Advice from a foreign passer - from Calbar Primer Group

This was just so helpful, instead of directing you to the message board (message boards can be ephemeral) I felt the need to repost this person's advice in it's entirety. It's great advice from a foreign attorney who passed the California bar exam (keep in mind some of his advice pertains to that fact. CA differs from NY but since it is such a difficult exam to pass, advice there helps here too).

"Following my tutor's request (she thinks it can help some of you, I am not sure) I am giving you the combination that made me pass this exam (my study plan lasted 6 months) in my first try, being a foreign lawyer, 45 yo, finished law school over 20 years ago, native spanish speaker, coming from a civil law jurisdiction in South America. Since I did not buy a course I got lots of study material from fellow human rights lawyers from California and Michigan; I received tonns of material and I had to choose; under experts advice the result was the following:

MBE--> I read the BarBri Conviser (that is a wonderful book) I also studied the subjects (twice) by reading the FlashCards by Emanuel (yellow boxes) that guy is a genius, he makes you learn and understand the subjects without much effort, great Emanuel! PMBR Workbooks- those 2 books are really great (I don't care about their issues with the Board Examiners) they allow you to retain and understand the black letter law which is what you need (the MBE was very different from what I expected but apparently got enough points since I passed). Barbri and MicroMash MBE softwares- they helped me a lot in getting speed (I was too slow with the PMBR books -they are very difficult but it pays off to work hard with them). The time is too tight for the exam I could barely finish it and got very stressed after that one. Simulated bar exams by BarBri and Adachi helped me to understand that I was not totally lost but also that I could never get more than 60-65%. The easy exam the NCBEx
is selling online is a fraud, the MBE is not like that it is way more difficult.

MPT--> Books by BarBri and PMBR; learn a technique to spot the trick in every case. I also owe this to my tutor; she is a genius, no MPT was hard enough for her.

Essays--> This is the hard part; I read around 200 essays from past exams (CA and other States) I got from the Internet, BarBreakers by Adachi and the BarBri Essay Workbook; all the credit goes to my tutor (the best in the world, she did it for free, she is a very busy Judge in LA and used to be a grader many years ago) she reviewed the 56 essays and MPTs I faxed her and made me change everything; I believe my essays improved at least 1000% thanks to her; I really do not have words to thank her enough I will never have.
TIP-Memorise 15-20 rules of law per subject, they will be very useful during the exam (not too much Irac), especially if you do not know the answer I was totally lost in 1 essay and I invented an answer carefully reciting the rules of law I remembered, it may have saved me.

MPRE-Everybody says this is very easy but I found it very difficult and I barely got the required score; I studied with the MPRE BarBri book, excellent!

STRESS- Pray, pray and pray. This exam meant the world to me so I was under a lot of stress; since I am not a JD in the US passing meant it all; the weight of expectations was too much, my friends/lawyers who suported me unwillingly put a lot of pressure on me; I had job offers but they required me to add the magic word to my name ("Esq."); before and after the exam I prayed a lot it helped me a lot to get focus, relax and combat anxiousness. During the exam I repeated myself that God was with me (I am not a fanatic in any way but I a believer).

THIS SITE- I got a lot from your advice, strategy and experience guys; Travis (your website is wonderful and your advice on how to face the exam is priceless), Jay Wiseman (you are a role model to anybody I hope to meet you one day) and Sally Gonzales (you are very smart, your email on the essays made me reshape my strategy) at some point I followed your wise advice.

Do not forget- Essays weight 65% and MBE 35%. Not even a scaled 170 in the MBE can make you pass if you don't do fairly well in the Essay part.

In closing I want to say that at 45 I thought I had experienced it all and my life was going as planned but I had to leave my Country and start it all over again. This exam made me feel pain, anxiousness and stress I have never experienced before (to be honest it was almost a torture); when I got the good news it was like when my first son was born and soon after he started crying they gave him to me, I was so happy but I very badly wanted to cry.

I wish you all success in this task, like Travis states in his website this is a test of will and strenght and many guys fail because they freak out. Thanks California for giving me a new light; time to pay back, I have a lot of work to do. My final message is if I could make it for sure you guys can."

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