How to Retake the Bar Exam and Pass

How to Retake the Bar Exam and Pass (1).png

After all of the sacrifices you made this summer, you’ve learned that you didn’t pass the Uniform Bar Exam and now face the daunting task of re-taking the exam in February. Hang in there. The pain of not passing gets (a little) more bearable each day, and with a few more months of hard work, you will pass the exam in February and be admitted to practice as early as next June.

Remember, there are plenty of people who are or have been in the same situation as you. Hillary Clinton failed the Washington D.C. bar exam. Franklin D. Roosevelt failed the New York State bar exam the first time around. And Michelle Obama failed the Illinois bar exam on her first try as well. You're not alone and there's a lot you should be proud of yourself for already. Not everyone can get into or graduate from law school, so don't get discouraged. Although the bar is anything but easy to pass, that doesn’t make failing any less disappointing. The key is to dust yourself off, determine where you lost points, and then start studying for the next exam. 



Understanding Your Score

The following document is the handout to which John Pieper refers in the video above.

February 2018 results

It can be difficult to start studying again if you don't know where you went wrong the last time. That's why it's important to understand your score. John Pieper, founder of Pieper Bar Review, explains how to break down your score sheet from the New York Board of Law Examiners in the video above and goes over what your score goals should be for the UBE in February. In regards to the written portion of the exam (essays and MPTs), for instance, you’ll be looking for a total scaled score of 133 or higher. If you didn't achieve that, then your written average weighed down your overall score. You’re looking for a 133 scaled score or better on the MBE as well.  By going through each of your essay scores and your MBE percentile rankings for each topic (remember, higher numbers are better with “% Below Nationally” numbers above 30 actually helping your score), you'll get an idea where you struggled and what subjects need the most attention. If you don't bother to understand your score, there's a good chance you could make the same mistakes you did in July.

So Learn From Your Mistakes

As mentioned above, the results of the last UBE contain valuable information showing what sections of the exam you excelled in and which need improvement. This information can help you figure out what you should concentrate on as you prepare again.

For example, if you took the exam in New York or any of the other jurisdictions that require a passing score of 266  and your MBE scaled score was below 133, your MBE was weighing you down. Or alternatively, if you took the exam in Alaska, which requires a 280 UBE score, your MBE would hold you down if your scaled score was below 140. Based on these results, you'd know you need to focus additional time on improving your process-of-elimination skills—that could be the difference between passing the bar and taking it once more. However, perhaps it’s your Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) that needs improvement. This section makes up 30 percent of the UBE. If this is the case, you will need to focus additional time on your essay-writing skills. Keep in mind as you plan for this winter's exam, however, that you'll need to do more than improve upon your weaknesses.  You’ll also need to maintain and improve upon your strengths. It won’t help you to increase a weak MBE score if your strong performance on the MEE or MPT declines. Balance is essential.     


A short message from Pieper Bar Review Founder and instructor John Pieper

And Put Your Plan into Action

After pinpointing where you made the majority of your mistakes on the last exam, jump right back into studying, as the next exam is right around the corner. Taking another UBE review course would be most beneficial to you. And while you may be tempted to take the bar review course you previously did for free, do you really want to risk failing again?

Maybe it’s time for a change.

You can start studying today with Pieper Bar Review. You’ll get immediate access to our UBE lecture videos so you can get a head start in the areas where you struggled most, so you’ll be up to speed in those topics when our courses begin. Plus, our team of attorneys can help guide you with managing any study time you have before class starts.

Pieper Bar Review’s UBE review course is led by knowledgeable instructors who cover every topic that will appear on the exam—from torts and constitutional law to conflicts of laws and UCC Article 9—and offer tips to master each section. Our essay-writing and MPT workshops teach you how to organize your answers in order to ensure that you are maximizing your scores, and you’ll have the opportunity to submit your written assignments to be analyzed by our team of top attorneys.  Our mnemonic devices will help you recall the law more efficiently than ever before, and our breakdowns of MBE questions will help you conquer the exam. With more than four decades sharing our legal expertise with students, we not only know the bar exam inside and out, but we also appreciate how stressed students can get as they prepare for it. This is why we don’t just teach the information, but rather guide our students, providing them endless support and advice through various resources, such as our tutoring services.

The UBE Question of the Day

whether you are retaking the bar exam with Pieper or any other review course, you can start studying by subscribing to our Question of the Day. Every morning, you’ll receive one bar exam question with a detailed explanation as to why your response is correct or incorrect.

We want you to be fully equipped to take on the UBE and pass with flying colors. The skills you’ll learn with Pieper will prepare you for the UBE and on your way to finally starting your career.

As a repeat student the Full Bar Review Course is available to you at a discounted rate of $1,595.00. Click here to reserve your seat.


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About the author

Pieper Bar Review

For over forty years, Pieper Bar Review has taught students the legal concepts and skills necessary for success on the bar exam, and reinforced students’ knowledge through thought provoking examples and bar exam questions. The proof that the Pieper teaching method works is found in the success of our former students – now present-day attorneys. Learn more

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