McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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The Importance of Self-Assessment

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on January 19, 2017

The previous post explained that realistic practice is the key to success on the bar exam…but what about review?  Answer review is almost as vital as the act of writing out exams under timed conditions, but bar applicants cannot get professional feedback on every essay and PT they simulate, especially if they simulate as many as they should.

Many applicants think that they are incapable of reviewing their own exam answers, and this sometimes dissuades them from simulating exams on their own if there is no one available to provide feedback.  Not so — you ARE capable of reviewing your own answers!  Getting feedback from outside sources is great, but self-critique is just as great, if not better.  The better you get at recognizing flaws in your own writing, the easier it will be to eliminate those flaws as you write.  You need to be your own best critic when you’re sitting in the exam room next month.

Below are two charts to help you methodically compare your answers to the sample answers.  If you complete them for multiple exams, you should start to see patterns for improvement — e.g., not using enough specific, relevant facts, regularly missing certain issues, following a different argument order than that recommended by PT task memos, etc.  Even if you can’t complete a chart every time you write a practice exam, you still can read the sample answer(s) with the same methodical comparison concepts in mind.

So yes, feedback is great, and you should take advantage of it whenever possible — through the Extra Feedback Program and your bar review company, for example — but don’t be discouraged by the prospect of self-review.  And most of all, keep practicing!!

Essay Answer Comparison Chart

PT Answer Comparison Chart

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