Announcements

04-30-16: A February 2016 score calculator has been created. This calculator enables you to run passing scenarios based on February 2016 scores.

04-26-16: February 2016 results have been released. To any examinee that failed the New York bar exam, if you send me your scores or essays, I will send you a free statistical analysis of your scores/essays. Click here for more information.

04-22-16: For those anxious about the February 2016 New York bar exam results release date, I break down past release dates here. The trend has been to release earlier, and for the last two years, the release has been near the end of April. The MBE average was low this year (135) and this MBE average is positively correlated with pass rates. Personally, I believe that the addition of the new MBE subject of Civil Procedure (added in 2015) has driven down MBE averages. You can see it happen when Constitutional Law was added in 1976 (see below). I believe this is why NBCE stopped releasing sub-scores on the score reports in 2014 – to de-emphasize the expected low scores.

Click here to read more about this

 

The following table charts the February MBE national averages from 1974 to 2016. Anything highlighted in Green is in the top 5 and anything highlighted in Red is in the bottom 5.

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Introduction

After taking the New York (NY) Bar exam in July 2005, I put together this web site. For the past eight years, this site has ranked at the top of Google, Bing and Yahoo for advice on the New York Bar Exam. In that time, I have spent a great deal of time analyzing the New York bar exam. For example, I have collected scoring information from over 3,700 failing examinees and reviewed over 2,500 examinee essays and 500 examinee MPTs. Based on everything I have examined over the years, I have concluded that passing the New York bar exam depends much more on the person than the bar review or bar materials. To illustrate, I took all the relevant data scattered throughout two NYBOLE studies of the July 2005 and Feb 2006 exams and created a Demographic Chart based on this data. I essentially culled all the information in the various NYBOLE charts and then matched it up to determine average pass rates for each of the different demographics reported in the NYBOLE studies. When failing examinees send me their scores (examinees complete a Score Analysis form that asks for certain information such as their Education, Gender, Race, and number of attempts), I end up finding that this information generally correlates fairly well with the Demographic Chart that is based on the NYBOLE statistics.

For example, I find that a Foreign-Educated First-Time Taker who is Asian/Pacific Islander taking a July exam who sends me his/her scores usually has an average final score between 630-640, which corresponds with the results in the Demographic Chart. Meanwhile, based on the Demographic Chart, the examinees with the highest pass rate are Domestic-Educated First-Time Takers who are Caucasian/White sitting for a July exam - these examinees have an average final score of 738 and an average pass rate of 87.5%. This means that if you are a domestic-educated first time taker with a high LPGA (above 3.2), you are probably going to pass the bar exam irrespective of the bar review that you choose or study methods that you employ.

Click here to read more about this


In a 1986 study, after controlling for law school quality, test reliability, subject matter and test type, time limits, and the ability to take tests, researchers concluded that “the higher the law school grade point average (LGPA), the greater the likelihood the applicant will pass. No other measured variable really mattered once there was control for LGPA.” Stephen P. Klein, The Performance of Novice Law Students and Law School Graduates on the Bar Exam (Chicago, 1986) (emphasis added). NCBE released a study in 2007 after New York increased the passing score to 665 in 2005 in order to determine its impact. The study again found that performance on the bar exam was strongly correlated with performance in law school, as measured by law school grade point average (LGPA). In August 2013, a research study entitled Bar Passage: GPA and LSAT, not Bar Reviews by Nicholas L. Georgakopoulos found that the choice of a bar review course had little consequence in examinee outcomes. Instead, the study found that examinees with a GPA below 2.6 passed the bar at a less than 10% rate while examinees with a GPA over 3.2 passed the bar at a well over 95% rate. According to the author of the paper, “a likely interpretation is that bar preparation is an activity where the quality or style of instruction has relatively little consequence for passing the bar, whereas law school instruction has significant impact. This interpretation would be consistent with the notion that bar preparation is rote memorization and stands in contrast to the learning of legal analysis in law school, which seems to be what makes the difference in passing the bar examination.

According to the 2007 NCBE study, domestic educated candidates who took the bar exam for the first time in July 2005 obtained a mean total bar score of 727.44 (well above the 665 passing score). Basically, if you did well in law school, you should do well on the NY bar exam. In New York over the past 20 years, the February ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 75.1% while the July ABA First-Timers Pass Rate is 86.7%. The February ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 45.2% while the July ABA Repeaters Pass Rate is 32.5%. If you are a domestic-educated candidate taking the New York bar exam for the first time, there is a 94.7% chance that you will pass by your third attempt. Accordingly, if you have a high LPGA (above 3.2) or are a good standardized test-taker, you are probably going to pass the bar exam irrespective of the future bar review you choose. However, if you are a low LGPA examinee or a poor standardized test-taker, you may want to consider subscribing.


Essentially, law school GPA is the most determinative factor of bar passage - the higher the law school grade point average, the greater the likelihood an examinee will pass. I believe there is a strong correlation between law school performance and bar exam performance because good performance in both requires adaptation in learning. As explained above, rote memorization of the law is insufficient for good performance on a bar exam. The best example of this is the MBE, where you not only need to know the law, but also analyze equally plausible choices. Good exam performance stems from a continual process of improvement in learning.

Accordingly, this site is primarily intended for bar exam retakers, as statistically, it becomes harder and harder to pass the New York bar exam with each attempt. In October 2006, NY BOLE released a paper entitled "Impact of the Increase in the Passing Score on the New York Bar Examination July 2005 Bar Administration" (see http://www.nybarexam.org/press/ncberep.pdf, pages 83, 90-91). This study was done when the pass rate in New York was 660 (it is raised to 665 in 2005). According to the study, with a passing score of 665, the projected pass rate for Domestic-Educated First-Time Takers was 83%; the projected pass rate for Domestic-Educated Second-Time Takers was 30%; and the projected pass rate for Domestic-Educated Third-Time Takers was 23.2%. Meanwhile, the projected pass rate for Foreign-Educated First-Time Takers was 43.9% while the projected pass rate for Foreign-Educated Repeaters was 13.5% (id. at pages 95, 98). As you can see, pass rates plummet for re-takers, even for the ones most likely to pass, namely domestic-educated takers.

In looking at recent data, based on pass rates for the New York Bar Exam from 2012-2015, domestic-educated examinees taking the exam for the first time had an overall pass rate of 82% while foreign-educated examinees taking the exam for the first time had an overall pass rate of 42%. In regards to retakers, domestic-educated retakers had an overall pass rate of 40% while foreign-educated retakers had an overall pass rate of 23%. You can look at the Pass Rates section below to read more about this. As such, while the actual pass rates for retakers are not as low as the ones projected by NYBOLE, the pass rates for retakers are still very low.

After collecting scoring information from many failing examinees, I have found that it is not easy task for an examinee to escape their demographic. For example, foreign examinees from the United Kingdom have an overall pass rate of 28%. When I review scores from British examinees, I generally find that it takes them about 4 attempts before they pass the exam. What the demographics don't provide are the specific reasons as to why examinees fail the exam. I believe the main reason examinees fail the exam is because they simply do not put the amount of time into the exam that is required (in both study and practice). Often, examinees that fail the exam simply did not learn enough. If you only have a superficial knowledge of the information being tested on the exam, you probably won't pass the exam. The second biggest reason for failure is inefficient study and poor exam technique. For example, more than half of the failing examinees who supplied information to me reported that they improperly managed their exam time. If you fail to plan, plan to fail.

To be successful, a person must be in a state of continual improvement (myself included). I passed the NY bar exam in July 2005 on my first attempt (162 MBE) and made this site shortly thereafter. Examinees then began to send me their scores and essays. I started sending examinees a free 1-page analysis report on their scores in 2008 and it has grown to the point where I now provide failing examinees with a free 9 page analysis of their scores and a free 27 page analysis of their essays. I create these analysis reports for two purposes: (1) they help examinees better understand their mistakes; and (2) the information helps me better understand the exam. In 2008, I also created the prioritized MASTER outline for the New York essays and have documented the accuracy of this MASTER essay outline since its inception. I realize that I am very fortunate to be in a position where I get to speak with many examinees about the exam. I don’t take this for granted and I continually work on improving what I do (while cataloging everything).

Click here to read more about this

 

In the past eight years, I have spent more time analyzing the NY bar exam than any single person in the world. In that time, I have examined the scores from over 3,700 failing examinees and reviewed over 2,500 graded essays/MPTs. In the bar review off season, I spend the bulk of my time researching and analyzing. Since 2005, I have spent over 15,000 hours researching the components of the New York Bar Examination. For example, over the past 8 years, I have collected over 25,000 outlines (if you want to send me yours, please send them to joe@seperac.com) and purchased over 1,500 law books. For each lawbook/casebook/hornbook I acquire, I cut off the spine using an industrial paper cutter, scan the pages, and then OCR the resulting PDF in order to search the text. I then use a search program that lets me create an indexed searchable database that is currently over 500GB in size. I can essentially find/research anything related to the bar exam in a matter of seconds, whether it is the answer to an MBE question or some arcane legal principle. Put simply, if you have any question related to the exam, I can almost certainly answer it.

Law Books from 2010/2011 to to be cut and scanned
 
Law Books from 2012 to to be cut and scanned
 
Law Books from 2013 to to be cut and scanned
 
Law Books from 2014 to to be cut and scanned

 

 

Database Search
 

Also included in the database are cases and opinions: NYSBA Ethics Opinions from 001 to 951 (to Dec 2014); New York Court of Appeals Decisions from 1992 to Dec 2014; New York Appellate Division, First Dept Decisions from 1970 to Dec 2014; New York Appellate Division, Second Dept Decisions from 1970 to Dec 2014; New York Appellate Division, Third Dept Decisions from 1970 to Dec 2014; New York Appellate Division, Fourth Dept Decisions from 1970 to Dec 2014; New York SLIP Decisions from Dec 03 to Dec 2014; New York Court of Claims Decisions - March 2000 to Dec 2014; 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (MA) from Jan 1995 to December 2013; 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals (NY) from Jan 1995 to December 2013; 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals (NJ) from Jan 1995 to December 2013; 4th Circuit Court of Appeals (VA) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (LA) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 6th Circuit Court of Appeals (KY, MI, OH, TE) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 7th Circuit Court of Appeals (IL) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 8th Circuit Court of Appeals (ND) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 9th Circuit Court of Appeals (CA) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 10th Circuit Court of Appeals (CO) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; 11th Circuit Court of Appeals (FL) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014; and DC Circuit Court of Appeals (DC) from Jan 1995 to Dec 2014.


When I say that success is a process of continual improvement, this is not just a platitude. I myself constantly improve on what I do - I read anything I can find on bar examinations, I talk to anyone I can talk to about the exam, and I collect as much information and data on the exam as I possibly can. Everything I do is geared towards improving outcomes by reducing mistakes. Likewise, failing examinees must learn from their mistakes or they are bound to make the same mistakes again. Failing examinees cannot simply repeat what they did in the past - such examinees are ignoring the new lessons created by their old mistakes. You cannot make excuses or justify your mistakes - you must recognize your mistakes as problems and directly address those problems. I don't believe that intelligence is innate - I believe intelligence is developed by questioning things and learning from the results. Accordingly, if your desire to improve is unrelenting, you will succeed.

 

About the subscription site

I regard this page as the free site. Basically, any relevant material from when I studied for the exam in 2005 is available for free on this page. Conversely, anything new I have done since 2005 is on the Subscription Site. The Subscription Site is explained in detail (along with how to subscribe) on this page here. The subscription site is essentially a comprehensive outline of my methodology on how to prepare for and take the NY UBE bar exam. The main purpose of the subscription site is to make your studying more efficient so that you can devote more study time to the MBE. The subscription site contains advice, analysis and tools to prioritize your studying to enable you to study more efficiently. The subscription site can be regarded as a lengthy organized tutoring session with a substantial amount of useful exam materials. Everything I do is data-driven. I regard the bar exam as a puzzle to be solved and all the materials on the Subscription Site are things I would have prepared for use in my studies, had I had the time.

If you are a domestic educated candidate taking the exam for the first time and studying full time, you probably don't need the Subscription Site. However, you may want to consider subscribing if you are: (1) a foreign examinee (first-time or repeater); (2) domestic repeater who scored below 640 (or below 258 on the UBE) on your past attempt; (3) a first time domestic candidate studying full-time with a LGPA below 3.0; (4) a domestic candidate (first-time or repeater) who is studying part-time; or (5) a poor standardized test-taker.

If you would like to purchase a subscription (or re-subscribe), click here.

Please note that I will be strictly enforcing a policy where examinees must forward to me an unredacted copy of their July 2016 UBE exam application receipt email (the email subject is "Your Completed Application Receipt") in order to receive the MEE MASTER outline when it is released. If you regard this as a problem, you should not subscribe.

 

If you are taking the upcoming exam

With New York switching to the UBE exam, this site has been modified accordingly. The site announcements appear on the left pane of this page. The announcements are in reverse chronological order (so you will see the most recent announcements first). Any information pertaining to the NY essays (such as my 2005 MASTER outline) has been removed since the MEE has replaced the NY essays.

In regards to the UBE exam, I believe the pass rates for lower-ability examinees (such as foreign examinees) will decrease after the UBE exam is adopted in July 2016. While it appears the UBE exam will be easier to study for due to fewer subjects, I believe the UBE exam will be more difficult for lower-ability examinees to pass. The NY UBE exam will consist of six 30-minute essays based on the MBE subjects plus Business Relationships, Family Law, Trusts and Estates and UCC Article 9 (30% of score), two 90-minute MPTs (20% of score), and 200 1.8 minute MBE Questions (50% of score). Accordingly, examinees would be tested for 6 hours per day for two days. Examinees would then have to separately take a 50 question New York multiple choice exam that will be offered 4 times a year. I expect the NY pass rates to stay roughly the same because the cut score is staying the same (266). However, the UBE exam is expected to be more reliable than the NY bar exam, primarily due to the MBE being 50% of the total score rather than the current 40%. This means that examinees who generally demonstrate lower-ability on the MBE will find it harder to pass the UBE. Therefore, while the UBE exam appears to be easier to study for due to fewer subjects, I believe the UBE exam will be harder to pass for examinees who generally demonstrate lower-ability on the MBE (particularly foreign examinees).

For example, I received scores from 300+ failing J15 examinees who had an average MBE score of 122 (versus the mean July scaled MBE of about 142). Their average final score was 614.6. If I convert their scores to the UBE by making their 5-essays worth 30% (instead of 40%), their MPT score worth 20% (instead of 10%) and their MBE score worth 50% (instead of 40%), then these 300+ examinees would have had an average final score of 610.6 on the UBE. This is a loss of 4 points by changing to the UBE format of scoring. Please keep in mind that this is not a perfect assessment, since MPT scores will be slightly more reliable through the answering of 2 MPTs (instead of basing the score on 1 MPT and doubling it). To cite another example, in looking at 2005-2006 NYBOLE data (this is the last time NYBOLE released comprehensive statistics on pass rates), in July 2005, Female Domestic-Educated Repeaters averaged 123.1 on the MBE while Female Foreign-Educated Repeaters averaged 118.9 on the MBE. In Feb 2006, Female Domestic-Educated Repeaters averaged 128.9 on the MBE while Female Foreign-Educated Repeaters averaged 123.2 on the MBE. Typically, the higher the MBE mean, the higher the pass rate. With the MBE carrying more weight on the UBE, the MBE’s negative effect on Foreign-Educated pass rates will be amplified. More so, the MPT will now be 20% of the score rather than 10%. The MPT is essentially a reading comprehension test where the examinees who can read and write fastest do the best. With the MPT carrying more weight on the UBE, the MPT’s negative effect on Foreign-Educated pass rates will likewise be amplified. To look at it another way, I received detailed score information from 99 examinees who sat for the Feb 2015 New York bar exam regarding their status as domestic or foreign educated. Of these 99 examinees, 39 examinees were domestic educated examinees (39.39% of the 99 examinees). These domestic educated examinees averaged 48.57 on the Essays, 49.54 on the MPT, 127.6 on the MBE, and 617.6 on the NYMC. They had an average final score of 634.2. Of these 99 examinees, 60 examinees were foreign educated examinees (60.61% of the 99 examinees). These foreign educated examinees averaged 45.95 on the Essays, 43.49 on the MPT, 119.6 on the MBE, and 629.8 on the NYMC. They had an average final score of 601.4. In looking at just the Essays (40%), MPT (10%) and MBE (40%), the domestic educated examinees scored 36.6 points more than the foreign educated examinees. The domestic educated examinees scored 11.8 points better on the Essays, 6.8 points better on the MPT and 16 points better on the MBE. This small sample supports the premise that domestic educated examinees do much better than foreign educated examinees on the MBE and MPT as opposed to the essays. In regards to the MPT, even though it is 10% of the grade, there is a 6.8 point difference. If I adjust these percentages to reflect the UBE percentages, then for the Essays (30%), MPT (20%) and MBE (50%), the domestic educated examinees will score 42.5 points more than the foreign educated examinees. This is a UBE exam bonus of 5.9 points in favor of domestic educated examinees.

I am currently working on an “MEE MASTER” that I expect to be completed in time for the July 2016 exam. It will be based on every topic tested on the MEE since 1995 (42 exams comprising 316 essay questions and 1,084 issues). This MEE MASTER outline will be categorized based on the ABC level of the NCBE Subject Matter outlines (about 400 topics). I then intend to prioritize the topics utilizing the same methodology I use for the NY essays in the current MASTER outline. The MEE MASTER for the UBE exam will also have the added advantage of prioritizing utilizing the grading weights for each topic contained in the MEE answer analysis.

If you are a first-time examinee, I can give you a better idea of how you were expected to do on the exam (based on released NYBOLE and NCBE statistics) if you answer the following questions (just click on the below link to expand the questions and then paste the questions into an email to me at joe@seperac.com and type your answer after each question, but do not delete any lines):

First-time Examinee Questions


Domestic Educated or Foreign Educated:
Gender (Male or Female):
Racial/Ethnic Group (Caucasian/White, Asian/Pacific Islander, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, or Other):
Age at Law School Graduation:
Bar attempt # (e.g. 1 if your first, 2 if your 2nd):
MPRE Score 1st attempt:
How many hours did you study for your MPRE 1st attempt:
MPRE Score 2nd attempt (if applicable):
How many hours did you study for your MPRE 2nd attempt (if applicable):
MPRE Score 3rd attempt (if applicable):
How many hours did you study for your MPRE 3rd attempt (if applicable):
College Attended (if attended college in U.S.):
UGPA (if attended college in U.S.):
LSAT Score 1st attempt (if attended law school in U.S.):
LSAT Highest Score based on all attempts:
Law School Attended (if attended law school in U.S.):
LGPA First Year (if attended law school in U.S.):
LGPA Overall (if attended law school in U.S.):

Alternatively, If you recently took the exam or are a repeat-taker, please read the following:

If you recently sat for the exam

If you recently took the New York bar exam and are unsure as to whether you passed, I have a post-exam questionnaire that you can fill out. If you think there is a reasonable probability that you may not have passed the exam, filling out this form now (while the information is still fresh in your mind) can help you later. For example, using this information, I track the key details of your attempt, so if you later find that you failed the exam, I will try to match your responses/statistics to whoever previously submitted the most comparable details (and later passed) to give you their advice on what worked for them. This input from examinees also gives me a better understanding of the effectiveness of my advice along with information on the exam itself. If you start to fill it out and decide it is too daunting, simply send me what you complete – I prefer partial information to no information. If you were not a subscriber, simply skip the portions that pertain to materials from the subscription site.

If you recently sat for the exam, you can use the Bar Exam Calculators I developed to test various scoring scenarios. As you wait on your results, I chronicle the release dates in the Exam Results Release Dates section below.


If you failed the exam

To any examinee that failed the New York bar exam, if you send me your scores or essays, I will send you a free statistical analysis of your scores/essays.

I see first-hand the difficulties that retakers face. Accordingly, whenever a failing examinee asks me for 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. Anyone who submits scores will have complete anonymity - I only disclose the data itself. The data also enables me to update the Bar Exam Calculators that I routinely improve upon.

You will find the free score report extremely helpful. As one examinee put it: “I have never had such a comprehensive analysis of my results. Even when I took the first bar review course and paid for a one on one tutor, everything pales compared to you.” As such, if you are interested in receiving this free analysis, please complete the following Score Analysis form (or just email me the past grading sheets). If you ordered your essay/MPT answers, I can provide you with a free 27-page Essay/MPT Analysis. For more information on the free score analysis report or essay analysis report is below. The more information you give me, the better advice I can give you about what to do on your next attempt. I have looked at many failing examinee scores and tracked their outcomes so I can probably give you some useful advice. All information submitted is treated confidentially.

Score Analysis Report
If you email me your score report(s), I will email you a free comprehensive nine-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 3,700 New York bar examinees encompassing the July 2008 - July 2015 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. I continually improve this report with the data I collect - it started as a 1-page report and has grown by about 1 page per year as I obtain/collect more useful data to report. 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 six years, I have sent free essay/MPT analysis reports to over 500+ examinees encompassing over 2,500 Essays/500 MPTs from the Feb 2010 - July 2015 exams. This 27 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 and exemplar essays/MPTs. 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 300 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.

Retaker Score Report

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

Bar Exam Calculators

To enable examinees to better understand how to pass the New York bar exam, I have developed a number of calculators related to the bar exam:

The July 2016 New York UBE Bar Exam Score Calculator will estimate your total score for the July 2016 New York UBE bar exam administration based on the scores you enter. You can use this calculator to estimate your July 2016 UBE exam performance.

The Feb 2016 New York Bar Exam Score Calculator will calculate the total score for the Feb 2016 New York bar exam administration based on the scale scores you enter. If you send me your scores, I will send you a free 9-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 or fill out the online submission form.

The Raw-Scaled Conversion calculator will estimate your raw essay score based on your scaled essay score and vice versa. This is only relevant to the February 2016 exam.

The MBE Raw-Scaled calculator 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.

The July MBE and Feb MBE calculators will estimate the percentage and number of applicants nationwide who scored better than you or worse than you on the MBE based on your MBE scale score.

The Mean MBE vs Pass Rate calculator allows you to compare overall July/Feb pass rates to the national MBE averages for the last 18 years.

The National Pass Rates calculator will report the pass rates in U.S. states and territories based on the 2009 Bar Admission Statistics published by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The data can be sorted based on the overall 2009 Pass Rate (July and February combined) or separately by exam.

Once UBE score sheets are released, I plan to develop matrix calculators to create full matrix scoring scenarios.


MBE (50%)

In your study plans, make the MBE your primary focus. I discuss this in more depth on the subscription site, but because the MBE is more reliable than the essays, you want to be better at the MBE than the essays. If someone with a high MBE score fails the NY bar exam, I can almost assure them that they will eventually pass – I can’t say the same to someone with high essay scores. This opinion is shared by NCBE, who recently stated that "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see The Bar Examiner, December 2011

First and foremost, there is no better way of knowing the exam than the exam itself. According to NCBE, those who plan to retake the examination as repeaters will gain, on average, about 8 points on the subsequent MBE attempt, but some gain more points and some actually score lower than before; and NCBE recommends that those who are planning to retake the examination purchase the MBE OPE exams and take them repeatedly up until the exam date to obtain the rationales for why the options they select are either correct or incorrect. According to NCBE, “ … [t]ests are a powerful motivator, and testing time is not a waste of instructional time if the tests are focused on important concepts. Likewise, studying for a test is a good use of learning time if the tests are testing important concepts. Testing early and often is important to provide guidance to students about whether they are on track or whether they need to study more in order to succeed in the course. … “  I believe that doing MBE practice questions is the most effective way to learn the MBE material.

The NCBE released MBE resources are as follows (in order of importance from least important to most important):

1. Sample MBE Feb 1991 (200 questions).Read more

This exam consists of 40 Contracts and Torts questions and 30 Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions. This exam can be downloaded for free here: http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mbe/preparing/

Please keep in mind that that these questions are written in the old MBE question format. Please read this to see illustrations of the differences. Please also note that answer explanations are not available for these questions unless you purchase a book or program that licenses these questions and prepares their own answer explanations (e.g. Strategies and Tactics books, Adaptibar, Bestmultis).

NCBE's disclaimer regarding these questions:

The purpose of this publication is to familiarize you with the format and nature of MBE questions. The questions in this publication should not be used for substantive preparation for the MBE. Because of changes in the law since the time the examination was administered, the questions and their keys may no longer be current. The editorial style of questions may have changed over time as well.

2. Sample MBE July 1991 (200 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 40 Contracts and Torts questions and 30 Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions. This exam can be downloaded for free here: http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mbe/preparing/

Please keep in mind that that these questions are written in the old MBE question format. Please read this to see illustrations of the differences. Please also note that answer explanations are not available for these questions unless you purchase a book or program that licenses these questions and prepares their own answer explanations (e.g. Strategies and Tactics books, Adaptibar, Bestmultis).

NCBE's disclaimer regarding these questions:

The purpose of this publication is to familiarize you with the format and nature of MBE questions. The questions in this publication should not be used for substantive preparation for the MBE. Because of changes in the law since the time the examination was administered, the questions and their keys may no longer be current. The editorial style of questions may have changed over time as well.

3. MBE Questions 1992 (581 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 531 previously published questions from the MBE and 50 questions from the Feb 1991 MBE (questions 532-581). This exam can be downloaded for free here: http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mbe/preparing/

Please keep in mind that that these questions are written in the old MBE question format. Please read this to see illustrations of the differences. Please also note that while there is an answer key at the end of the book, answer explanations are not available for these questions unless you purchase a book or program that licenses these questions and prepares their own answer explanations (e.g. Strategies and Tactics books, Adaptibar, Bestmultis). Alternatively, I have written MBE rules for these 531 questions which are available on the Subscription Site.

NCBE's disclaimer regarding these questions:

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!!

4. Sample MBE July 1998 (200 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 34 Contracts and Torts questions and 33 Constitutional Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, and Real Property questions. This exam can be downloaded for free here: http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mbe/preparing/

Please keep in mind that that these questions are written in the old MBE question format. Please read this to see illustrations of the differences. Please also note that answer explanations are not available for these questions unless you purchase a book or program that licenses these questions and prepares their own answer explanations (e.g. Strategies and Tactics books, Adaptibar, Bestmultis). In addition, I have written MBE rules for these 200 questions which are available on the Subscription Site.

NCBE's disclaimer regarding these questions:

The purpose of this publication is to familiarize you with the format and nature of MBE questions. The questions in this publication should not be used for substantive preparation for the MBE. Because of changes in the law since the time the examination was administered, the questions and their keys may no longer be current. The editorial style of questions may have changed over time as well.

5. MBE OPE-1 2006 (100 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 17 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions (Civil Procedure questions are NOT included). These questions reflect the new MBE format. Answer explanations are provided by NCBE. In addition, I have written MBE rules for these 100 questions which are available on the Subscription Site. If these questions are not included in your bar review course or supplemental bar review, the questions can be purchased here: http://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/

According to NCBE:

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-[OPE] 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-[OPE] 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-[OPE] 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 or supplemental material you are using.

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).

6. MBE OPE-2 2008 (100 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 17 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions (Civil Procedure questions are NOT included). These questions reflect the new MBE format. Answer explanations are provided by NCBE. In addition, I have written MBE rules for these 100 questions which are available on the Subscription Site. If these questions are not included in your bar review course or supplemental bar review, the questions can be purchased here: http://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/

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.

7. MBE OPE-3 2011 (100 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 16 Constitutional Law questions, 18 Contracts questions, 16 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 16 Real Property questions, and 18 Torts questions (Civil Procedure questions are NOT included). These questions reflect the new MBE format. Answer explanations are provided by NCBE. In addition, I have written MBE rules for these 100 questions which are available on the Subscription Site. If these questions are not included in your bar review course or supplemental bar review, the questions can be purchased here: http://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/

8. MBE OPE-4 2013 (100 questions).Read more.

16 Constitutional Law questions, 17 Contracts questions, 17 Criminal Law questions, 16 Evidence questions, 17 Real Property questions, and 17 Torts questions. These questions reflect the new MBE format. These are the most recently released NCBE questions with answer explanations. Answer explanations are provided by NCBE. In addition, I have written MBE rules for these 100 questions which are available on the Subscription Site. If these questions are not included in your bar review course or supplemental bar review, the questions can be purchased here: http://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/

9. MBE Sample Test Questions 2016 (21 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 21 sample test MBE questions (Civil Procedure questions are included). These questions reflect the new MBE format. There are no answer explanations for these questions - only an answer key. These questions can be downloaded for free here: http://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/

10. MBE Civil Procedure Sample Test Questions 2016 (10 questions).Read more.

This exam consists of 10 Civil Procedure questions. These questions reflect the new MBE format. Answer explanations are provided by NCBE. In addition, I have written MBE rules for these 10 questions which are available on the subscription site. These questions can be downloaded for free here: http://www.ncbex.org/study-aids/

Please note that a law professor has concluded that one of the ten answers is likely wrong. This wrong answer highlights a problem with the MBE – it is a test written by academics that sometimes does not reflect the actual practice of law. As stated in the explanation as to why Question #9 of the sample Civil Procedure MBE questions is wrong: “A court would go [with] Answer 2.  But I think an academic could construct an argument for Answer 1.


The most important questions to know for the MBE are the released NCBE questions which are written in the current MBE format. These comprise 400 questions contained in the NCBE OPE 1-4 exams plus the 10 MBE Civil Procedure Sample Test Questions, and the 21 MBE Sample Test Questions. According to a recent short article entitled Pedagogical Advice On Studying For The MBE by Susan M. Case, Ph.D. of NCBE, "learning the material presented in the four OPEs should put you in a very good position to do well on the MBE."

According to the article, NCBE recommends the following approach to those who are preparing to take the MBE:

• Take the first OPE under exam conditions using an appropriate exam-type setting and following the appropriate timing.

• Review your score and note your estimated score on the real MBE. Study the 100 questions and the explanations for why each correct answer is correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect. Review the references. Study the material thoroughly until you believe you would get 100% correct if you took this test under exam conditions.

• Take the opportunity to evaluate your test-taking strategy. Make sure you know how to pace yourself so that you finish within the allotted time. Because you might be nervous when you take the actual exam, it might require more time per question than when taking the OPE even though the OPE questions were taken from a recent MBE. But also, think about how you approach a question -some people find that reading carefully from the top is the best approach; some find that scanning the question and possible answers quickly and then rereading the question carefully works better; some prefer to begin with the possible answers; some prefer to begin with the actual question before going back and reading the case presentation. All of these approaches work for some people; figure out what works best for you. Regardless of your approach, read each question carefully; every word is important.

• Move on to the second OPE. Again, take it under exam conditions. You should find that your score is higher than your score on the first OPE. Studying the material actually works! Then study the questions on this OPE, reading the explanations and reviewing the references. Study this second set of 100 questions until you believe you would have obtained 100% correct.

• Move on to the third OPE following the same strategy. And then move on to the fourth. Learning the material presented in the four OPEs should put you in a very good position to do well on the MBE. Each set of 100 represents a good sample of the content in the full length MBE. The actual MBE should be very familiar to you if you follow the approach outlined above.

Accordingly, you must know these OPE exams very well. Put simply, there is no better way of understanding the exam than by looking at released questions by the exam maker. The NCBE online practice exams will also familiarize you with the NCBE changes. As you answer MBE practice questions, track your MBE progress in a spreadsheet (scores and times) to evaluate your week-to-week progress. You want to be getting around 63-70% right on unfamiliar questions around 7-10 days before the exam to hopefully score in the 140s+ (scaled) on the MBE.

As the article states, examinees should study the questions and the explanations for why each correct answer is correct and why the incorrect answers are incorrect and study the material thoroughly until you believe you would get 100% correct if you took this test under exam conditions. If you don't re-test yourself once you have learned the right answer (and reminded yourself through making a rule/flashcard and studying it), you will often repeat your mistakes. For example, in a 1998 study, NCBE found that examinees generally do not learn from their MBE mistakes - repeat examinees generally did not improve on questions they previously answered on an earlier MBE exam. To counter this problem, examinees can improve their understanding of unfamiliar law by making rules (which requires you to think about the law), studying the rules, adding to them after additional MBE practice, organizing them, and then studying them again. This means that you should not mark up your MBE books, but write your answers on blank scoresheets or in a spreadsheet (such as the MBE Study Spreadsheet on the Subscription Site). Then, every so often, answer a sample of 10 previously answered questions. How you do when re-answering these questions will give you a good bit of insight as to whether you are have learned the law for these questions. If you tracked your old answer choice, you can also see if you are choosing the same incorrect answer or a different answer. If you cannot answer 8/10 correctly, you need to spend more time making/studying your rules because there is a failing somewhere. Put simply, if you can't get at least 80% correct on familiar questions you answered and reviewed a few weeks earlier, it will be even harder for you testing on the unfamiliar questions you will encounter on the MBE.

Personally, I did about 50 MBE practice questions per day and I always timed myself. 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 (average of 1.4 minutes per question), then Contracts, then Torts, Criminal Law, Constitutional 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. Following are my dates/times/scores for the Kaplan/PMBR Books (some subjects are missing because I initially didn't keep track), MBE, BARBRI and Kaplan/PMBR tests and finally, my July 2005 MBE results:

Click here to read more about this

 

MY MBE TESTING CHART

Date Book Topic # of Qs # Wrong % Right MBE Raw Min Per Question
5-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Criminal Law 100 28 72% 144 1.12
2-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Property 100 31 69% 138 1.40
17-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Con Law 100 17 83% 166 0.89
23-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Contracts 100 38 62% 124 1.14
25-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Evidence 100 23 77% 154 0.88
30-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Torts 100 31 69% 138 1.14
07-Jul Kaplan/PMBR Blue Book Sim Exam   200 68 66% 132 1.20
               
11-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Red Book Property 200 83 59% 117 1.28
16-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Red Book Con Law 200 68 66% 132 1.05
22-Jun Kaplan/PMBR Red Book Contracts 200 90 55% 110 1.23
29-Jun Kaplan/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

 

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, take the 1998 July MBE 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.


Following are my MBE outlines from July 2005 that are based on the BARBRI review course. Please remember that these outlines 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


As you do MBE questions, remember to keep track of your percentages and to skim your MBE subject matter outlines (or mine if you update them). The Bar Study Spreadsheet contains worksheet pages ("50 50", "200", or "100 100") that you can print out as answer sheets for the Kaplan/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. 

For the MBE, the average passing raw score in NY is 120/190 (63% correct). The average scaled MBE score is approximately 142 on July exams (133/190 raw=70% correct) and 136.5 (133/190 raw=70% correct) on February exams (122/190 raw=64% correct). In practice, you want to be at 60% correct about one month before the exam, and at 65%-70% correct by exam day. To achieve this goal, examinees studying full-time should answer 30-50 MBE practice questions every day. Examinees should read every answer to each question (regardless whether you answered the question correctly or incorrectly) AND TAKE NOTES OF ANYTHING YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND. Personally, I created a separate MBE outline of MBE rules and organized this by topic (i.e. Con Law, Contracts, etc.). This "flashcard" document should contain 1-2 sentence rules of law for all the multiple choice questions that you answered wrong and for any question that you answered correctly but for the wrong reasons. These are your weaknesses on the MBE. Read this outline every day before you do your daily MBE questions. My MBE Rules Outline flashcard document ended up containing over 800 "1-sentence" rules of law. Here is my flashcard document (please also keep in mind that these rules have not been reviewed or updated since 2005):

MBE Rules Outline

The MBE flashcard/rules outline 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. 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.

While there are undoubtedly many reasons why re-takers do worse on the exam, I believe the main reason is because failing examinees are unable to do well on the MBE. I find that an examinee generally fails the exam (and becomes a re-taker) because they do poorly on the MBE. Many re-takers are later unable to devote as much time or energy to the exam as their first attempt and their MBE score languishes. Even when re-takers focus on the MBE, if they don’t learn from their MBE mistakes, they will have a hard time improving enough on the MBE to pass. The most important thing you can do for the MBE is to make some type of a “Rules outline” for each practice MBE question you get wrong (or right for the wrong reasons). If you don’t keep track of the law that you learn during the MBE question process, you will forget a good bit of it, and it will also be harder to identify where you are having problems. If you do a good rules outline that is organized and prioritized and you study it often, everything will come together in the end - you will have a concise catalog of all your MBE mistakes so that you can study them to avoid repeating them. For example, a subscriber that recently passed with an MBE score of 158.5 said that what helped him most for the MBE was “MAKING A RULE OUTLINE. That is the best way to learn the material. But not only making the outline, reviewing it every so often. I used this before the exam, on the day of the exam, and at lunch. Could not do anything more beneficial to learn the MBE.

The MBE Subject Matter Outline can be downloaded here. If you are making 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). 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. Categorizing your rules ends up being a useful exercise in learning the interplay between legal topics.

Although some people say you should do questions from each subject at least once a week (i.e. Constitutional Law questions on Monday, Criminal Law questions on Tuesday, Contracts on Wednesday, etc.), I did my MBE Q's in blocks until about one month before the exam. For example, after Constitutional Law finished in BARBRI, I did Constitutional Law multiple choice questions from BarBri and Kaplan/PMBR. 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. I ended up answering over 4,000 multiple choice questions (please note that over 1,000 of these questions did not have answer explanations, so very little time was spent reviewing these answers). For the July 2005 MBE, I finished the AM session 45 minutes early and the PM session 35 minutes early. Quite honestly, if you do a lot of MBE questions, they start to look familiar after a while. However, do not use me as a gauge - most examinees finish the MBE with only a few minutes to spare.
 
If you are an auditory learner, you can make audio files of MBE questions or your MBE rules. For example, 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/mp3s by either using a program to read the text aloud and then use a program such as 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 copy the mp3s onto your device or onto a cd to make an audio cd. 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 bar review was helpful because: (1) you are a captive audience and (2) you can study a little less at home because you are studying while commuting. If you are an auditory learner, there are a wide range of mp3 audio files on the Subscription Site.

I also signed up for the Kalpan/PMBR 3-Day Review. 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. If you sign up for the review, attend the sessions to see if you get anything out of them. If not, just go home and study on your own. Here is a review outline from someone who attended the July 2005 PMBR review:

PMBR Review 2005.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 your bar review may tell you, I read each essay 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 my 2005 MASTER outline and 20% from my subject matter outlines. I remembered a good bit from my 2005 MASTER outline 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 about the topics and no information in MASTER to regurgitate). My subject matter 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 a MASTER essay outline can help (although it is a gambit nonetheless). However, for the MBE, the multiple choice questions are the best way to prepare for the MBE in my opinion. This is because to do good on the MBE, you need to know the nuances of the law. It is not easy to learn the nuances unless you answer 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 many more (as I explained earlier, I did not have answer explanations to 1,000+ questions). 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, and your practice scores are usually a good indicator of your final MBE score.

MBE Underdog Strategy

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. 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 exam 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. On the subscription site, I discuss other strategies for the MBE.


MEE (30%)

Older MEE questions (with answers) from 2006-2010 (8 exams) can be downloaded from NCBE here.

I am currently working on an “MEE MASTER” that will be completed in time for the July 2016 exam. It will be based on every topic tested on the MEE since 1995 (42 exams comprising 316 essay questions and 1,084 issues). This MEE MASTER outline will be categorized based on the ABC level of the NCBE Subject Matter outlines (about 400 topics). I then intend to prioritize the topics utilizing the same methodology I use for the NY essays in the current MASTER outline. The MEE MASTER for the UBE exam will have the added advantage of prioritizing utilizing the grading weights for each topic contained in the MEE answer analysis.

The current status of this outline is discussed on the Subscription Page.


MPT (20%)

Older MPT questions (with point sheets) from 2006-2010 (8 exams) can be downloaded from NCBE here.

MPT scores are not very reliable. Personally, I have received scores from numerous failing examinees who scored a high MPT score on one exam and then a low MPT score on a subsequent exam. The biggest problem with the MPT is its "all or nothing" nature - some examinees understand and do well on certain MPT questions/topics/tasks while other examinees find the same MPT questions/topics/tasks daunting. That is why NCBE said that there needs to be 22 different MPT questions (meaning a 33 hour MPT test) for the MPT to be as reliable as the MBE. see The Bar Examiner: Volume 77, Number 3, August 2008. Examinees who fail the exam should order their essays/MPT and participate in the Essay/MPT comparison to better understand what the graders regard as a high scoring essay/MPT.

Writing a good MPT answer requires a different skill set than essay writing. According to NCBE, when the local essays scores are compared to the other components of the exam (without adjusting for reliability), the lowest correlation is between the essays and the MPT (.43 for Essays vs. MPT; 44 for Essays vs. MEE; and .55 for Essays vs. MBE). See The Bar Examiner: Volume 77, Number 3, August 2008. 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:

• I examined MPTs and looked at the sample answers to see the different types of formats for answers (i.e. what do they want for an interrogatory).
• 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.
• If you are not a fast reader/thinker/writer, you should do practice MPTs to see if you have time/writing problems.

From July 2001 to present, NYBOLE has released has two sample MPT answers written by actual test-takers that were regarded as representative of better than average submissions. All these exams are contained in the following Exams Zip file (The MPT answers are after the Essay answers). if you wish to download MPT answers from a specific exam, you can choose the file from the below table:

Individual Past NY Exam Essay Questions with Sample Candidate Answers

Administration WORD format PDF format Administration WORD format PDF format
February 2015
WORD PDF
July 2015
WORD PDF
February 2014
WORD PDF
July 2014
WORD PDF
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
   
July 2001
WORD PDF

 

The biggest mistake you can make on the MPT is to not follow instructions. For example, on the July 2011 exam, I found that a number of examinees received very low scores for failing to follow the directive of the memorandum, failing to write persuasively when required, or failing to understand of the structure of the MPT judicial system. I believe that Diane Bosse, the chair of the New York State Board of Law Examiners, wrote the December 2011 article entitled "The MPT: Assessment Opportunities beyond the Traditional Essay" partly in response to the glaring mistakes made by examinees on the July 2011 MPT. Accordingly, examinees must be cognizant of this advice when taking the MPT. In addition, there is a lot of helpful advice and material for the MPT on the Subscription Site.


NY Bar Exam Pass Rates

The July 2015 pass rate in New York was abnormally low. The 20 year historical overall July pass rate in NY has been about 69.5%. The overall July 2015 pass rate in NY was 61%. Based on my calculations, an extra 900+ examinees failed (out of 10,671 taking) as a result of this 8.5% pass rate difference.

Click here to read more about this


Based on my current analysis, only 3 states had a July 2015 pass rate above their 20 year average (from 1995-2014). Washington had the best increase, passing 3.64% more examinees than their 20 year July average. Mississippi had the worst decrease, failing 32.32% more examinees than their 20 year July average. Based on the number of July 2014 takers, I estimate that an extra 1,971 examinees failed the July 2015 bar exam as compared to their state's 1995-2014 average. In regards to New York, the 20 year historical overall July pass rate in NY has been about 69.5%. The overall July 2015 pass rate in NY was 61%. Based on my calculations, an extra 900+ NY examinees failed based on this 8.5% pass rate difference.


Statistically, it becomes harder and harder to pass the NY bar exam with each attempt. In October 2006, NY BOLE released a paper entitled "Impact of the Increase in the Passing Score on the New York Bar Examination July 2005 Bar Administration" (see http://www.nybarexam.org/press/ncberep.pdf, pages 83, 90-91). This study was done when the pass rate in NY was 660 (it is raised to 665 in 2005). According to the study, with a passing score of 665, the projected pass rate for Domestic-Educated First-Time Takers was 83%; the projected pass rate for Domestic-Educated Second-Time Takers was 30%; and the projected pass rate for Domestic-Educated Third-Time Takers was 23.2%. Meanwhile, the projected pass rate for Foreign-Educated First-Time Takers was 43.9% while the projected pass rate for Foreign-Educated Repeaters was 13.5% (id. at pages 95, 98). As you can see, pass rates plummet for re-takers, even for the ones most likely to pass, namely Domestic-Educated takers.

Following are pass rates for the New York Bar Exam from 2012-2015. 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.

Attempt Education Feb Takers Feb Passers Feb Pass % July Takers July Passers July Pass % Total Takers Total Passers Total Pass %
FIRST TIME All ABA Law Schools
4,088
2,933
72%
29,579
24,550
83%
33,667
27,483
82%
FIRST TIME Foreign Educated
1,803
625
35%
7,812
3,460
44%
9,615
4,085
42%
FIRST TIME ALL Candidates
5,906
3,567
60%
37,401
28,012
75%
43,307
31,579
73%
REPEATERS All ABA Law Schools
5,393
2,535
47%
3,482
973
28%
8,875
3,508
40%
REPEATERS Foreign Educated
4,855
1,322
27%
4,374
804
18%
9,229
2,126
23%
REPEATERS ALL Candidates
14,283
5,575
39%
18,564
8,274
45%
32,847
13,849
42%
ALL TAKERS All ABA Law Schools
9,481
5,468
58%
33,061
25,523
77%
42,542
30,991
73%
ALL TAKERS Foreign Educated
6,658
1,947
29%
12,186
4,264
35%
18,844
6,211
33%
ALL TAKERS ALL Candidates
16,192
7,420
46%
34,623
23,294
67%
46,818
29,010
62%

 

Based on pass rates for the New York Bar Exam from 2012-2015, domestic-educated examinees taking the exam for the first time had an overall pass rate of 82%. In contrast, foreign-educated examinees taking the exam for the first time had an overall pass rate of 42%. In regards to retakers, domestic-educated retakers had an overall pass rate of 40% while foreign-educated retakers had an overall pass rate of 23%.

In examining the average pass rates in New York over the past 20 years of reported information, the February Overall Pass Rate is 47.1% while the July Overall Pass Rate is 69.8%. The February First Time Takers Pass Rate is 59.9% while the July First Time Takers Pass Rate is 73.6%. The February Repeaters Pass Rate is 33.6% while the July Repeaters Pass Rate is 28.3%. With each reduction of 1% in the pass rate, an estimated 40 extra examinees will fail the exam in February (whereas in July, with each reduction of 1% in the pass rate, an estimated 110 extra examinees will fail the exam in July).

If you are a local domestic candidate, I ranked the 15 New York law schools based on their 5-year July pass rates (July 2010-July 2014) based on First-time takers. NYU has the highest overall First-time taker pass rate at 95.6% and Touro has the lowest overall First-time taker pass rate at 74.0%.

Click Here to expand/minimize the NY Law School 5-Year First-Time Taker July Pass Rate table

Rank School # of takers # of passers 5 Year Pass Rate
1 NYU – New York, NY
1,888
1,805
95.6%
2 Columbia – New York, NY
1,722
1,642
95.4%
3 Cornell Law School – Ithaca, NY
679
632
93.0%
4 Fordham Law – New York, NY 
2,043
1,827
89.4%
5 Brookyn Law School – Brooklyn, NY
2,079
1,845
88.7%
6 Yeshiva University (Cardozo) - New York, NY
1,693
1,478
87.3%
7 St. John’s University – Jamaica, NY
1,280
1,107
86.5%
8 University at Buffalo – SUNY – Buffalo, NY
1,007
828
82.2%
9 Syracuse University – Syracuse, NY
620
501
80.8%
10 Hofstra University – Hempstead, NY 
1,380
1,099
79.7%
11 Albany Law School-Union University – Albany, NY 
983
773
78.6%
12 New York Law School – New York, NY 
1,994
1,548
77.7%
13 CUNY – Queens College – Flushing, NY
565
436
77.2%
14 Pace University – White Plains, NY 
982
755
76.9%
15 Touro College (Fuchsberg) – Central Islip, NY
861
637
74.0%

 


Basically, domestic white males under the age of 27 are the ones who score the best on the exam. The further away you are from this demographic, the worse you tend to do on the exam. Interestingly, women to do somewhat better than men on the essay component (about 2 points on the MBE scale) and for men to do somewhat better than women on the MBE (about 5 points on the MBE scale) - this was observed consistently across racial/ethnic groups, and for first-time takers and repeat takers. To counter this, NCBE has added more women question writers for the MBE.

Exam Results Release Dates

Official New York bar exam results are posted on NYBOLE's website here. My chronicle of exam results release dates is below. FYI, since 1995, a total of 1,365,473 examinees took a bar exam in the U.S. and 927,017 passed, resulting in an overall nationwide pass rate of 67.9% (this means that by February 2017, there will have been 1,000,000+ new attorneys in the U.S. over a span of 22 years). From 2005 to present, the average number of days before the exam results release is 66 days for a February exam and 102 days for a July exam. In the past, a notification of the Release Date was generally posted one day before the Exam Results Release Date, but there was no early notification for the July 2014 or Feb 2015 results. Following is a table of release dates for the NY bar exam from 2005 to present:

New York bar exam release dates


Exam Test End Date Date of Notification of Release Date Exam Results Release Date Time of Release Days
July 2005
7/27/2005
Monday, November 14, 2005
Thursday, November 17, 2005
 
113
Feb 2006
2/22/2006
  
Friday, May 05, 2006
 
72
July 2006
7/26/2006
  
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
 
111
Feb 2007
2/28/2007
  
Friday, May 04, 2007
 
65
July 2007
7/25/2007
  
Thursday, November 15, 2007
 
113
Feb 2008
2/27/2008
  
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
 
70
July 2008
7/30/2008
Wed, November 12, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
 
107
Feb 2009
2/25/2009
Saturday, May 02, 2009
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
1:00PM Tuesday
69
July 2009
7/29/2009
Wed, November 04, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
11:00AM Thursday 
99
Feb 2010
2/24/2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
1:00AM Tuesday
62
July 2010
7/28/2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
Friday, November 05, 2010
4:00PM Friday
100
Feb 2011
2/23/2011
Monday, April 25, 2011
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
9:00AM Tuesday
62
July 2011
7/27/2011
Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Wed, November 02, 2011
12:30AM Wednesday
98
Feb 2012
2/29/2012
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
12:30AM Wednesday
63
July 2012
7/25/2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Friday, November 02, 2012
11:00PM Thursday 
100
Feb 2013
2/27/2013
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Thursday, May 2, 2013
1:00AM Thursday
64
July 2013
7/31/2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
12:30AM Wednesday
91
Feb 2014
2/26/2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Thursday, April 24, 2014
12:00AM Thursday
57
July 2014
7/30/2014
No pre-notification
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
12:00AM Tuesday
90
Feb 2015
2/25/2015
No pre-notification
Monday, April 27, 2015
5:00PM Monday
61
Jul 2015
7/29/2015
10PM Monday October 26, 2015 in NY Law Journal
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
12:00AM Tuesday
89
Feb 2016
4/26/2015
No pre-notification
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
12:00AM Tuesday

 

NYBOLE does not wait for MPRE results to be released before sending out the exam results. For example, February 2014 NY bar exam results were released on April 24, 2014 even though March 2014 MPRE results were not released until April 29, 2014.

With every administration, a few examinees awaiting results ask me whether email notices regarding admission may be a clue as to whether they passed or failed the exam. For example, I was told that the Third Department sent out their "Admission to the New York State Bar on behalf of the Third Department" to only a small number of examinees on September 9, 2014 and then a second email was sent to all Third Department examinees on September 16, 2014. In another example, in the Second Department, examinees awaiting results receive an email entitled "Notice To Second Department Applicants Anticipating Admission To The New York State Bar." While the email subject seems to suggest the examinee has passed, I am aware of examinees who received this email and subsequently found out they had failed.

These emails are sent by the Committees on Character and Fitness to anyone who recently sat for the New York State Bar Examination and do not have any bearing on whether an examinee passed or failed. I believe that the Committees on Character and Fitness for each Judicial Department do not become aware of who passed or failed the exam until the examinees do - when NYBOLE releases the results.

When results are released, all examinees receive the email with the results contained in an attached PDF file that will report whether the examinee passed or failed the exam. For example, for the Feb 2014 exam, all examinees received an email with the subject: New York State February 2014 Bar Exam Results. The body of the email contained generic output that reported the examinee's BOLE ID and stated: "Please read the attached notification from the Board concerning your February 2014 bar examination results. DO NOT RESPOND TO THIS EMAIL AS IT IS AUTOGENERATED." The name of the PDF attachment is the examinee's BOLE ID (e.g. B10000000.pdf). The only way an examinee can tell if they passed or failed without reading the PDF is from the size of the PDF - the passing PDF is about 32kb in size because it consists of 1 page while the failing PDF is about 97kb in size because it consists of 3 pages.

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 2016 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website between 12:00PM midnight Monday, April 25, 2016 and 12:05AM Tuesday, April 26, 2016 and examinees began receiving emails from NYBOLE shortly thereafter. As with July 2014-July 2015 exams, NYBOLE did not give a notice before the release of results on their website.

* BAR EXAM RESULTS *

The results of the February 2016 New York State bar examination have been released to candidates who sat for the examination. The results were emailed to candidates at the email address on file with the Board. Please be advised that there may be some delays in receiving the email depending on volume and security issues with individual email providers.

Candidates who were successful on the bar examination must file the Application for Admission to the Bar with the appropriate department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division within three years of the April 26, 2016 notification of passing. A copy of the Notice of Certification that is attached to the email must be filed with the Supreme Court, Appellate Division as part of the application for admission. The application for admission may be accessed by clicking on Admission Information in the table of contents on this website.

For applicants who failed the February 2016 bar exam the deadline to re-apply for the July 2016 bar exam is Tuesday, May 10, 2016.

The results are also available to candidates by using the private lookup link below.

July 2015 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website between 12:00PM midnight Monday, October 26, 2015 and 12:05AM Tuesday, October 27, 2015 and examinees began receiving emails from NYBOLE shortly thereafter. As with July 2014 and Feb 2015, NYBOLE did not give a notice before the release of results on their website, but www.newyorklawjournal.com posted an article at 10:00PM Monday, October 26, 2015 (two hours before results were released) about the results being released on Tuesday, October 27, 2015.

*BAR EXAM RESULTS*

The results of the July 2015 New York State bar examination have been released to candidates who sat for the examination. The results were emailed to candidates at the email address on file with the Board. Please be advised that there may be some delays in receiving the email depending on volume and security issues with individual email providers.

Candidates who were successful on the bar examination must file the Application for Admission to the Bar with the appropriate department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division within three years of the October 27, 2015 notification of passing. A copy of the Notice of Certification that is attached to the email must be filed with the Supreme Court, Appellate Division as part of the application for admission. The application for admission may be accessed by clicking on Admission Information in the table of contents on this website.

The results are also available to candidates by using the private lookup link below.

Feb 2015 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 5:00PM on Monday, April 27, 2015 and examinees began receiving emails from NYBOLE shortly thereafter. As with July 2014, NYBOLE did not give a notice before the release of results.

* BAR EXAM RESULTS *

The results of the February 2015 New York State bar examination have been released to candidates who sat for the examination. The results were emailed to candidates at the email address on file with the Board. Please be advised that there may be some delays in receiving the email depending on volume and security issues with individual email providers.

The results are also available to candidates by using the private lookup link below.

If you were successful on the bar examination you must file your Application for Admission to the Bar with the appropriate department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division within three years of the April 27, 2015 letter notifying you that you passed the bar examination. A copy of the Notice of Certification that is attached to the email must be filed with the Supreme Court, Appellate Division as part of your application for admission. The application for admission may be accessed by clicking on Admission Information in the table of contents on this website.

July 2014 Exam
The following message was posted on the NY BOLE website around 12:00AM on Tuesday, October 28, 2014. This is the first time NYBOLE did not give a notice before the release of results and only posted the following message:

JULY 2014 Bar Examination Results

The results for candidates who sat for the July 2014 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 volume and security issues with individual email providers. The results are also available by using the private lookup link below. Candidates will be prompted to insert their unique BOLE ID and their Date of Birth to access their results online.

Please note that, if you were successful on the bar examination, you must file your Application for Admission to the Bar with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court within three years of the date of the letter notifying you that you passed the bar examination. A copy of the Notice of Certification that is attached to the email must be filed with the Appellate Division as part of your application for admission.

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 November 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.

 

Exam Changes

Since 2005, there have been a number of changes to the exam that have impacted NY bar examinees:

• In 2005, the passing score was increased from 660 to 665.

• In 2007, NYBOLE stopped releasing raw MBE scores to failing examinees (knowing these scores could give some examinees a more effective study strategy)

• In 2010, NYBOLE stopped accepting the transfer of MBE scores earned from a prior administration of the MBE in another jurisdiction. This was done despite NCBE's position that "[s]ince the MBE scaled score is a standard score, it can be transferred to another jurisdiction for use in a later examination."

• In 2011, NYBOLE raised the examination/credential review fee for foreign attorneys from $400 to $750.

• In 2011, NYBOLE implemented 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.

• In 2012, NYBOLE announced a new 50 hour pro bono service requirement for passing examinees effective in 2015.

• In February 2014, NCBE and NYBOLE stopped releasing MBE subscores on the Score Sheets. This means examinees no longer know how they did on MBE Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law/Procedure etc. NCBE’s 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. On the contrary, the sub-score information was incredibly useful in assessing an examinee’s weaknesses. Put simply, the more information an examinee has about his performance, the more effectively he can analyze it.

• In 2015, the subject of Civil Procedure was added to the MBE. The subjects of UCC Article 3 Negotiable Instruments and Federal Jurisdiction were removed from the essays/NYMC and the subject of Administrative Law was added.

• In 2016, NYBOLE will switch to the UBE exam.


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.

Keep in mind that studying for a bar exam is a marathon, not a sprint. Accordingly, maintaining your stamina and motivation is very important. As you study, don't neglect your state of mind. Breaks are very important (about 10 minutes every hour) - put the time in but do not burn yourself out. I have seen examinees with scores as low as 530 pass on their next attempt, so nothing is impossible.

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