How do I study for the Performance Exam Section on the California Bar Exam and how important is it?

The people over at Bar Exam Doctor have kindly provided me with a guest post about their product designed to help bar examinees do better on the California bar's Performance Test.  In the interest of providing bar examinees with as much information as possible about how to succeed on the bar exam, I am posting this for your information.  (Please note, I have received no payment for this post and will receive no payment if you decide to sign up for the Bar Exam Doctor service.) 

Without further ado, here is their post:

How do I study for the Performance Exam Section on the California Bar Exam and how important is it?

I’ve been tutoring students over five years now and one of the most common questions I am asked is…"how do I study for the performance exam section on my bar exam and how important is that part of the exam?"

One performance exam is equal to two essays and makes up 1/3 of your total bar exam testing time. Despite this, my experience in helping students prepare for the exam is that they pay much more attention to the essay and multiple choice sections of the bar exam to the exclusion of the performance test. This is a big mistake.

As a practitioner, I can tell you that a law clerk or first year attorney who can write a well researched and well written legal memorandum, brief, status letter to a client, or assist on a legal pleading or motion is extrememly valuable to a large firm and even more so to a small firm or sole practitioner.

The performance exam is designed to test your ability to organize, analyze, then write in a defined, and short, period of time (3 hours). There are various methods (which I teach my students in individual tutoring sessions) but the one thing that is not a secret but which is crucial to your success on the performance exam is repetitive practice!

We developed so that candidates preparing for the bar exam would have a place to go online, to practice writing performance exams, and to receive substantive feedback from well qualified graders!



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