McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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Don’t wait to prepare for February!

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on December 15, 2015

Today is the last day of final exams at McGeorge. While students still taking exams now have cause to (responsibly) celebrate their completion tonight, any graduates planning to sit for the February bar exam will need to get back to work ASAP. Far too many graduates — both those taking the exam for the first time and those returning for another round — believe that they can take a break during the holidays and begin preparing in earnest in 2016, but they are mistaken!

If a graduate waits until January 2 to begin studying and practicing, she only will have seven weeks — just over 50 days — to review all 13 subjects, write simulated essays and PTs, and practice MBE questions. A common recommendation is to complete 50+ timed, realistic (no cheating!) essays, 5-6 PTs, and about 1500-1800 MBEs during the bar prep period, including meaningful, methodical review of every question (try this chart for the written portion)…and that does not count studying the law itself! If a graduate is taking the February bar exam and begins preparing today or tomorrow, she will have almost three more weeks of prep time than she would have if she waited until after the holidays.

Many people have asked me why I think the February first-time pass rate is lower than July. There are several factors, although it is NOT a more difficult exam, but I think a big one is time. There are two to three fewer weeks available to February applicants who wait until after the holidays to prepare than there are for May graduates who begin preparing then and continue through July. February applicants, be sure to use your time wisely in December so you can have a similar advantage! Sure, you can take some time away if you celebrate Christmas on December 24-25, and on New Year’s Eve/Day, but sitting out for a whole week, appealing as it sounds, should not be an option.

A special note to retakers waiting to receive your answers from the State: One of the worst things you could do is wait to start practicing again until you get those answers back, because you might be waiting until mid-January. Furthermore, there are no comments on them, so you would be completing the same methodical comparison to the sample answers as you would for your own practice, so get started NOW. (Side note: If you are a McGeorge graduate, I am happy to review your answers with you once you get them back, but I require anyone wishing to do so to complete this chart for every question you wish to discuss, and come in prepared to explain to me why you think you received the score you did. This is far more useful for you than if I completed this comparison myself and then told you about it.)

There are several free programs available for McGeorge graduates sitting for the February bar, many of which begin this month. First, there is the Extra Feedback Program described in the post immediately below this one (the first exam is due Dec. 28). Second, you should have received at your Pacific email account information regarding enrollment in Adaptibar at a reduced rate, as well as some group presentations with a local bar tutor (meant to be a supplement to your commercial review course). Graduates from any year are welcome at those sessions. Please see your Pacific email for details, and contact sacstudentaffairs@pacific.edu with questions and to RSVP.

May you have a peaceful and rejuvenating holiday season with loved ones, but with time budgeted for bar prep. It’s not much fun, but it is worth it to help ensure that this is the last time you ever have to do it!

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