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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Bar exam and other critical tests - Now with results!

   
Author Topic: Bar exam and other critical tests - Now with results!
Sergeant
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It seems cruel to me that they only offer the Bar exam twice a year. I'm preparing to take the Wyoming and Utah bar exams next week and am finally in panic study mode.

But my problem with only offering the bar exam twice a year is that if you fail the bar (which in some states is a very likely possibility) you are essentially unemployable for 6 months (at least as an attorney). So the bar prep courses charge 2k+ to get you ready and almost every student I know pays it because the consequences of failing are so great. Some students at more expensive schools pay $100k+ in tuition for three years and still aren't prepared to take the Bar.

And the worst part for me is the 8 weeks of waiting for results. I'm pretty good about not getting nervous before tests but the time between taking the test and getting the results drives me nuts (even though I've almost always done very well on tests).

Well, I'm off to read 10 bar exams worth of essay questions [Frown]

Sergeant

Edit to add: I meant to ask if any other professions have such exams that are offered only rarely and matter so much. From what I understand medical boards, at least the written portions, you take on a computer and it gives you your results immediataly. I only wish it was like that for us.

[ April 16, 2008, 11:59 PM: Message edited by: Sergeant ]

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Liz B
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Teaching has a national certification process. It is voluntary and definitely not necessary for employment, so it doesn't matter as much to most teachers as passing the Bar means to all would-be lawyers. It is VERY important to some teachers, though, so I thought I'd bring it up.

It costs $2565 to apply for national certification. About 30-40% of applicants certify the first year, after submitting an extensive portfolio and taking a subject-area specific open-ended question test.

If you don't certify the first year, you can retake the portions you failed, for $350/ exercise (there are 10 altogether between the portfolio and the test). You get two retake opportunities. If you still don't certify, you can either start over and pay the $2565 again, or give up. One person recently said in the Washington Post that an additional 20% of applicants will certify through retakes. That's the only place I've seen that statistic, though, and he didn't cite a source.

As for waiting for results, the portfolio is due in March, the test must be completed by mid-June, and the results come out in late November or early December.

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Jhai
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In a lot of Ph.D programs you have comprehensive exams that are extremely stressful.

For my program (in economics), we get one try to pass after a summer of study. Two exams, four hours each, about five days apart. You find out if you passed or not in about couple of weeks, and, if you didn't, then have to retest about three days later. The net result is that unless you're absolutely certain you passed the first time around, you have to keep studying for the next couple of weeks just in case you didn't.

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Boothby171
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Engineers need to take the Professional Engineering exams (PE), in order to be licensed. They're only given twice a year (I believe), and it's by state! I have my NYS PE license, and had to jump through massive "hoops" to get my license fo Nevada. Luckily, must states do not make you re-take the test for that state once you have A state.

Some companies don't care if you have a PE license; for others it's critical.

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Sergeant
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For the bar admission some states offer reciprocity and admission on motion for those licenced in other states but usually you have to practice for 5 years before you qualify and some states, like New York and California, make everyone take their bar exam to be licenced in those states.

Sergeant

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Sergeant
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So, it's the night before the exam and here I am posting on Hatrack.

17 hours of testing over the next three days and it is all over.

Sergeant

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rivka
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Good luck!
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Morbo
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Good luck Sarge! And go to sleep!
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Dagonee
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Good luck. You are prepared!
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JoeH
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Not to sound like a grumpy old man, but back in my day when I took the bar, Nevada offered it only once a year. It has since changed to twice a year. The wait for results is annoying, that's for sure. Good luck!
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Sergeant
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Well, 7 hours of 17 total done.

It wasn't as bad as I expected and the Multistate Performance Test which I didn't really prepare for at all went quite well.

Now for 6 hours of multiple guess [Smile]

Sergeant

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Belle
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Board certification for teachers is extremely important in my state because passing means an extra $5000 a year in your salary. Plus, if you pass the first time through the state refunds your application costs.

Of course, I have to be certified to teach first, which is my goal right now. You can't even begin board certification until you have 3 years of experience. I know a lot of states now require testing for initial certification, in my case it's the Praxis II.

My university dept of Ed. just released a certification handbook to help us walk through all the requirements, and the time frame for certification as a teacher is 4-8 months. AFTER you graduate.

Naturally, you don't want to wait for that certification to get employed, so you have to interview with a letter of completion from your university that says you have finished all your requirements and are awaiting certification.

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Liz B
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Belle, if you do decide to pursue national board certification after 3 years of experience, I'd be delighted to mentor you. Assuming we're both still around on Hatrack, of course. [Smile] (I certified in 2007 on my first try in Early Adolescence English/ Language Arts, but the portfolio for Adolescence/ Young Adulthood ELA is essentially identical.)

Given what I've gathered from your posts, your English program at your university is extremely strong, and the Praxis II should be a breeze for you. What I did to study (since I took the test about 5 years after finishing my English degree) was to use 2 high school literature textbooks (American & Brit Lit). I used the article on linguistics in the Britannica (since I hadn't had any linguistics courses), and I may also have looked briefly at a world lit text.

Glad your first part went well, Sergeant! Thinking of you!!

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Sergeant
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So, I've now taken all three days of testing and discovered that Utah's essay testing portion was insanely easier than Wyoming's.

Wyoming's essay portion covered very specific statutory law rather than focusing on general legal principles. If I pass it will be a gift from God.

I feel pretty good about Utah. Now all that is left is 8-10 weeks of waiting [Frown]

Sergeant

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Dagonee
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Congratulations on finishing.

I'm sure you did better than you thought on the Wyoming essays.

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Belle
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Thank you Liz! Like I said, I have to get certified first, so that's where my focus is. I have an interview on Tuesday for the Teacher Education Program, but everyone tells me with my portfolio and my GPA I should have no problems being admitted. Still, it makes me nervous because you just never know!

I'm not worried too much about the Praxis, because my program requires we take five surveys, so we're exposed to a broad range of literature, and I also had to take two linguistics courses (actually, I took three - one was as an elective) so I have a good background and I think I'll be okay. I'm going to do the practice questions, and may check out a book on Praxis prep from the library just to familiarize myself with the types of questions that will be asked.

My uni also has a master's program that is meant to work with the board certification process, so that as you complete your master's you're being prepared for board cert. I think I will take advantage of that, since the master's degree also improves my salary, naturally, and I enjoy school enough to want to keep going. There are lots of classes I wanted to take and didn't, and it would be fun to come back and take them as a grad student (most of our 400 level English lit courses are cross-listed as 500 levels so you can take them for either undergrad or grad credit). For my master's in English education, I'd need 15 hours in education and 18 in English. I am going to wait until I've completed my first year of teaching before I start back in school, so that the first year I can focus entirely on learning the job. Then I'll start taking classes that summer.

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Sergeant
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So, I received the results of the Utah Bar and I passed!!! I didn't really doubt it but it sure is nice to know for sure.

Now I'm off to training in the next couple of months and then to Guam for 3 years. Should be good times.

Sergeant (soon to be lieutenant)

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rivka
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[Smile]
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Kwea
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Good deal! Congrats!
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Morbo
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That's great Sergeant! Congratulations! [Hat]
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Dagonee
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Woohoo!
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DarkKnight
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Congratulations!!!!!
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