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How much did you study for the Ontario Bar Exams and how difficult did you find them?


Apollo14

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ruthlessfox
  • Lawyer

It would probably only be a factor if you couldn’t get called before hireback, or if your studying interferes with your performance at work.

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Apollo14
  • Law Student

That makes sense - so they could let you go during Articling if your work performance wasn't great due to the studying kind of thing?

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ruthlessfox
  • Lawyer
4 minutes ago, Apollo14 said:

That makes sense - so they could let you go during Articling if your work performance wasn't great due to the studying kind of thing?

I mean, they almost certainly wouldn’t let you go DURING articling. It would only affect hireback.

Edited by ruthlessfox
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Apollo14
  • Law Student

Thoughts on the Barrister? I would say the majority of my answers were educated guesses on that one.

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ruthlessfox
  • Lawyer
3 minutes ago, Apollo14 said:

Thoughts on the Barrister? I would say the majority of my answers were educated guesses on that one.

+1.

Edited by ruthlessfox
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Sparky
  • Law Student
23 minutes ago, Apollo14 said:

Thoughts on the Barrister? I would say the majority of my answers were educated guesses on that one.

Way, way harder than practice exams. I don't know if the discrepancy can be attributed to the alleged recent "increase in difficulty" of the licensing exams or what, but I thought the questions on the practice exams were not at all representative of the actual exam questions.

Edited by Sparky
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Geargia47
  • Law Student
14 minutes ago, Sparky said:

Way, way harder than practice exams. I don't know if the discrepancy can be attributed to the alleged recent "increase in difficulty" of the licensing exams or what, but I thought the questions on the practice exams were not at all representative of the actual exam questions.

Found today's exam extremely hard. Not boasting but I did well on Emond (86%) and all of the easier practice tests (98%+), thought I new the material very well - still ended up educated guessing on well over half the questions (maybe even 100+). This was a rude awakening. Will be spending 14 hours a day studying for solicitor - I won't let this experience beat me!!

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Apollo14
  • Law Student

I agree! I didn't really understand how it was possible for the practice exams to be so much different than the actual exam but they definitely are. I just couldn't locate answers remotely as quickly as I thought I would be able to based on the practice exams. 

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mustangb4
  • Articling Student
1 hour ago, Apollo14 said:

I agree! I didn't really understand how it was possible for the practice exams to be so much different than the actual exam but they definitely are. I just couldn't locate answers remotely as quickly as I thought I would be able to based on the practice exams. 

I heard the pass rate is 70%? if that's true....I am screwed dude

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Sunshine1900
  • Articling Student

What the heck was that exam?

I prepared and was familiar with the concepts. I knew the TOC like the back of my hand. Did practice tests and felt very prepared.

Got to the exam and quickly realized it was not the same. Most of the questions were testing on obscure things. Most of it could not be looked up in the materials. 
 

How is this measuring competency? 
 

Curious to hear how everyone will study for solicitors now. 

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QueensDenning
  • Lawyer

What practice tests was everyone using? I thought it wasn’t that much of a difference from Edmond, but definitely harder. 
 

 

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LoganRoy
  • Articling Student

Definitely harder than EVERY single practice test out there. Civ lit and criminal were a shit show. Lots of educated guesses.

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Apollo14
  • Law Student

I actually don't know how I would change my approach for the solicitors exam, that's what I'm finding the most concerning right now

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CertaintyOfTerms
  • Law Student
3 hours ago, Apollo14 said:

I agree! I didn't really understand how it was possible for the practice exams to be so much different than the actual exam but they definitely are. I just couldn't locate answers remotely as quickly as I thought I would be able to based on the practice exams. 

Putting aside locating answers quickly, I couldn't even locate a vast majority of answers at all...

Edited by CertaintyOfTerms
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TobyFlenderson
  • Lawyer

For what it's worth, my July 2022 experience for both exams was very much what has been described here. Harder than the practice tests, obscure test questions, inability to locate answers in the materials, etc. This seems to be the norm now, but I can't speak to how it compares to pre-cheating scandal.

I marked questions on the exam where I made educated guesses. For the barrister, I had 20-25, and for the solicitor, more like 40-45. I didn't feel like I had time to make changes between barrister and solicitor, and even if I had the time, I don't know what those changes would have been. 

I passed both exams. Most people do, and you probably will too. And, even if you don't, the LSO gives you three chances for a reason. You'll get through this.

Good luck on solicitor, everyone!

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Bachtowork
  • Articling Student
8 hours ago, FORCE said:

The UofT summaries are so long. Are they worth bringing to the exam ?

I don't think so, I haven't heard or read of anyone bringing summaries. 

Edited by Bachtowork
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TobyFlenderson
  • Lawyer

Don't bring the summaries to the exam but they might be helpful to review for understanding. I didn't use them, though, so YMMV.

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ruthlessfox
  • Lawyer
8 hours ago, Apollo14 said:

Does anyone know if the exam is scaled at all?

The LSO says that it doesn't guarantee a certain pass rate for each sitting, but it does set the minimum passing grade for each sitting based on what it considers to be the minimally competent passing grade. So effectively, the difficulty of the exam is considered in setting the passing grade, but they don't care how many people pass or fail beyond that. There are also experimental questions, like the LSAT, that aren't counted to your grade.

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MapleLeafs
  • Law Student

After the barrister exam, does anyone have any suggestions on how they're shifting their study strategies for the solicitor? I skimmed the materials already, but it feels a bit late now to review the materials in depth, so I'm at a loss for what to do.  

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Bachtowork
  • Articling Student
13 minutes ago, MapleLeafs said:

After the barrister exam, does anyone have any suggestions on how they're shifting their study strategies for the solicitor? I skimmed the materials already, but it feels a bit late now to review the materials in depth, so I'm at a loss for what to do.  

I'm just gonna annotate my DTOC, do as many practice questions as possible, and try to master Professional Responsibility (past test-takers have said that the solicitor exam is more PR-heavy than the barrister exam, hopefully that will still be the case for us). I find that when I do practice questions, I am inadvertently learning most of the material and getting better at using my DTOC at the same time; I prefer to "read" the materials this way because from my experience with barrister prep, I retain very little when just reading. 

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Apollo14
  • Law Student
7 hours ago, Bachtowork said:

I'm just gonna annotate my DTOC, do as many practice questions as possible, and try to master Professional Responsibility (past test-takers have said that the solicitor exam is more PR-heavy than the barrister exam, hopefully that will still be the case for us). I find that when I do practice questions, I am inadvertently learning most of the material and getting better at using my DTOC at the same time; I prefer to "read" the materials this way because from my experience with barrister prep, I retain very little when just reading. 

Leaning toward this as well. Do you find summaries help at all?

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Bachtowork
  • Articling Student
1 hour ago, Apollo14 said:

Leaning toward this as well. Do you find summaries help at all?

I didn't have time to look at the summaries before the barrister exam, but I may take a look this time. Did you find indices helpful during the barrister? Generally, I prefer the DTOC, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by not using the indices, especially now that the exams are much harder; however, is it just me or are indices less helpful for these recent exams (that no longer follow a Where's Waldo style)? 

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TheJoker
  • Lawyer
On 5/25/2023 at 5:28 PM, ruthlessfox said:

If you do well on Emond should you be confident or is the actual exam unrecognizably more difficult than any PT? The latter is sort of the sense I'm getting from last summer's Barrister thread on Reddit...

Emond’s questions are most similar to the test imho. The length, complexity and so on is pretty much the same. So is the difficulty. If you’re doing well on them, then that’s great. If you’re not, just keep hustling through the questions and prep tests. 
I think, for me, barristers seemed a little harder because I didn’t study as much for it as I did for solicitors (real estate was a piece of work). 
 

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