Bar Preparation Is Emotional Preparation: How to Turn Your Emotions into Something USEFUL

The bar exam might be the dryest subject on the planet, but it’s also full of emotions.

Joy when you pass. Sorrow when you fail. Frustration, hopelessness, anxiety, and overwhelm in between.

Naturally, this can be a new and unique life challenge!

The thing is, these feelings are all temporary. 

When you pass, you’ll celebrate for a day or two. You’ll probably forget how much you struggled and despaired. You’ll start to worry about other first-world problems like how to get sworn in, or finding and keeping a job, keeping clients happy, and so on, as life goes on.

You might even excitedly thank me and say that you’ll do anything to repay me, that you’ll give me feedback, that you’ll donate essays… then never respond again when I ask for a simple writeup. The high will wear off very quickly.

That doesn’t mean these powerful emotions you’re feeling now are useless while they’re happening. How do we leverage them (especially in the times of corona)?

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How do grading and scoring work for the California Bar Exam?

“i WeNt tO lAw ScHoOL bEcAusE i SuCk aT mAth LOL”

I can feel a blood vessel dilating in my head and an urge to throw my keyboard out the window every time I hear someone say this. If this is your idea of a joke, just leave Earth now before things get more embarrassing for both of us.

While it isn’t politically incorrect for Americans to brag about deficiencies in their math skills, I won’t have that around here.

First of all, stop using this self-deprecatory language. You took the SAT and a shitload of math classes until you were old enough to drive. You can do basic math. Or “maths” if you’re British and like to make words unnecessarily complicated (Worcestershire sauce anyone?)

You are also capable of passing the bar exam btw.

Second of all, despite my optimism and faith in you people, why are some of us still confused about how the grading works for the California Bar Exam? Why are there so many misconceptions?

If you’re frustrated and confused by the numbers, let me put a rest to this once and for all.

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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.

Continue reading “Remote Bar Exam Logistics and Strategies for October 2020”