One Successful Retaker's Stringent Study Approach

Re: I PASSED!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: Dream Deferred
Date: November 18, 2004 07:23AM

Sure! I'll tell you my strategy LDO!


First off I want to thank this JdJive poster *Plunger* for helping me pass the NY essays (my former moniker was *Need Guidance*). I followed his method to the letter last February 2004 and I managed to draft a model answer (see that Wills Essay)!

Anyway, one thing you need to keep in mind is that the NYBOLE recycles the same issues on the NY essays. What you need to do to nail these essays is the following:

1. Go to and print out every released exam and all answers for the last 10 bar administrations (i.e. July 2004, February 2004, July 2003, etc.).

2. Create what we call a *Frequency Analysis* of each and every issue and rule addressed in every model answer provided for those exams. I used the Table of Contents in the NY Barbri Long outlines to organize my Frequency Analysis into a long outline of about 100 pages and several short outlines of issues. START THIS TODAY!

3. Edit this Frequency Analysis and delete recurring issues and rules for the same subject. Don't be surprised to see the Spousal Election and other issues three or more times in that analysis (LOL). This will be your outline of all the issues and rules tested on the NY Essays. Memorize this outline VERBATIM!!!!!!! There will be a slight chance that the NYBOLE will throw in an issue not found on your outline but don't worry since this issue will most likely be a common law subject that you will cover in your MBE preparation.

4. After a month of memorizing your outlines, start learning how to apply the law by doing 2 full released essays per day (i.e. Essays 1 and 2 from the July 2004 exam or whatever). And if Essay Writing, Essay Outlining, or IRAC are your weaknesses, get a copy of Gallagher's *Scoring High on the Essays* book from your local library. Read Gallagher's book first, then apply that knowledge to the released exams.

You should only be outlining your essay answers (I'm serious) under actual timed conditions, then read the model answers for that particular question presented. The purpose of reading the answers is to learn how the issues/rules you've memorized apply to the fact pattern, which are slightly modified on the real exam. And if you miss an issue or rule, you will know that is your weak point and you need to internalize your Frequency Analysis more. And don't get confused when you see two totally different model answers for the same question. Just pick the one closest to your argument and internalize it!!! Start doing 3 essays per day at around February 1st (or July 1st) through exam day (yes I did 3 essays that Monday before the local day).


I'd like to thank PMBR and The Finz Mulitstate Workbook for helping me pass the MBE as this test has been the reason for my demise on the NY Bar!!! I graduated at the Top 25% of my class on a full academic scholarship from a Tier 2 law school and guess what? I never knew how to successfully take a standardized test!!!! I can't wait to see my MBE score!! Anyway, this is what I did:

1. I read the Long Barbri Multistate outline cover to cover (actually the binding fell apart and that outline is now divided into 4 sections). BECOME ONE WITH THIS OUTLINE BECAUSE IT IS YOUR FRIEND (LOL). Start reading one subject at a time (i.e. Con Law, Contracts, Property, etc.) I started reading the longest outline first (i.e. Con Law), followed by the second longest outline (i.e. Property), etc.

1a. Get Finz's book from Barnes and Noble or something and read that book cover to cover! Take notes and do whatever you need to do to get that method down to a science! Master this material!!!!

2. After you finish reading an outline AND Finz's book, start doing practice questions under timed conditions (i.e. 17 questions in 1/2 an hour each day). I didn't have a PMBR Red Book so I supplemented that with the Barbri Intro, Intermediate, and Advanced questions. Once you run out of Barbri Advanced questions for a subject, go to the PMBR Blue book and do the same thing.

Read every answer to each question whether you get the question right or wrong AND TAKE NOTES OF ANYTHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I basically created a separate MBE outline of MBE rules and organized this by topic (i.e. Con Law, Contracts, etc.). These are your weakneses on the MBE. Read this outline everyday before you do your MBE questions. And remember you should be getting at least 50-55% right on the Red book questions (I applied this rule to the Barbri questions) and at least 60-65% right on the Blue book questions. And keep reading the long outlines while you're doing this!

3. You should finish reading the entire long outline around February 1st (or July 1st). At that point, I stopped doing practice questions altoghether and took the PMBR blue book exam under timed conditions - just like the real MBE. I scored a 131 raw on that exam (156 scaled). Read every answer on this exam and add the rules to your MBE outline, especially the rules for questions you got wrong.

4. Once you finish outlining the PMBR blue book exam, go back to your regular routine of doing 17 questions per day and reading your MBE outline. In other words, you should do questions from each subject at least once a week (i.e. Con Law questions on Monday, Crim Law questions on Tuesday, Contracts on Wednesday, etc.). Remember to keep track of your percentages and keep reading those MBE outlines.

5. I took the PMBR 3 day exam about a week before the actual MBE exam. I scored something like a 94 raw, which translated to a 131 scaled. Again, read all the answers on that exam and add more rules to your MBE outline. Then go back to reading this outline once a day and doing 17 MBE questions per day through exam day (yes I did 17 questions on the night of the local day and got 82% right on a released MBE exam). And if you run out of PMBR questions, go to the released MBE exams.


Plunger didn't have an MPT when he took the exam so I just modified Barbri's method to my liking and winged it!!!!!!


Well, I just used the same approach to the MBE for the NYMC, except for reading the Long Barbri NY outlines (LOL). You can do this if you want but, hey, I'm not superwoman!!!! Anyway, just get Barbri's NYMC questions and do about 25 in 1/2 an hour each day (you only get an hour to do 50 question on the real thing). I did this about 2 weeks before the actual exam. Read the answers, create a rule outline, and read this outline daily before doing more NYMC questions.

So that's how I passed the NY bar. :-) And it should be noted that I worked Monday through Friday for 40 hours per week on this study schedule, with only 1 1/2 weeks off for full time study. Oh I am so relieved!

Edited 3 times. Last edit at 11/18/04 09:19AM by Dream Deferred.

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