If you failed the UBE exam, I can provide you with a free 16 page confidential analysis of your scoring if you complete the following form (or just email me the score sheet):
You should find this free score analysis helpful – over the past 11 years, I have sent this free score analysis to over 5,000 examinees. As one examinee told me: “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.”
Seperac July 2023 subscription modules
For the J23 exam, all subscription modules are currently available including a new OPE 860 module which contains the MBE Complete Practice Exam released by NCBE in Dec 2021. Please note that some content is not available until late-May such as the updated MBE Outline/Combined MBE Outline. If you subscribe prior to the release of the updated edition, a non-updated edition is available for anyone who subscribes early.
I primarily tutor and work with a small number of UBE repeaters through my UBE Course which is intended for examinees who have been unable to succeed with conventional bar reviews and/or tutoring. If you are a first-time taker, I generally suggest you stick with your bar review course unless you are statistically at-risk of failing. Please enter your information into my UBE Score Estimator to determine whether you may be at-risk. If the calculator estimates you to pass by 20+ points, you are likely fine just using the materials from your bar review (unless you are doing something atypical such as studying part-time).
Seperac UBE Course
The Seperac UBE Course is intended for examinees who were unsuccessful with traditional bar review courses and/or tutors. The UBE Course essentially merges my comprehensive subscription with my tutoring program. If you are interested in the July 2023 UBE Course, please email me at jseperac [@] gmail.com. Please note I generally fill the tutoring spots before results from the major states (e.g. NY/CA) are released. This is because I only work with 10-15 examinees per exam. Signing up involves a vetting process so if you are interested, you should get in touch with me sooner rather than later. You would likely need to complete the application process and pay the deposit no later than 4 months before the exam (April for July exams or November for February exams).
Seperac MBE Subscription Modules
Aside from my UBE Course, I offer supplemental MBE materials through my www.mberules.com site. For example, the OPE 860 MBE Questions module ($400) consists of PDF and MP3 formats of the 860 most important released NCBE MBE questions. The MBE Outlines module ($250) consists of a 175 page black letter law MBE outline in PDF format which is keyed to the current NCBE Subject Matter Outline ( (this module is generally available about two months before the exam)). I regard this outline as an excellent representation (both proportionally and contentually) of the current MBE. For example, an CA examinee who scored a 160.6 on the J18 MBE told me “Your outline is excellent and serves as a great equalizer since the questions on Adaptibar are not fully reflective of the exam.” The MBE Rules module ($300) consists of rule statements I wrote for each and every released NCBE question (1,800+ rules) in PDF and MP3 format (this module is also generally available about two months before the exam). Subscribers typically rank my MBE Rules outline as 2nd or 3rd most helpful in their MBE studies (the UBE MASTER outline is ranked most helpful, but this is only available through my UBE Course). For example, as one examinee recently told me: “Knowing now that I passed, I can confidently say that your MBE Rules outline was indispensable. Even though I probably completed only 400-500 practice MBEs, I really focused on thinking about why I got answers wrong, what aspect of the law I didn’t quite understand, and creating rules that directly addressed that misunderstanding. I then reviewed these rules multiple times.” Put simply, if you do not review the law behind the released NCBE questions, you disadvantage yourself on the MBE. Finally, the Combined MBE Outline module ($450) consists of an outline that merges the 175 page black letter law MBE outline with my MBE rules, creating a 300+ page outline with the past NCBE MBE Rules appropriately categorized. The best way to understand the benefits of each of these outlines is to look at the samples on www.mberules.com
Examinees can also combine subscription modules; the most recommended combination is the Combined MBE Outline + UBE Essays Modules.
If the UBE Course is more than what you are looking for at this time, I suggest you consider the Combined MBE Outline + UBE Essays Modules. The Combined MBE Outline + UBE Essays Modules is a one-time fee of $500 and expires August 1, 2019, meaning if you purchase it today, you can access it up through the July 2019 exam along with a few days after (in case you want to make sure you downloaded everything such as the MP3s). Accessing the site after you sign up is very simple – you will receive an email and then you simply go to your Registered Member Page and login using the credentials you entered during the payment process. You will have access to two different modules (UBE Essays and the Combined MBE module) and can toggle between them through the Registered Member Page (or just add the links to your Favorites/Bookmarks). On the pages for each subscription, the materials and be downloaded immediately (you can even use a download manager to download all the contents automatically). In regards to the MBE materials, the 285 page Combined MBE Outline (which contains 25 pages of black letter law for each MBE subject plus another 110 pages of MBE rules for the 1,800+ released NCBE questions) is printable and searchable, but you cannot copy/paste content from it (there is also a watermark on every page for security purposes). The MBE Rules outlines are likewise watermarked, printable and searchable, but you cannot copy/paste content. There are also MP3s of the MBE rules which can be streamed or downloaded and played in a device. In regards to the MEE and MPT materials, they are in WORD format and can be edited, printed, copied, etc. There are also a good number of MP3s on the UBE Essays site that can be streamed or downloaded. Please also note that I update the materials where applicable. For example, once the F19 essays are released, I will post a new MEE Issue Spotting Outline and MP3. Likewise, when I complete the MEE and MPT Essay Comparison Banks, they will also be added to the site.
UBE Course subscribers are generally examinees who have repeatedly failed but absolutely need to pass on their next attempt (e.g. because their job is at risk or it will be their last full attempt). In most cases, it may make more sense to choose the economical route and see what happens. For your information, if you are contemplating the UBE Course, any amount you pay for a subscription module will be credited if you later decide to sign up for the UBE course. For example, if you purchase the J19 Combined MBE Outline + UBE Essays Modules for $500 but fail the J19 exam, if you decide to enroll in the F20 UBE Course, it will be discounted by the $500 you paid. Please further note that to enroll in the UBE course, you must provide me with information to verify your examinee status and also sign a comprehensive Non-Disclosure Agreement. If you are unwilling to do this, you should not sign up or purchase any subscriptions with the expectation of a later credit.
With the Combined MBE and Essays subscription, you will find all the subscription materials helpful, but the MBE materials will likely contribute the most to your UBE score (and odds of passing). In a UBE state, you want to spend at least 70% of your overall study-time on the MBE. A good MBE will overcome a lot of problems with the other components. For example, according to a 1976 American Bar Association Journal interview with Joe E. Covington, the director of testing of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, when asked whether state bar examiners can use only the MBE score and not look at the essays at all to make a pass or fail designation, the NCBE director responded: At least four jurisdictions do not read the essay answers of applicant who make a predetermined score or above that score. Some states select an M.B.E, score of 140 for this purpose. Applicants who achieve this selected score or above are admitted to the bar solely on the M.B.E. score. If an applicant scores this high on the M.B.E., the correlation of the essay and M.B.E tests is so good that in only very rare cases would the essay score of an applicant be low enough to bring the average of the scores below the passing score were his essay answers graded. see Everything You Always Wanted to Know about the Multistate Bar Examination, American Bar Association Journal; Mar 1976, Vol. 62 Issue 3, p315. Although this article is from 1976, I believe this still holds true today. This is why out of 4,500+ UBE examinees who failed and sent me their scores, only 110 failed with an MBE score above 140 (meaning about 98% failed with an MBE below 140). This is why you should focus on the MBE and try to get above 140 (which is usually about 65% correct).
You will find the Combined MBE and UBE Essays Subscription ($500) helpful to that end. For example, a F19 subscriber to the Combined MBE and UBE Essays Subscription who passed the F19 UBE exam told me: "Total score 296 and scaled score 152.1. I certainly could not have done it without your help. MyDean at my former law school asked me what materials I used. I told him Joe Seperac made all the difference, Your program is invaluable and your continued support by email made a huge difference! Thank you with all my heart!!" Another F19 subscriber who passed F19 told me: "I just wanted to let you know that I passed the TN UBE with a score of 302. I wanted to thank you sincerely for providing such an amazing program for the MEE, MPT, and MBE. It allowed me to really focus my studying and pass with flying colors. Thank you again!"
The goal of my MBE materials is to help examinees achieve a scaled score of 140 or higher on the MBE. In that regard, I believe my MBE Outline as the best representation of the current MBE exam you will ever see in a commercially available outline – it is highly on point both proportionately and contextually. The best benefit of my MBE outline is that it is packed with the nuances you will see on the current MBE. For example, a subscriber who passed F19 told me: “Your MBE outlines are top notch. They address so many of the nuanced rules I’ve been tested on during this prep cycle and past prep cycles.” Another examinee who failed with an MBE of 127 and then purchased my MBE outline and subsequently passed told me: “Hi Joe! I wanted to let you know I got the great news that I passed the mbe portion of the FL bar! I'm a repeat taker and your outline helped me SO MUCH! THANK YOU! “ In regards to the examinee’s failing attempt, she told me “I felt extremely unprepared for the real property section because there were so many topics I hadn't even heard of. For example there was a mortgage question regarding marshaling which was in NONE of my bar prep materials. And there was maybe a sentence regarding the fair housing act.” This is precisely what my MBE outline addresses. For example, a subscriber who scored a 174 on the MBE in NY and then a 177 on the MBE in NJ told me: “… as far as the MBE is concerned, your outlines have been most useful since you emphasize the fine distinctions.”
Thus, you can regard my MBE outline as an excellent representation (both proportionally and contentually) of the current MBE. For example, an CA examinee who scored a 160.6 on the J18 MBE told me “Your outline is excellent and serves as a great equalizer since the questions on Adaptibar are not fully reflective of the exam.” This MBE outline will serve as a much better reflection of the current MBE exam than the outline you will use with Kaplan. Subscribers generally treat my outline as their MBE bible and adjust their MBE studying based on it. For example, if there is very little coverage for a topic in my MBE outline but it is heavily covered in your Kaplan materials, you should pay less attention to it. Conversely, if my outline stresses a topic but it is not covered in your Kaplan materials, you need to learn it.
Please note that this is a comprehensive outline rather than an attack outline so it will take you some time to get through it. While an attack outline (i.e. an outline that is 3-5 pages per subject) may be more manageable as the exam nears, I find that outlines significantly smaller than 25 pages per subject are too superficial for productive MBE study. With each exam, I actually have to force myself to limit each subject to only 25 pages of black letter law. I honestly feel that I need more than one page of black letter law per MBE question to cover all the nuances for each MBE topic, but I have settled on one page per MBE question for the time being. Since I put a lot of time into trying to understand the exam, so you can regard my outlines as an excellent reflection of it. Basically, what you can expect on the exam is what you can expect in my outline (which also illustrates how comprehensive the scope of the MBE is). As I mentioned earlier, the best benefit of my MBE Outline is that it is packed with the nuances you will see on the MBE.
The Combined MBE outline also contains my 1,800 NCBE MBE rules which are built into it. Subscribers find these MBE rules very helpful in their MBE studies. Thus, the black letter law sections of the MBE outline will appropriately tell you what to expect on the upcoming exam (both contextually and proportionally), while the built-in MBE rules will tell you what was tested on the past. This is about as complete a picture as you can have of the current MBE exam while being able to study everything for the MBE in one place. Typically, subscribers rank my MBE Rules outline as 2nd or 3rd most helpful in their MBE studies (the UBE MASTER outline is ranked most helpful, but this is only available through my UBE Course). For example, as one examinee recently told me: “Knowing now that I passed, I can confidently say that your MBE Rules outline was indispensable. Even though I probably completed only 400-500 practice MBEs, I really focused on thinking about why I got answers wrong, what aspect of the law I didn’t quite understand, and creating rules that directly addressed that misunderstanding. I then reviewed these rules multiple times.” This is because the past questions serve as a good reflection of the legal concepts currently tested. A 2004 research report entitled A Multivariate Generalizability Analysis of the MBE concluded that "variance component estimates for sub-tests for the February and July administrations are very stable, which indicates that the table of specifications for the MBE is well-defined and faithfully followed, and various forms constructed based on the table of specifications are quite 'parallel' to each other." This is why reviewing NCBE questions is so important. Because the MBE forms are 'parallel' to each other, reviewing released MBE questions is the best way to familiarize yourself with future MBE questions. Granted, the farther back you go, the less relevant the questions become (NCBE even warns about this), but there is no better way of understanding the MBE exam than by examining the law tested in the released questions by the exam maker. Accordingly, you should frequently review the rules I wrote for the NCBE OPE questions from 2006-2013 and the NCBE MBE Study Aid questions from 2019 as these are the most important NCBE questions for you to know.
Allow me to explain. There are about 1,800 former MBE questions available from NCBE – 400 from 1991, 581 from 1992, 200 from 1998, 400 from 2006-2013 (OPE 1-4) and 210 from 2019 (MBE Study Aid). For UBE Course tutees, I license these questions from NCBE and after paying a flat initial license fee, I pay different royalty rates (per tutee) based on the MBE exam. For example, I pay $25 per tutee for the 210 questions in the MBE Study Aid. I pay $60 per tutee for the 400 questions in the OPE 1-4 exams. In contrast, it costs $7 to license the 200 questions from 1998 and it costs $2 per tutee to license the 581 questions in the MBE 1992 book. You can see the high value NCBE places on the recent OPE and MBE Study Aid questions as compared to the much lower value for the older questions. Accordingly, I place the same value on my MBE rules for these questions in my materials.
Included in this subscription is a separate MBE rules outline you can read or listen to via MP3. It consists of the same MBE rules which are built into the Combined MBE outline, but they are separated based on their importance. Thus, the important NCBE MBE rules (based on questions from 2006 and later) are separated from the less-important rules (based on questions from 1998 and earlier) to enable subscribers to focus additional time on the 644 most important rules while still spending some time reviewing the less important ones. This is because while any of the 644 legal concepts in the “OPE” MBE Rules can be tested on the upcoming MBE (and therefore important), there are a number of legal concepts in the “NON-OPE” MBE Rules that are no longer tested (making this older set of questions less important).
If you answer the released NCBE questions, this serves as a great second perspective and if you don’t answer all the released NCBE questions, this serves as an excellent hedge. Thus, since you are taking Kaplan and may not review the released NCBE questions in your MBE practice, reviewing these rules through my outlines serves as an excellent hedge because you will at least become familiar with the legal concepts tested on the actual MBE.
The UBE Essays subscription will give you a lot of insight into what is required on the MEE and MPT. The subscription includes the licensed MEEs, but I transform them into more efficient study tools such as condensed outlines, comparison banks and MP3s. Please keep in mind the available component modules (i.e. UBE Essays and MBE Rules) do NOT contain any topic priorities for the upcoming exam. Any material I produce which prioritizes/predicts upcoming exam topics such as my UBE MASTER Outline or Top 50 MEE outline is only available through the UBE Course.
For the MEE, I suggest you review the MEE Issue Spotting Practice Outline or listen to the MP3s of it. This outline contains every released MEE question from 2002 to present (200+ MEE questions) grouped by subject with the questions sorted from newest to oldest with the corresponding issues and short answers for issue spotting practice. If you don’t have enough time to do full MEE study, this is a great alternative (especially to fill time while you are commuting/working out/etc.). You can listen to these essays in MP3 form while you commute which serves as an excellent way to study more efficiently while also forming different memory impressions.
For the MPT, there is a very large bank of graded MPTs (500+) spanning the past 19 exams. By looking at a wide variety of real graded MPTs, especially the high scoring MPTs, you will learn by example of how a good MPT answer should be constructed. There is also an MPT Format Bible which will efficiently illustrate to you the majority of past MPT formats (according to NCBE, the MPT format can account for up to 10% of the MPT grade).
To give you an example of how examinees use this Combined MBE + UBE Essays subscription to pass the exam, the foreign examinee who passed F19 with a scaled MBE score of 152.1 and total UBE score of 296 told me the following:
Here is how I used my subscription:
MBE Rules:I read through your rules fully at least 3-4 times before the exam. This was the first time I begun to feel that I understood possible questions that could be tested on the exam. Your rules were the closest thing to the exam questions. I started studying for the bar with Barbri and even though I was learning a lot with Barbri I felt like I wasnt being directly prepared for possible bar exam questions. I researched online and read rave reviews about your materials. I decided to follow my gut and try your subscription. You responded quickly to my questions and welcomed me to your subscription family! Once I read your MBE rules, I finally felt like I was hitting the nail on the head and truly understanding potential MBE questions. My advice to anyone is first make sure you understand each MBE subject as well as possble (using Barbri or whatever your primary study material is) then read Joe's MBE rules thoroughly, at least 3-4 times before the exam. Make sure you understand and can apply each rule fully. Another thing: Barbri advises you wait till last two weeks to memorize for all the subjects. I highly disagree. I was memorizing as I went along--and by memorizing I mean I was making sure that I fully understood each rule in your outline. Whatever didnt "stick" in my mind on the first read would eventually stick on subsequent reads before the exam. Also, start your study early. I dont believe in Barbri's calender of 2 months of study. Start 1-2 months ahead of Barbri if possible (unless you are already very familiar with the bar materials). It takes time for your mind to digest all the information.
MPT: I followed your advice. First, I fully answered all the MPT essays assigned and graded by Barbri as homework (3-5 full MPT questions). Then I applied your advice... I read through as many additional MPT questions as possible (perhaps 6 additional questions) then read the sample answers as well . I didnt write out these 6 additional questions I just read both the question and the sample answer and it gave me a solid understanding of the pattern of questions tested on the MPT and the pattern of acceptable answers. I believe I read the additional 6 the weekend before the exam so it would be fresh in my mind since NY tests MPT on Day 1.
MEE: Your advice made all the difference! I did all MEE questions assigned by Barbri. Then I read through NEARLY ALL of your MEE questions and answers. I read until I just couldn't anymore. I noticed your answers to the MEE questions were more thorough and easy to comprehend than Barbri's. The summary at the beginning of your answers was also super helpful when I felt I was running out of time to read the full answer. Your predictions made a HUGE difference for me as well. It helped me hone in on potential topics that could be tested. It boosted my confidence knowing possible subjects that could be tested. I did make sure that I understood all 13 MEE subjects clearly then I paid extra attention to the topics you predicted. I believe most of your predictions were spot on!!
One more thing: your advice to do all 4 OPE's and the NCBE study questions was spot on!!!! I believe a few OPE questions were repeated on the test and changed very slightly. I did not get to the NCBE study book due to lack of time but I am sure that would have raised my score even more!! I also did some of the questions in Emmanuel's Strategy and Tactics which matched the exam questions as well.
Overall, I think another thing that made a BIG difference for me was the level of attention you gave me. When I felt down or unsure or confused I could write to you and get encouragement and a strategy. I DID NOT EVEN GET THIS LEVEL OF ATTENTION FROM BARBRI WHOM I PAID WAY MORE. I could always ask for your advice whenever I felt I hit a wall and you would give me invaluable strategy advice. This made all of the difference. Even when I finished the exam and I was unsure of how I would score your advice boosted my confidence that I passed. Now, I am happy that my score is high enough to transfer to any UBE state. Thanks to you I wrote the bar once and aced it so I dont have to worry about it again!
Joe I believe you have DECODED THE BAR EXAM!! Keep up the excellent work!! If I can do anything to support your business please let me know. I am forever a fan and will spread the word any chance I get.
Seperac MEE/MPT Subscription Modules
For the MEE/MPT, I have a UBE Essays subscription module ($200) and I also offer “automated” MEE/MPT grading (ranges from $125-$650). The UBE Essays subscription module is specifically for the MEE/MPT. This is a stand alone subscription module that is specifically for the written portion of the exam and contains all the available MEE exams with answers, comparison banks containing thousands of actual graded examinee MEE and MPT essays (excellent for self-grading), MEE audio MP3s, an MEE Issue Spotting outline and an MPT Format Bible. Please note the materials are updated when the latest MEE essays are released. There is also an option to purchase the Combined MBE and MEE/MPT subscriptions at a discounted price here.
With a UBE Essays subscription, you have access to two forms of MPT prep materials:
(1) I have a compilation of examinee MPTs called my MPT Format Bible which many examinees find helpful. For example, one repeat examinee who significantly improved on the MPT told me: "Your MPT Format Bible was great help for my MPT score." It is basically a collection of exemplar MPTs organized by format so you understand what formats can be tested and better understand how a good MPT answer is framed. It contains 100 above average examinee answers illustrating the proper response/format/style for 21 different MPT types (according to NCBE, the MPT format can account for up to 10% of the MPT grade). There is a sample of it on the UBE Essays site.
(2) There is a very large bank of graded MPTs (500+) spanning the past 20+ exams. By looking at a wide variety of real graded MPTs, especially the high scoring MPTs, you will learn by example of how a good MPT answer should be constructed. For instance, an examineewho just passed on her 5th attempt told me: “Also, the Essay Comparison tool truly helped me see what type of writing style at the score I sought matched the way I’m comfortable writing.” The Essay Comparison tool is a bank of thousands of graded MEEs and MPTS all compared to one another. Such a comparison tool (let alone an MEE/MPT graded essay bank) does not exist anywhere else. You can watch an explanation of it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tctGoHv2e1g&t=2s
FYI, I do not have MPT Questions/Points sheets available on the UBE Essays site. This is because I would have to pay a licensing fee to NCBE for each subscriber, which would make the cost of a UBE Essays subscription much higher. It doesn’t make sense to do this when NCBE offers a large number of past MPT Questions/Points sheets for free on their site.
Another thing many examinees frequently ask for which is not available through the UBE Essays subscription is a black letter law MEE outline. This is something I only provide to tutees because of the way I structure the content, and because most examinees who subscribe are repeaters who have access to MEE black letter law outlines through their bar review.
Instead, I provide efficient compilations of the released MEE questions (from 1995 to present) in various formats (including MP3s). The standard ones I have on my UBE Essays site are:
MEE Compilation, which consists of all the MEE from 1995 to present in complete answer format arranged by subject in reverse chronological order (newest first). This is for examinees in learning mode who will review the full answer to learn the law.
MEE Issue Spotting Outline, which is an abridged version of the MEE Compilation which contains only the legal issues and answer discussion summaries (the detailed full answer explanations are omitted). This is for examinees who have a foundation in the MEE law and want to improve their MEE issue-spotting.
Top MEE Released Answers Outline, which is a prioritized version of the MEE Compilation, meaning the questions are arranged by priority for the J23 exam rather than by subject. This outline is not available until late-May 2023. This is for examinees to prioritize the essays for final review.
Most examinees find the Top MEE Released Answers Outline (formerly called the Top 50 MEE) the most helpful. For example, a J22 examinee who passed with a written of 159 told me: "I used your MEE material to outline as many essays as possible, with a heavy focus on issue spotting and structure. I started with your top 50 in priority and then went by subject to focus on my weaknesses." Based on past results, you can usually expect these essays to cover at least 50% of the issues in at least two MEE questions. For example, an examinee who failed J21 with a written of 123.6 subscribed to my UBE Essays module for the F22 exam and passed with a written of 160.3. The examinee told me: “Hope all is well! I’m excited to inform you that I passed with a score of 316 on the NY Bar Exam. It feels surreal to say that! Your top 50 MEE essays were such a huge help!! At first, I constantly wrote and rewrote a number of essays (including my J21 essays) and read the model answers. Then, towards the end of bar prep, I utilized your top 50 essays compilation along with your essay comparison feature and I think that really helped — just so I could see the difference between good, not so good, and really good answers. This helped further build upon my issue spotting (that I’d improved through writing timed essays), and I was able to better put myself in the grader’s shoes by looking at comparisons. On test day, as I was writing one of the essays (agency), it literally felt as if I was writing the same exact agency essay I’d written a day before (from your top 50 MEE outline). As a second time test taker, I couldn’t have fathomed a 53 point jump. I am in shock! Do let me know if you’d like me to complete any forms (can i still do the post exam one??) or leave any testimonials, as I am more than happy to! THANK YOU!!!“
This Top 50 MEE is generally on point with each exam. A repeat Texas examinee who passed J21 with a 279 (MBE 139 and written 140) after failing with a 259 (MBE 136 and written 124) told me: "I used your Seperac J21 MEE essay compilation to study for the MEE and I can't give you enough credit for how you laid the essays out in order of priority. I used your document to study for the MEE in a quick and efficient manner. Instead of writing out practice essays, I read the question, then spent a few minutes writing out quick answers to see if I was understanding the call of the questions correctly. I felt adequately prepared for 5 of the essays, and as I expected Trusts instead of Wills and had 10 minutes to answer the Wills essay I'm fairly confident I scored a 1 on that essay. I credit your MEE essay compilation with contributing most to my passing and I've recommended that several individuals who failed J21 reach out to you." A F21 subscriber told me: “I started reading through the top 50 and the very first essay ( of the top 50) was virtually identical the the February 2021 essay on agency and I froze—I realized this was for February 2021 and you had been SPOT-ON. I can tell you that the vicarious liability essay #1 was EXACTLY like the essay in February. There was also an easement question—I bombed it but I remember it being related to prescriptive easement and tolling of the time. There was a secured transactions very similar to #27 on the February top 50”A repeater who passed F20 with a written of 160 (previously failed with a written of 129) told me: "Spent the Monday reviewing the top 50 essays though which again was extremely helpful. Wish I’d done that earlier to be honest as the essays are extremely helpful in solidifying knowledge and putting what feel like obscure rules into meaningful context (when you see them applied to an understandable fact pattern)."
I also provide databases of graded MEE much like the MPT databases. As one examinee who subscribed to the J21 UBE Essays module told me: “Just wanted to email you to let you know I passed the July ‘21 DC bar exam. Scaled MBE: 130 Scaled Writing: 143. I could not have done it without your resources. THANK YOU! A huge relief after failing California twice. In terms of what helped the most to me on the provided materials: 1) Database of previous exam answers with grades: This was the most helpful. Understanding the structure of how a 3 essay is versus an essay graded a 5 or a 6 was incredibly helpful. I believe (after sitting for the CA bar exam twice) that structure plays a large part in determining your essay score. I spent about a week going through pretty much every essay you had available in this database and honing in on the structure of the 5/6 essays and looked at the mistakes that may have made an essay a 2-3 based on the questions and facts provided. 2) Top 50 outline: This helped alot. By going through the top 50 essays, I could see what subjects overlapped and how to best memorize the information in my mind so if I spotted that issue on the test, I'd know fairly well what the graders would be looking for. Anything else I was unable to utilize so I could not provide honest feedback on those. But these two were the key to my success on the writing portion of the exam and I'm 100% certain had I not had them, I probably would have failed.”
Another UBE Essays subscriber who failed J19 with a total UBE score of 226 (MBE 116, written 110) passed J21 with a total score of 272 (MBE 146, written 126). He told me: "The MEE/MPT answer banks were absolutely clutch, because seeing the difference between a passing score, and a high passing score helped me establish goals in my essay writing. First, I would get my essay writing to passing level, then incrementally increase it to as close to the high passing score as possible. I never really reached the high passing score, but I made sure to lock in the passing score essay writing so that way as long as I got the MBE above 140 my essay writing would do the job. On test day I remember saying to myself no matter what comes on the screen in front of me, stay focused and kill it! Meaning don't freeze up, and don't allow any negative mental thought to linger, instead put all of my energy into reading the essays, issue spotting, and writing the answer."
Seperac MEE/MPT Automated Grading
In regards to my “automated” MEE/MPT grading, an examinee will answer a released MEE or MPT where I have a large bank of graded examinee answers to compare to, and then I provide them with a comprehensive analysis report that generally includes graded examinee answers ranging from 1-10 so examinees can understand what a bad vs. good answer look like.
It would take me a bit of time to fully explain everything contained in the automated grading report, so I strongly suggest you simply look at one to learn by example. To illustrate, following is my statistical analysis of an exactly passing answer to question #1 (Torts) from the F19 MEE and the F10 MPT of State vs McLain. Examinees who fully analyze these reports will better understand what a passing MEE/MPT score consists of. Please note I changed the examinee's name to "Sample" to preserve the examinee's anonymity:
Following are some testimonials from past users:
A first-time examinee who enrolled in my MPT Automated Grading and passed with a written of 145 told me: "For the MPT, the most valuable thing for me is seeing alternative examples, in descending order, of what a graded exam might look like. ... Real examples was a wake up as to what exactly I was missing. They weren't perfect but they were doing a lot of things consistently right. Seeing some things the top 1/3 were doing consistently, that I was not, really drove home things I could improve on. The word count may not be the "best" indicator of quality but it can be a great red flag if you are coming in far under the average. Finally, the word suggestions to increase the diversity for transition sentences is subtly really useful. ... looking at the theoretically scored 1-6 essay responses let me see a lot of what I was doing wrong. Or at least some of the stark differences as I moved to the "worse" essays. I was far too lax on citations and noticed the top essays were not. Also, some typos were acceptable and I needed to just keep moving forward. For the persuasive essays, it made me reexamine the case holding notes I was making and what a better writing of them might look like. ... Most of my practice time with the MPT's was inefficient and I had to create better habits (like citation and outlining) to improve. I had already done almost a dozen MPT's at this point and was making the same mistakes without realizing it was important. (and therefore not improving) The "scores" I got back from the bar prep services would note these things but there really wasn't an emphasis on why or how wrong it was. Their feedback was too vague and it helped me more to see it myself in real responses rather than "model" ones. I didn't really have time to utilize the MPT function in the last week but it pointed out a lot of weaknesses very rapidly and I wish I used it a few times at the start of my course to reinforce some things (such as when I was citing incorrectly or better ways to work in subcase holdings). I screwed up my first MPT on the test day and made a last minute error on the second. But I think my overall quality would have been much higher if I started with better habits at the beginning to reinforce rather then try to work in new ones in the last 4 days."
A foreign examinee who failed in J22 with a 259 (written of 116) who subscribed to my F23 Automated MEE/MPT Grading package and then passed F23 with a 297 (written of 146) told me: ""Did I find the automated MEE/MPT grading reports helpful? -Of course!! However, the auto graded score may be lower than actual score. My auto graded score was always from 2-5. However my actual MEE&MPT is 297. It was good for me to push myself to improve my writing skill, however I cannot have confidence before the exam because of such a low auto graded score. Pointing out languages which I did not use in my essay!! Anyway, thank you so much for your support!!! ... I do not think I pass bar exam without Seperac!""
Once again, this is something not offered anywhere else. It really is only possible because I have a large bank of graded examinee essays (700+ exainees) that I have been comparing and contrasting for the past 10 years. I have reached a point where depending on the sample size, the average variance in score ranges between 0.5-2.0 on the 10 point scale. For example, if I have a large sample of graded examinee essays, the variance may be 1 point, meaning if you were to submit to me a previously graded examinee essay, my automated grading system would be incorrect by about 1 point (predicting a 6 instead of the received 5 or predicting a 3 instead of the received 2). The lower the variance, the more you can trust the automated score as a reliable predictor of the score you would receive on the actual exam.
The lowest cost option is (2) MEE and (1) MPT for $125 while the highest cost option is (14) MEE and (6) MPT for $650. If you are unsure of whether you will find the automated grading helpful, if you subscribe to UBE Essays, I will provide you with one free “auto-graded” MEE or MPT response (you must answer an MEE/MPT from the bank of questions I have available). If you are interested in the MEE/MPT Automated Grading, please email me at jseperac [@] gmail.com.
I also offer a number of free materials/services such as MBE Outlines, MP3s, Score and Essay Analysis Reports, and online Score Calculators/Estimators (see below).
FREE BAR MATERIALS, TOOLS AND SERVICES
I also provide the following free materials/tools/services to bar examinees:
UBE SCORE ESTIMATOR: Whether you are a first-time examinee or re-taker, I can give you a better idea of how you are expected to perform on the exam (to determine whether you are at-risk of failing) if you enter your demographic information into my Seperac UBE Score Estimator. Using NYBOLE and NCBE data, it will tell you your odds of passing based on the demographic and grade information you enter.
SCORE ANALYSIS REPORT: If you failed the UBE exam, I can provide you with a free 15 page confidential analysis of your scoring along with my advice. I've helped over 5,000 examinees with these free score analysis reports. As one examinee told me: “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.”
MEE/MPT ANALYSIS REPORT: If you have your essays (e.g., NY allows you to order them), I can provide you with a 45 page MEE/MPT analysis report. It will give you a lot of insight into your essays, such as whether your word count was consistent with the typical examinee, how your responses statistically compared to good responses, and whether you used the relevant issue-spotting keywords, For example, I have heard from examinees that some jurisdictions use software during essay grading that highlights keywords relevant to the question and assigns points to those keywords, meaning the failure to use these key-words will likely hurt your score. I've helped over 700 examinees with these free essay analysis reports. More information regarding this report is here.
POST-EXAM ANALYSIS: If you recently took the UBE exam and think you may not have passed, there is a post-exam form for examinees. Filling out this form immediately after you take the exam (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.
BAR EXAM SCORE CALCULATORS: I create accurate score calculators based on prior exams to allow examinees to test various scoring scenarios and estimate their upcoming exam performance (e.g. if you are sitting for the F20 exam, you should experiment with the F19 calculator). For example, if you failed the Florida exam and send me your scores here, I will update my Florida Score calculator for that exam once I can figure out the scale.
MBE SUBSCORE ANALYSIS: If you are in a non-UBE state (e.g. California), while I can't send you a score report, I can give you a breakdown of your MBE subscores. 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.
MBE OUTLINES: My old black letter law MBE outlines from 2005 (I scored a 162 on the MBE largely due to these outlines) can be downloaded here. While a lot has changed with the MBE since 2005, the core information is still relevant and it will give you a good idea of how to layout your own outline.
MEE MP3s: A free sample set of MP3s from the February 2008 MEE can be downloaded here. Additional MP3s wiill be added as time permits. The UBE Essays subscription contains 36 hours of MP3 audio files covering the last 200+ MEE questions and NCBE Answer Analyses (from July 2007 to Feb 2018). Every examinee should listen to MP3s during their studies to see if they find an auditory learning style effective. However, even if you are not an auditory learner, you should take advantage of these MP3s to form different memory impressions when you study.
Please excuse the outdated appearance of certain website pages, but a lot of my calculators don’t work on wordpress style sites, so they need to be in this out-dated (i.e. clunkier) format to work.
If you failed the exam
To any examinee that failed the UBE bar exam, if you send me your scores or essays, I will send you a free statistical analysis/report.
I see first-hand the difficulties that retakers face. Accordingly, whenever a failing examinee asks me for advice, I give it. I have received 20,000+ emails from examinees over the past 10 years and I have answered every single email (I strongly believe in the maxim that when one teaches, two learn). However, depending on how busy I am, I may not respond for a few weeks. If you would like my advice, 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. For example, a failing J16 examinee who passed in F17 told me: "Your analysis and advice was instrumental for my retake in February 2017 and I found out I passed last week by 7 points after failing by 11 pts in July 2016! All in all, an 18 point swing while working full time and studying part time! The pass rate in my state was 40%. Thanks for all your help and analysis!" 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 very helpful in pinpointing your problem areas. 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 43-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
MEE/MPT Analysis Report
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. The analysis report will statistically compare your MEE/MPT answers to other examinees and it will help show you if your MEE problems were due to issue spotting (look at the sample report to see what I mean by this). If you have your handwritten or typed essays/MPT in PDF format and would like to receive an analysis, please email them to jseperac [@] gmail.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. A detailed explanation of the analysis is below
The information in the analysis will help you improve your overall written score. The analysis illustrates how your answers statistically differ from the released above average answers and other examinee essays, including the highest scoring examinee essay I receive. For example, one portion of the analysis reports the top 10 words this best answer used that you did not. For MPTs, one portion of the analysis reports the Top 20 words in the MPT Drafter's Point Sheet that you did not use or the Top 15 words in the Question (File and Library) that both released answers used but you did not.
I significantly revised the MEE/MPT Analysis to compare examinee essays to the NBCE answers. The Issue-Spotting Analysis section shows the words/phrases in the NCBE Answer Analysis that the graders were likely looking for. To make this analysis, I examine the NCBE Answer Analysis for each question (the same one that is in the MEE Essay Compilation) and then I extract the top 50 words/phrases that I expect the graders to look for in the examinee answers. I then report the top 25 (the ones that lead to the best examinee scores). The 'With Word' column reports how many examinees used that word along with the average points these examinees received (green is above passing while red is below passing). For example, for Essay #1 of the Feb 2017 MEE, about 21% of examinees used the word/phrase 'terminate' and received an average of 24.8 points for their essays (whereas a passing MEE essay received 13.3 points). The W/O Word column shows the average essay points for the examinees who did not use that particular word or phrase. Often, the average score for such examinees is below passing, demonstrating the importance of issue spotting and keywords in achieving a passing MEE score. In the prior example, for the 79% of examinees who did not use the word/phrase 'terminate' in their answers, these examinees averaged 13.7 points on the essay. The "You" column reports which of the words/phrases you used in your answer (highlighted in Yellow).
From examining this Issue-Spotting Analysis, you will see that issue spotting and using the correct terminology (i.e. buzzwords) is important on the MEE. For example, below is part of my analysis of Essay #3 (Family Law) on the F17 MEE. Often, when examinees use the same terminology that is contained in the NCBE Answer Analysis, the average score is above passing (of course this also likely means the examinees correctly analyzed and concluded). For example, for Essay #3 of the Feb 2017 MEE, about 17% of examinees used the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' and received an average of 18.9 points for their essays (whereas a passing MEE essay received 13.3 points). The W/O Word column shows the average essay points for the examinees who did not use that particular word or phrase. Often, the average score for such examinees is below passing, demonstrating the importance of issue spotting and keywords in achieving a passing MEE score. In the prior example, for the 83% of examinees who did not use the word/phrase 'equitable distribution' in their answers, these examinees averaged 12.4 points on the essay (below passing). I see this occur with every MEE answer. To me, this is concrete evidence that the graders rely on the NCBE Answer Analysis for their grading and specifically look for the keywords. Thus, reviewing the released NCBE MEE answers can likely help your overall MEE score.
The MEE Analysis page examines how well an MEE score corresponds with confirmable external sources such as the above average answers, point sheet, best examinee answer, and the question itself. For example, if an examinee's MEE is highly correlated with these external sources, does the examinee receive a high grade? Conversely, if an examinee's MEE is not highly correlated with these external sources, does the examinee receive a low grade? If another jurisdiction uses the same MEE for their exam and releases above average exemplars, I also include these MEEs in the analysis (e.g. Arkansas is AR, Minnesota is MN). Examinees who participate in the MEE/MPT Comparison (more on this below) should review cases where there is low correlation but a high score (for some insight on what to do) or a high correlation but a low score (for some insight on what not to do). For example, if an exemplar has a low Essay to Point Sheet Comparison, what else did the grader find in that essay to warrant a high score? Since the graders are probably constant with each exam, examinees can use this information to fashion a response similar to the responses that graders have graded favorably in the past. On each table, your MEE results are highlighted in yellow.
The main purpose of the analysis is to enable examinees to illustrate differences between their essays and better scoring essays/MPTs to make any necessary adjustments. One portion of the essay analysis reports the top words the above average answers used that you did not use. This can give insight into whether you missed fundamental topics or lacked a vocabulary of important words related to the analysis of the essay. For example, I find that some examinees fail to use the word "because" in their answers. In an IRAC analysis, “because” is the single most important word to use when analyzing the facts in the question. The failure to use words such as "because", "since" and "as" will negatively affect your analysis and can only hurt your score (please note that the IRAC Analysis is generally more relevant to the MEE essays than the MPT).
Another portion of the analysis reports the top 20 words you used that the released above average answers did not use. This can give insight into whether you misunderstand a topic or have an inappropriate vocabulary for that topic, especially if you received a low score on the essay. The statistics can provide a wide range of insight - are your sentences per paragraph consistent with the released above average answers or is the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level too high or too low as compared to the released above average answers. For example, if you received a low score and your Essay to Question % was low, you should re-answer the question in practice to see why you did not fit more facts from the question into your analysis.
For style, examinees should modify their writing style to mimic the average style of examinees. For example, if the average examinee writes four sentences per paragraph, but you write six, you should focus on writing fewer sentences per paragraph. Examinees should mimic the average style of bar examinees to minimize any disruptions to the essay grader's reading or grading process.
- You can compare any essay to any of the other examinee essays or the above average answers.
Following are small samples of the February and July 2010 comparisons:
FEB 2010 MPT COMPARISON SAMPLE
For example, in the above July 2010 sample, there are just 10 comparisons based on 3 examinee essays and the two released above average answers. Meanwhile, in the full July 2010 essay comparison, for each essay/MPT, there are 1,596 comparisons based on 55 examinee essays and the two released above average answers. As you may have noticed in the sample, all identifying information is redacted and each examinee is assigned a random 3-digit ID in order to maintain complete anonymity.
A detailed explanation of the Comparison is below:
The Feb 2017 Comparison includes graded essays that range from 32 to 82. Thus, you will not only be able to see what very low scoring essays are comprised of, but also what very high scoring essays are comprised of. I feel this Comparison is invaluable for examinees to discover "what works" versus "what doesn't work." In reviewing higher-graded answers, examinees can see all of the substantive ways in which their answers were lacking. For example, how many sentences do the higher-graded answers write to develop and analyze the black letter law for each issue. How does it compare to your essay? Reviewing essays that are "just passing" will give examinees insight into the content a passing essay consists of. For example, can an essay that only issue spots the issues receive a passing score. For the MPTs, you can see how passing examinees organize and write their answers. If your prior essay/MPT scores were low, you may find a style or format in these passing essays that you can incorporate into future essays. For example, an examinee that passed after using the MEE/MPT comparison told me: "I think this helped me immensely, because although I had not practiced writing any essays, I still really got a feel for the tone, length, content and structure of passing answers which created a 'voice' in my head when writing essays." To cite another example, an examinee that failed told me: "I did much better on my essays this time due in large part to your comparison tool. I found that to be extremely helpful." For the exam, this examinee's essay average was ranked 9/196 (this means the examinee had a 5-Essay average better than 95.4% of the examinees that sent me their score information). For the prior exam (before utilizing the Comparison), the examinee’s essay average was ranked 131/315 (which was better than 58.4% of the examinees that sent me their scores).
The reason essays are released is enable examinees to identify deficiencies in their essays. In a 1995 bill to bill to amend the Judiciary Law, the bill stated that it is in New York State's "best interest to insure that all bar applicants are given an equal opportunity to pass the NYS Bar Examination. Disclosure of past testing materials and applicant examinations allow prospective attorneys to become aware of testing subject matter and methodology so that otherwise qualified attorneys are not defeated in their attempts to pass the bar examination." A copy of the bill is here:
In a March 2014 article entitled "It Should Be About Feedback and Revision" by J. Elizabeth Clark, an English professor at LaGuardia Community College who wrote that "[h]igh-stakes essay writing is about learning to game the system. Good test takers are just that: Students who learned the rules of the game, often through expensive test-prep courses that disadvantage poor and at-risk students. Those with greater access to coaches and materials and practice do better on the exam, but that does not mean they are better writers." This MEE/MPT comparison is an excellent way for examinees to learn "the rules of the game." Put simply, there is no other resource available that enables bar examinees to compare and contrast a wide range of graded MEEs/MPTs. Please use it to your advantage, especially if you do not have the time to practice many essays.
The MEE/MPT comparison will contain an enhancement where your MPTs will also be compared to the exemplar MPTs of other jurisdictions. For example, your MPT may be compared to the best MPTs from other states such as Arkansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, and Texas. Put simply, comparing your MPT side-by-side to a large number of high scoring MPTS is the best way to quickly and efficiently identify the deficiencies in your MPT on your own.
If you participate in the MEE/MPT Analysis and/or the MEE/MPT Comparison, I offer a $40 discount coupon code that can be used for any subscription module. I also offer a $30 discount coupon code if you are willing to complete a post-exam form after you take the exam. Please email me at jseperac [@] gmail.com if you are interested.
NOTE: If you took the exam in a state (e.g. California) that only provides your total score and MBE subscores (meaning no detailed essay/MPT scores), I can provide you with a breakdoen of these percentiles if you complete my MBE Subscore form. Starting in 2017, the scoresheets once again contain percentiles for the MBE sub-scores (this information used to be included on score reports but was removed just prior to NCBE's introduction of Civil Procedure to the MBE). These percentiles tell you how many examinees you did better than nationally for each MBE subject and overall. For example, for the Feb 2017 exam, if your %tile for Civil Procedure is 19.7, it means that you scored better than only 19.7% of examinees nationwide on the 25 graded Civil Procedure MBE questions (out of about 23,000 February 2017 examinees). What these percentiles don't tell you are your raw scores (e.g. that you answered 13/25 of the Civil Procedure MBE questions correctly, meaning 52% correct for Civil Procedure). With this information, you can correlate your exam MBE scores to your practice MBE scores (e.g. if you were getting 70% correct on Civil Procedure questions in practice but 52% correct on the exam, you should find a better source of Civil Procedure MBE practice questions). All information submitted is always treated confidentially.
For the pre-UBE New York bar exam (pass rate of 665), I have seen examinees pass on their next attempt after failing with scores as low as 530 (which would be 212 on the UBE exam). I have also seen examinees fail the exam with scores as high as 664 (which would be 265 on the UBE exam) who never subsequently pass the exam. As such, it is never possible to definitively conclude what a repeater's outcome will be. However, based on NYBOLE statistics, the likelihood of passing generally decreases with each attempt. For example, I took all the information in NYBOLE released studies from 2005-2007 discussed above and matched it up to determine MBE scores and final scores based on number of attempts (data not included was not available in the NYBOLE reports):
As you can see, according to NYBOLE's statistics, an examinee’s final score generally decreases with each attempt. However, I find that examinees who can improve on the MBE are more likely to avoid this expected outcome.
If you are taking the upcoming exam
I created the Seperac UBE Score Estimator which will estimate your UBE bar exam score based on the demographic and grade information you enter.
With each exam, I see a lot of examinees unnecessarily panic as the exam nears. To give examinees a good understanding of their odds of passing the UBE exam, I took every available statistic from a credible source (e.g. NCBE and NYBOLE) and created a calculator based on that data. While there will always be outliers, the estimations should accurately reflect the majority of examinees sitting for the exam. These statistics will either make you feel more confident or remind you that more work needs to be put into the exam. However, even if you are in an at-risk category, your MBE practice scores (assuming the MBE practice questions are of sufficient difficulty and representative of the topics tested) will give you the most insight as to whether or not you will pass the UBE.
If you find this calculator helpful, please enter your email address and then press the Submit button to send me your information. Since this is the first iteration of the calculator, I won’t know how accurate it is until I compile results from examinees. Thus, by submitting your information, your input will help improve the accuracy of the calculator for future examinees. Thanks in advance and good luck on the exam.
I expect bar exam pass rates to continue to decline until at least 2019 (meaning your odds of passing will diminish with each exam you take). In looking at the pass rate data from 1996-2015 (2016 data will not be released until 2017), the 2015 overall national pass rate was 59%, the lowest it has ever been based on this 20 year period. I expect this trend to continue until at least 2019 because the corresponding LSAT Percentiles have also dropped (these Percentiles serve as a good predictor of future bar exam performance).
I expect bar exam pass rates to continue to decline until at least 2019 (meaning your odds of passing will diminish with each exam you take). Bar exam pass rates are tied to the MBE (e.g. if the MBE average for an administration goes up, the pass rates almost always go up). MBE scores are correlated with LSAT scores. Thus, I use the 25th Percentile LSAT and 75th Percentile LSAT as a barometer for pass rates. If the Average LSAT for a class of matriculants drops as compared to the prior class, I similarly expect their bar exam pass rates to drop as compared to the prior class (the raw data can be viewed here).
The 2013 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who take the bar exam in 2016) had a 25th LSAT Percentile of 152.8 and a 75th LSAT Percentile of 158.9. The 2014 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who take the bar exam in 2017) had a 25th LSAT Percentile of 152.5 and a 75th LSAT Percentile of 158.7. Thus, because the 2014 Full-Time Law School Matriculants appear to be less knowledgeable than the 2013 Full-Time Law School Matriculants, it is reasonable to presume that the 2017 bar pass rates will be lower than the 2016 bar pass rates. The 2015 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who take the bar exam in 2018) had a 25th LSAT Percentile of 152.4 and a 75th LSAT Percentile of 158.4 (even lower). The 2016 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who take the bar exam in 2019) had a 25th LSAT Percentile of 151.2 and a 75th LSAT Percentile of 157.2 (even lower still). Thus, I expect bar pass rates to continue to decline until at least 2019.
Following are the national bar exam pass rates since 1996 (compiled from released NCBE data):
Likewise, I expect the pass rates for lower-ability examinees (such as foreign examinees) to decrease with the UBE exam.
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.
If you are from a New York law school, I ranked the 15 New York law schools based on their 5-year July pass rates (July 2012-July 2016) based on First-time takers (taken from the New York Law Journal). This will give you a good idea of whether you are an at-risk candidate. For example, NYU has the highest overall First-time taker pass rate at 96% and Touro has the lowest overall First-time taker pass rate at 66.0%.
|Rank||School||# of takers||# of passers||5 Year Pass Rate|
|1||NYU – New York, NY||
|2||Columbia – New York, NY||
|3||Cornell Law School – Ithaca, NY||
|4||Fordham Law – New York, NY||
|5||Brookyn Law School – Brooklyn, NY||
|6||Syracuse University – Syracuse, NY||
|7||Yeshiva University (Cardozo) - New York, NY||
|8||St. John’s University – Jamaica, NY||
|9||CUNY – Queens College – Flushing, NY||
|10||Albany Law School-Union University – Albany, NY||
|11||University at Buffalo – SUNY – Buffalo, NY||
|12||Pace University – White Plains, NY||
|13||Hofstra University – Hempstead, NY||
|14||New York Law School – New York, NY||
|15||Touro College (Fuchsberg) – Central Islip, NY||
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 UBE 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.
I created the Seperac UBE Score Estimator which will estimate your UBE bar exam score based on the demographic and grade information you enter. Also, 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.
MBE (50% of score)
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. Accordingly, following are my MBE outlines from July 2005 that are based on the BARBRI review course. Please note that these outlines are VERY OLD since they have not been updated since 2005 so you must update them.
2005 MBE Outlines
|Joe's Outlines||WORD format||PDF format|
Contracts & Sales
Criminal Law & Procedure
MEE (30% of score)
Much like the recently released MBE questions (OPE 1-4) reflect the current MBE, the recently released MEE questions reflect the current MEE. Older MEE questions (with answers) from 2007-2012 (9 exams) can be downloaded from NCBE here. More recent MEE questions can be purchased from NCBE here. I created a UBE Essays subscription site for examinees who are looking to efficiently supplement their MEE study. This subscription is worth getting if: (1) you don’t have access to the released MEE questions/answers and plan to buy them; or (2) you are an auditory learner; or (3) you need to improve your MEE issue spotting. If you plan to buy the released MEE questions, it is more cost-effective (and extremely more efficient) to obtain these questions/answers/synopses through this UBE Essays subscription since you will save money and also have access to a significant amount of extra MEE/MPT related content. For example, there are over 30 hours of MEE Questions and Answers in MP3 format covering the past 20 MEE exams. Following is a free sample set of MP3s from the February 2008 MEE:
FEBRUARY 2008 MEE EXAM (ALL 9 QUESTIONS)
F08-MEE QUESTION 1 (WILLS AND ESTATES)
F08-MEE QUESTION 2 (TORTS)
F08-MEE QUESTION 3 (FAMILY LAW)
F08-MEE QUESTION 4 (EVIDENCE)
F08-MEE QUESTION 5 (CORPS AND LLCS)
F08-MEE QUESTION 6 (CIVIL PROCEDURE)
F08-MEE QUESTION 7 (SECURED TRANSACTIONS)
F08-MEE QUESTION 8 (CRIMINAL LAW AND PROCEDURE)
F08-MEE QUESTION 9 (TRUSTS)
Reviewing past MEEs will help you on the MEE exam because the topics repeat (and you will also improve your issue-spotting ability by learning how the issues are tested). .
MPT (20% of score)
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. 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).
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.
NY Bar Exam Results Release Dates
Official New York bar exam results are posted on NYBOLE's website here. My chronicle of NY 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 64 days for a February exam and 98 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 since 2014, there has been no pre-notification. Following is a table of release dates for the NY bar exam from 2010 to present:
Feb 2010: 1:00AM Tuesday on 04/27/10 (total of 62 days based on 4,031 examinees)
July 2010: 4:00PM Friday on 11/05/10 (total of 100 days based on 11,557 examinees)
Feb 2011: 9:00AM Tuesday on 04/26/11 (total of 62 days based on 3,881 examinees)
July 2011: 12:30AM Wednesday on 11/02/11 (total of 98 days based on 11,182 examinees)
Feb 2012: 12:30AM Wednesday on 05/02/12 (total of 63 days based on 4,011 examinees)
July 2012: 11:00PM Thursday on 11/02/12 (total of 100 days based on 11,734 examinees)
Feb 2013: 1:00AM Thursday on 05/02/13 (total of 64 days based on 4,152 examinees)
July 2013: 12:30AM Wednesday on 10/30/13 (total of 91 days based on 11,694 examinees)
Feb 2014: 12:00AM Thursday on 04/24/14 (total of 57 days based on 4,032 examinees)
July 2014: 12:00AM Tuesday on 10/28/14 (total of 90 days based on 11,195 examinees)
Feb 2015: 5:00PM Monday on 04/27/15 (total of 61 days based on 3,997 examinees)
July 2015: 12:00AM Tuesday on 10/27/15 (total of 90 days based on 10,671 examinees)
Feb 2016: 12:00AM Tuesday on 04/26/16 (total of 62 days based on 4,193 examinees)
July 2016: 12:00AM Friday on 10/28/16 (total of 93 days based on 10,297 examinees)
Feb 2017: 12:00AM Wednesday on 04/26/17 (total of 63 days based on 4,162 examinees)
July 2017: 10:30PM Monday on 10/24/17 (total of 90 days based on 9,932 examinees)
Feb 2018: 2:45PM Tuesday on 04/24/18 (total of 55 days based on 3,759 examinees)
July 2018: 8:15AM Tuesday on 10/23/18 (total of 90 days based on 9,679 examinees)
Feb 2019: 6:00AM Wednesday on 04/24/19 (total of 56 days based on 4,129 examinees)
July 2019: 6:30AM Wednesday on 10/23/19 (total of 84 days based on 10,071 examinees)
Feb 2020: 8:30AM Friday on 04/24/20 (total of 58 days based on 3,563 examinees)
July 2020: 10:30AM Wednesday on 12/16/20 (total of 71 days based on 5,150 examinees)
Feb 2021: 9:20AM Wednesday on 04/21/21 (total of 56 days based on 2,130 examinees)
July 2021: 10:30AM Thursday on 10/28/21 (total of 92 days based on 9,227 examinees)
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.
In addition, 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.
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 July 2016 exam, all examinees received an email with the subject: July 2016 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 New York State Board of Law Examiners concerning your July 2016 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 24kb in size because it consists of 1 page while the failing PDF is about 62kb in size because it consists of 3 pages.
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. If you find any problems with the site, please email me at joe @ seperac.com. My backup email is jseperac at gmail.com. If you found this site helpful, return the favor and donate blood. Go to The New York Blood Center or the Red Cross to find out how and where. Please also consider becoming a bone marrow donor.
“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell