My Predictions for the Bar Exam (What to Focus On)

Before every exam, a handful of people come out of the woodwork and shamelessly ask about subject predictions for the bar exam.

“What do you think will be tested? Does anyone know the predictions?”
“What are ____’s predictions?”
“Here are MY predictions!”

If you’re like many bar takers, or if you’re a repeater, you say:

“Haha of course I’m not going to rely on the predictions. I shall adequately study all the subjects. You should too!”

And then you look at the predictions anyway.

Btw, I’m calling out California mostly because it’s almost entirely California bar takers who do this shit and because Californians think the world revolves around them.

Did you expect me to tell you, “Aww poor baby, don’t worry. It’s normal and happens to the best of us 🥺”?

You SHOULD worry if you’re secretly tempted about predictions… because this kind of thinking is entirely predictable and avoidable. Sweating about predictions is not a good place to be in and requires intervention.

Also, remember when subjects actually leaked for the 2019 July California Bar Exam and people got mad over it?

Make up your minds! Do you want to know the subjects ahead of time or not? Jesus

Here’s why you should only look toward subject predictions for entertainment value (and what to focus on instead):

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What do REAL bar takers think of the remote/online bar exam? And their advice on how to study for an online bar exam

The bar exam world changed in 2020.

It became possible to take the bar exam remotely—from anywhere on the planet—thanks to the miracle of high-speed Internet. It’s the bandwidth revolution! The Great Reset!

But with new ideas come poo-poo-ers.

People were complaining about how it won’t work, they’re going to spy on us through the camera, there aren’t any bathroom breaks in the middle of a session, there will be tech issues, there are hackers, people will cheat, it’s too complicated, etc.

Some of it DID happen.

Some of it was preventable by bar takers (like remembering to go to the restroom beforehand).

People are calling for remote bar exams to be abandoned, proposing alternative formats, cutting multiple choice questions and making essays open book, and suggesting diploma and license privilege.

They are all valid concerns.

But just because something is uncertain or new doesn’t mean it’s always bad. (Remember when people complained when Facebook kept changing its interface and got used to it within a day?)

I don’t do doom and gloom here. Examples:

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Remote/Online Bar Exam Logistics and Strategies

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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