Roller Coaster Ride

Sorry, this is not a post about the awesome roller coaster I rode the other day.  Rather, it is about my life and how much of a rollar coaster it feels like it’s been lately.  I just finished up the bar exam (take 2) and phew… glad to have that behind me!  I found that it was quite different this time than last time.  I’m normally (okay, always) a fast tester.  My last EA exam I finished in less than 2 hours… you’re allowed 3 1/2.  Yeah, that kind of fast.  I remember last year, I spent a lot of time in the “break” area of the facility where the bar exam is held.  This year, wow, not so much.

By the way, did I mention I’m officially an Enrolled Agent now?  Yep, got my certificate from the IRS and everything.  If you have tax problems, let me know!  Just kidding… except maybe not.  I’ll really help you.  🙂

Okay, back to the bar:

Day One:

The setup of this years exam was also different.  Last year there were 3 MEE essays and 1 MPT in the morning and the same in the afternoon.  This time, all 6 MEE essays were in the morning and both MPTs were in the afternoon.  I kind of liked it this way.  MPTs are (in my opinion) much easier.  All of the law is given to you along with the facts.  The MPT is a test of logical analysis and writing skills.  After lunch, it’s much easier to not have to conjure up law from the back of your brain.  Don’t get me wrong, the MPTs are not “easy”.  The first one this year took me 2 hours to write.  You only get 3 hours to write both.  Yeah.

MEE essays took me longer too.  I was reviewing my answers (and could of used a bit more time to do so) when time was called.  MEE essays are based on case law.  There is a wide range of topics that the essays could cover and the odds of one essay covering more than one topic is pretty good.  I feel like sometimes it’s detrimental to me that I test so quickly because I may miss things.  I don’t think I missed anything this time.  Makes me feel pretty good about it.  A big part of the MEE, other than knowing all of the law of course, is issue spotting.  They don’t just throw the issues out there either.  Some of them are tricky.

Day Two:

Day two is the multiple choice section and it was… well…  yeah.  That’s about all I can say.  There are questions where more than one answer is correct and you have to choose the one that is “more right”.  Yeah.  Those are fun.  Plus it’s just exhausting.  100 questions in 3 hours.  Then you go to lunch.  Then another 100 questions for another 3 hours.  After you spent the previous day doing 6 hours of essays.  Woo.  Nothing much to say about the MBE except it’s effing hard.  No one walks out going “well, that was easy”.  No one.

In case you are morbidly curious, here are some old MBE questions from the National Conference of Bar Examiners website: http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files/MBE/MBEQuestions1992061411.pdf

Of course, it all comes down to October.  Ugh.  In case you were wondering, waiting almost three months to find out the results of an exam is dreadful.  As my husband says though, the only test I’ll have to take from now on is one I don’t have to study for (pregnancy test).  Can you tell he’s got baby fever?

Finally, tips for future test takers: be courteous to the people sitting next to you/near you.  I was quite calm this time around.  I am already an Enrolled Agent, which means that passing the bar will not immediately mean anything to me career-wise.  That made me not quite so stressed.  Plus, it being the second time, you know what to expect.  It’s gong to be hard as crap and you will feel like you could have study something more.  However, as soon as the guy next to me sat down, I wanted to tape him to the chair.  His bag is loaded up with pills (pepto and something prescription) and as soon as he sits down he pops one of them.  Really, dude?  Take your pills before you get there.  Then, he can’t sit still.  Which, I’m a fidgeter, and I know that.  However, I try to be relatively still during the bar as a courtesy to my fellow test-takers.  His anxiety was making me anxious.  Everyone is nervous, but try to calm yourself down for the sake of your fellow exam takers.  Thanks in advance.

Anywho, I’ll let ya know in October how it went.  Until then, here’s what I’ll be doing (because I know you were on the edge of your seat wondering):

  • reading books that are not related to tax or law
  • running (again… finally!)
  • hiking
  • spending time with my husband
  • being lazy
  • watching tv
  • cooking
  • baking
  • playing with my dogs
  • shooting things (going out this weekend and I can’t wait!!)
  • cleaning our apartment!!
  • anything else that does not involve tax or law (other than work of course)
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