Feb 2020 UBE Essays Subscription

UBE ESSAYS subscriptions for the Feb 2020 bar exam are now available. The Features Page explains the content and materials available with a UBE ESSAYS subscription. A UBE ESSAYS subscription for the upcoming exam administration is $175 although discounted law school subscriptions are available with participating schools. There is also a $25 coupon code available if you complete my Retaker Form or Post-Exam Form.  Access to your UBE ESSAYS account will expire on March 1 for February exams or August 1 for July exams (ignore the Subscription Term of 7 months).

February MBE Scaling and Percentiles

The following calculator will accurately estimate your MBE Score and Percentile (based on the Feb 2011 scale which is the last time a complete MBE scale was released). Please keep in mind that the F19 scale may differ substantially from this F11 scale. For example, the F11 MBE mean was 138.6 while the F18 MBE mean was 132.8, suggesting that the F19 MBE mean will be somewhat different from F11.

If you failed the bar exam, I can send you a free comprehensive statistical analysis of your scores if you complete the following Retaker Advice Form.

Florida Part A Score Calculator

The following calculator will estimate your Part A Scaled Score for the July 2018 and February 2018 Florida bar exam administrations based on the individual Part A scores you enter. February 2019 Florida examinees can use the F18 calculator to test various scoring scenarios and estimate their exam performance since the F19 scale should be similar to the F18 scale.

While I am certain of the results of my other bar calculators, I am not 100% certain about this calculator. Out of all the bar score calculators I have made (New York, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, and Alabama), this one is by far the most difficult because the Part A scores sometimes seem to follow a reverse scale. Accordingly, if you receive an incorrect result, please submit your scores to me using the following form. As an incentive to FL examinees to fill out this form, I will tell you how much the Florida essays are worth as compared to the Florida multiple choice (they are NOT worth the same). Examinees can use this information to properly allocate their study-time based on how much each area is expected to contribute to the total score. I plan to make my MBE specific materials available to non-UBE examinees for the upcoming exam. If you are interested, there is a notification list here. I also tutor subject to availability.


Connecticut UBE Score Calculator

The following calculator will accurately estimate a Written Scaled Score and Total Score for the February 2018 Connecticut UBE bar exam administrations based on the scores you enter. Connecticut examinees can use this calculator to test various scoring scenarios and estimate their exam performance.

If you failed the exam in a UBE state, I can send you an analysis of your scores if you fill out the following Retaker Advice Form. This information enables me to determine the scale for each exam and maintain the bar score calculators. As an added incentive to submit the information, anyone who completes the Retaker Advice Form will receive a $25 coupon code to UBE Essays.com.

What is takes to get a 120 on the written portion of the UBE

Based on NCBE statistics, a July examinee with a written score of 120 did better than only 10-12% of examinees nationwide on the MEE/MPT. To better understand what 120 written score looks like, following is a July 2016 MEE answer that received a score of 42 in NY. If a July NY UBE examinee received a score of 42 for each of his 6 MEE essays and 2 MPTs, that examinee would have received a total written score of 120 (meaning they would have needed a 146 on the MBE to pass with a 266). Please note that this is a single sample essay and some examinees write much less and receive higher scores while other examinees write more and receive lower scores.

Subscriber Testimonials

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.

I did much better on my essays this time due in large part to your comparison tool. I found that to be extremely helpful.

I realized during this process that I actually am much more of an auditory learner, and I found myself able to focus more and retain more from audio or audio with text than I ever have just by reading. So the fact that you provide so many audio resources made a big difference for me.

I would suggest that all future examinees use every portion of your site and materials and really take the time to read your website and its sections over. The advice was invaluable and helped A LOT. Literally every part of your website contributed in some way.

If I had to identify one thing that helped me most on the MPT, it would be the MPT format Bible. In hindsight I’d spend a day or two just reading this and practicing it.

Of your materials, the past MEE answer comparisons were the most helpful.

The Essay Comparison Tool was very helpful. Specifically: 1) Reviewing the Released Answers and comparing them with mine. 2) Comparing my answers with the best scoring answers submitted 3) Comparing my answers with similarly scoring answers 4) Comparing my answers with the lowest scoring answers submitted

Reviewing the essay comparison tool gave me a better idea of where I was going wrong. Once you get past the mental hurdle of how much information is available, or really, once you figure out what to focus on, it’s such an invaluable tool. I’m not sure if I was right on the substance of what I wrote this time, but I am damn confident my writing style and overall tone improved.

After studying your materials that I did very diligently, my understanding of the questions were hugely improved. I listened to the MP3s when I was cooking or exercising and after a while I just felt I knew it all.

I spent time listening your mp3 materials when I was driving, and I believe I made the best use of my time.

Thank you for your assistance in helping me pass the NY bar exam. I downloaded your MP3s and listened to them going back atleast 20 exams – this helped me a lot!

Another thing I found really useful to me is the mp3 essay answers. I listened to it whenever I have a chance.

It was a great resource and most especially the MP3 which I always listened to every night. It was like my sleeping pill because every time I started to listen to them I some how calmed down and was able to go to bed

I truly believe that your subscription site for the essays was an invaluable resources and acted as a comparator for me- to understand what the examiners wanted – before that my essays were not to the standard – being a foreign student – this was a gem to have to act as a guide

I found the MEE Module to be super helpful – the sheer repetition of reviewing the law applied to the facts with analysis helped me figure out how to structure essays, the detail needed in analysis, and what the right answers were. I went through so many essays

The MEE Issue Spotting outline was helpful for identifying issues and did not take a significant amount of time, allowing me to study simultaneusly for the MBE.

Hearing it read out loud to me with the mp3s was big too.

The MP3s are great when I am tired of reading

I need the soothing voice of your automated mp3.

Your MEE outline was helpful. I did not have much time. Without it I would have bombed today’s MEE.

I had about a two to three hour drive to the location of the bar exam. So, I downloaded from your website the MP3s and listened during my drive. This actually helped a lot as I really took in the material I listened to in the car. I would highly recommend doing this for any one using your website

Perhaps a general tip for test takers would just be to read MPT sample essays for occassional bed-time reading.

I cant thank you enough! I just want to say I passed the NY bar exam! and i whole heartedly believe i wouldnt have done it without your materials. I got a low MBE score of 129.5 so i’m guessing the essays must have helped me out. I went through almost every essay in the past 10 years all thanks to the way you had them organized esp through the audio versions. Thanks again!

The only thing that helped me pass the bar was the Seperac essays. This was my fourth time taking the UBE bar exam (beginning July 2016). In July 2017, I got a 263 with an MBE score of 139. I never finished the MPTs on any of my bar exams. My friend failed the bar her first try and told me she used Seperac for the essays. The ONLY reason I passed the bar was because of my membership to your MEE database. Even with a score of 289, I only completed one MPT. Like I said, I never could master the MPT and this administration had a very weird MPT with no case law. I literally didn’t do the second MPT. My score really came from the MEE using your data base and also the issue spotting files.

Was a big help spending 8 hours going through your materials and seeing where points were scored and lost. I realized how important just writing all multi-factor tests out were and then analyzing them.

I finally did it. I passed with a 280 thanks to your amazing compilation of essays. I read every single essay question and answer in the book. Thank you so much!

When I was too tired to read I would play your MEE topic audio tapes.

The thing that helped me most on the MEE was the past MEE questions published

A colleague of mine swears by you–she couldn’t recommend you highly enough. In particular, she said she found your MBE mp3’s to be invaluable study aids that allowed her to completely immerse herself in bar prep.

The NCBE essay and analysis is incredibly instructive … It really takes you into the mind of the examiners.

If I had to attribute my passing to just one thing, I would hands-down, without a doubt say that it was reading the essays in your “MEE Master Released” compilation. I’m embarrassed to say, but I gave so little time to learn the non-MBE essay topics (family law, trusts & wills, etc.) that I was literally *learning* the topics by reading the essays that you provided just a few days before the exam. The format was extremely helpful and allowed me to digest the material in the most efficient way possible.

I didn’t have time to read all of the essays, but I think I read the top 50 (so that I had a handful for each of the subjects), and that was enough to make me comfortable enough to answer the questions on the exam for those topics that I literally knew nothing about just a few days before the exam. Pretty crazy how reading your essays allowed me to do that! Additionally, I felt like a lot of the essay topics were on the actual exam, so your predictions were amazing. Thank you so, so much for that. I absolutely would not have passed without it.

I really found your essay issue spotting material incredibly helpful.

I am a hand-writer who inevitably misallocates time causing my essay organization to suffer. I used your UBE Essay subscription intermittently for the last two weeks of bar prep, and was the only essay prep I used. I found it very helpful, the fact that I was even close to the cut score with essays is a testament to that.

I realized that I learn better by listening. This helped me maintain the focus: I was listening to your MP3 files when going to the grocery store, jogging and cooking at home.

I listened to your essays (I listened to them as I fell asleep also!!)

I relied heavily on your program and did not take a traditional bar course. I am quite certain that I would not have passed without your MEE/MPT materials. What was especially useful was the top 50 rules outline that you sent to us weeks before the exam.

I wasn’t sure if there was a form on your website where you wanted follow up info on our scores, but I just received my scores from Arizona. Total combined: 320 MBE: 159.1 Scaled written portion: 160.7. The essay subscription was very helpful because of the way the essays and answers were formatted. Overall, using the materials made me feel more confident for the essay portion. What ended up being the most helpful thing for me was the compilation of the 50 essays with issues you thought might be tested again. Those were very spot on from what I remember. I only read essays in the subjects that I felt I needed the most help in, though. I wish I would have spent more time reading that whole compilation a few times instead of attempting practice essays. But even just reading some of that compilation helped. I was also spending time going through the critical pass flashcards. The written material from the subscription can be overwhelming, but the organization of it is good and easy to navigate. I also listened to some of the audio files while driving and as a break. The audio files were great and I haven’t seen that anywhere else so that really attracted me to your subscription.

Just wanted to share with you that I passed the WA Bar. Your materials were helpful, thank so much. In case you were interested for stat purposes, here’s my score breakdown. Written (MEE and MPT) Score: 157.9 MBE: 148.5 Total UBE Score: 306

Just wanted to say thanks for all the help. You’re the man! I got a 343, with a 169.5 mbe! I think everything you said was right. The MBE was clearly the most important, not even close. I think doing the recently released questions and memorizing those is more important than doing 2000 questions and not really learning from them. As for the essays, I spent (barely) 2 out of 8 weeks on them. I read super condensed outlines and your top 50 essays were helpful. They really narrow down the key issues and topics. I think knowing those 50 essays along with memorizing short outlines for each MEE topics is enough to do well.

You have great resources. I will highly recommend your essay website.

I scored a 269 total and 122 on the MBE, so it was really thanks to all of your advice on the written portions that I passed. I am truly grateful. I think that a huge part of it was really your dedication in offering advice and guidance even in the last days during the lead up to the exam. I think it is really important to know that someone is in your corner. For that – thank you.

Thank you! My total score was 271 and the MBE was 140.1 … I thought the UBE Essays site was useful and printed some of your materials off. I used them in my preparation. I really liked the fact that you used color to make reading easier and I liked that you had two versions, one more detailed than the other. I know another bar taker who used your services and he said his essay scores improved using your services. Based on you analysis I scored about the same as I did on previous exams in the essay portion but I focused all my attentions on the MBE this time around and only did a few essays in the immediate weeks before the bar exam. I think your work, website and emails provide the most valuable information that is personalized to each student which is not an option when students take commercial bar prep courses. As a foreign law school graduate (I went to law school in Scotland) initially I struggled with understanding what my scores meant and how to comprehend the test and what it was asking of me. You have helped tremendously in that regard and instilled confidence in me that it wasn’t rocket science 🙂 so I would like to thank you for that. The only constructive criticism I would give you is to try to simplify your website material. There is a lot of information there and maybe some of it can be composed into charts/graphs. Using different fonts, colors and text sizes could also help make it easier on the eye. Other than that I have nothing else to add and will recommend your services to anyone else who crosses my path.

New York UBE Score Calculator

The following calculator will accurately estimate a Written Scaled Score and Total Score for the New York bar exam administration based on the scores you enter. July 2019 examinees should use the J18 calculator to test various scoring scenarios and estimate their J19 exam performance while Feb 2019 examinees should use the F18 calculator to estimate their F19 performance.

If you failed the exam in a UBE state, I can send you an analysis of your scores if you fill out the following Retaker Advice Form. This information enables me to determine the scale for each exam and maintain the bar score calculators. As an added incentive to submit the information, anyone who completes the Retaker Advice Form will receive a $25 coupon code to UBE Essays.com.

DC UBE Score Calculator

The following calculator will accurately estimate a Written Scaled Score and Total Score for the Washington D.C. F18 bar exam administration based on the scores you enter.

If you failed the exam in a UBE state, I can send you an analysis of your scores if you fill out the following Retaker Advice Form. This information enables me to determine the scale for each exam and maintain the bar score calculators. As an added incentive to submit the information, anyone who completes the Retaker Advice Form will receive a $25 coupon code to UBE Essays.com.

Appealing your bar exam results

Most states have a re-grade (if close to passing) policy, but no post-exam appeal policy (NCBE strongly endorses this method). For example, according to the NY Board of Law Examiners (NY BOLE), “A candidate’s final examination score is determined by combining the written and MBE scores. A combined score of at least 266 on a 400 point scale is required to pass the New York bar examination. The MEE and MPT answers of each candidate who received a total score of 262 to 265 following the initial grading of all examinations are automatically reread and regraded by graders other than the initial graders prior to the release of final results in accordance with the Board’s regrading policy set forth in Board Rule 6000.11. The candidate’s scores were then recomputed to arrive at a final score examination score. THERE IS NO APPEAL OR FURTHER REVIEW OF THIS FINAL SCORE.”

I often have examinees come to me asking about appeals or re-grades, but I have never heard of an examinee being successful through a request for an appeal or re-grade. This is even when examinees have very meritorius claims. Thus, whenever a failing examinee asks me whether they should seek to individually appeal their  scores, I tell them that their time is better spent studying for the exam. Put simply, no matter what the reason is, an appeal will fail. Allow me to explain using some past cases as examples:

First, if you try to get the Board of Law Examiners to explain how they graded the exam and came up with the bad score, you will be unsuccessful. This is because the Board of Law Examiners is generally treated as part of the judiciary and is exempt from Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) requests. See Pasik v. State Bd. of Law Examiners, 102 A.D.2d 395, 478 N.Y.S.2d 270 (lst Dep’t 1984),

Next, if you try to argue that written component is arbitrary and unreliable (and of course without any hard data because the Board of Law Examiners is exempt from FOIL), this has already been argued unsuccessfully. For example, in a 1990 lawsuit against NY BOLE by a failing examinee, the examinee alleged that he answered a portion of an essay question correctly by observing a facet of law that a substantial majority of the other examinees failed to correctly identify or analyze. Because so few of the candidates analyzed this issue, NY BOLE decided that the alternate analysis (albeit correct) should be disregarded in the determination of any of the candidates’ scores. The examinee argued that the essay grading was arbitrary and unreliable and if he had received credit for the correct answer that he gave, he would have passed the exam. The court ruled in favor of NY BOLE and found that great discretion should be accorded to the administrative agency responsible for the administration of the New York State Bar examination with respect to their grading of examinations. See Duffy v. State Bd. of Law Examiners, 159 A.D.2d 542 (1990)

In another case, an examinee failed by 4 points. The examinee’s essay answers were automatically regraded because her preliminary score was within 10 points of passing. The initial essay answer scores and the regraded scores were averaged, again producing a failing grade. After filing an action in Supreme Court, the Court found that the examinee’s answers to the essay questions were “remarkably similar” to the sample answers provided by NY BOLE and ordered NY BOLE to conduct a further review of petitioner’s answers. NY BOLE appealed and the appellate court found that there was a rational basis for the Board’s determination of the examinee’s grade. see Krutell v. New York State Bd. of Law Examiners, 21 A.D.3d 674, 799 N.Y.S.2d 680 (2005)

Finally, appeals are such a long drawn-out process (perhaps by design) that examinees will likely re-take the exam and become admitted to the bar before any litigation is decided on its merits, rendering the controversy moot. see Finkelstein v. State Bd. of Law Examiners, 241 A.D.2d 728, 660 N.Y.S.2d 95 (3rd Dep’t 1997)

So no matter what the reason, appeals are always denied. For example, in Virginia, a failing examinee unsuccessfully sought his essays, even though he experienced system software malfunctions by the Board’s own testing software. The examinee recently tried to take his case to the Supreme Court of the United States and lost:


In California, a Maryland lawyer who sued the State Bar of California over its exam grading review procedures was rebuked (see http://www.metnews.com/articles/2010/jose091610.htm).

Bottom line, the likelihood of a successful appeal is probably zero. Essentially, your only recourse is to re-take the exam. While I hate to say it, a failing examinee is better off putting his or her time and money into re-taking the exam as opposed to challenging it. For example, I have personally seen very well-connected examinees fail in their efforts for re-grades or appeals. Thirty years ago, things were different (e.g. there was an appeals process even in New York). Interestingly, bar examiners did away with appeals because they claimed that the well-connected monied candidates could afford and succeed in appeals while poorer candidates were shut-out. While this is partly true, I feel that bar examiners have done away with appeals for a more pragmatic reason – as the number of candidates has increased, it has become impossible to offer some type of individualized process of review. I believe the courts recognize this (much in the same way as I begrudgingly recognize this), which is why the courts grant such great deference to the decisions of bar examiners (although having already passed the exam may certainly play a role). Put simply, letting any appeal succeed (no matter how meritorious) creates a precedent that will open up the floodgates of appeals. Most Boards of Law Examiners are comprised of practicing attorneys who serve on the Board part-time – there is no way any Board could handle such a volume of appeals if a precedent was set. For example, I am aware of an examinee with a final score of 664 on the pre-UBE exam (where 665 was passing) who had a very strong basis for appeal due to a scrivener’s error contained in an essay question where a party was misidentified, but this examinee was unsuccessful after petitioning the board (and spending a tremendous amount of time doing it). During this appeal, the examinee was told by NY BOLE’s Executive that the board has never changed a test score in the 15 years he had been there. To grant a single appeal would open up Pandora’s box with that appeal becoming precedent for other appeals. The cost in time and money to deal with this is simply too much.

In regards to the MBE, some jurisdictions permit examinees to request a hand-score of their MBE. For example, the state of Nevada permits this:


If you erased any choices on your MBE scantron, there is a possibility that a mis-bubbled mistake may have been made by the scantron reader. In my opinion, this is really an examinee’s only possible recourse for appeal.

California Bar Score Calculator

The following calculator will accurately estimate a Written Scaled Score and Total Score for the July 2017 or February 2018 California bar exam administration based on the scores you enter. July 2018 examinees should use the J17 calculator to test various scoring scenarios and estimate their J18 exam performance while Feb 2019 examinees should use the F18 calculator to estimate their F19 performance.

If you are a CA examinee who failed, if you fill out my short score form, I will let you know what your raw MBE scores were and how many more MBE questions you need to answer to get to 1440 on the MBE. I will also make a calculator for that exam once I receive enough scores.