study program.
Ray's Materials: describes the One Sheets and Definition Sheets that I created after failing the first FYLSX I sat for in June 2012. I do not link to them here, keep reading.
The 1L Year: This is specific opinions that I have for the study of law and how I feel it can be most effective in my program with NWCULaw.
The FYLSX: I don't refer to it as the Baby Bar, and it took me six attempts to pass this exam... there is nothing "baby" about it other than being just one day on three subjects. This section tries to introduce folks who might not be aware of how serious this exam is... just how serious it is!
This section is between the 1L and 2L year sections because if we do not pass the FYLSX by the third administration, this is where we pick our program back up... at the start of 2L!
The last link in this section is the "FYLSX Video Page." This is where the links to my materials are! I want people to find them there, with the video material, with the hope that they will use all of what I have online to their advantage in being prepared for the FYLSX - or, at the very least, to discover what sort of prep program will work the best for them!
The videos should be very helpful, and I will continue to tweak those - you won't have to do anything, I will simply swap out the video in the play list.
I do ask for donations to the cause if you find the materials helpful - donations can be made on that page, or on the YouTube Channel. It is very easy to do, and a number of folks have already made donations, which I very much appreciate!
The 2L Year: Again, my insight to the 2L year, and how to best move along through it at my school.
The MPRE: I will probably just leave this in this position, and add 3L after it because in California, we can sit for the MPRE after the first year, and it doesn't expire. However, just like the General Bar Exam, if you do not pass the MPRE, you won't be practicing law in California until you do.
Future pages are going to be added, and editing and cleaning up pages will continue as time moves forward.
One of the pages I will be creating is going to cover the Moral Background Determination (MCD).
I have really already started to work on the page, but I will publish it once I have all the data for my own MCD completed and ready to submit to the California Bar.
While the MPRE score doesn't expire, the MCD is only good for 36 months... and it takes a minimum of 180 days for the California Bar to complete it. If they come back with questions for you to answer, it may take a bit longer. I know one guy (in Florida) who had to sit out of the game for three years once he completed law school and passed the Florida Bar before he was cleared on his MCD!!! It is a rather important item to get completed right the first time... and my page on the subject will be aimed specifically on suggestions on how you can complete a background investigation on YOURSELF, mostly for free - or lowest possible cost! - before you have to submit your MCD to the California Bar.
In short, you really need to gather all the information about yourself, then submit the MCD.
This can be a rather time consuming project. The MCD takes a minimum of 180 days... it might take about that long to gather all the data you need - so I hope that when I get that page published, a lot of folks are able to find it very helpful.
I needed 73 MCQ's correct to pass with the essay scores that I earned, which averaged out to 65, a 260 total raw score. I had NEVER scored more than 72 on the MCQ's in the past... but I got 78 this time out, which is very good.
Use the link I have on this site for the June 1980 FYLSX Form A MCQ's - or Google them. I have a set for my own use as well, but here is why you need those. Two reasons really.
First, you MUST get used to the design and logic of the questions. I have said this from day one, and I swear by it to this day. It is a cheap shot, but my last three scores on the MCQ's had been 65, 72, 78. I did not "get better" or smarter, what I did this time out is to flip the exam booklet over at least four times to be as sure as I could be about the SPECIFIC instructions on the back of that booklet.
I flipped my exam booklet over at least four or five times to recheck those instructions. I still missed 22 MCQ's, but the reason WHY I passed has something to do with being familiar with the design and logic of the MCQ's and reading those specific directions over and over again during the actual exam.
Here they are - if I can format them well enough... these are the second reason why you MUST have the June 1980 Form A MCQ's...The bold stuff is important!!!Your score will be based on the number of questions you answer correctly. It is therefore to your advantage to try to answer as many questions as you can. Use your time effectively. Do not hurry, but work steadily and as quickly as you can without sacrificing your accuracy. If a question seems too difficult, go on to the next one."
"The following instructions apply to the respective subject areas.
Answer all questions according to legal theories and principles of general application,
unless the instructions which follow or the instructions on a specific question ask for a different rule.
In contract questions, assume that the following provisions of the Uniform Commercial
Code are in effect:All of Article 1;In criminal law questions, unless the question specifically asks for a different rule, answerSections 101-107, inclusive, of Part 1 of Article 2;
Sections 201-210, inclusive, of Part 2 of Article 2;
Sections 301-311, inclusive, of Part 3 of Article 2;
according to principles of general application in the United States.
In tort questions, unless the question specifically states otherwise, assume the jurisdiction
has not adopted:comparative negligence,
no-fault, or any
Ray's FYLSX Scores:Jun 2012: MCQ's = 65, Q1 = 55, Q2 = 55, Q3 = 55, Q4 = 55 -- Scaled Score = 441The Zero Point for the Essays was 243.6. The Zero Point for the MCQ's was 49.
Oct 2012: MCQ's = 72, Q1 = 55, Q2 = 65, Q3 = 50, Q4 = 65 -- Scaled Score = 505
Jun 2013: MCQ's = 65, Q1 = 60, Q2 = 60, Q3 = 60, Q4 = 70 -- Scaled Score = 506
Oct 2013: MCQ's = 65, Q1 = 70, Q2 = 65, Q3 = 60, Q4 = 60 -- Scaled Score = 533
Jun 2014: MCQ's = 72, Q1 = 55, Q2 = 60, Q3 = 70, Q4 = 60 -- Scaled Score = 526
Oct 2014: MCQ's = 78, Q1 = 70, Q2 = 65, Q3 = 65, Q4 = 60 -- Scaled Score = 577
If you score above the Zero Point on the Essays, they give you points. If you score above the Zero Point on the MCQ's, they take points away from you.
You want to score 100 on the MCQ's, no matter what!
The Zero Point changes for every FYLSX.
On the essays, I raw scored 260. Applying the scale, and they gave me 22 points.
On the MCQ's, I raw scored 78. Applying the scale, and they took back almost 17 points.
My TOTAL RAW SCORE was 572.
My TOTAL SCALED SCORE was 577.
This means that I got lucky.
I fell short of the 80 that I wanted to earn on the MCQ's, but it was just enough to do the trick.
On my essays, and you will see this when I publish them, Q1 was kind of straight forward, but I answered Q2 and Q3 in an off the wall fashion. I kind of got argumentative on Q4.
Today is the day...
At 12:04pm, I saw the mail truck drive past my house. In a few minutes, I should know my fate.
Ray's 28 October 2014 Results: You can right click and view the full size image - I edited it to move the blocks of information close together - to keep the image tighter. I also resized the picture so that it loads much faster.
Another point: As of 2:33pm Eastern Time, my Status Page still said Requirement Not Satisfied.
I checked my Status Page at 6:28pm Eastern and it now has the following:
FIRST-YEAR LAW STUDENTS' EXAMINATIONAdmission requirement: Pass the First-Year Law Students' Examination or establish exemptionThe top section of that page has:
Applicant status: Requirement satisfied
FYLSE required status: Requirement satisfied
Passed October 2014 First-Year Law Students' ExamPlease note: The information below is current as of 12/15/14 11:59:42 AM.My deepest regret is that people will have failed this exam - it is a painfully unfair exam, and my six attempts have certainly provided me with insight that I will be sharing with everyone I possibly can. Stay tuned for that.
Any recent changes in your status will be reflected when the next update is processed.
I wish everyone who takes on this very difficult pathway into the study of law the very best wishes for much success. No matter which school or program we used, we all had to go through this nightmare, and I hope we all continue to appreciate that motivation, dedication, and determination that drives us to succeed.
This is not the easiest path for most of us to take, but for most of us, it is the ONLY path we can.This is the information from the sheet if you any difficulty seeing the image I put online.
Total Raw Written: 260
Total Scaled Written: 282.1394
Total Raw: 78
Total Scaled MCQ's: 295.1304
TOTAL SCALED SCORE: 577.2698...
The letter reads, "The Committee of Bar Examiners is pleased to inform you that you were successful on the October 2014 First-Year Law Students' Examination.
You will receive credit for your first year of law study only." (This part is because I failed to pass the FYLSX within the first three administrations since I qualified for it - so I had to repeat 2L).
Every now and again, I address the process of using distance education to complete the JD degree.
I live in Southeast Florida, near Fort Lauderdale. There are four law schools "near" me, University of Miami, Florida International University School of Law, St Thomas University School of Law, and Nova Law School.University of Miami School of Law Tuition = $43,000 per yearA lot of us have no other choice than to use Open and Distance Education opportunities to continue our personal and professional development... and for that alone, these programs are worth it if we are successful.
Florida International University School of Law = $20,199 (FL resident)
St Thomas School of Law = $35,112
Nova Law School = $34,740
The old link died, so I uploaded my copy of it. Almost 100% of these questions are covered in the Siegel's books. The link (below) is a direct link to an excellent copy of the June 1980 Form A exam.
Here is the direct link to the pdf file.
When you click on that link above, it is going to download the pdf to your screen instantly. You should save that to your computer to study with until you memorize the entire exam.
The document includes the answer key. The California Bar used to sell this thing, but they do not anymore. This is the ONLY set of MCQ's that has EVER been released by the California Bar and some of the questions still show up on the FYLSX!
Knowing what I know now (still true in May 2017!), I would still select NWCULaw as the program I would use for my study of law.
Are there things I would have done differently? Absolutely!
I would have prepared for the mid terms like I prepared for the October 2012 FYLSX. I would not have likely ended up on Academic Probation because I would have done much better in answering my mid terms and finals!
I would NOT have started the 2L year without having passed the FYLSX first!
A hose for my Dyson DC23 Animal.
Dyson DC23 Hose