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.
All right, so you just want to pass the easiest bar exam in the easiest state and get it over with.
No honor, no warrior spirit, or any of that shit—just gimme the bar card! This is especially true if you plan to practice in a state that accepts UBE scores (or MBE scores in some non-UBE states). You may be able to transfer your UBE score from an “easier” state.
You also want to avoid the hardest bar exams, naturally. Why waste a good six months torturing yourself again just because you missed a few points?
No judgment from me. You’re here to move on with your life and forget I ever existed. That’s cool.
So what are we going to look at to figure out the easiest bar exams to pass?
Recent pass rates by state
Minimum passing UBE scores
Number of applicants by state
Score portability and transferability
The verdict – a shortlist of three states to consider, and states to avoid
Joe started preparing for the Uniform Bar Exam (in Kansas) with just seven weeks to go.
The learning process proved to be tougher than he’d imagined. The clock was ticking toward the inevitable, and like many others, he didn’t start out with the confidence to tackle the beast.
“I just wasn’t ready for it. I did not take very many bar prep classes in law school. So I knew it was gonna be tough. Once I looked at the material, I thought, ‘Man, I am screwed.’ There’s no way I’m gonna pull this together in seven weeks.”
The thing about reality is that your brain doesn’t notice it until it’s wrapped tightly around your brain like a sheet of aluminum foil, crinkling and making a polygonal mess.
0 minutes remaining. I slapped in my applicant ID, my entry ticket to three seconds of pristine agony. Then two, three more times. I made sure I was reading correctly. For once, I wasn’t delusional.
I could feel the heavy air of TRUTH closing in around me. Light fading quickly. But I wanted to believe. No, the silvery foil pushed its way around the noodles of my brain, turning into TV static. It was wrapped around the potato, and my brain realized it then.
In some other universe, I passed. But in this one, I failed. I failed. I failed.
2013 was the worst year of my life. My brain convinced me to break up with my friend of ten years and girlfriend of three. My dad screamed at our family on Christmas morning and night. I failed the July bar and haven’t since posted a status on Facebook out of supreme shame. 16 months and counting since becoming Facebook celibate. Facelibate.
I lied down on my bed. Then I got up.
The experiment was a failure. It was time to change the variables. This was how I would prove I was not insane. Then 2014 became the best year of my life.
Having experienced both outcomes of the California Bar Exam, I’ve distilled the following insights that were instrumental to passing the bar. These are things I did the second time but not the first time. Do you like clickbait? You won’t believe #4!