By Steve Levin,
BARBRI Director of Essay Testing
DON’T WAIT TO BUILD UP YOUR BAR EXAM FOCUSED WRITING SKILLS.
When I ask students who scored lower on the bar exam or were just below the threshold of passing, whether they submitted practice essays during bar prep, often the answer is “no” or “not many.” I’ve heard from students, in the past, that they felt the need to know all the rules of the law before they could or should submit a practice essay during bar review.
As many of you know, the written portion of the bar exam is critical to your overall score in every state and in some states, there is greater weight on the written portion compared to the MBE. (Download the BARBRI Bar Exam Digest for details.) Essay writing for the bar exam is quite different than the final exam essays you took in law school – it’s an acquired skill you must strengthen during bar prep.
On the bar exam, you’ll need to know how to provide an answer to the call of the question in the format bar examiners want to see. The best way to achieve proficiency is to tackle practice essays multiple times during bar review and submit them for personal feedback – even while you are still learning the substantive material.
You’ll experience optimum results with BARBRI’s Directed Essay Grading.
This consists of, first, working with the BARBRI Essay Architect online tool to enhance your high-level essay writing skills. And then writing answers to the practice essays assigned throughout the BARBRI Bar Review course. You’ll be directed to submit some of those for feedback that will enable you to continue your essay writing skill development.
Note that I said, “skill development.” Do not hold back on submitting a practice essay just because you are still learning the black letter law. When reviewing your essays, we aren’t just looking at your substantive knowledge – we also focus on feedback that helps refine your essay writing skills.
With each submitted essay, you’ll benefit from personalized input from a trained bar exam writing expert. You’ll come away knowing where you will capture points and where you may lose points, as well as how to frame a better essay answer. Submitting essays as they are assigned during bar review, over time, will allow you to incorporate previous feedback into the next practice essay. You’ll move along an upward trajectory of continuous improvement and bar exam readiness.
ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW
BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates over 50 years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on what will be 100 bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.