How to Pass the Ohio Bar Exam

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Information about How to Pass the Ohio Bar Exam

Published on February 27, 2008

Author: Rina


How to Pass the Ohio Bar Exam:  How to Pass the Ohio Bar Exam What to do, and not do . . . Agenda:  Agenda Profile and quick war story – Why listen to me What Not to Do! What You Need to Know! Real Facts About the Bar Exam MBE Prep Essay Prep MPT Prep Test Week Tips Regarding the Exam and Managing Columbus WAR - Ohio Bar Experience:  WAR - Ohio Bar Experience Profile BA from BGSU – 2.5 gpa MA from University of New Haven – 3.95 gpa LSAT 157 JD from UT May 2004 – 3.20 gpa Ohio Bar Examinations July 2004 February 2005 February 2006 Admitted to Ohio bar May 2006 What I Did Wrong:  What I Did Wrong Started preparing for bar exam after finals were over. Tried to work full-time until only 2-3 weeks before the actual exam. Tried to keep a balanced work and family life AND study nights and weekends – it just doesn’t work - you need to become a monk. Sacrificed sleep time and work-out time. Believed only one bar prep course would be enough. Assumed bar prep course provided sufficient study materials and a formula to follow. Under estimated the grueling nature and stress associated with test prep and examination. What You Need to Know:  What You Need to Know Start by creating your study plan NOW 5 month blank calendar March – July Determine PMBR schedule and BarBri (or other) Factor in final exams and graduation Assess strengths and weaknesses on core Bar areas Shop for bar material on eBay in early March (post Feb.) You will save major cash! You want 2000+ MBE questions You want outlines from multiple sources You want flashcards What You Need to Know:  What You Need to Know Obtain from OSC website the official Bar exam outline and ALL past published essay questions and model answers. Find a high speed printer and print them all, identify them by topical area and sort accordingly (invaluable for both practicing essays and STUDYING THE STRUCTURE of the responses – there is a pattern you will begin to see) You MUST take both the Early Bird and Refresher PMBR courses to drill on the MBE Multi-State section. You MUST take one general review course that covers both core and Ohio specific areas tested for the essay section (see comparison guide). What You Need to Know:  What You Need to Know You must relearn the law in a canned format! From PMBR courses – outline the major distinctions for each core area From general review course – use their outlines Obtain other outlines you trust Use the OSC Bar Outline as your guide and flush it out! KEY: DO THE WORK AND INCORPORATE THEM TOGETHER INTO YOUR OWN (law school redux) THEN WORK IT DOWN - KEEP IT SIMPLE Develop as many mnemonics as possible What You Need to Know:  What You Need to Know Study time – ass in the seat time is THE key success factor You MUST find a place to bury yourself, away from everything. Best library is the University Medical Center (Mulford Library) – 7am till 12-midnight plus has great weekend hours. Surrounded by serious students, 24 hrs cafeteria Stay away from home, leave the cell phone in the car. About the Test:  About the Test MBE – Multistate Multiple Choice – 200 total in 3 hours You need a raw score of at least 135 (out of 200) to put yourself in position to pass. This will scale up to around 143-144 of the 405 you need to pass. You MUST be doing 50 MBE question daily (and studying the answers) in the 4-5 weeks prior to the exam (hence the need for 2000+ practice questions) DON’T fall into the MBE trap, specifically spending more than 50% of your time prepping the MBE The PMBR will tell you the MBE is the key to the BAR, this is NOT true for OHIO based on the scoring scheme You pass or fail in Ohio based on the Essays and MPT, but only once you’ve put yourself in position! About the Test:  About the Test Essays = KEY to passing – 12 total – 30 min. each If you are a strong laptop user, take advantage it worked great. You MUST do 75+ practice essays under timed conditions to get an accurate handle on the rhythm and flow these essays. In the actual exam you will do six - 30 minute essays in a row. I witnessed people walk out the door after the first two because they couldn’t manage their time or handle the pressure. Top Ten Essay Defects from the prior Chairperson of Ohio Bar Exam Committee (the @#!$ who developed the test format currently in use) About the Test:  About the Test Top Ten Essay Defects Omitting analysis of a specific issue Mistaking the facts Failing to state any conclusion Stating conclusions at variance with the stated analysis Stating conclusions without their rationale Omissions or lapses caused by running out of time Scattershot approach which states rules or lines of analysis not called for by the facts Poor organization Poor grammar or word choice Illegible About the Test:  About the Test MPT – Practical - 2 total – 1.5 hrs. each This is the really elusive section, but it is worth enough points you cannot ignore it. Not covered in any of the prep courses. Best advice is to download, study and practice the ones provided on the OSC website from past bar exams. While they are scored on the same 1-7 scale as the essays, the overall score is multiplied first by 1.5x and then by 2x in the scoring formula. Therefore the 14 raw points are actually worth 42 scaled points! Test Week and Columbus:  Test Week and Columbus Stay at the DoubleTree downtown, 4 block walk to Vets Memorial, convenient garage parking onsite included in the price, check the internet for special deals, book in advance, rooms are all suits and have separate sitting room and bedroom, early morning breakfast buffet, strong coffee, comfortable beds. You don’t want the hassle of driving, traffic and parking once in Columbus. Have an early breakfast, leave early and walk for awhile. DON’T FORGET EARPLUGS. I recommend studying with them on for a couple of weeks ahead of time to adjust. There will be distractions during testing. Visit COSI museum after day one testing – right across the street from Vets Memorial. You will need to walk and decompress before finding food and hitting the books. Test Week and Columbus:  Test Week and Columbus Bring a cooler full of water, easy fruit, munchies for the hotel – the machines get expensive and there aren’t any carry-outs downtown. Don’t drink alcohol despite the urge, take it easy on the caffeine. Bring music – iPod or CD player Bring your lunch to Vets and a couple bottles of water, there is a cafeteria but it can get busy – eat outside if the weather is nice. There is very little within walking distance in term of food. There are some steps on the river-side of Vets that are quiet and away from the crowd. Don’t rehash essays with others, it will only drive you nuts. Test Week and Columbus:  Test Week and Columbus Final day – resist the temptation to rush through the 6 essays. You will have a strong urge to rush through and not put your full effort forward. Stay methodical and focused. Remind yourself you don’t ever want to come back and try it again. Be careful driving home, you will be very tired and mentally drained. Don’t plan a long road-trip directly from Columbus. Best post Bar analogy– “You will feel as though someone unscrewed your two big toes and all the energy drained out, total exhaustion!” Good luck!

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