I thought I'd enclose a response to an email I just received from a friend, who is taking the bar for the first time, wanting to know how I did on BarBri's graded essays, and whether I thought that they had any correlation to failing the bar.
Based on my own experience, and others I've talked to, I think its safe to say that there is most likely no correlation between the grades received and actually passing or failing the bar.
I think the context in which they're graded is important. I don't know how many graders BarBri actually employs, but my guess is that the number is pretty small. Judging from the extreme delay between handing them in and getting them back, I think its also safe to say that regardless of how many graders there are, they must be seriously overworked. Add the sheer number of exams involved and I think its pretty easy to see why they can't carefully read each essay.
Second, the comments on my essays/PTs were border line nonsensical. On several occasions, I received a note that I had neglected to discuss a particular sub-issue when, in fact, I had discussed it but failed to put it under a separate heading. It seemed that the graders were really only reading the headings to check issue spotting and then barely reading the rest of the essay. Further underscoring this point was the fact that I passed all but one the essays. With the email deadline looming, I retyped and handed in the property model answer with just enough variation so that it wouldn't look like it had been copied. When I did finally get it back (after almost three weeks and several complaints), I was somewhat surprised to find that I didn't receive a passing score. It was fairly obvious that whoever graded it barely looked at it. I will say that some of my essays did have fairly detailed responses, but this was definitely not the norm.
Finally, several of my friends failed most, if not all, of the essays but passed the exam. On the other hand I passed all but one of them, but nevertheless am studying for this a second time.
In short, I think it is a big mistake to get caught up in what you did or didn't get on the assignments. In the end, I don't think there is any substitute for knowing the material as cold as possible and performing on exam day.