This Formula Shows the Importance of Each 5-Point Increment on the California Bar Exam

To pass the California Bar Exam, you need an overall scaled score of 1390.

That could look like a scaled score of 1390 for the written portion and 1390 for the MBE. These are generally referred to as “passing scores” since they put you on track to pass.

But how do the raw scores on your essays and PT convert to scaled scores? What do you need for a “passing score” for an essay or PT?

In answering those questions, it turns out there’s quite a sensitive correlation between the written raw scores and the written scaled score.

That is to say, EACH 5-point uptick gets you MUCH closer to passing the California Bar Exam. In fact, if your written score is in the low/mid 1300s, you’re MUCH closer to passing than you might think.

Here’s how…

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How do Magicsheets and Approsheets fit into your other bar exam study materials?

There are a LOT of study supplements, resources, and outlines for bar prep. As time passes, more and more get added to your potential repertoire.

Sometimes, the sheer overwhelm causes bar takers to load up on all sorts of materials, attend every workshop, DM everyone offering something — spreading themselves so thin that they end up not using any of it!

The materials collect digital dust, and bar takers end up restarting at square one, exhausted. But “the great aim of education is not knowledge but action.” (Herbert Spencer)

I, too, offer study materials for the California Bar Exam and the Uniform Bar Exam. Here’s my answer to questions about them, including HOW to use them. This will be useful whether or not you use my material.

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The Value of Redoing Questions (You’ll See Them Again on the Bar Exam)

“How do I do MBE questions faster?”

“The way to approach these questions is not staying with me.”

“If I study a subject really well and circle back around to it after studying the others, I’ve forgotten half of the first subject.”

Have you ever felt that?

There is a SIMPLE and UNDERRATED way to fix this: Redoing questions.

“But wait,” you say, “I have seen and remembered those questions and answers before. Should I be worried because I am not practicing new questions?”

There’s only a limited number of ways they can test you, so it’s actually GOOD if you recognize fact patterns. If that’s not the point of preparation, what is?

We can’t expect to “get” something after reading or doing something once. So when it comes to preparing for the bar exam, should you really limit yourself to just doing things once and dusting off your hands?

That’s what causes you to forget. The more you cycle through the subjects, the more you’ll retain next time.

If you had to choose between anxious uncertainty about retaining the material vs. routine boredom, which would you pick?

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Easily Find Key Rules on the Performance Test

I asked Eddie Reyes of Jurax Bar to teach you how to do better on the performance tests, since it’s such an overlooked portion of the bar exam. So he wrote this guide on how to easily find rules in the Library of the performance test.

Although he is geared toward the California Bar Exam, since the California PT is so similar to the MPT, you’ll find these tips to be useful no matter which state bar you’re taking.

I also asked him for a special deal for any of my readers looking for a tutor for CA essays or PTs. Check the end of this article for more details. Take it away, Eddie!


Greetings. My name is Eddie Reyes and I am a California Bar Exam tutor over at Jurax Bar. It took me several rounds to pass the exam but throughout the journey, I figured out key concepts to write a passing Performance Test answer. In this article, I will share with you the essential concept of finding performance test rules.

In particular, I will cover the three classifications of rules that are found in the Library. If you read far enough, I will also cover key locations where you are likely to find rules that will significantly earn you points.

If you classify the rules into three types, then you are able to determine their value. Imagine a $1 bill and compare the value to a $50 bill. Now do the same between a $50 bill and a $100 dollar bill. Of course you want to go for the $100 bill. It is the same with the rules and I will show you how to get these valuable points.

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How Stan Finally Passed the Bar Exam Using Proven Bar Preparation Strategies (Anyone Can Do This!)

I recently had a back-and-forth with Stan, yet another reader who passed the (online/remote) 2020 October California Bar Exam on his 5th try.

When I asked to showcase his incredible personal journey, Stan offered to rewrite his emails into a more comprehensive story with approaches he discovered, his realizations, and specific study tips to help others join him beyond the bar.

Some of my favorite impressions among many:

✅ Respecting the exam is important but so is enjoying the process

Practice as if it were the real thing. Do the real thing as if it were practice—with confidence

Bar prep doesn’t have to be expensive

✅ Use the right approach to focus on what’s important

✅ The mental aspect (discipline, grit, fear, and doubt) can be what hinders you more than anything

Enough about my impressions. It’s time for yours. Here’s Stan’s story on what he did to finally pass the bar exam.

No substantive edits made except adding relevant links and [comments in brackets] and writing out some abbreviations.

One for Five: How I Finally Passed the Bar Exam

After I told Brian about my journey to passing the Oct 2020 California bar exam, he was gracious enough to offer me a chance to share my story on his blog.  I discovered Brian’s website by searching stories on how people passed the exam.  I’d bet that’s pretty common.

Before we get into my story, please know my only intent is to show you if I can pass, you absolutely can too.  I’m not special, nor am I looking for credit or praise of any kind.  I’m just an ordinary guy from LA who took the bar exam five times, dealing with life along the way.

Everyone’s journey to passing the bar is unique.  What worked for me might not necessarily work for you.  But I would bet a quality everyone needs is discipline.  My story is a cautionary tale of why discipline should always be where bar prep starts and ends.

The October 2020 California bar exam was my fifth attempt, but I was finally ready to pass.  Let me tell you why you should never think you’re not smart enough or good enough to pass, or that it must not be meant for you.

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