Introduction

Advice for the NY Bar Exam

After taking the New York (NY) Bar exam in July 2005, I put together this web site. When I studied for July 2005, there really weren't any sites out there with good advice about the NY bar exam and how to pass it. My purpose in making this site is to share what I studied and how I studied for the NY bar exam. 

If you are studying for the NY bar exam, this site contains a good bit of information, insights and resources along with documents to download, ranging from the NY essays with Sample Answers for the last 35 bar administrations from July 1995 to Feb 2013 (including mp3 versions for older exams), a MASTER "Frequency Analysis" of each and every issue and rule addressed in every model answer provided for the exams from July 1995 to February 2005, MBE Rules outlines, old Multistate Performance Tests (MPTs), and complete outlines from BarBri and PMBR lectures. The MASTER outline and the insights/analysis truly helped me on the actual NY bar exam. Hopefully by seeing what I did in detail, you can use it to gauge the effectiveness of your studying, and use my material to supplement your studying and make adjustments.

The site receives over 40,000 unique visitors per year. This site ranks at the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo for advice on the New York Bar Exam. This site also appears as a bar examination preparation resource on the Villanova Law School, Western New England Law School and Touro websites. Accordingly, the effectiveness of the material on this site has been diluted. Click here to read more about this. Therefore, use the free material on this site as a supplement rather than your main source of studying. In addition, as the material on this site is from 2005, you must update it.

Click here to read more about the subscription site or click here to subscribe.

Announcements

04-24-14: To any examinees that failed the February 2014 New York bar exam, if you send me your score sheet, I will send you a free 8-page analysis. You can read more about this here. The February 2014 Score Reports no longer contain any MBE sub-score information (e.g. a breakdown of your scores in Con Law, Contracts, Evidence, etc). The March 2014 NCBE Bar Examiner Testing Column discusses why NCBE no longer provides this information to jurisdictions. According to NCBE, the reasons for the change were to conform to standard test practice and to reduce confusion. Unfortunately, the less information the bar examiners provide, the less transparent their procedures, and the harder it is to formulate strategies to pass the exam.

11-27-13: It seems that a number of score reports I sent on November 10-11, 2013 were not delivered. If you submitted your scores to me prior to November 11, 2013 and have not received a score report, please email me.

10-30-13: To any examinees that failed the July 2013 New York bar exam, if you send me your score sheet, I will send you a free 8-page analysis. Read more.

08-08-13: I created a calculator that will estimate your scaled MBE score in New York based on the raw score you enter. The scaled scores are based on an average of scaled scores from prior New York bar exams.

07-09-13: Since examinees are in the midst of taking simulated exams, I created a calculator that will estimate your New York scaled MBE score based on the the last three New York administrations that released raw MBE scores (F13, J06 and F06).

06-25-13: To avoid the new 50-hour pro bono service requirement, examinees who are considering the July 2014 exam should take the February 2014 exam instead. According to NY BOLE, all candidates seeking admission after January 1, 2015 will need to file documentation showing that they have completed 50 hours of qualifying pro bono work. Accordingly, if you take and pass the July 2014 exam, it is extremely unlikely that you will be admitted before January 1, 2015, meaning that the 50-hour pro bono requirement will be applicable to you.

Please also keep in mind that examinees that withdraw from or fail to appear at two or more New York bar examinations must apply to NY BOLE for permission to re-apply before applying for a subsequent examination. and relief is in the sole discretion of the Board. see Board Rule 6000.6(i).

Bar Exam Retakers

Whenever an examinee asks me for specific advice, I try to give it. However, depending on how busy I am, I may not respond for a few weeks. If you would like my advice (which I am happy to give), please fill out the Retaker Bar Exam Advice Form. The form is an efficient way for me to determine as much of your situation as possible to formulate an appropriate response. The form contains a set of questions that I generally ask people who email me for advice. As with anything, the more data I have, the more effective my analysis. Once I review your information, I will give you my honest opinion about what I think you should do for your next attempt. While the score reports are fairly self explanatory, I will also give you my analysis of your scores. Since New York changed the reporting of information on the score reports so that the sub scores are not reported for any of the multiple choice (NYMC and MBE), your score submission will enable me to calculate the MBE and NYMC raw scores for the administration. Anyone who submits scores will have complete anonymity - I only disclose the data itself. The data also enables me to enhance and perfect the NY Bar Score Calculators.

Click here to submit your Feb 2014 scores for a free 8-page report and analysis

Score Analysis Report
If you email me your score report(s), I will email you a free comprehensive eight-page analysis of your score and my advice. Please fill out the online submission form or email me a copy of your score report to joe@seperac.com. Click here to view a sample score analysis. If you submit your scores or essays to me, any identifying information will be redacted and your identity will always be strictly confidential. In the past seven years, I have sent free score reports to over 2,600 New York bar examinees encompassing the July 2008 - July 2013 exams. The analysis is useful in pinpointing your problem areas and assessing your future exam performance. The score reports will also estimate your raw scores on all the components of the exam, including how many questions answered correctly on the NYMC and the six MBE topics. The more score reports I receive, the more accurate and useful the analysis. Please note that it may take a week or more to receive an analysis if your score report is sent to me immediately after scores are released.

Score Report

Essay Report

Essay/MPT Analysis Report
I examine NY bar exam essays/MPTs using the same methodology as the score analysis. I strongly urge all failing examinees to order their essays from NY BOLE immediately after scores are released in order to review your essay and MPT answers. You disadvantage yourself if you do not order and review your essays because you will not know what mistakes to correct (e.g. did you miss obvious issues, was your writing style poor or careless, how did your answers compare to the released above average answers). In the past five years, I have sent free essay/MPT analysis reports to over 300 examinees encompassing over 1,800 Essays/MPTs from the Feb 2010 - July 2013 exams. This 26 page analysis reports statistics such as words, characters, paragraphs, sentences, sentences per paragraph, words per sentence, characters per word, Flesch reading ease, and Flesch-Kincaid grade level. The analysis illustrates how your answers statistically differ from the released above average answers and other examinee essays. The essays/MPTs are examined against the released above average essays/MPTs and the essays/MPTs of other failing examinees. I also analyze word frequencies and report any useful data.

For example, for each essay/MPT, the analysis will report the top 20 words that the above average answers used that you did not or the top 15 words in the question that both above average answers used that you did not. Examinee essays are also compared to the highest scoring essay I received. For example, one comparison reports the top 10 words the best answer used that the examinee did not. If you have your handwritten or typed essays/MPT in PDF format and would like to receive an analysis, please email them to joe@seperac.com along with your score report. If you submit your essays for this analysis, while the essays are used for comparison purposes, any identifying information will be redacted and the identity of the essay writer will be confidential. Please note that it may take two weeks or more to receive an analysis if your essays are sent to me immediately after the exam results are released.

Multiple Re-Taker Score Analysis Report
If you have taken the exam two times or more, I can also provide you with a free comprehensive six-page Multiple Re-Taker Score Analysis Report. The re-taker analysis report will show your overall averages per exam component, variance in scores, changes in raw scores between exams, and other useful comparisons, including February versus July comparisons. If you judge your performance from exam to exam based solely on your scaled scores, you are making a mistake. The analysis is useful in pinpointing your worst subjects and assessing your future exam performance based on your prior scores. Click here to see a sample report. In the two years, I have sent free Re-Taker Score Analysis Reports to over 150 examinees. If you are interested in receiving this additional free analysis, please complete the below form with the information from your most recent exam and then fill out the Grading Sheet Information section of the Retaker Bar Exam Advice Form for each of the prior exams. Alternatively, you can email your score sheets to joe@seperac.com while filling out the Additional Information and Other Information on the Retaker Bar Exam Advice Form.

Please note that I continually improve these analysis reports, so the sample versions may not reflect the current version of the reports.

Retaker Score Report

 

NY Bar Exam Calculators

According to NY BOLE, "[t]hrough psychometrically approved scaling procedures, the raw scores attained by the applicants on each portion of the examination are converted to scaled scores on a common scale of 0 to 1000, and the three scaled scores are then weighted and combined to yield total weighted scaled scores on the same 0 to 1000 scale. The relative weights assigned are 50% to the written portion (40% essays and 10% MPT), 10% to the New York multiple choice, and 40% to the MBE portion." To enable examinees to better understand the scoring of the New York bar exam, I created a number of free online calculators.

NY Bar Score CalculatorThe NY Bar Score Calculators allows you to calculate a NY Bar Exam score by plugging in estimated scores for each section. New calculator will follow for each exam once I receive enough score reports to calculate the scale. You enter the scale scores in the white cells to calculate the final score. The MBE score you enter should be MBE scaled score. In 2007, New York changed the reporting of information on the score reports so that the subscores are not reported for any of the multiple choice (NYMC and MBE). If you send me your scores, I will send you a 5-page score report that includes estimates for the raw subscores for the MBE and NYMC. To receive a free analysis, please email me a copy of your score report to joe@seperac.com. You can also fill out the online submission form.

The Score Matrix Calculators will calculate a score matrix for the New York bar exam administration based on the scaled MBE score you enter. A total score of 665 is required to pass the New York bar exam. You can use this calculator to estimate the MBE, Essay, MPT and NYMC scores you will need to pass an upcoming exam. You can also change the Average Score columns to enter New York Essay Questions and MPT averages lower than 30 or greater than 60. The NYMC range is between 10-40 questions since over 95% of examinees will score within this range. Please note the calculator only provides an estimate of your final score and the accuracy of the calculator diminishes with very high or very low scores.

MBE Score Calculators

The MBE Score Calculators will estimate the percentage and number of applicant nationwide who scored better than you or worse than you on the MBE based on your MBE scale score. The calculators are based on the relevant MBE Summary Statistics data released by NCBE (which are generally not released until Spring/Summer of the following year). For example, the 2011 MBE statistics for the Feb 2011 and July 2011 administrations will not be available until Spring/Summer 2012. The MBE Score calculators will also calculate your estimated raw MBE score (based on the July 2006 or February 2006 scale since 2006 was the last year that New York reported the raw MBE scores) and a minimum passing written average score for the combined essays/MPT. I add calculators when NCBE releases the updated MBE statistics.

Finally, there is a Raw-Scaled Score Calculator that will estimate your raw essay/MPT score based on your scaled score and vice versa. According to NY BOLE, "[t]he scale score for each of the five essay questions and the MPT question is arrived at by converting the raw score for each question to a scale that generally ranges from approximately 20 to 80, with 50 as the mean. In the conversion from the raw to scale scores, the essays are weighted 40%, or 8% each, and the MPT is weighted 10%). The candidate's five essay question scale scores and the MPT scale score are then totaled and divided by six to arrive at an average scale score for the written section. That average is then converted to a score distribution that is comparable to that of the MBE." Because of the scale, even a blank essay still receives points. For example, a raw score of 0 will still result in a scaled score of 21.60 based on the estimated default means and standard deviations.

Subscription Site

Everything I did when I studied in 2005 (MASTER 2005, my 2005 Barbri Outlines, BARBRI questions Rules outline, older MP3s) is free on this page. Anything new I have done since then (MASTER 2008-2013, updated outlines, MBE Rules outlines, NY BOLE Content Outline Summary, improved MP3s, etc.) is on the subscription site. Click here to read more about the subscription site and MASTER 2013. Otherwise, click here to download the MASTER 2005 Frequency Analysis.

 

2005 OUTLINES

Following are my BAR/BRI MBE outlines from July 2005. Please remember that the outlines on the free site have not been updated since 2005 so you must update them.

2005 MBE Outlines

Joe's Outlines WORD format PDF format
Constitutional Law
WORD PDF
Contracts & Sales
WORD PDF
Criminal Law & Procedure
WORD PDF
Evidence
WORD PDF
Real Property
WORD PDF
Torts
WORD PDF


Keep in mind that taking notes yourself is a useful exercise because you learn the material as you take the notes.

NY BOLE ESSAYS

Each question from these New York Bar Exams has two sample answers written by actual test-takers. The answers were selected by the Board of Law Examiners as representative of better than average submissions. All these exams are attached here in WORD format in a zip file:

NYBarExams.zip (contains the NY Bar Exam Essays from July 1995 to July 2013 in WORD format)

NYBarExams-PDF.zip (contains the NY Bar Exam Essays from July 1995 to July 2013 in PDF format)

Individual Past NY Exam Essay Questions with Sample Candidate Answers

Administration WORD format PDF format Administration WORD format PDF format
February 2013
WORD PDF
July 2013
WORD PDF
February 2012
WORD PDF
July 2012
WORD PDF
February 2011
WORD PDF
July 2011
WORD PDF
February 2010
WORD PDF
July 2010
WORD PDF
February 2009
WORD PDF
July 2009
WORD PDF
February 2008
WORD PDF
July 2008
WORD PDF
February 2007
WORD PDF
July 2007
WORD PDF
February 2006
WORD PDF
July 2006
WORD PDF
February 2005
WORD PDF
July 2005
WORD PDF
February 2004
WORD PDF
July 2004
WORD PDF
February 2003
WORD PDF
July 2003
WORD PDF
February 2002
WORD PDF
July 2002
WORD PDF
February 2001
WORD PDF
July 2001
WORD PDF
February 2000
WORD PDF
July 2000
WORD PDF
February 1999
WORD PDF
July 1999
WORD PDF
February 1998
WORD PDF
July 1998
WORD PDF
February 1997
WORD PDF
July 1997
WORD PDF
February 1996
WORD PDF
July 1996
WORD PDF
February 1995
   
July 1995
WORD PDF


NY Essay MP3s

In the process of updating the MASTER outline, I converted the NY Essays to MP3 files to listen to and analyze them. I have posted the MP3s below if anyone wants to download them and play them in their ipods, etc. This gives you the opportunity to do some extra studying while commuting to school or work. The set of 5 essays (with two answers per essay) plays for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Each individual question with the two answers is about 15-20 minutes long. You should download the individual questions if you want each question as a separate "track." If you plan to listen to the entire exam continuously, download the "All Questions" MP3. If you have Firefox, you can install an add-on called DownloadThemAll and then configure it to download all the mp3s at once. You should read or listen to the exams for at least the last five years to see how the fact patterns are presented and what constitutes a good answer in the eyes of the NY bar examiners. Following are the MP3s available for download:

Exam All Questions Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Q5
July 2008 Q1-5 (43MB) Q1 (8MB) Q2 (9MB) Q3 (10MB) Q4 (8MB) Q5 (9MB)
Feb 2008 Q1-5 (49MB) Q1 (11MB) Q2 (8MB) Q3 (12MB) Q4 (9MB) Q5 (9MB)
July 2007 Q1-5 (49MB) Q1 (8MB) Q2 (11MB) Q3 (9MB) Q4 (11MB) Q5 (9MB)
Feb 2007 Q1-5 (43MB) Q1 (10MB) Q2 (7MB) Q3 (8MB) Q4 (9MB) Q5 (8MB)
July 2006 Q1-5 (53MB) Q1 (9MB) Q2 (12MB) Q3 (10MB) Q4 (11MB) Q5 (9MB)
Feb 2006 Q1-5 (43MB) Q1 (8MB) Q2 (7MB) Q3 (10MB) Q4 (10MB) Q5 (9MB)
Jul 2005 Q1-5 (39MB) Q1 (8MB) Q2 (7MB) Q3 (7MB) Q4 (9MB) Q5 (7MB)
Feb 2005 Q1-5 (35MB) Q1 (9MB) Q2 (8MB) Q3 (5MB) Q4 (7MB) Q5 (6MB)
Jul 2004 Q1-5 (43MB) Q1 (9MB) Q2 (9MB) Q3 (10MB) Q4 (8MB) Q5 (7MB)
Feb 2004 Q1-5 (39MB) Q1 (7MB) Q2 (7MB) Q3 (7MB) Q4 (9MB) Q5 (8MB)
Jul 2003 Q1-5 (33MB) Q1 (6MB) Q2 (8MB) Q3 (6MB) Q4 (6MB) Q5 (6MB)

 

For the subscription site, I made MP3s of the New York essays from February 1999 to February 2013 (31 exams) in a higher quality MP3 format (128kpbs-CD quality) using a more natural sounding voice while correcting grammatical and pronunciation errors. You can read more about this here.


Observations/Materials from 2005

My first piece of advice is to read everything on this site. Everything is relevant and important. Anything posted was posted because I think it will help you pass the NY bar exam. So please read everything - every word on this page and every document that is hyper linked.

Please note that these were my observations in 2005 as I prepared for the July 2005 NY bar exam. The analysis on this free site has not been updated since 2005 and some of these observations have changed. Click here to read more on this.

As I started studying for the New York Bar in May 2005, I started to notice there was some logic to the exam. Here is an index of my main observations:

1. At least 70% of the issues on the ny bar exam essays are repeats from other NY bar exam essays from July 1995 to Feb 2005. Read more

2. Not many issues from the immediately preceding bar exam show up on the next NY bar exam. Read more

3. There are identifiable hot and cold topics on the New York bar exam essays. Read more

4. The New York essays generally appear in alphabetical order on the New York bar exam. Read more

5. Generally, one or two crimes/defenses will show up per exam. There have been 22 NY crimes tested based on NY bar exam essays from July 1995 to Feb 2005 - only one exam, July 2004, was purely criminal procedure. Read more

6. All three of the released MBEs (Feb 1991, July 1991 and July 1998) each have evenly distributed answers (50 As, 50 Bs, 50 Cs and 50 Ds). Read more

 

The New York (NY) Bar Exam Essays (40%)

Here is a summary of my main insights/observations for the NY Bar Exam Essays:

At Least 70% Of The Issues On The NY Bar Exam Essays Are "Repeats" From Other NY Bar Exam Essays From July 1995 To Present

In 2005, I discovered that NYBOLE recycles the same issues on the NY essays. How did I find this out? I went on the internet and found the NY essays with Sample Answers for the last 20 bar administrations (from July 1995 to Feb 2005). I found these released exams on www.nylawyer.com. I read all the NY essays with Sample Answers from July 1995 to Feb 2005 and noticed that some answers were repeated in similar ways in the New York Bar Exams over the years. I decided to break it all down to find out how much was repeated and how much wasn't. I created a "Frequency Analysis" of each and every issue and rule addressed in every model answer provided for those exams. I also noticed that the sample answers all had fairly good "intros" for each answer. The intro is essentially a few sentences or a small paragraph of the applicable black letter law. Each essay has about 4-5 topics/issues. We went through each essay of each exam from July 1995 to Feb 2005 and broke it up into topics/issues (i.e. Summary Judgment). We then took both model answers from each issue, stripped out the black-letter law that each person wrote on that issue (discarding the analysis, conclusion, etc) and then combined the black-letter law of both model answers (or to coin the terminology of the NY Board of Law Examiners - better than average submissions) to create "set pieces" or "good intros" to questions on that particular topic. Sometimes I supplemented a "master" answer with black-letter law or essay answers from BARBRI or my outlines. I then created a Table of Contents of all the issues along with their frequency. The Table of Contents are hyperlinks that you can click on to jump to the appropriate topic (you have to hold down Ctrl key and click on an item for the hyperlink to work). This is a complete outline of all the issues and rules tested on the NY Essays from 1995 to 2005. Memorize this MASTER outline. BARBRI is useful, but they give you too much information to study. I wanted to focus my studying on the more frequently tested areas. When I studied for the NY Bar exam last July, this "MASTER" Essay document was the most useful resource I had. There is a slight chance that the NYBOLE will throw in an issue not found on MASTER, but don't worry since this issue will most likely be a common law subject that you will cover in your MBE preparation or it is some ancillary topic in MASTER.

BEFORE YOU DOWNLOAD THIS MASTER DOCUMENT: (1) You must keep in mind that the answers in MASTER are based primarily on the stripped NY Essay model answers so they are not perfect answers. While the answers were obviously good enough to be considered model answers by the NYBOLE, keep in mind that some parts of an answer may be wrong law; (2) in doing MASTER 2008-2013, I found mistakes and misclassifications in MASTER 2005, so keep in mind not all topics are accurate; and (3) the analysis discussed here and in MASTER is based on past exams. The analysis is deemed accurate and reliable, but no warranties are being made. In addition, keep in mind that past performance is not indicative of future results. While it can be assumed that future NY Bar exams will be similar to past NY Bar Exams, do not neglect the possibility that it could change (Just look at the July 2005 MBE that was significantly different from all prior MBEs). Update: This has changed somewhat in recent exams. Read more

Keeping all the above in mind, here is MASTER:

MASTER 2005 FREQUENCY ANALYSIS

After MASTER was compiled, I compared/cataloged/counted each topic of each essay of each exam from July 1995 to Feb 2005. Here is the summary for the NY Bar exams from Feb 1995 to Feb 2005: 145 unrepeated topics and 110 repeated topics out of a total of 510 topics (an average of about 25 topics per exam since the older exams (pre-July 2001) had 6 essays each). Keep in mind that this summary is not perfect and that some unrepeated issues could be partially answered by other "repeated" issues, but I separated them to reflect the actual issue. Also, unrepeated can consist of an area of law based on individual issues. For example, 20 or so unrepeated issues are based on crimes (i.e. Arson, Robbery, etc). Therefore, 28% of the issues on the bar exams from Feb 1995 to Feb 2005 were unrepeated "one-time" issues while 72% of the issues were "repeats"

Advice for the NY Bar Exam

For example, here is a breakdown/analysis of some of the exams:
Feb 2005: 3 unrepeated issues out of 21 issues total = 14% unrepeated
July 2004: 2 unrepeated issues out of 23 issues total = 9% unrepeated
Feb 2004: 4 unrepeated issues out of 21 issues total = 19% unrepeated
July 2003: 5 issues unrepeated out of 22 issues total = 23% unrepeated
Feb 2003: 9 unrepeated issues out of 23 issues total = 39% unrepeated
July 2002: 11 issues unrepeated out of 23 issues total = 48% unrepeated

Statistically, at least 70% of an upcoming NY Bar Essay Exam should be repeated issues, plus a good portion of the 145 unrepeated should appear in the other 30% of statistical unrepeaters. Some unrepeated issues could be partially answered by other "repeated" issues. Here is a list of recent unrepeated issues to illustrate this point:

Feb 2005: 3 unrepeated issues out of 21 issues total - EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF HOME, IN-COURT IDENTIFICATION, ACCOUNTING

July 2004: 2 unrepeated issues out of 23 issues total - DEFECTIVE WARRANT, PRIOR REPRESENTATION

Feb 2004: 4 unrepeated issues out of 21 issues total - BOARD AUTHORIZATION, INTENT TO DISTRIBUTE, ENTRAPMENT, DISTRIBUTION OF RESIDUARY ESTATE

July 2003: 5 issues unrepeated out of 22 issues total - SHIPMENT CONTRACTS, PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES, INEFFECTIVE ASSISTANCE OF COUNSEL, WRONGFUL DEATH, PAROL EVIDENCE

If the above pattern holds, the majority of the topics/issues in a future NY bar exam should come from an up to date MASTER document. And this makes sense. The NYBOLE isn't going to radically alter any NY Bar Essay Exam. They are going to use time-tested questions and then throw in some ancillary topics. This doesn't mean that you can just regurgitate the answer from MASTER. You will still have to spot the issues and analyze properly. What MASTER gives you is a good intro for the issue once you spot it. MASTER also shows you the probability of an issue appearing on an exam. For example, a topic like Summary Judgment appears on many NY Bar Exams. With MASTER, you have a very good model answer for a topic that appears frequently. For example, since it is almost guaranteed that there will be a contracts question, have the Contract Creation intro memorized and start your essay with it: (i.e. A contract is a legally enforceable agreement, etc" Remember, the answers are not perfect, but they are good "intros" for each answer. These "intros" will let you start your answer with a good introductory sentence and the relevant black letter law. The answers also save you the trouble of having to compose a well-structured intro. I highly recommend that you read MASTER over and over in an attempt to memorize it.

I highlighted the headings of certain topics a lighter color in the MASTER document to identify these topics of lower importance. For example, some topics such as Arbitration are marked orange to denote that the topic was a low priority topic that was not likely to appear on the July 2005 exam. I marked in Blue any topic that was highly likely to appear on the July 2005 exam.

Update: This has changed somewhat in recent exams. Read more


Not Many Issues From The Immediately Preceding Bar Exam Show Up On The Next Exam.

In 2005, I discovered that not many issues from the immediately preceding bar exam show up on the next exam. Please note that this has changed in recent exams. Click here to read more on this. Based on my observations in 2005, the topics repeated as follows:

Feb 2005: 3 repeated issues from immediately preceding July 2004 exam (which contained 23 total issues)
July 2004: 2 repeated issues from immediately preceding Feb 2004 exam (which contained 21 total issues)
Feb 2004: 1 repeated issue from immediately preceding July 2003 exam (which contained 22 total issues)
July 2003: 1 repeated issue from immediately preceding Feb 2003 exam (which contained 23 total issues)
Feb 2003: 0 repeated issues from immediately preceding July 2002 exam (which contained 23 total issues)
July 2002: 1 repeated issue from immediately preceding Feb 2002 exam
Feb 2002: 5 repeated issues from immediately preceding July 2001 exam

If such a pattern were to continue, you can make studying/memorizing of the issues from the immediately preceding NY BAR EXAM a much lower priority since very few will likely appear in the next exam.

There Are Identifiable Hot And Cold Topics On The NY Essays

Looking at the Table of Contents for the 95-05 NY Essay Exams in MASTER, you can see patterns based on the popularity of certain topics. For example, Arbitration was hot in the 90's but hasn't been tested since July 1999. On the other hand, NY Professional Responsibility has been tested on nearly every exam since it was introduced around 2000. After you update MASTER, use observable patterns to prioritize your studying (i.e. for example, if you find that Professional Responsibility continues to appear with regularity, you should know this topic well while having just a working knowledge of arbitration, a topic that has not appeared since 1999).

Update: This has changed somewhat in recent exams. Read more

The NY Essays Generally Appear In Alphabetical Order On The Exam.

Prior to 2007, the New York essays generally appeared in alphabetical order on the exam. Looking at these NY Essays from Feb 2002-Feb 2005, the first Essay was usually Contracts/Corporations; the second Essay was usually Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure; the third Essay was usually Domestic Relations/Evidence/Real Property/Professional Responsibility; the fourth Essay was usually Torts and the fifth Essay was usually Wills. This meant that you could bring the MASTER document with you on Day 1 of the NY Bar Exam and leave it in your car (as I did). In the morning, we had a Contracts, Crim Law and Divorce Questions. I was pretty confident that the afternoon session would consist of Torts and Wills. It did. I spent my lunch hour eating lunch and reading the Torts and Wills sections of MASTER. The one hour of studying helped me write better answers for the afternoon session.

Click Here to expand the Question Order table

 

Exam Q # Main Question Sub Question
Feb-05 1 Corporations Contracts
Feb-05 2 Criminal Procedure Criminal Law
Feb-05 3 Domestic Relations Real Estate
Feb-05 4 Torts  
Feb-05 5 Wills NY Practice
       
Jul-04 1 Corporations Contracts
Jul-04 2 Criminal Procedure  
Jul-04 3 Real Estate Professional Responsibility
Jul-04 4 Torts Conflicts of Law
Jul-04 5 Wills Professional Responsibility
       
Feb-04 1 Corporations Contracts
Feb-04 2 Criminal Procedure Criminal Law
Feb-04 3 Domestic Relations Real Estate
Feb-04 4 Torts NY Practice
Feb-04 5 Wills Trusts
       
Jul-03 1 Contracts Real Estate
Jul-03 2 Criminal Procedure Professional Responsibility
Jul-03 3 Domestic Relations  
Jul-03 4 Torts  
Jul-03 5 Wills, Estates, Trusts  
       
Feb-03 1 Contracts Corps and Partnerships
Feb-03 2 Criminal Law Comm Law: Payments
Feb-03 3 Wills  
Feb-03 4 Torts  
Feb-03 5 Real Estate Domestic Relations
       
Jul-02 1 Contracts Corps and Partnerships
Jul-02 2 Criminal Law Evidence
Jul-02 3 Domestic Relations Real Estate
Jul-02 4 Torts NY Practice
Jul-02 5 Wills Corps and Partnerships
       
Feb-02 1 Contracts Torts
Feb-02 2 Crim Pro:Investigation  
Feb-02 3 Domestic Relations Real Estate
Feb-02 4 Torts/NY Practice Professional Responsibility
Feb-02 5 Wills Professional Responsibility


Update:
This order has changed in recent exams. Read more

Generally, One Or Two Crimes/Defenses Will Show Up Per Exam. There Have Been 22 NY Crimes Tested Based On NY Bar Exam Essays From July 1995 To Feb 2005 - Only One Exam, July 2004, Was Purely Criminal Procedure.

In 2005, I examined the NY Bar Exam essays from July 1995 to Feb 2005 and found that 16 of these 20 exams had a crime as an essay topic. For the other 4 exams, 3 out of the 4 had a Criminal Law defense question such as self-defense (Feb 2002, July 2003, and Feb 2005). Only one exam, July 2004, was purely Criminal Procedure. NY Criminal Law can be problematic for examinees because it is very difficult to understand all the crimes under NY Criminal Law along with their distinctions, degrees and defenses. There is a significant amount of information to learn, and yet this will only comprise roughly 50% of one essay question, equaling 4% of your total grade. I spent a good deal of time writing model answers for most of these crimes which explain their nuances and make them understandable. Therefore, I would recommend studying the crimes in the MASTER document and knowing them very well. Please keep in mind that some topics in MASTER 2005 need improvement, such as solicitation. See MASTER UPDATE for more information on this.

 

New York Multiple Choice (10%)

The average passing NY MCQ score is 27-30. Based on the examinees that have sent me their scores, the average number of correct NYMC of these 2,000+ failing examinees is 24. To understand the significance of NYMC scores, use the NY Bar Score Calculator to estimate passing scores. My suggestions for the NYMC are as follows:

1) Have a good NY Practice outline and study it often. If you have time, take NY Practice in law school.
NY Practice shows up in the NY essays very often, and it shows up in a good portion of the NYMC.
2) Do all the NY Questions in the BARBRI book. Do about 25 in 1/2 an hour each day (you only get an hour to do 50 question on the real thing). I did this about 2 weeks before the actual exam. Read the answers, create a rule outline, and read this outline daily before doing more NYMC questions. This "flashcard" document should contain a 1-sentence rule of law for all the questions that you answered wrong and for any questions that you got right but guessed on. These are your weaknesses on the NYMC.
3) Read Article 1 of the NYS Constitution. Read it once or twice just to be familiar with it. This might help you with one or two questions that everyone else will get wrong. Here it is:

NYS Constitution Article 01.doc


MPT (10%)

There is not much to prepare for in regards to the MPT. Personally, I did not do any practice MPTs. I spent a cumulative total of about six hours preparing for the MPT by doing the following:

1) I went through the BARBRI MPT book and looked at the sample answers to see the different types of formats for answers (i.e. what do they want for an interrogatory).
2) I looked at one answer (a memorandum) and worked in reverse to see where the answer portions came from (i.e. Were statutes primarily cited; were they cited first and then case law; what parts of the cases did the exam taker incorporate into his answer; how much case analysis did the exam taker incorporate into his answer; how much relevance did the exam taker assign to the other information in the library). This was the most useful thing I did. This will give you a good idea of what parts of the cases and statutes you should strip out and put into your answer when you do the MPT yourself. Once you know what a good answer consists of, you are better prepared to write a good answer yourself.
3) If you are not a fast thinker/writer, you should do practice MPTs to see if you have time/writing problems.

If you don't have a BARBRI MPT book, here are some older MPT exams and their corresponding Point Sheets. You can download MPT Point sheets from 1997-2006 back on NCBE's web site

Following are some sample MPT Point Sheets from the 2000 exam.
MPT Point Sheet 1 - July 2000
MPT Point Sheet 2 - Februray 2000

MBE (40%)

For the MBE, the average passing raw score in NY is 125-130. The average scaled MBE score is approximately 142 on July exams and 136.5 on February exams. In 2005, PMBR advised that you want to be at 60% correct by the end of June, and at 65%-70% correct by exam day. In 2005, my advice for the MBE was:

1) Do 30-50 MCQ questions every day. I personally preferred the PMBR questions although you can do either PMBR or BARBRI. For PMBR, you should do the entire the RED book and then the entire BLUE book. The RED Book is 1235 questions (Torts 200 Contracts 200; Property 200; Criminal Law 175; Crim Procedure 60;Evidence 200; Con Law 200). The BLUE Book is 600 questions and then an exam. If you do BARBRI, I would recommend the BARBRI Release Q's and BARBRI Practice Q's Advanced. Don't do BARBRI Drills Q's - they are very hard and not reflective of the MBE.

2) Read every answer to each question whether you get the question right or wrong AND TAKE NOTES OF ANYTHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. I basically created a separate MBE outline of MBE rules and organized this by topic (i.e. Con Law, Contracts, etc.). This "flashcard" document should contain a 1-sentence rule of law for all the multiple choice questions that you answered wrong and for any MCQ's that you got right but guessed on. These are your weaknesses on the MBE. Read this outline everyday before you do your MBE questions. My Flashcard document ended up containing over 800 "1-sentence" rules of law. Here is my flashcard document called MBE Rules:

MBE Rules Outline

The flashcard document that YOU create is more important to you than mine since my weaknesses may not be your weaknesses. However, my flashcard document is worth reading once or twice (especially the Con Law and Crim Law sections). There are a few redundant rules of law in this MBE flashcard document because I never bothered to consolidate any redundant rules. Also, for any rule of law that came from an MBE question, I put the MBE exam date in parenthesis after the rule (i.e. July 1991). I did this because I regard the MBE rules as the most important of all the rules to know. You also should pay extra attention to YOUR outlining of the rules of the MBE questions that you get wrong since this is the real thing (see MBE tests below).

I did about 50 questions a day during the week and 70-100 per day on Saturday and Sunday. I always timed myself (I used a Timer program I found on the Internet). I would set the Timer for an 18 minute countdown and then do 10 MBE questions in a particular category (i.e. Torts). After I did 10 questions, I checked the answers, kept track of how many I missed and updated my rule outline with any rules from questions I got wrong (or in a few cases, got right for the wrong reason). I kept track of this and how much time I had left after each series of 10 questions in an Excel Spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet, I calculated the amount of time I used per question. If you develop an average time, you can multiply this by 33 to figure out how long this will take you to do a category. For me, Property questions took the longest (avgerage of 1.4 minutes per question), then Contracts, then Torts, Crim Law, Con Law, and Evidence. Here is the spreadsheet I created and used:

Bar Study Sheet.xls   (A PDF of my study sheet is here)

All my scores and times are in the spreadsheet. Here are my dates/times/scores for the PMBR BLUE and RED Books (RED Evidence and Crim Law are missing because I initially didn't keep track), MBE, BARBRI and PMBR tests and finally, my July 2005 MBE results:

MY MBE TESTING CHART

Date Book Topic # of Qs # Wrong % Right MBE Raw Min Per Question
5-Jun PMBR Blue Book Criminal Law 100 28 72% 144 1.12
2-Jun PMBR Blue Book Property 100 31 69% 138 1.40
17-Jun PMBR Blue Book Con Law 100 17 83% 166 0.89
23-Jun PMBR Blue Book Contracts 100 38 62% 124 1.14
25-Jun PMBR Blue Book Evidence 100 23 77% 154 0.88
30-Jun PMBR Blue Book Torts 100 31 69% 138 1.14
07-Jul PMBR Blue Book Sim Exam   200 68 66% 132 1.20
               
11-Jun PMBR Red Book Property 200 83 59% 117 1.28
16-Jun PMBR Red Book Con Law 200 68 66% 132 1.05
22-Jun PMBR Red Book Contracts 200 90 55% 110 1.23
29-Jun PMBR Red Book Torts 200 64 68% 136 1.03
               
01-Jul BARBRI Simulated MBE   200 70 65% 130 1.46
               
05-Jul MBE July 1998   200 47 77% 153 1.15
09-Jul MBE July 1991   200 51 75% 149 1.1
11-Jul MBE Feb 1991   200 47 77% 153 1.14
               
27-Jul July 2005 NY BAR EXAM MBE   200 43 79% 157 1.125

 

As you do MBE questions, remember to keep track of your percentages and to skim your MBE outlines. The Bar Study Spreadsheet contains worksheet pages ("50 50", "200", or "100 100") that you can print out as answer sheets for the PMBR/MBE questions and exams that you do. Here are PDF versions of the blank answer sheets along with a PDF of my marked up score sheet for the July 1998 MBE to illustrate how I marked it up:

      MBE July 1998 Scoresheet
      July 1998 Scoresheet


On the score sheet, I also made a note of how many questions I got wrong because I misread the question (I put an MR next to the right answer). This was simply a way for me to see if I was reading the questions too fast. Occasionally, I also incorporated a tip from BARBRI where you put a plus sign next to any answer that you are sure is correct. That way if you later find you are wrong on that answer, you need to really study that area to figure out why you were wrong. 

Although some people say you should do questions from each subject at least once a week (i.e. Con Law questions on Monday, Crim Law questions on Tuesday, Contracts on Wednesday, etc.), I did my MBE Q's in blocks until about 1 month before the exam. For example, after Con Law finished in BARBRI, I did Con Law multiple choice questions from BarBri and PMBR Red and Blue. Then I did the same with the next topic. Once all six topics were finished in Barbri, I then started doing exams to test on all the subjects. You can look at the Bar Study Sheet to see exactly what I did each day. In my opinion, doing the topics in blocks gives you a more realistic estimate of how you are doing on that topic. In the first month of studying, if you are doing 10 questions from each topic a day, how do you really know if you are doing well in a specific topic? You can also gauge your progress by comparing your scores to mine at the same juncture. For example, I recommend you purchase the 1998 July MBE at the NCBE Online Store and take it 22 days before the exam like I did. Then compare your score and time to mine to roughly approximate how you may do on the MBE portion of the bar exam.

For the July 2005 MBE, I finished the AM session 45 minutes early and the PM session 35 minutes early. If you do a lot of MBE questions, they start to look familiar after a while. Don't use this as a gauge - you will probably finish just in time.

Once you have done the six main topics in BARBRI, and have done a good deal of PMBR and BARBRI multiple choice questions, you should take an actual MBE exam. The current exams available are July 1998, All of 1992 (581 questions), July 1991 and Feb 1991.

I felt the July 2005 MBE exam was "different" from these older MBE exams - the questions seemed re-written (as opposed to recycled) and more verbose. However, the older MBEs are still the closest thing to the real exam since they are former MBE exams. You should do these, under timed conditions, probably around mid July. These actual MBEs will give you the best idea of how you will do on the MBE itself.
 
Using the MBE questions, I took some of the questions, grouped them by category, and then created an audio cd of the questions with answers to listen to in the car on the way to and from BARBRI. You can create your own cds by either using a program like Dragon to read the text aloud and then use this program, mp3mymp3 to record the audio in mp3 format. You can also just read an outline into your microphone and use mp3mymp3 to record your own voice. You then burn that mp3 onto your ipod or onto a cd to make an audio cd using a program like Nero. My MP3s were mostly old MBEs - the question was read, the a,b,c,d answer options were read, and then the answer was read. I usually had about 30 questions on each CD that I played in my car. I found that listening to these audio cds in your car to and from BARBRI was helpful because (a) you are a captive audience and (b) you can study a little less at home because you are studying while commuting.

I signed up for the PMBR 3-Day Session. For both days, I left after the AM session. While going over the answers was somewhat useful, I felt I would be more productive at home doing multiple choice questions. You should sign up for PMBR to get the books (or buy them on ebay) and then attend the sessions to see if you get anything out of it. If not, just go home and study on your own. Here is a PMBR review from someone who attended the July 2005 PMBR review:

PMBR review.doc

From the beginning, my goal was to do very well on the MBE and hope I did well on everything else. As opposed to the essays, the MBE is readily quantifiable. If you do not do well on the MBE, you had better have written spectacular essays, and with the time constraints, that is probably not too likely. As I said earlier, for the MBE, I finished the AM session 45 minutes early and the PM session 35 minutes early. This probably is a result of doing over 4,000 multiple choice questions. For the essays, I finished with less than a minute to spare in the AM and PM. And contrary to what BARBRI tells you, I read the question and then started writing my answer immediately (instead of outlining), and I still barely finished on time (and I am a fast test-taker). I never made a list of issues or underlined key phrases (although I never did that in law school either). My inability to organize the essays was apparent in some of my answers. For the torts question, halfway through the question, I realized I completely missed an issue. I had to write a few paragraphs on it on the next page and then drew an arrow illustrating where it should be inserted in my previously written answer. Needless to say, my answers were occasionally disjointed. I would say 80% of my essay answers came from MASTER and 20% from outlines. I remembered a good bit from MASTER, although it was never word for word. If I got 4 sentences out of a 7 sentence MASTER paragraph, I was happy. I would say I used MASTER phrases for virtually every issue of every essay (except for one or two topics such as Trusts where I had no clue with nothing to regurgitate from MASTER). The outlines did help for the MBE. In the final two weeks, the outlines and MASTER were the only things I really read. In my opinion, knowing the rules is more useful for the essays then the MBE, but that is where MASTER can help (although it is a gambit nonetheless). In my opinion, the multiple choice questions are the best way to prepare for the MBE.

To do good on the MBE, you need to know the nuances of the law. That is why you have to do a lot of multiple choice questions and understand the right answers. In doing 4,000 multiple choice questions, I came up with over 800 rules to answers I did not know at all, and I could have come up with more. So basically you should do as many multiple choice questions as possible and understand the right answers. On the July 2005 MBE, I scored a 157 raw score which translates to a 162.1 scaled score. This raw score was better than any test score I had while I did practice exams.

All Three Of The Released MBEs (Feb 1991, July 1991 And July 1998) Each Have Evenly Distributed Answers (50 As, 50 Bs, 50 Cs And 50 Ds).

Out of curiosity, I checked the answer keys of each released MBE and tallied the correct answers for each exam. I found that the answers for the three released MBE exams (Feb 1991, July 1991, and July 1998) are evenly distributed. Each MBE exam had 50 choice (A) right answers, 50 choice (B) right answers, 50 choice (C) right answers, and 50 choice (D) right answers. This is more of an interesting observation rather than a tip or advice. Assuming that the MBE still continues this pattern, you may be able to increase your odds by doing the following (called the "Underdog Strategy"):

a. Answer all the questions in the subtest you can.
b. Count the frequency of each position among your (hopefully correct) answers.
c. Select the position with the lowest frequency (the "underdog" position). If two or more positions are tied for underdogs, select any one of them.
d. Give the underdog position(s) as the answer to all as yet unanswered questions 

This Underdog Theory comes from a paper on key-balanced tests entitled "Seek Whence: Answer Sequences and Their Consequences in Key-Balanced Multiple-Choice Tests" by Maya Bar-Hillel. You can download the paper here:

Key-Balanced Multiple-Choice Tests.doc

This paper is merely for your information. DO NOT bother reading it unless you intend to employ the Underdog Strategy. In the paper, they examined SAT test-takers of differing levels of knowledge ranging from 10% knowledgeable to 90% knowledgeable. These test-takers employed the Underdog method on a key balanced SAT test. All of these test-takers scored higher than a control group that did not employ the Underdog theory. Keep in mind that the increase in scoring was slight. Also keep in mind that the less knowledgeable you are, the lower the increased score. I would not recommend employing the Underdog strategy because there is no way of knowing if the MBE is still key-balanced since there has not been a released MBE since 1998. However, if you want to take a chance and are a fast-enough MBE test-taker that you have the time to do this, you may want to consider employing this strategy.

NCBE MBE Questions

NCBE made the 1992 MBE (581 questions) and July 1998 MBE (200 questions) available as free downloads. These exams can be downloaded here:
http://www.ncbex.org/multistate-tests/mbe/

Keep in mind that these questions are written in the old MBE question format. Please read this to see illustrations of the differences:

http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Bar-Examiner/articles/2008/770308_donahue.pdf

The 1992 book consists of 531 previously published questions and 50 questions from the Feb 1991 MBE (questions 532-581). Please note NCBE's disclaimer:

The 581 questions contained in this document appeared on MBEs administered between 1972 and 1991. Because of their dated nature, many of the questions may test principles that have been altered by changes in the law and thus are no longer suitable topics to be tested. As a result, some of the answers shown in the answer key may be incorrect under currently accepted principles of law. Further, many of these questions do not reflect the current style of MBE questions, and a number of the questions appear in formats that are no longer used on the MBE.
The questions and answers in this document are provided only for the purpose of providing applicants with a sample of the range and general format of questions that appeared on previously administered MBEs, not as examples of the content currently tested or of the material to be studied for the substance of the examination. Many of these questions are currently in use, sometimes with alteration, by commercial bar review courses under a licensing arrangement with NCBE. Because these questions are available in the marketplace, NCBE is choosing to make them available online.
DO NOT USE THESE QUESTIONS TO STUDY CONTENT FOR THE MULTISTATE BAR EXAMINATION!!
Applicants are encouraged to use as study aids the MBE Online Practice Examinations 1 and 2, both available for purchase online at www.ncbex2.org/catalog. These study aids, which include explanations for each option selected, contain questions from more recently administered MBEs that more accurately represent the current content and format of the MBE.

 

MBE Online Practice Exams

The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) offers four 100-question annotated online practice exams using questions drawn from recent MBEs. Following is an excerpt from the November 2007 issue of The Bar Examiner (the Bar Examiner is published four times per year by NCBE):

In December 2006, we offered a new product that we believe is very useful to those who are preparing to take the MBE. The MBE-AP (“Annotated Preview”) provides 100 MBE questions along with annotations regarding why the correct answer is correct and why each distractor is incorrect.

... Subscriptions offer unlimited electronic access to the MBE-AP from the date of subscription to the date of the next MBE administration. Examinees can take the 100-item MBE online and receive feedback on correct and incorrect answers. Examinees also receive estimates of their actual MBE performance based on their MBE-AP performance. The questions that appear on the MBE-AP provide the most accurate representation of a half-length MBE, in terms of both content and format, available today from any source. In addition, the annotations were all written by members of the MBE drafting committees, thus providing an accurate representation of the drafting “thought process.” (Emphasis added)

For those who are planning to retake the examination, recommend that they purchase the MBE-AP and take it repeatedly up until the exam date to obtain the rationales for why the options they select are either correct or incorrect.

You can take the exams in either timed or untimed sittings, and you will receive feedback on your answers, including annotations and a customized score report. You can also purchase the MBE tests from the NCBEX Online Store. Personally, If I were taking the bar exam again, I would purchase the MBE OPE 1-4 exams. For what you pay for a bar review course, you should spend the extra money to look at the actual MBE exams if they are not included in the course.

I examined the score pattern of the 4 OPE exams - none of these 100 question exam are key-balanced. For example, the OPE-1 exam consisted of 33 As, 23 Bs, 21 Cs and 23 Ds. However, this may be because the exam is one-half of a 200 question exam, or just a mix of 100 assorted questions. However, the balance of subjects is a fair representation of the MBE. For example, in the OPE-1 exam, there are 17 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law and Procedure questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions.

I did find that some questions in the MBE OPE exams were re-worded questions from prior exams (i.e. MBE OPE-1 exam Question 45 is a re-worded version of MBE July 1998 Question 33 and MBE 2006 Question 57 is a re-worded version of MBE July 1998 Question 144).

Note: Between 2006 to 2010, the cost of each NCBE MBE online practice exam was $26. I noticed in January 2011 that cost of each practice exam was $50. However, there is no better way of knowing the exam than the exam itself.  Therefore, despite this price increase, I still strongly urge all examinees to purchase and take the NCBE MBE OPE-1 (2006), OPE-2 (2008), OPE-3 (2011) and OPE-4 (2013) exams if they are not included in your bar review course or made available through your school.


MBE Information Booklets

The MBE 2014 Information Booklet is here. This booklet contains useful information such as MBE Subject Matter Outlines and some sample questions. If you are doing an MBE rules outline, you should categorize the rules based on the topics in the MBE outlines in order to prioritize the rules. For example, according to the MBE Subject Matter Outlines for Constitutional Law, approximately half of the Constitutional Law questions for each MBE will be based on category IV (Individual rights), and approximately half will be based on the remaining categories, I, II, and III (the nature of judicial review; separation of powers; and the relations of nation and states in a federal system). Here is a word version of the 2008 MBE Subject Matter Outlines that you can incorporate into your rules outlines. If you categorize your rules outline for each MBE topic, you can focus on higher priority rules (i.e. Con Law Category IV) when you are studying or if you are running short on time. I am doing my own examination of the MBE questions, and plan to make categorized rules outlines from each MBE released exam ordered based on testing frequency.

The NCBE released MBE resources are as follows:

MBE Exam Questions Breakdown
Sample MBE Feb 1991 200 40 Contracts and Torts questions and 30 Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions
Sample MBE July 1991 200 40 Contracts and Torts questions and 30 Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions
MBE Questions 1992 581 531 previously published questions from the MBE and 50 questions from the Feb 1991 MBE (questions 532-581).
Sample MBE July 1998 200 34 Contracts and Torts questions and 33 Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions
MBE OPE-1 2006 100 17 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions
MBE OPE-2 2008 100 17 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions
MBE OPE-3 2011 100 16 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 18 Torts questions
MBE OPE-4 2013 100 16 Constitutional Law questions, 17 Contracts questions, 17 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 17 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions
MBE 2014 Information Booklet 18 3 Contracts, Torts, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions


Grading

The New York bar examination includes four components, the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the New York Essay Examination (NY Essay), a Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and a multiple-choice test on New York law (NYMC). Total scores on the New York bar exam are computed by combining three separate “scaled” and weighted scores from three separate components: the NY Essay Examination, which consists of five essay questions and an extended performance task (MPT) and has a weight of 50%, the MBE, which consists of 200 multiple-choice questions of which 190 questions are graded and has a weight of 40%, and the NYMC component, which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions and has a weight of 10%. Scores on the New York bar exam are reported on a scale with a range from 0 to 1,000 (common scale score). If your total score is 665 or higher, you have passed the New York Bar Exam. You can test scoring scenarios using the NY Bar Score Calculators.

Score Reports

If you pass the New York Bar Exam, the only score you will receive is your scaled MBE score. Here is what the pass letter looked like in 2005:NY Bar-Pass and MBE Score

If you don't pass, this is what the email notification looks like:

Subject: February 2010 NYS Bar Examination Results

The New York State Board of Law Examiners hereby notifies you that you did not pass the New York State bar examination held on February 23-24, 2010.  An official notice is attached and will include a breakdown of your scores. Applications for the July 2010 examination must be RECEIVED at the Board office by May 11, 2010 for candidates who failed the February 2010 examination.  There is no provision for late filing.  You may apply online using the On-Line Application or you may request a paper version of the Re-Application by calling the NYS Board of Law Examiners (518) 453-5990. If you choose to re-apply online, payment must be made by Visa or MasterCard credit cards only; debit cards are not accepted. The proper form of payment that should be attached to a paper application is a certified check or money order for $250 payable to "State Board of Law Examiners."NOTE:  If you used a prior MBE score earned on a successful examination in another jurisdiction or concurrently transferred your MBE score, you may NOT utilize that MBE score again.  You MUST retake the MBE at any future sitting of the New York State bar examination.

Following are some sample NY Bar Exam score reports:

 
July 2004 Score Report
   
July 2008 Score Report
     

 

On your score report, the "MBE BREAKDOWN BY SUBJECT - % Below in NY" column reports what percentage of test-takers you did better than in NY on the MBE. For example, if the Constitutional Law portion reports 7.9%, this means that you did better than 7.9% of all NY July 2009 examinees (meaning 92.1% of the July 2009 NY examinees did better than you on this portion of the MBE).

NCBE has historically provided MBE total raw scores and raw scores for each separate subject (Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts). Up until 2007, the NY bar exam score report contained the raw sub scores for each subject. The raw sub scores first stopped appearing on the February 2007 score sheet. In the November 2007 issue of The Bar Examiner, NCBE strongly recommended providing to examinees only the MBE total scaled score, which is not affected by the difficulty of the questions on the particular exam. It appears that NY BOLE has taken NCBE's advice about not releasing the raw sub scores since it may provide misleading information to re takers. According to NCBE, "[b]ecause these raw scores are simple counts of the questions answered correctly, they are not scaled to take into account the difficulty of the questions on the particular form of the exam that was taken. A low raw score in a subject might in fact be the result of adequate or even good performance if the questions in that subject were more difficult than those in other subjects. A second reason for not providing raw sub scores is that because there are relatively few questions in each subject area, raw scores in individual subjects are not very reliable. If examinees were to take a second test with similar questions, the examinee scores would likely fluctuate by five or so points (out of 31 or 33 points) just because of a different selection of questions. Finally, even if an examinee did in fact perform better in one area than another, that examinee might be better advised to devote additional study to the MBE content area of his or her intended practice, since improvement in any area will increase the total score on the next examination." NBCE goes on to say that "[w]hile a total scaled score does not provide a breakdown of scores by topic, it does provide a good indication of how much the examinee needs to study in order to pass the next time."

The November 2007 issue of The Bar Examiner offered the following advice to examinees who failed the bar exam:
1. Have bar examiners provide them with their MBE total scaled scores.
2. Do not have bar examiners provide raw scores.
3. Tell those who plan to retake the examination that repeaters, on average, gain about 8 points on the subsequent attempt, but some gain more points and some actually score lower than before.
4. For those who are planning to retake the examination, recommend that they purchase the MBE-AP (now called the MBE OPE exams) and take it repeatedly up until the exam date to obtain the rationales for why the options they select are either correct or incorrect.

 

NY Bar Exam Pass Rates

Following are pass rates for the New York Bar Exam from 2004-2012. Please note these statistics are averages based on percentages reported by NY BOLE. The overall pass rate between 1992-2012 is 64.8%. Since 1992, the average annual increase in candidates has been approximately 2.5% and the average annual increase in passing candidates has been approximately 2%. A sortable chart that reports the pass rates in U.S. states and territories based on the 2009 Bar Admission Statistics published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners can be found here.

JULY EXAMS FEB EXAMS
FIRST TIME TAKERS 2004-2012 2004-2012
All Candidates
79%
62%
ABA Graduates
86%
74%
New York ABA Schools
86%
70%
Out of State ABA Schools
86%
75%
Foreign Educated
47%
38%
Non-ABA Schools
50%
28%
Law Office Study
7%
32%
JULY EXAMS
FEB EXAMS
ALL TAKERS
2004-2012
2004-2012
All Candidates
70%
46%
ABA Graduates
81%
57%
New York ABA Schools
81%
52%
Out of State ABA Schools
81%
61%
Foreign Educated
37%
31%
Non-ABA Schools
35%
13%
Law Office Study
9%
17%

 

Click Here to expand/minimize tables of the past pass rates

 

Overall New York Bar Exam Pass Rates

Year
Bar Candidates
Annual % Increase in Candidates
Number Passing
Overall Pass Rate
2010
15,588
3.3%
10,105
64.8%
2009
15,092
2.2%
9,788
64.9%
2008
14,765
2.2%
10,125
68.6%
2007
14,445
3.1%
9,267
64.2%
2006
14,013
4.7%
8,893
63.5%
2005
13,390
4.6%
8,337
62.3%
2004
12,806
0.8%
7,927
61.9%
2003
12,700
-1.2%
8,063
63.5%
2002
12,860
1.2%
7,884
61.3%
2001
12,709
6.6%
8,212
64.6%
2000
11,921
2.6%
7,365
61.8%
1999
11,614
-1.3%
7,402
63.7%
1998
11,767
5.0%
7,587
64.5%
1997
11,205
5.3%
7,409
66.1%
1996
10,639
4.2%
7,176
67.4%
1995
10,212
2.3%
6,885
67.4%
1994
9,986
4.3%
7,278
72.9%
1993
9,575
-1.0%
6,611
69.0%
1992
9,668
6,645
68.7%
Total
234,955
152,959

 

Overall New York Bar Exam Pass Rates by Exam

Bar Exam Bar Candidates Number Passing Number Failing Overall Pass Rate First-Timer Pass Rate
July 2011 11,182        
July 2010 11,557 8,090 3,467 70.0 86.0
July 2009 11,532 8,303 3,229 72.0 88.2
July 2008 11,176 8,348 2,828 74.7 83.2
July 2007 10,907 7,701 3,206 70.6 79.1
July 2006 10,448 7,258 3,190 69.5 79.4
July 2005 10,175 6,809 3,366 66.9 76.0
July 2004 9,555 6,448 3,107 67.5 76.6
July 2003 9,407 6,532 2,875 69.4 77.6
July 2002 9,693 6,546 3,147 67.5 76.5
July 2001 9,194 6,664 2,530 72.5 79.6
July 2000 8,896 6,006 2,890 67.5 75.0
July 1999 8,541 5,846 2,695 68.4 75.3
July 1998 8,788 6,160 2,628 70.1 77.9
July 1997 8,520 6,029 2,491 70.8 78.1
July 1996 8,070 5,743 2,327 71.2 78.0
July 1995 8,064 5,776 2,288 71.6 78.5
July 1994 7,737 6,091 1,646 78.7 85.6
July 1993 7,375 5,506 1,869 74.7 82.0
July 1992 7,436 5,493 1,943 73.9 82.0

 

Bar Exam Bar Candidates Number Passing Number Failing Overall Pass Rate First-Timer Pass Rate
Feb 2011          
Feb 2010 4,031 2,016 2,016 50.0  
Feb 2009 3,560 1,485 2,075 41.7 73.3
Feb 2008 3,589 1,777 1,812 49.5 64.0
Feb 2007 3,538 1,566 1,972 44.3 61.1
Feb 2006 3,565 1,635 1,930 45.9 61.0
Feb 2005 3,215 1,528 1,687 47.5 63.0
Feb 2004 3,251 1,479 1,772 45.5 58.1
Feb 2003 3,293 1,531 1,762 46.5 61.9
Feb 2002 3,167 1,338 1,829 42.2 57.6
Feb 2001 3,515 1,548 1,967 44.0 58.2
Feb 2000 3,025 1,359 1,666 44.9 60.1
Feb 1999 3,073 1,556 1,517 50.6 64.4
Feb 1998 2,979 1,427 1,552 47.9 64.5
Feb 1997 2,685 1,380 1,305 51.4 66.7
Feb 1996 2,569 1,433 1,136 55.8 69.4
Feb 1995 2,148 1,109 1,039 51.6 70.8
Feb 1994 2,249 1,187 1,062 52.8 70.0
Feb 1993 2,200 1,105 1,095 50.2 67.0
Feb 1992 2,232 1,152 1,080 51.6 68.0

 

 

NY BOLE CONTENT OUTLINE

The NY BOLE Content Outline was last updated in December 2013. According to NY BOLE, the outline is intended to indicate, in summary fashion, the bar examination’s potential scope of coverage. Effective with the July 2014 bar exam, the Board will no longer test UCC Article 3 – Negotiable Instruments – on the New York section of the bar exam. Effective with the February 2015 exam, Administrative Law will be added to the list of subject matters tested on the New York section of the bar exam.

Doing simple line counts, the original August 2008 NY BOLE Content Outline contained 737 lines; the November 2009 edition contained 761 lines; the May 2010 edition contained 810 lines and the current December 2013 NY BOLE Content Outline contains 827 lines. Between 2008 to 2010, the bulk of the changes were with Professional Responsibility and Criminal Law and Procedure. Some of the other changes are merely the addition of statutes to the topic, although there are additions to Agency, Evidence, Matrimonial and Family Law, and UCC. Between 2010 and 2013, Administrative Law was added.

After reviewing the December 2013 Content Outline, there is one mistake in the statute references (this mistake is also in the August 2008-May 2010 outlines):

UNIFORM COMMERCIAL CODE - Article 2 – Sales - IV. (F) Preserving evidence of goods in dispute (§ 2-215)
The section is wrong. It should be § 2-515.

I created a Content Outline Summary keyed to the NY BOLE Content Outline in WORD and PDF format containing summary responses for all the topics and hyperlinks to the law for 261 of the topics. Read more.

NEW YORK RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT COMPARISON REPORT

Advice for the NY Bar ExamNew York adopted the NY Rules of Professional Conduct to replace the NY Code of Professional Responsibility on April 1, 2009. NY BOLE advises that candidates should refer to the recently enacted New York Rules of Professional Conduct when preparing for upcoming bar examinations. I compared the 2009 New York Rules of Professional Conduct to the 2008 New York Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility. Here is a Comparison Report I created for your review. Any red hyper-linked portion of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct Comparison Report is text that corresponds with the 2008 New York Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility. If you click on the red hyper-link, it will take you to the matching text in the 2008 New York Lawyer's Code of Professional Responsibility. Therefore, any text in black is new or does not closely match. The new text is generally taken from the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The Rule numbering in the New York Rules of Professional Conduct also generally corresponds with the Model Rules. According to NY BOLE, the Professional Responsibility section of the NY BOLE Content Outline is currently being updated to reflect the new Rules of Professional Conduct, effective April 1, 2009.

A correlation chart was made by Roy Simon, the Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics at Hofstra University School of Law. It can be viewed at http://www.nyprr.com/

A chart without comments can be downloaded from the NYSBA web site here: Comparing the New NY Rules of Professional Conduct To the NY Code of Professional Responsibility


EXAM OVERVIEW

Following is the link for the breakdown of the sessions for the New York Day and the Multistate Day:

http://www.nybarexam.org/TheBar/TheBar.htm

How much time you should devote to studying depends on how well you are doing in your studying. Compare your PMBR/Barbri/MBE scores to mine in my Bar Study Spreadsheet. I studied for roughly 60 days full-time. Figure out when you started studying and correlate your study time period to mine. For example, at 55% into my studying, which was day 33 for me, I did all 200 questions for PMBR Red Book Torts and got 68% right. Take the PMBR Red Book Torts at your 55% mark and compare your score to mine. This will give you a good idea of how you should do on the actual exam. If you find you are not testing as good, if you are close, don't worry. If you are far off, spend more time studying MBEs. For studying, this is what I think you should do (keep in mind this is just my opinion and you should do what works best for you):

1. Update the MASTER document with the new July and February essay answers, including the headings and tables. If a model answer seems very good, you may want to add a few lines from that model answer into the MASTER answer. It will probably be a good exercise for you as you will see how many issues REALLY do get repeated. For example, the free MASTER document contains topics up to February 2005. After the July 2005 exam, I took a look at how the first essay question from July 2005 could have been answered by MASTER February 2005. Here were the issues:

Issue 1 - CORPORATIONS - PIERCING THE CORPORATE VEIL - July 1999, July 1997, July 1995
Issue 2 - CONTRACTS - PAROL EVIDENCE - Feb 2003
Issue 3 - CONTRACTS - QUASI-CONTRACT - July 1997
Issue 4 - PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY - FEES - July 2003, Feb 2002, July 2000

All four issues on Essay #1 were in MASTER (the only one that was not dead-on target is the quantum meruit issue (#3), but it could be answered based on the CONTRACTS - QUASI-CONTRACT - July 1997 section of MASTER. That is the beauty of a MASTER outline - it will cover almost everything, and even if there is an ancillary issue, you should be able to make a great answer from another related MASTER topic. I analyzed how MASTER 2008-2011 covered the last six exams here:

http://seperac.com/bar/analysis.php

2. Prioritize MASTER. As I explained above, mark low priority topics ORANGE and high priority topics blue. Study smarter, not harder. For example, there will almost always be a Contracts question. Therefore, you will undoubtedly have to talk about whether it is a contract and whether there was a breach. This is where MASTER makes your life easier. You can start your essay answer immediately. For example:

CONTRACT CREATION - July 2004, July 2003, July 2001, Feb 2000
A contract is a legally enforceable agreement. A valid contract is formed where there is an offer, namely a manifestation to enter into a valid contract by one party, and an acceptance of that offer by the other party, which indicates a commitment to be bound (a "meeting of the minds"). In addition to a valid offer and acceptance, there must be adequate consideration or a bargained-for legal detriment or, as in New York, a bargained-for legal benefit. Finally, there must be no defenses to formation that would invalidate an otherwise valid contract entered into by the parties, such as the Statute of Frauds under the NYGOL. If the transaction involves the sale of goods, Article 2 of the Uniform Commercial Code, as adopted by New York, is controlling. Goods are tangible, movable personal property. If both parties are merchants, then special rules may apply. A merchant is one who deals in goods of the kind at issue or who holds himself as having special knowledge about the goods. Where the contract is for the sale of goods, UCC Article II applies and states that where both parties are merchants, the only term essential in the contract is that of quantity (i.e. the merchants can agree to later agree on price). Should they not come to an agreement later on, the court will supply a reasonable price. It should be noted that where parties agree to supply a missing term at common law, the contract is unenforceable because the parties are deemed to be still in negotiations.

Then you start your analysis.

The great thing with MASTER is that you have the "set pieces" for virtually every issue. As soon as you recognize the issue, you just lay out the "set piece" and make that your first paragraph. Then you do your analysis by applying the facts and make your conclusion. In my opinion, a bar grader will make an immediate assessment of the quality of an essay based on the first paragraph - how good is your first sentence?; how well is the paragraph structured?; how well and orderly is it put together?; how on point is it?; does it contain all the elements; how well is it written? MASTER gives you a great "intro" which should make a good impression on the bar grader, even if the rest of the essay is poor.

3. Read MASTER every day based on the advice in #2. Even by doing this, I never had MASTER memorized. However, you will be surprised to see how much you remember from MASTER once you are in the exam. If you have a "brain dump" which I myself had a few times during the exam, you just move on to the next question immediately. The worst thing you can do is "spin your tires" on one question. And if you do move on, and it was a multiple choice question - make absolutely sure you do not mistakenly miss that question on the answer sheet so all your answers are off by one. Keep in mind that you will not know things - you skip these items and answer the things you know and then later come back to the things you don't know to write some type of an answer.

4. Read all my outlines (NY Practice in particular) to help with both MBE and NY Essays. You will need to update the law since the outlines are from 2005. For NY Essays, after you have updated MASTER and prioritized the topics, you will see that certain topics are rarely tested so you should just peruse those topics in the outline. Study the high probability items that appear over and over. You should know the six main topics and NY Practice very well. The other topics, I would read the outline once and then just study the MASTER topics on it somewhat. There is no sense in devoting substantial time to study ancillary topics when there is a low probability that they will appear, and you may still be able to piece together an answer from what you memorize from MASTER.

In regards to the New York distinctions, I would study only the distinctions in the Joe Outlines - those are the major ones. The distinctions are confusing and I know I confused them on the exam. Remember, NY distinctions will only apply on NY essays and NY multiple choice. The MBE is common law - there are no NY distinctions on the MBE. As I've said on the site, I think the MBE is key - get a great score on the MBE and its hard not to pass. I took NY and NJ concurrently and thought I did horrible on 2nd half NJ essays but believe that my MBE score carried me. Therefore:

5. Do/Study a lot of MBE questions (mainly PMBR). I believe that the MBE is the key to the NY Bar exam and that MASTER and the outlines will give you answers to the NY Essays that are passing. Do well on the MBE and you will pass. I created MASTER with two other guys last July - both did worse than me on the MBE and both also passed. I did 4,000+ MBE questions. At the bar exam, while most people barely finished, I finished well over 30+ minutes early for each session and got a 157 raw. I believe this is a direct result of the # of MBEs that I did in preparation. Knowing the law is different than answering an MBE Q. Some are worded certain ways and only by doing a lot of them will you realize the nuances. I did MBEs for a few hours a day. As I did MBE questions, I read each question only once and then answered it fairly quickly. I spent more time figuring out why I got a question wrong. I did ten MBE questions at a time. I timed myself for each set of ten so I could calculate my average time per question. After I did 10, I graded myself and updated my MBE Rules Outline. I only started reading my MBE Rules Outline about two weeks before the bar exam (at the point I was done taking MBE questions). I would do PMBE over Barbri -- PMBR are much more like the bar. You can compare your progress with mine by looking at my study sheet:

Bar Study Spreadsheet

You should track your progress against my progress on the bar study spreadsheet and compare. It is probably a good indicator of how you can expect to ultimately do. If you can post similar scores and times to mine, you will be able to go into the MBE knowing that you will have ample time (the actual MBE questions are a little shorter). I'm sure this method of studying for the MBE was more prone to error due to an occasional misread question, however, to me it was a worthwhile trade-off, as I felt I benefited to a greater extent from the exposure to 4000+ questions. However, to each his own - you need to study the way you are comfortable with - the same methods that got you to this point. A lot also depends on your law school GPA - If you were a 3.0-4.0 student, you probably have good study habits. If you are below 3.0, you really should devote A LOT of time to studying.

6. For NY Multiple choice and MPT, just refer to my advice on the web site.

7. Finally, as you study for the exam, freaking out is to be expected. Don't panic. Keep a routine, study every day, follow the other advice on this site, and you should pass. If you are spinning your tires while studying, take a break and come back when you feel ready. When I got tired of studying (which was often), I did a set of 10 MBE questions. If you saw how I studied, you would be shocked. I would read an outline for 10-15 minutes, surf the internet or do something for 5 or 10 minutes, do some MBE questions, work on my master outline, screw around some more, and then repeat. Also, I had three daughters (ages 6, 3 , and 2) who would interrupt me fairly often.

Practice is extremely important, and probably more important than studying the outlines. But if you give yourself enough time, maybe about 2 months is ideal, you'll have time to learn the law (by reading the outlines for both the MBE and the state law topics, and then practice with as many questions as you can get your hands on. Don't forget to study MASTER often - these are the released questions that were actual questions from past exams. You can't beat that when preparing.

Everyone says that you learn the most in the final two weeks. I'm not sure if that was the case with me. I felt I learned about the same as every other week leading up to the final two weeks, so don't expect anything magical to happen in the final two weeks. The bottom line is to devote the time to studying and to analyze your mistakes and correct as many as you can in time for the bar. And you need to look at the bar objectively. I did all the released MBE exams (only three were available in 2005). I saw that maybe one or two questions on each exam were on Real Property remainders (an extremely difficult topic to learn (FYI, a California Court of Appeals once determined that the rule of perpetuities is so difficult that failure to understand it should not be considered malpractice). In 2005, as I was having difficulty learning remainders, I just gave up on them and moved on to studying something else. The worst thing you can do is spin your tires. I didn't see remainders on the NY essays, and it could only be one or two questions on the MBE, so why bother. It wasn't worth spending a few hours studying them - my time was better spent doing 50 multiple choice questions in those 2 hours. Likewise, I knew nothing about Trusts (I think I even missed the BARBRI session on Trusts). I decided not to study them, taking a calculated risk that there was a low likelihood they would appear on the exam (based on Master). Even if Trusts did appear, I planned to just regurgitate the Trust section in Master, even if it didn't apply (in hopes that it would at least sound good). Quite frankly, you are better off knowing NY Practice cold (it will help you in both the NY essays and the NY multiple choice) rather than an ancillary topic like Trusts.

As you get closer to the test day, relax. And make sure to relax the night before. YOU SHOULD NOT STUDY MONDAY AFTERNOON. RELAX and HAVE A GOOD TIME. You will realize the importance of this on Tuesday when you go in well rested and ready to go.

The above sums up my opinion of the strategy you should employ, but here it is in a nutshell:
1) Update and memorize MASTER and use it to make predictions about the upcoming exam. As you can probably tell from my web site., I am a very analytical person. My undergrad major was finance and I am a big fan of probabilities and statistics. I strongly believe that the best way to prepare for an upcoming exam is to break-down previous exams and analyze them. This analysis was invaluable to me for the July 2005 exam -- just look at the insights I put on this web-site. However, without an updated MASTER, you can't properly analyze the exam. 
2) Look at my Bar Study Spreadsheet and compare your testing to mine (you need MBE and PMBR books for this). Compare your scores to mine at the same point in time. Make sure to keep a "Rules" outline for MBE questions.
3) If you did not go to a NY law school and did not take NY Practice, your New York multiple choice score will probably suffer. Follow my advice from the web site. on this.
4) Determine your weak points and focus on them. Also recognize that you can't study everything and you should make rational decisions to "abandon" certain topics that consume your time (remainders for me) to study topics that have a high probability of appearing (i.e. New York Practice).

February Exam versus the July Exam

In regards to February versus July, the February exam itself is not more difficult, but the examinees generally score lower. Domestic-educated candidates do much better on the examination than foreign-educated candidates, and, within both of these groups, first-time takers do better than repeat takers. In 2007, domestic-educated candidates represented 76% of all examinees on the July 2007 exam (meaning 24% of examinees were foreign-educated candidates). On the February 2007 exam, domestic-educated candidates represented 60% of all examinees (meaning 40% of examinees were foreign-educated candidates). Likewise, there are many more repeaters in February than July. In a 2006 study, NY BOLE found that the average total score for foreign-educated first-time takers was about 632, which is almost 80 points lower than the average total score for domestic-educated first-time takers. On the MBE, a relatively high percentage of foreign-educated candidates tend to get relatively low scores. All these factors lead to the lower February scores. Since the scale is based on the MBE, the higher the mean MBE, the higher the scale. The July 2008 mean MBE score was extremely high (145.6). This resulted in a high scale. If you had an average scaled score of 50 on the Essays/MPT on the July 2008 exam, your Essays/MPT Common Scaled Score would have been 714.4. However, on the February 2008 exam, the same average scaled score of 50 on the Essays/MPT would have resulted in an Essays/MPT Common Scaled Score of 658.5. This is a difference of 56 points. Since the Essays/MPT are 50% of your final score, this results in a 28 point difference in final score. This is why the February pass rates are lower.

BARBRI Course

For BARBRI, I really only listened to the lectures. I did the first hand-in essay and scored a 3. On the second one, I scored a 4. I think it was at that point that I decided to create MASTER. I realized that BARBRI essays asked you about a lot of useless information and creating MASTER confirmed it. Don't get me wrong - BARBRI over-prepares you with this information. My guess is that BARBRI doesn't want people coming back saying "Hey, you forgot to talk about this and it was on the exam so I want a refund", but I wanted to focus on the most likely essay topics - ergo MASTER. I did the Simulated Exam at home and never bothered going to Javits. I left BARBRI on the days they had the simulated essay exams to go study at home. However, this is me. I felt my time was better spent at home doing MBE questions. If you find the BARBRI stuff useful, by all means do it. Obviously, many people pass the exam following the BARBRI model alone.

My typical BARBRI weekday while bar studying:
Woke up at 7:30.
Drove to BARBRI (30 minutes away).
Listened to CD I made of MBE questions while driving to BARBRI.
Sat through BARBRI with an attention span between 80-90%.
Drove home and listened to MBE CD on the way home.
Ate lunch
After lunch, I started with PMBR questions. I would do a set of ten MBE Q, surf the internet for five minutes or so, then go over the answers, and then do something else for a few minutes and then read an outline, etc.

After each BARBRI class, I probably spent 7-8 quality hours a day studying. You should spend as much time as have available, so long as you're not feeling burned out. Remember, you don't want to have to do this again. When I got tired of studying, I did multiple choice questions, so you can tell I was tired of studying quite often. For each day I studied, I spent about 60% of the time studying for the MBE (PMBR and old MBE exams) by doing multiple choice questions, analyzing the questions and reading outlines; 38% on the NY Essays by reading/updating MASTER and reading the BARBRI essays and answers (no, I didn't even try to do them - I just went straight to the answer) and 2% on the NY Multiple choice.

To figure out how long it took me to answer 10 MBE questions, you can just interpolate it from my average times in the spreadsheet (multiply the average time x 10). It usually took me just a few minutes to review each set of 10 questions. If I got a Q right, and knew how I got it right, I moved to the next Q. If I got it wrong, I read the explanation, and if it made sense, I made a rule for it and put it in my MBE rules outline. Occasionally, if an answer really threw me (maybe 7 out of 100), I would research it. I researched by doing the following: I kept a LAW folder on my computer. In the LAW folder I had a subdirectory called BAR where I stored all my bar outlines, bar and MBE docs, old NY exams, etc in one folder. I also had a subdirectory under LAW that contained all my law school notes, etc. I used a freeware program called Agent Ransack to search the LAW directory and subdirectories for a certain keyword. Agent Ransack would search all the docs for that keyword and show any files containing the keyword and also showed the text in a preview window for context (no need to open the file). This was a very fast way for me to research a topic and understand it without having to open a book. Two or three times I felt so burnt out I just quit studying for the night. The bottom line is to put the time in - If you take a few hours off one night, spend more time the next night.

BARBRI Simulated MBE Versus The Actual MBE

If you are wondering how BarBri's simulated MBE compares to the actual test, take a look at my MBE chart on the site. I took the BARBRI Simulated MBE on 01-Jul (24 days before actual exam) and got 70 questions wrong out of 200, resulting in a RAW MBE score of 130. It also took me on average 1.46 minutes to answer each question. For the MBE itself, on 27-Jul, I got 43 wrong out of 200 resulting in a 157 MBE raw and I estimated my average time per question was 1.125. In my opinion, the BARBRI Simulated MBE is harder than the actual MBE, and it is probably partly designed to scare you into studying more. After the BARBRI Simulated MBE on 01-Jul, I did 2,992 additional practice questions leading up to the NY bar exam. On average, I did 70 or so questions a day during the week. On the weekends I usually did double that. At the start, my ultimate goal was 4000 questions and so I averaged 70 or so questions per day. If you look at my Bar Study Spreadsheet, I answered each question in less than 1.2 minutes on average. This means that during the week, it took me about 90 minutes to answer 70 questions and maybe 40-90 minutes to go through all of them. As I did more questions, I required less and less time to go over them. Also, later on, the majority of questions I did were from the released MBEs. These questions are shorter than PMBR or BARBRI, and for some like the 1992 MBE, there are no answer explanations, so I really didn't go over answers, I just checked to see if I got it right or wrong, and made a note of the right answer on my MBE Rules Outline. You can see I did the 1992 MBE questions (531 questions) over a single weekend. In my opinion, in the beginning, your learning comes from reviewing/researching your wrong answers to the questions. Later on, as you get closer to the exam, the next level of learning comes from exposure to as many questions as possible. I finished the MBE with 30+ minutes to spare at each session and scored a 157 raw. I attribute this to doing 4,000+ questions much more than to anything else such as reading outlines/etc. I did these because my strategy was to do very well on the MBE, do OK on everything else, and hopefully pass. In any event, you can only read the outlines so much. If you are totally unsure of how to allocate your studying, read the site where I talk about how I divided my time each day and follow that advice.


Limited Time to Study

If you have limited time to study, my advice is to still take the exam unless you are certain you will not pass. You can gauge this by comparing your progress to mine by looking at my Bar Study Spreadsheet. Please keep in mind that this is what I would do if I were in your shoes - your areas of improvement/study style could be entirely different. Taking the exam will at least give you the experience of taking the exam and you may get lucky and have questions you are familiar with. Therefore, if it were me, I would go forward, even with limited time, and do the following:

Advice for the NY Bar Exam

1. Update MASTER as quickly as possible if you haven't already. You don't need to expound on the "set pieces," you just need to update the headers with what topic tested for each exam after 2005. You may have to make a few new topics, where you should create a quick "set piece" from the model answers. Try to do this in a few hours - don't spend more than that.
2. Prioritize MASTER based on the patterns you find. I'm not sure the patterns are the same anymore, since I hear from others that things have changed.
3. Read MASTER based on priority (i.e. exclude low priority issues) at least once per day.
4. Read my outlines once a day for the 6 major topics plus NY practice
5. Follow web site advice for NY Mult choice and MPT
6. Do lots of MBE questions. Once again, compare your progress to my Bar Study Spreadsheet. Compare your scores two weeks out to my scores two weeks out. Take an old MBE exam and see how you do, and compare it to my score to establish an estimated MBE score at the exam. I always say the key to the Exam is the MBE. If you score well here, it should compensate for everything else, so this should be your focus.

Making A MASTER Essay Document For A Bar Exam In Another State

If you are taking a bar exam in a different state, and that state has old exams with representative answers online, you can create your own MASTER:

1. Take the MASTER WORD doc and delete the contents except for a few headings. Don't delete the Table of Contents (TOC) - you can just update it later (you right-click on it and choose update). Then you can start your own MASTER without worrying about headings/formatting and you can create/update a TOC at the end.
2. Find prior Representative Answers on your State bar web site and start cutting and pasting answers from the Representative Answers into MASTER into topics you create. (FYI, I paste the entire document into a text pad program like notepad to remove any formatting. That way when I paste the text from the text pad program into MASTER, it does not come in with any formatting and adopts the MASTER formatting). If  there are 2 Representative Answers for each question, you can mix up the answers to create one more comprehensive answer. You ultimately want to create an "answer" in MASTER that you intend to memorize and use if a similar topic appears on the exam.
3. Update the headings so you know what administration each answer appeared in.
4. Do this with every Representative Answer for every year. Once done, generate a TOC and check to see for patterns. For example, are there any subjects that were tested in the late 90s but not now? How often do topics from a prior exam appear on the next exam? Once you determine patterns, you can prioritize your studying. The process of creating MASTER is studying in itself because you are reading and scrutinizing each answer and you are better off studying these essays than BARBRI essays because these essays are from the actual exam.

Changes to the Essays

Recent exams have shown a tendency to test minor topics with more frequency. After I spoke about how secured transactions/negotiable instruments never appeared on NY Bar Exam essays, they appeared with significant frequency, showing up in both Feb 2007 and Jul 2007. Two of my observations that I posted in 2005 - that the exam essay order was always alphabetical and that some topics such as negotiable instruments rarely appeared were both negated in 2007. I can't help but think that this is in response to what I found and publicized, especially the exam order, which was consistently alphabetical since the exam switched to five questions in July 2001 and then completely reversed in Feb 2007 (Feb 2007 was full of statistical anomalies). When I went to download the July 2007 essays and sample answers from NYBOLE, I noticed that they now warn people not to rely on the essays as a means to learn the law. Here is the text from the web site.:

The sample candidate answers selected by the Board received scores superior to the average scale score awarded for the relevant essay. They have been reprinted without change, except for minor editing. These essays should not be viewed as "model" answers, and they do not, in all aspects, accurately reflect New York State law and/or its application to the facts. These answers are intended to demonstrate the general length and quality of responses that earned above average scores on the indicated administration of the bar examination. There answers are not intended to be used as a means of learning the law tested on the examination, and their use for such a purpose is strongly discouraged.

Here is the link: http://www.nybarexam.org/ExamQuestions/ExamQuestions.htm

You can see that from April 19, 1999 to November 27, 2007, the warning did not exist. The warning first appears on December 17, 2007:
http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://www.nybarexam.org/pastexam.htm

This site currently receives 38,000 unique visitors per year. This means thousands of exam takers are likely regurgitating some variant of MASTER 2005. If the disclaimer was in response to MASTER (which I think it was), the bar examiners may recognize MASTER "set-pieces" on the exam, and I doubt they are going to grade too favorably. That is why I re-worded/re-wrote all 337 MASTER set-pieces in MASTER 2008-2013. I don't plan to publicize any of my findings anymore, other than to a small group. If I report anything of value to a large audience, it will unfortunately just be counteracted or diluted (or both), making my research ineffective. Unfortunately, there are now just too many people using the same material. MASTER 2005 is still a very useful study tool. However, if you are going to use MASTER 2005 for the exam itself, I strongly recommend that you first update it for not only the above reasons but also the following additional reasons: (1) This is a good exercise for learning the law (2) The analysis in MASTER 2005 becomes less and less relevant as time passes (especially due to the significant changes in 2007-2008); (3) There are mistakes and misclassifications in MASTER 2005; and (4) You are making it your own with your own responses. If you email me at joe@seperac.com I will give you some pointers and areas to focus on for patterns in order to make a useful MASTER update that will help you on the exam.

Between May 2008-July 2008, I made the following statement in this section of the site: "That is why for the most part, the NYBOLE asks relevant questions on the NY essays - questions you will encounter as a practicing lawyer, which is why Professional Responsibility and NY Practice show up on almost every administration." Interestingly, soon after this statement, no Professional Responsibility and very little NY Practice showed up on the July 2008 exam. The biggest surprise to me was that Professional Responsibility did not appear since it had appeared every July since its inception in July 2000. In addition, the perfection of security instruments re-appeared after appearing on the February 2007 exam despite having never appeared on any prior exam essay from July 1995 to July 2006. I can only guess that the NY BOLE has decided to make the exam more unpredictable because of the attempts to predict it (e.g. MASTER). Quite frankly, the exam has changed and you must take that into account when you study. However, it is what it is, and I will take that into account for the next go-around.

Ultimately, there will be a certain % of law students passing the bar each year, and the NY BOLE obviously wants the most capable ones. As the percentage of passers each year is relatively the same for each administration, radically changing the exam won't change the percentage of passers. The only thing it may do is cause the marginal candidates to pass because the better candidates may have been negatively affected by the change. Bottom line - as much as people hate the bar exam, it really is a good indicator of your ability to practice as a successful attorney. It forces you to manage your time studying because there is a mountain of information to know. It requires you to be analytical and choose the best answer out of four imperfect answers. You have to be able to think quickly and respond accurately. And you have to deal with the pressure of the exam itself.

NY BOLE Policies

MBE Score Transfers
According to the NY BOLE website, the Board no longer accepts the transfer of MBE scores earned from a prior administration of the MBE in another jurisdiction as of August 1, 2010. The NY BOLE page discussing MBE Score Transfers is here. To see the former version of this page (circa Nov 2009), click here.

In addition, NY BOLE raised the examination/credential review fee for foreign attorneys from $400 to $750.

These changes will likely reduce the number of attorneys admitted into New York in the future.

Law School Transparency
On October 21, 2010, the New York State Board of Law Examiners posted a notice that the Board will require all applicants to provide their 9-digit LSAC (Law School Admission Council) number when completing an online application to sit for the New York bar examination. While the New York State Board of Law Examiners didn't explicitly state the reason for this, it appears to be based on a January 2008 resolution by the Conference of Chief Justices entitled "Encouraging Cooperation in Creating an Efficient System for Tracking Bar Examination Passage Rates for All Law School Graduates." The resolution " ... urges the highest court of each state to request the bar admissions authorities and encourage law schools to cooperate with the Law School Admission Council, the National Conference of Bar Examiners, and the American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar in the establishment of a national system for tracking bar examination test results." This system was discussed in the May 2008 issue of the Bar Examiner. According to Erica Moeser, the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, "... having access to reliable information about a law school's track record will be a gift to the consumer of legal education before he or she commits so much time, money, and hope to obtaining a law degree." President's Page, 77 The Bar Examiner 2, (May 2008). Direct link: http://www.ncbex.org/uploads/user_docrepos/770208_presidentspage.pdf

According to the article, this data collection is part of a national effort to improve the consistency and transparency of the collection of bar passage data among the 200 ABA approved law schools. This isn't the first time that the National Conference of Bar Examiners has addressed the importance of publishing consumer information about accredited law schools. In a 2001 Bar Examiner article, Erica Moeser, the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, stated that "[c]onsumer protection is necessary, as is law school accreditation, because some law schools operate as open-admission tuition mills, admitting and retaining students who will almost certainly fail to achieve the minimum level of competence by the time they graduate that the public has every right to expect." President's Page, 70 The Bar Examiner 2, (May 2001). Direct link: http://www.ncbex.org/uploads/user_docrepos/700201_presidentspage.pdf

Update: On October 28, 2010, NY BOLE removed the notice it posted on October 21, 2010 regarding the LSAC number requirement. Whether this means that the LSAC number will not be required, or whether NY BOLE simply doesn't want to publicize it, I don't know. Click here to see the old page.

New Policy For Repeated Withdrawals From The Exam/Failure To Appear
Sometime in November 2010, the New York State Board of Law Examiners posted a notice that the Board enacted a new policy where any applicant who has withdrawn from or failed to appear for any two examinations must apply to the Board for permission to re-apply before applying for a subsequent examination. According to the NY BOLE website, "[b]eginning with the July 2011 examination, any applicant who has withdrawn from or failed to appear for any two examinations must apply to the Board for permission to re-apply before applying for a subsequent examination. Applications to re-apply must be received by the filing deadline for the exam the applicant wishes to take. Applications must be in the form of an affidavit and set forth, among other things, the facts which caused the withdrawal or failure to appear, and the facts which support the request to re-apply. Supporting documentation, such as medical documentation, police reports, death notices, etc. must be included. Relief is in the sole discretion of the Board. For more information, see Board Rule 6000.6(i)."

As of August 31, 2010, NYCRR Rule 6000.6 does not contain a subsection (i), although proposed rule 6000.6(i) will likely mirror the above language. In my opinion, this rule will further limit the number of non-New York examinees who take the NY bar exam. My advice to examinees is to not withdraw from the exam, unless absolutely necessary.

Study of Law in Foreign Country; Required Legal Education
On May 3, 2011, the New York State Board of Law Examiners posted the following notice:

By order dated April 27, 2011, the Court of Appeals amended Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals for the Admission of Attorneys and Counselors at Law (22 NYCRR 520.6), which sets forth the educational eligibility requirements for foreign-educated law graduates to sit for the New York bar examination. The amendment, effective May 18, 2011, substantially modifies the approved law school study program requirements for students whose foreign education is substantively or durationally deficient under the rule. You may review the amended Rule by clicking the following link

I compared the old rule to the new rule. Following is a comparison report. A legend describing the annotations is at the end of the comparison report.

IMPORTANT NOTE TO LAPTOP USERS: Starting with the July 2011 exam, NY BOLE changed the deadline for uploading answers from 11:59 P.M. to 8:30 P.M. According to NY BOLE, "[a]fter the conclusion of the bar exam, applicants will be required to upload their essay answers over the internet to the Examsoft secure site by no later than 8:30 pm (EST) on the Wednesday following the essay day of the exam (MBE day). Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of your answers. Internet access will not be available at the test site to upload your exam files. You must be able to connect the laptop you used to take the bar exam to the internet in order to successfully perform the upload of your essay answers. If you do not think that you will be able to comply with this upload deadline then you should NOT participate in the laptop program."

Exam Results Release Dates

The New York bar exam results are posted here: http://www.nybarexam.org/

From 2005 to present, the average number of days before the exam results release is 66 days for a February exam and 104 days for a July exam. Please note that for the last few exams, the notification of the Release Date is generally made one day before the Exam Results Release Date. Following is a table of release dates for the NY bar exam:

Exam Test Start Date Test End Date Date of Notification of Release Date Exam Results Release Date Days
July 2005
7/26/2005
7/27/2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
113
Feb 2006
2/21/2006
2/22/2006
  
Friday, May 05, 2006
72
July 2006
7/25/2006
7/26/2006
  
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
111
Feb 2007
2/27/2007
2/28/2007
  
Friday, May 04, 2007
65
July 2007
7/24/2007
7/25/2007
  
Thursday, November 15, 2007
113
Feb 2008
2/26/2008
2/27/2008
  
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
70
July 2008
7/29/2008
7/30/2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
107
Feb 2009
2/24/2009
2/25/2009
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
69
July 2009
7/28/2009
7/29/2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
99
Feb 2010
2/23/2010
2/24/2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
62
July 2010
7/27/2010
7/28/2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
100
Feb 2011
2/22/2011
2/23/2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
62
July 2011
7/26/2011
7/27/2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Wednesday, November 02, 2011
98
Feb 2012
2/28/2012
2/29/2012
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
63
July 2012
7/24/2012
7/25/2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Friday, November 02, 2012
100
Feb 2013
2/26/2013
2/27/2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
64
July 2013
7/30/2013
7/31/2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
91
Feb 2014
2/25/2014
2/26/2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
57

 

Release notification information for each administration from 2008 to present is below (in reverse chronological order):

Click Here to expand/minimize the release notification information

Feb 2014 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 4:00PM on Wednesday, April 23, 2014:

The results for the February 2014 New York State bar examination will be released on April 24, 2014. The results will be sent to the candidates by email to the last address on file with the Board. Please note that there may be some delays in receiving the email depending on volume and security filters with individual email providers. The results will also be available to the candidates by using the private lookup link that will be available on this site on April 24. The public list of the names of the passing candidates will be available on this site on Friday, April 25, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

July 2013 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 4:00PM on Tuesday, October 29, 2013:

The results for the July 2013 New York State bar examination will be released on October 30, 2013. The results will be sent to the candidates by email to the last address on file with the Board. Please note that there may be some delays in receiving the email depending on security issues with individual email providers. The results will also be available to the candidates by using the private lookup link that will be available on this site on October 30. The public list of the names of the passing candidates will be available on this site after 12:00 pm on October 31, 2013.


Feb 2013 Exam

The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 3:30PM on Wednesday, May 1, 2013:

IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR FEBRUARY 2013 TEST TAKERS
The results for the February 2013 New York State bar examination will be released on May 2, 2013. The results will be sent to the candidates by email to the address on file with the Board. Please note that there may be some delays in receiving the email depending on volume and security issues with individual email providers. The results will also be available to the candidates by using the private lookup link that will be available on this site on May 2. The public list of the names of the passing candidates will be available on this site on May 3, 2013.

NO FURTHER INFORMATION REGARDING THE TIME OF RELEASE IS AVAILABLE. DO NOT CALL THE BOARD OFFICE.

July 2012 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 9:00AM on Thursday November 1, 2012:

(1) JULY 2012 BAR EXAM RESULTS
        --POSTED NOVEMBER 1, 2012

Results from the July 2012 New York State bar examination will be released to candidates on Friday November 2, 2012. A private look-up available to candidates only will also be made available on the Board’s website at that time. Candidates will receive their results via email at the email address on file with the Board. Results will come from administration@nybarexam.org. Please allow your email inbox to accept this address.

Given the large volume of emails sent and the variety of email providers candidates use, there may be a delay in receiving your results. If you do not receive your results, please check your junk mail before contacting the Board. If you no longer have access to the email account you provided to the Board, you may submit a request, in writing, to the Board to have your email address changed. You must provide us with your name, BOLE identification number, old email address and your new email address. In the meantime, you may view your results on the private lookup using your BOLE identification number and your date of birth which will be available on November 2, 2012.

February 2012 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 1:00PM on Tuesday May 1, 2012:

FEBRUARY 2012 BAR EXAM RESULTS WILL BE RELEASED ON WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012. Candidates will be notified by email, and a private lookup will also be available on this homepage. Due to volume ... not recieve the email by 5PM EST on May 2, 2012, you may fax a request for a duplicate notice to be sent. Please include your BOLE ID and a valid email address.

July 2011 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 10:00PM on Tuesday Novembeer 1, 2011:

Notice:

The results for candidates who sat for the July 2011 New York State bar examination have been sent to the last email address on file with the Board. There may be some delays in receiving the email depending on security issues with individual email providers and volume of email being sent. The results are also available by using the private lookup link below. Please note that, if you were successful on the bar examination, you must send the official Notice of Certification attached to email to the Appellate Division as part of your Application for Admission.

February 2011 Exam
In April 2011, the NY BOLE website stated that the results for the February 2011 bar exam would be available mid-May 2011. On 4/25/11, the NY Law Journal website posted that February 2011 scores were being released on 4/26/11. On 4/26/11, the following was posted on the NY BOLE website in the morning (examinees began to receive scores via email around 9:00AM):

Important Notice(s) for February Bar Exam Applicants:
The results from the February 2011 bar exam were released electronically to the candidates on Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Candidates should check the account of the email address supplied to the Board in their application to sit for the bar exam. Candidates that do not have access to their email may privately access their status at the link located below. Candidates will need to enter their BOLE ID Number and their date of birth to access their pass/fail status using the following link.

July 2010 Exam
Posted by NY BOLE on 11/5/10 in the afternoon. Examinees began to receive scores around 4:00PM:
Notice to July 2010 Bar Examination Candidates
Results of the July 2010 bar examination are being emailed to candidates beginning on November 5, 2010. It could take up to 24 hours for your results to be received and delivered by your email system. If you have not received your results by 9:00AM on Monday, November 8, you may fax a request to the Board for a duplicate letter. Please include a current, working email address. You may also access your results by clicking here. You will need your BOLE ID. If you were successful on the bar exam and certified for admission to the bar, the attachment in the email notice of your results (“Notice of Certification”) must be sent to the Appellate Division as part of your application for admission.

* The July 2010 results appeared unofficially on Above the Law on November 5, 2010. According to a Wall Street Jornal article dated November 8, 2010, the results of July's bar exam in New York were released early after someone culled part of the unreleased "pass list" from the NY BOLE website and posted the names online. John McAlary, executive director of the state Board of Law Examiners, said the board was preparing the names for release on Tuesday, November 9, 2010 and Wednesday November 10, 2010 when they learned that someone had leaked the names. NY BOLE decided it was fair to immediately send out the full results by e-mail.

Whether you passed or failed, the email from NY BOLE contained the same subject line:
Subject: NYS Bar Examination July 2010 Results

The contents of the pass email:
BOLE ID:
CANDIDATE:

The New York State Board of Law Examiners congratulates you on passing the New York State bar examination held on July 27-28, 2010.

An official Notice of Certification is attached, which you will be required to send to the Appellate Division as part of your Admission Application.

The attached notice will also contain your Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) scaled score. Please note that a score will not be reported on the attached notice if you transferred an MBE score to New York from another jurisdiction.

DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AS IT IS AUTOGENERATED

The contents of the fail email:
BOLE ID:
CANDIDATE:

The New York State Board of Law Examiners hereby notifies you that you did not pass the New York State bar examination held on July 27-28, 2010. An official notice is attached and will include a breakdown of your scores.

Applications for the February 2011 examination must be RECEIVED at the Board office by no later than November 30, for candidates who failed the July 2010 examination. There is no provision for late filing.

You may apply online using the On-Line Application. The link to the Online Application is located on the Board?s homepage at www.nybarexam.org. If you choose to re-apply online, payment must be made by Visa or MasterCard credit cards only; debit cards are not accepted. The application fee for U.S. educated JD graduates is $250 ($750 for foreign educated candidates under Section 520.6 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals).

DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AS IT IS AUTOGENERATED

February 2010 Exam
Despite snow, the bar exam was not postponed on Day 2. Here is a synopsis of the February 2010 weather situation. The following was posted on the NY BOLE web site on April 26, 2010:

Important Notice:
The February 2010 NYS Bar Exam results will be issued on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. An email will be sent to all candidates who have taken the February 2010 NYS Bar Examination with an attachment containing your examination results. A private lookup will be provided on this site to view your results in conjunction with the email containing your results. DO NOT CALL THE BOARD OFFICES ABOUT THE TIME THEY WILL BE RELEASED.

July 2009 Exam
Posted by NY BOLE on 11/4/09 at around 3:00PM:
Important Notice for JULY 2009 BAR Exam Takers:
The results from the July 2009 bar examination will be made available to candidates, by e-mail, on November 5, 2009. You must ensure that you can accept emails from barresults@nybarapply.org. There will also be a link on this web site. to privately view your individual result by mid-day. A list of the candidates who passed the examination will be made available to the general public on Friday, November 6, 2009.

JULY 2009 BAR EXAM STATISTICS
Following is the article: http://buffalo.bizjournals.com/buffalo/stories/2009/11/02/daily31.html

February 2009 Exam
From NY BOLE: Results from the February 2009 bar examination will be EMAILED to all candidates on Tuesday, May 5, 2009 to the email address currently on file with the Board. The email will include an attachment with your official results, which will be in Adobe PDF.

Please note that exam results will be sent by email only; copies will NOT be sent by U.S. mail.
A link will also be available on this site on May 5 where you may view your individual results. Please do not call the Board office to obtain your exam results. You must wait until you receive the email or the link becomes available for exam results. A list of all passing candidates will be made available to the general public on this site on Wednesday, May 6, 2009.

July 2008 Exam
From NY BOLE: The July 2008 Exam private results lookup will be available online Friday November 14 2008 at 9:00 AM. The general public lookup will be available Monday, November 17, 2008.

February 2008 Exam
From NY BOLE: The February 2008 bar exam results secure on-line candidate lookup was on Wednesday - May 7th at 9:00 AM EDT.

July 2005 Exam
For my exam, on Monday Nov 14, 2005, this was posted on nybarexam.org: "July 2005 examination results will be available for candidate lookup on this site Thursday, November 17th at 9:00 AM EST." The scores were mailed Nov 16, 2005 and arrived the 18th.

 

 

Synopsis/Disclaimer

This web site, forum, and downloads from this site are merely opinion, advice or suggestions. By no means should you rely solely on these assertions or advice. In other words, use your judgment and common sense. This information is intended to supplement your studying. The information contained on this site is by no means a replacement for common sense, studying and hard work.  No representation is made that any answer is correct or identifies or correctly responds to all of the issues raised by the corresponding question. The analysis is deemed accurate and reliable, but no warranties are being made. In addition, keep in mind that past performance is not indicative of future results. This information on this site is for your personal and educational use. Because this site is intended for personal and educational use, do not disseminate, transmit, or duplicate any of the information contained on this site. Finally, GOOD LUCK on the exam.

If you find any problems with the site, please email me at joe@seperac.com. My backup email is jseperac@gmail.com.

If you found this site helpful, return the favor and donate blood. Go to The New York Blood Center or the Red Cross to find out how and where.

While this should go without saying, please respect my work and use it ONLY for your own personal use.
I don't mind if you share the material, but please don't sell it on ebay/craigslist/etc.