Oh my goodness, I’m glad to write this post!
I’ve had it in my head for weeks, but I didn’t want to cast bad juju* on my results by even writing a draft of it.
I won’t redo the whole post explaining what this test is, it’s all right here. And then I debriefed the experience here.
So here’s how the CalBar (hipster law-student speak again, for the California Bar) rolls. The test was June 26. These tests are hand-graded, of course, because of the nature of the essays, so the date the results are released is reasonable at August 10. But this is where they lose me. Instead of posting the results online, where the 800 students could log in and see immediately if they have passed, they instead snailmail the results letters from California on Friday the 10th. Then, you can call on Monday the 13th if you haven’t gotten your letter (which most of us, especially the eastern half, won’t have), give your name, ssn, dob and hold your breath.
I was at daughter Amy’s house in Johnson City, with her guy and my guy, skyping with my study buddy and made my call. Even after getting my YES, I checked the CalBar site over and over for the “Requirement Satisfied” status. The statistics are not yet available for the June test; the most recent results are for the Oct 2011 test, which had an overall pass rate of 19.1%. If you heard a scream or a shout around noon last Monday, it was moi.
At this part of the post, if you are not a fellow law student, I don’t hold you accountable for not continuing to read. It will be dull and irrelevant, and you are welcome to go have some strawberries and blackberries in cream. Wait, that’s me. Go have a snack of your own design, and I’ll meet you back at the blog when I’m ranting about religion or republicans or something.
I’d love to be able to give the top 3 Reasons I Passed. Or some wisdom about how to budget your time, or write your essays, or practice your MCQ’s. The best I can do is tell you what I did, and what worked for me. And what didn’t.
- Beginning in mid-January, I reworked my 2L schedule to be able to suspend my study for one month before the test and resume study in July without being behind.
- Also beginning in January, I began the Concord First Program our school provided for us that consisted of an intense study program of the test subjects.
- For 5 months, I dual-studied 1L and 2L (with 2L at a compressed rate).
- I took my work schedule to half-time in March – I have the world’s best clients.
- On June 1, I took the month off work, suspended 2L, and began studying 1L subjects 8-10 hours a day.
- I chose to discard the external, checklist-based tutoring program I had used occasionally in 1L. I feel strongly about this one, and I think I had to overcome this mentality to make the progress I made.
- I wrote every essay and took every multiple-choice quiz in Concord First.
- I accessed additional essays and MCQ’s and practiced those several times.
- I listened to Professor Bracchi analyze all 4 essays for every FYLSE back to 2004. If I had to pick one thing that was the most important, it would be this one.
- I had the best study buddy on the planet.
There you go. I know that there is more than one way to skin the proverbial cat – this is what worked for me. However, not once after the test was I confident I had passed. The area I thought I had done well in, the essays, were weaker grades than I expected, and the multiple choice, which could have been in Sanskrit for all I understood them, actually were what allowed me to pass. I don’t know what the significance is of that lack of confidence, but until I heard the magic words, I didn’t think I had gotten it done.
Now it’s back to 2L, because those finals are around the corner in December. Can’t close until I repeat, yet again, how much I love this school and the study of law.
Thanks for reading!
*you know I’m kidding about the bad juju, right?? What kind of rationalist do you take me for?
August 16, 2012 at 1:53 am
That’s so fantastic Gayle! I can’t imagine putting in that much study time for a test. You conquered that thing. Be proud! Oh and bad juju – it’s real 🙂 haha
August 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm
congratulations to you!!!! jan
August 17, 2012 at 3:58 am
First off, congratulations!! Having sat there through that test, i know what a dragon it was to slay so i commend you for doing it on the first shot! And enjoy the free books in 3L 😉 Secondly, thank you for taking the time to lay out how you succeeded! Since i, unfortunately was not successful, i really enjoy hearing how others made it work for them…i have two months to re-prepare and am working thru 2L now, so hearing that it can be done is inspirational. I know that your blog is aimed towards a general audience, so any more detailed advice you have for this next go around would be highly appreciated 🙂 again, congrats! And keep rocking it out thru 2l and beyond!
Ps. Love the picture. You look like a kid in a candy store…lol. i hope to be posting something similar come december!