You Will Succeed
As bar exam scores drop, it is crucial for law students approaching their bar exams to study with experienced tutors who take the MBE regularly and understand it’s workings. A recent Wall Street Journal posting says that 2014 bar exam pass rates fell dramatically across the nation. Can you afford to fail the bar exam?
If you research the Wall Street Journal article, and the resulting cyber furor about low scores, interesting ideas come to light. Law school deans suggest that NCBEX (the National Conference of Bar Examiners), which designs and administers the bar exam, has allowed test questions to become progressively less understandable and scoring may be flawed.
Erica Moser, NCBEX president, countered, “[W]e redoubled our efforts to satisfy ourselves that no error occurred in scoring the examination or in equating the test with its predecessors,” she wrote. “The results are correct. . . All point to the fact that the group that sat in July 2014 was less able than the group that sat in July 2013.”
Unattributed comments, as bar exam scores drop, fly back and forth in forums and social media:
- “Students are presently more committed to devices, social media, and spare time activities.”
- “Students who began studying in the recession were less motivated. Did it seem better to many to take on the burden of law school loans than to starve in another field where hiring was stagnant?”
- “There was a major snafu with ExamSoft downloads, and that made everyone feel unprepared.”
- “In Ohio, the bar exam venue was a convention center where a music convention took place down the hall, distracting test-takers and causing a lower pass rate.”
- “Students are just not as smart as they once were. The best minds go into fields where jobs are more abundant, like engineering—the others go to law school.”
- “Many students probably struggled with the exam because it does not contain sections on tweeting, Facebooking, and video gaming.”
- “Decades of decline inculcating critical thinking skills and academic integrity; combined with twin entitlements of, on the one hand—tenure for the established, and on the other, instant rewards due the millennial.”
One responder put a fine point on the topic of bar exam effectiveness in general:
“The multi-state bar exam has been a crock for as long as it has been around. It does not and has never tested knowledge of legal study. It only creates an arbitrary bar to entry by using trick question based largely on grammar mixed in with some questions about law. The only part of the bar exam that has any merit is any written essay portion the individual states might impose. The question then becomes did the applicants fail the multi-state exam or essay component of the exams? If the essay questioning held true to past performance, but the multi-state dropped off, then I would be very, very wary of blaming the applicants, and I would blame the test makers and their grammar games.
Does the Bar Exam Pass Rate Problem Lie with Law Schools?
Some say yes, the quality of education has declined as costs escalate year-by-year and financial bottom lines become priorities.
Another reader agrees, “I’m not surprised by the Deans’ thin-skinned reaction(s). Each year’s crop of lawyers are indeed “less able” than the prior year’s crop. This has been trending since the middle of the last century when law schools began slowly but surely converting into profit centers for the universities to which they were attached. In my estimation, law schools today are only a quarter step above the for profits schools such as U of Phoenix. The revenue in tuition and alum donations that law school deans must generate to keep their jobs are strong incentive to bully the MBE folks.”
High-Quality Bar Exam Preparation Spells Success
If you page back through this blog, you’ll find a series of posts in which we debunk bar exam myths. Note, in particular, the one that wonders if students get dumber, while the bar exam gets easier. The answer, on both fronts is no, and the question becomes—does it make any sense to revise bar exams to suit declining expectations of student preparedness?
We, at Reed Bar Review, again say no, and we dispute both allegations. Students are no dumber and the test is emphatically not getting easier. Here’s the problem, as we see it.
In any field where your career jumps off from passing a qualifying exam, those sitting for the exam absolutely must prepare effectively and thoroughly. Those types of exams, whether for burgeoning attorneys, architects, medical people, or any other specialized professional field, are long, intimidating, and difficult.
Cramming for a week, or trying to review years of lessons and texts just will not bring about successful results. No school curriculum offers the extensive preparation, drills, and personal one-on-one attention needed for the average student to be prepared for the MBE. Period.
Listen to what one graduate in particular, and many in general say about the bar exam experience:
“(I am) someone who did not pass the July 2014 California Bar Exam….My essays and performance tests were very good and despite the significant preparation I did for the MBEs, these questions were unlike anything I had prepared for. It was utterly confusing and unnecessarily complicated. The MBEs are always meant to be difficult (hence the significant preparation) but this was on another level. I found, however, that to pass it requires nothing more then, as Richard Nixon would put it, an iron butt. Preparation is the key to the exam. Everyone who sits for the exam has already passed one or two exams within the tested subject matter to advance in school. I find it difficult to believe anyone who had a commercial preparation course and stuck to the guidelines of that course wouldn’t pass with flying colors. I don’t have much sympathy for people that failed this bar in part because it wasn’t like they were testing subjects way out of left field.”
Now you have to ask, what enables some groups of students, such as those who work with Reed Bar Review, to pass with high marks and in large numbers? Emphatically, we say, and we’ll back it up with real facts and numbers, that while scores and pass rates continue to decline across the nation, our students enjoy the highest pass rates in the country. Why?
Our founder and CEO, Hugh Reed, and his staff, know the inner workings of the MBE cold. They understand the language, the concepts, the twists, the red herrings, and the philosophy behind the makeup of those dreaded bar exams. There is one, single, indisputable reason this is true.
Hugh Reed sits for a bar exam twice each year, in different jurisdictions—so you only have to take it once! He takes the entire test—every six months—and passes it. Then he makes sure his tutoring and coaching curriculums, exercises, drills, counseling, and mentoring go hand-in-hand with the very most current iteration of the bar exam.
The MBE Truth Will Out
Here’s another truth—no one else makes a habit of taking a bar exam everytime they are offered. No one else understands the exam process in the same way Colonel Reed and his team do. No one else can give you the edge his students gain. Bottom line—it doesn’t matter what caused the recent decline in pass rates. Let others bicker about that. For the foreseeable future, the MBE is the only way to qualify for your law career.
If you don’t give yourself every edge, you may fail the bar exam, and you may fail it more than once. But—you can get a guarantee that you will pass. Is that a tough decision? Register for a free account at Reed Bar Review, or pick up the phone right now and call us to enroll before it’s too late. (312) 595-9601.