You’ve spent the last couple months preparing. You’ve done what you can to memorize rules, practice, take essays and performance tests, and keep your head above water. When you get to the bar exam; however, don’t be surprised if you see things you don’t know. It is ok.
This is plain and simple, the nature of the bar exam. The bar examiners have to give you something new, right? They want you to pass, but you do have to earn it at some level.
Also, part of the bar exam test is not just fact analysis and rule memorization, it’s also a ‘composure-level-test.’ The bar examiners want to know you can handle yourself if you get rattled a bit, so they purposely throw in at least one crazy question. After all, this could happen when you’re an attorney right?
The curve is obviously going to be lower for this essay because that is how the question is designed. The good news is that at least one of the essays is supposed to be an easy ‘gimme.’
How to handle when you see something you’ve never seen before
So, life is 10% what happens, 90% how we react right? So, when we see part of the test written in Japanese, don’t freak out, we still control 90% of the outcome based on how we react. The first thing to remember is:
1) If you don’t know it, NOBODY knows it!
All you barbri prep folks know what I’m talking about. Nobody knows it because everyone has mostly studied the same things as you have.
If a fact pattern looks funky to you, it’s funky to a bunch of other people. If you find out later you missed an issue, so did a bunch of other people. You’re never alone on the bar exam.
Because you’re all in the same boat, you’re all going to have to make something up. So, just make something up. Pretend you are a judge, make up a rule, use some facts, and write it as if that is what the rule is. My bar exam had a Con Law takings essay, which I knew nothing about. I basically made the entire essay up, rules and everything! Pass!
Did you know the graders will give you partial points even if the rule is wrong, so long as you apply the facts correctly to the version of the wrong rule you made up? Awesome, I know.
Best of luck in your bar exam prep!
“This name appears on the pass list”