Taking the Bar Exam Performance Test

For the UBE and other jurisdictions like Nevada, the performance test is an hour and a half long exam where you are given a ruleset, a file of facts, and a file of cases. You are then asked to write a memo or a brief based on the documents you have.

Taking the Test

The outline created from Bar MD provides an excellent framework for taking the performance test. This blog post only highlights top-level points, and we encourage you to check out their service for more in-depth training.

Timing is Everything

It's important to adhere to a strict schedule so that you can finish the test on time. Here is a sample schedule:

5 Minutes: Read the Task Memo

Begin by reading the task memo. This will give you an idea of whether or not you will be writing:

5 Minutes: Setup Performance Test

After reading the Task Memo you can then begin by reciting your Introduction and Conclusion Paragraphs and outlines of issues.

The Introduction Paragraph

The introduction paragraph should be an explicit regurgitation of what is asked in the task memo.

Thank you for allowing me to conduct this analysis for you. Here I will be discussing (1): (2): and (3):

The numbers you see above should be the paragraph headings to the outline.

The Conclusion Paragraph

Should be similar introductary paragraph and can be as simple as:

Thank you for allowing me to conduct this analysis for you. Please contact me if you have further questions.

Outline of Issues

Each issue can follow the same format, using Rule, Proof, Analysis, and Conclusion (RPAC) headings for each issue.

I. ISSUE (1)
    (R) Rule
    (P) Proof
    (A) Analysis
    (C) Conclusion

RPAC format begins with identifying the Rule from the statutes and cases, the Proof in the facts that establish the rule, the Analysis of what that means for the parties involved, and a conclusion that summarizes RPAC.

5 Minutes: Skim the File

Skimming means reading the first paragraph and looking at what pops out at you like quotes, em dashes, or other stylized text.

15 Minutes: Skim then Read the Library

The Library is the ruleset that you will be using to write your memo. Make a quick first pass at all documents before reading each one in depth.

15 Minutes: Draft the Rule Statements and Rule Proofs

Take your time reading the library, 15 minutes is a decent amount of time. Then start writing the R & P, or rule and proof above.

At this point you should be done with half of your time. If you are taking a performance test with a different time limit such as Nevada with two hours, please adjust your time accordingly. Nonetheless, you should be about the halfway mark at this point.

15 Minutes: Read the File

Read the file in depth, and make notes of what you think is important. It is important to include as much of the file as possible in your memo.

25 Minutes: Write Analysis

Here, write the analysis of the rule and proof. This is the most important part of the memo. If you are writing a persuasive memo ensure you are covering the both sides of the argument.

5 Minutes: Proofread

At the end, take time to proofread your submission.

We know you got this, good luck!