Remote Bar Exam Logistics and Strategies for October 2020

You’re probably wondering how this whole remote bar exam thing is going to work.

  • Do I get scratch paper?
  • Can I use a desktop?
  • How many monitors can I use for ExamSoft/SofTest/Examplify (or whatever exam software)?
  • Do I need to be online?
  • Can I print?
  • Are they going to proctor me through a camera?
  • Can I take bathroom breaks?
  • What about cheating?
  • What about the MBE? How many questions? Is it all on a screen?
  • What if I’m handwriting?

Uh, yeah, I’m sure you have a lot of questions.

Right now, all the states are having a brawl and doing whatever they feel is necessary to conduct their bar exams.

Many states are shifting from in-person paper testing to an almost entirely digital exam, at least for the 2020 Fall bar exam. This is a significant change, and something worth discussing in terms of preparation and test-taking strategies.

This post will address two things:

  1. Updates and further findings on testing mechanics for taking a remote bar exam. See below for information on all states, but the initial focus here is on California
  2. Strategies for preparing for and taking a test entirely on screen, assuming your state is administering the exam online and doesn’t allow paper for at least some portion

Btw I’m not going to call this an “online bar exam” because it’s done almost entirely OFFline. Just the check-ins sessions require an Internet connection.

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MBE Strategies: Q&A with Sean Silverman on How to Win the Game of MBE

I asked expert guest and bar exam tutor Sean Silverman for his MBE tips and tricks. In this Q&A, you’ll learn how to massively improve and win at this critical half of your exam!

Sean tutors the MBE to students in all states and teaches essay writing to students preparing for the Florida Bar Exam and the Uniform Bar Exam. He’s the author of the books MBE Essentials, UBE Essentials, and Florida Bar Exam Essentials. Find his contact information after the Q&A.

Things you’ll discover:

  • What’s different about people who pass the MBE?
  • Why do people get MBE questions wrong, and how can you improve on this? (Hint: It’s a skill)
  • Real MBE questions vs. realistic questions?
  • You actually have “lifelines” that can give you an edge in this exam
  • Answers to more questions no one’s asked him before
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How should you really practice for the bar exam? “I keep practicing, but I’m not improving”

So you want to pass the bar. You’re super serious about it.

You pore over your outlines, trying to make sure you have a grasp of all the rules. There are still other subjects to review. You don’t think practice will be productive unless you “get” the theory.

It’s all so overwhelming.

But you did it. You can focus on practice now that you’ve had a good solid review of the core subjects first. You’ve been doing a few MBE questions and looked at a few essays already, but now it’s time to buckle down and get to writing those essays (you’ll get to the PTs… later).

After all, they said to “practice practice practice.”

But something’s wrong…

No matter how many times you do it, every essay is a mystery.

The blank-page syndrome is giving you irregular heartbeats and making you break out into a cold sweat.

You keep picking the incorrect answer choice on your MBE questions.

The prospect of grading your work makes you want to lie down on your bed instead.

Here’s why you’re stuck and what to do to get unstuck:

Observe the “10-40-40-10 rule” of bar preparation.

Continue reading “How should you really practice for the bar exam? “I keep practicing, but I’m not improving””