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Our New Book: How to Pass the Michigan Bar Exam!

We are very excited to announce that we will be publishing a book on how to pass the Michigan bar exam. The first edition has received great reviews among the people who have read it. The most common comment we have heard from our attorney-reviewers was “I wish this existed when I took the bar exam!”

The book, How to Pass the Michigan Bar Exam, is written by myself, Ashley Heidemann. I received a score of over 180 on the Michigan bar exam and have been tutoring students, as well as passionately learning everything I could about the Michigan bar exam since 2011. Continue reading Our New Book: How to Pass the Michigan Bar Exam!

The Art of Waiting for Bar Exam Results…

How do You Wait for Bar Exam Results?

There are many different kinds of waiting for bar exam results that generally  fall between two extremes:

bar exam resultsExtreme 1: Refresh the State Board’s website every two seconds. Some students check the website of their state board of law examiners’ constantly. They are the kind of students that follow our lead and download this annoying page monitor that automatically checks the website every second, chimes whenever it changes, and causes way too many mini-heart attacks. This type of person also has a propensity to annoy their peers and drive everyone crazy (since they won’t stop talking about results!)…but at the same time, everyone loves them, too,  because it is well-known that when bar exam results are released, this person will be the first to notify them.  It almost takes the pressure off of others to check the site so often.

Continue reading The Art of Waiting for Bar Exam Results…

What is the new Michigan bar exam grading formula? 

Earlier this year, the Michigan Board of Law Examiners disclosed that it would be grading essays according to a new undisclosed grading curve. The curve is supposed to ensure that “essay test scores across administrations reflect the same skill level” and continue to “reflect differences in the difficulty between the multiple choice and essay portion of the exam.”

We assumed that this grading scale was going to be very complicated – maybe points were added to particularly difficult questions or maybe the Board came up with a complex formula based on the exam scores. After reading several essays and looking at several score reports for the July 2014 bar exam, we noticed a pattern in the amount of points awarded.

Continue reading What is the new Michigan bar exam grading formula? 

When Will the February 2015 Michigan Bar Exam Results be Released?

bar exam Wondering when the February 2015 Michigan Bar exam results will be released?

So are we! We did some research and discovered the past release dates for February Michigan bar exams. We discovered that the past four release dates have been on Wednesdays. The earliest release date for the past seven  February Michigan bar exams has been April 20. The latest has been May 19.

We predict that the release date will be sometime in May due to the high number of applicants (as well as that strange grading formula they started following in July, which seemed to delay the release of results).

Below is the research that we did. To be thorough, we listed the days the results were mailed, as well as the date they were mailed and the number of applicants taking the exam. Continue reading When Will the February 2015 Michigan Bar Exam Results be Released?

Sign up for our Michigan Bar Exam Course today!

michigan bar examWe are happy to announce our new Michigan Bar Exam course for the July 2015 Michigan bar exam! This course tells you everything you need to know to conquer the essay portion of the Michigan bar exam.

If you are looking for something more personal to supplement your commercialized bar prep course, sign up for our Michigan Bar Exam Course today.

The Michigan Bar Exam Course is taught by Ashley Heidemann, who received a top score of over 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam on the February 2011 bar exam.  Continue reading Sign up for our Michigan Bar Exam Course today!

Four Tips for Planning a Post-Bar Exam Vacation

A picture from my current post-bar exam vacation to Puerto Rico.

A picture from my current post-bar exam vacation to Puerto Rico.

Looking to plan a stellar post-bar exam vacation? I highly recommend it! A post-bar exam vacation can help prevent burnout while you are studying for the exam (it will be a “reward” that will help you stay motivated to keep going until the end). It can also help keep stress to a minimum when the bar exam is over. You won’t have time to obsess over what the “right answers” were after the bar exam is over – you will be too busy getting ready to go on vacation. Lastly, it provides a nice transition. If you go right from taking the bar exam to working (or waiting for results/job searching), a short trip (or a longer one) will provide a well-deserved period of time to relax and regroup. After all, the bar exam is a huge mental and emotional task. A vacation can help you hit the reset button. Continue reading Four Tips for Planning a Post-Bar Exam Vacation

A Note to the February 2015 Michigan Bar Exam Takers: Onward to the MBE Day!

july 2014 bar examThe essay portion of the February 2015 Michigan bar exam certainly had some curveballs that no one anticipated – gun rights in a Constitutional Law question, jury selection issues in the Criminal Procedure question, among others. PHEW. If you did not feel prepared for these topics, join the vast majority of the other Michigan bar exam takers. With that said…

While the topics were not all standard, the subjects, at least, were.

Wills was tested instead of Trusts (which we predicted would be the case, but it was really a 50-50 chance). And there were no major surprises: To many students’ great relief, there was no Secured Transactions question, nor were there any questions on No Fault, Commercial Paper, Agency, Partnership, Conflicts, etc. Instead, it was the standard exam with 9 questions based on MBE topics and 6 typical essay subjects (Domestic Relations, Personal Property, Workers’ Compensation, Corporations, Professional Responsibility, Wills).  This is to say – the subjects were not super-surprising, even though some of the topics certainly were. Continue reading A Note to the February 2015 Michigan Bar Exam Takers: Onward to the MBE Day!

Should I Study the Day Before the Bar Exam?  

Latin words for law students

Many students ask us, “Should I study the day before the bar exam?” We always used to advise students not to study much, if at all. Why not? Studying the day before the exam tends to make students more panicked…which causes them to lose sleep and perform more poorly on the bar exam. Thus, trying to study the day before the exam can be more hurtful than it is helpful. Further, in general, you are not going to learn that much more the day before the bar exam. If you don’t know it by now, there is a good chance you will not learn anything that helpful in the remaining hours left before the bar exam.

Continue reading Should I Study the Day Before the Bar Exam?  

How Accurate are Barbri Essay Graders?

bar examEvery administration, many students ask, “How accurate are Barbri essay graders?” or “How accurate are the Kaplan essay graders?”

Students wonder if the scores they receive from these essay graders are an accurate reflection of how they will do on the bar exam.  The answer I always tell them is, “not necessarily.”

I had a student for a recent bar exam, who agreed to let me share her scores (although her name will remain confidential). This student received several scores of 4 (a passing grade was 10)from Barbri graders as well as quite low scores from Kaplan graders. She did not get a score above a 7 (a passing score) from Barbri or Kaplan graders. However, she did receive a passing score on her actual bar exam. Continue reading How Accurate are Barbri Essay Graders?

Do I Have to Understand the Rule Against Perpetuities to Pass the Bar Exam?  

JD AdvisingMany of our bar exam students worry about Rule Against Perpetuities problems on the bar exam. The Rule Against Perpetuities is by far one of the most confusing concepts that students are taught in law school. Further, many bar review courses use up several pages of their outlines to explain the Rule Against Perpetuities. But how important is it that you know the Rule Against Perpetuities for the bar exam?

Multistate Bar Exam:

Generally, to pass the multistate bar exam, you can get a super-high score without having any idea of what the Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP) is. It is usually just one question on the multistate bar exam (and could even be a Uniform Statutory Rule Against Perpetuities problem which is generally much easier to understand than the traditional common law RAP).  I would suggest that you are vaguely familiar with the Rule Against Perpetuities but that you do not spend very long on it.  Continue reading Do I Have to Understand the Rule Against Perpetuities to Pass the Bar Exam?  

How to Improve Your Timing on the Bar Exam

study-1231396_640There are students each administration who fail the bar exam because they have to completely guess on the last ten or so multiple-choice questions or they run out of time and have to leave essay answers either incomplete or blank.  You do not want to be one of these students! The last thing you want to do is fail the bar exam because you run out of time.

If you find yourself running out of time when you practice questions, don’t panic. The good news is that time management is a skill that you can perfect before you take the bar exam.  There are a variety of techniques to try. If timing is a problem for you, I recommend you try all of them before the bar exam.

Continue reading How to Improve Your Timing on the Bar Exam

Improve Your Bar Exam Multiple Choice Score on the Bar Exam

JD AdvisingAre you Looking to Improve your Bar Exam Multiple Choice Score?

The bar exam is less than a month away and many students still find themselves looking for ways to improve their bar exam multiple choice score. One way to improve your score on the multiple choice portion of the bar exam is to use actual released bar exam questions.

There are many sources of actual released bar exam questions.

One source is the NCBE website: You can take the four 100-question exams found on the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBEX) website. Each exam costs $50.00 to purchase. You will receive online access to the exams you purchase for one year after the purchase date. It is well worth your money to purchase all four exams because each exam is composed of actual released questions from past bar exams.    Continue reading Improve Your Bar Exam Multiple Choice Score on the Bar Exam

Michigan Bar Exam Essay Tips – Last-Minute Tips to Improve your Bar Exam Score

bar exam anxietyThink you can’t improve your essay exam score the day before the exam? Think again. Here are three useful last-minute Michigan bar exam essay tips that will help you improve your bar exam score. I estimate that these Michigan bar exam essay tips helped me to improve my score by at least five points on the February 2011 Michigan bar exam. Note that this is not a detailed post about how to write essay exam answers. These are merely some last-minute tips that you should keep in mind when you take the essay portion of the Michigan bar exam.   Continue reading Michigan Bar Exam Essay Tips – Last-Minute Tips to Improve your Bar Exam Score

Should I Start Bar Prep Early?

write-593333_640Not everyone will be able to start bar prep early.  For some, it is just not practical because final exams, work, and life will take up too much time. Others, however, have a little bit of time to get a head start on bar prep. Note that just because you can start bar prep early, doesn’t mean you need to. I recommend that the following students start preparing early (when possible):  Continue reading Should I Start Bar Prep Early?