09 Feb Preparing for the Baby Bar Exam
The California First Year Law Students’ Examination (FYLSE), commonly known as the Baby Bar, is a test unique to the state. Required of students from non-ABA-accredited law schools in the state, it takes place between the first and second year of law school study, and passing it is required for moving on and finishing the rest of law school study.
The Baby Bar is likely the most difficult exam any law student will take, even including the California State Bar Exam following the conclusion of law school. Students pass the Baby Bar at a rate of about 20% on average; this is even lower than the passage rate of the general bar exam that follows the conclusion of law school.
There is no easy trick to passing the Baby Bar exam, but there are a few test taking tips that can help students maximize their chances of getting a passing score.
- Have a wide focus. Passing the Baby Bar exam is not about memorization, though you should have a good knowledge of “black letter law” in order to be able to score highly on the exam. Both substantive black letter law and analytical skills are tested by the exam, so focusing on memorizing laws is not enough. Also, it is impossible to memorize the entirety of the law that will be drawn from in order to test student knowledge, so analytical skills can help point students to the right answer.
- Read questions carefully. How a question is worded, in both the multiple choice and essay portions of the test, can help to determine the correct answer. Some questions will be in place simply to make sure the test takers are thoroughly reading and thinking through what they read. Do not fall victim to the dreaded “trick question.” Do not assume facts that are not present in the question, either.
- Keep answers simple. An interpretation of the law that is simple and straightforward is more likely to be correct than one that is convoluted and abstract, no matter how tricky the question might be.
- Find the right pace. The Baby Bar is a well-designed exam meant to challenge all different kinds of test-takers. This means slow readers who will take too long to answer questions are in trouble, as are those who move quickly through the test and may miss particular details. Finding the right pace, a happy medium between these two options, will increase chances of finding success in the FYLSE.
Abraham Lincoln University is an online distance learning law school located in the State of California, which prepares students for the Baby Bar and General Bar exams. Abraham Lincoln University is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of the Distance Education and Training Council (www.detc.org). The Accrediting Commission is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency and is a recognized member of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
The School of Law is registered with the Committee of Bar Examiners (CBE) of the State Bar of California. ALU’s authority to grant a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, which qualifies graduates to take the California Bar Examination, is through the CBE. As an online law school, ALU is not eligible for accreditation through the CBE and, therefore, is registered with the CBE as an unaccredited, distance-learning law school.