How To Spot Someone About To Fail The Bar Exam

Kaplan PMBR: Multistate Performance Test (MPT) (Kaplan PMBR Finals)"I know I'm a good writer, I got A's in my legal writing class." How many of you have heard someone say this? If you haven't yet, you will before bar review is over.  These are famous last words of someone that is going to fail.

There are two performance tests on the bar exam. These two essays account for 40% of your overall essay score. While this is the minority percentage of the combined essay score, examine it even closer.

Break the essay section down even further.  There are 6 state specific essays for 60% of your total essay score. Each essay has a weight of 10%.  Each performance exam accounts for 40% of the overall essay score, so each essay is worth 20% of the total score.

Now, think this through.  How likely is it you are going to know everything tested on the 6 essays? Not likely. How likely are you to know everything on the performance exam? You absolutely will! The performance exams are a closed universe and no outside knowledge is required.

The greatest opportunity to make up for lost points, is in the performance exams.  Every point gained in the performance exam is worth twice as much as the point gained in the state specific essays. So if your 10 points down, is it easier to find 10 points on the state specific essays, or 5 points on the performance tests?

People who say they are good writers think performance tests are only about writing, but there not. The performance exams also test your ability to follow directions, organize an argument and comprehend what you read quickly. Honing your skills on the performance tests are a must.  Not doing so is not only ill advised, but is cause for failure.

So the next time you hear someone say, "I know I'm a good writer, I got A's in my legal writing class," walk away knowing you are competing against one less person.