BAR EXAM UPDATE: MBE SCORING

BLOG by Roger Meslar,
BARBRI Sr. Director, Assessments & MBE Content

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has recently announced updated scoring information for the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE).

What Has Changed?

Previously, 10 of the 200 multiple choice questions included on each MBE exam were unscored, as they were being field-tested for possible future use. Starting with the February 2017 exam, 25 of the 200 multiple choice MBE questions will now be unscored. In other words, 175 of the 200 questions will be scored and used to determine the result of your exam going forward. The 175 scored questions will be distributed evenly among the seven subjects tested on the exam.

How Will This Affect My Bar Exam Preparation?

This will not affect your bar preparation. The MBE is still a 200 question exam, and the unscored questions are indistinguishable from the scored questions, so you need to answer all 200 questions. The Bar Examiners will convert your raw score to a scaled score based on a 0-200 range, and the scaled score is what jurisdictions use to determine whether you pass. For more information on the change, please feel free to visit the NCBE website here.

How Can BARBRI Help Me?

Every U.S. state bar exam, with the exception of Louisiana, use the MBE and it’s a critical component of the exam. Actually, many of our students have told us that the MBE is the scariest portion of the bar exam for them.

Mean MBE scores have been falling for some time – in 2015, they were the lowest they have been in over 10 years. This means that choosing your bar prep course – and knowing exactly how you, personally, are going to do on the bar exam, before you actually sit for it – has never been more important.

This is why, earlier this year, we introduced the exclusive BARBRI MBE Immersion as a new kick-off to BARBRI Bar Review. MBE Immersion is a deep-dive experience that spans the first two-days of the BARBRI Bar Review course and implements an evidence-based approach to accelerate the pace you learn the law tested on the MBE and, in turn, successfully answer MBE questions. It provides you with a mental framework for the vast amount of law you need to master for the MBE.

It’s also why your entire BARBRI Bar Review experience is presented to you via your own Personal Study Plan. Video lectures, outlines, practice questions and workshops build over time to create a highly effective bar prep structure. Then, your Personal Study Plan analyzes more than 1,000 points of data collected from your assignments, grades, practice exams and practice essays to hone in and improve on areas of law that need the most attention.

Lastly, it’s why we continue to provide the exclusive BARBRI Simulated MBE with Pass Predictor. This, by far, will be your best predictor of bar exam success. Our realistic 200-question Simulated MBE compares your test results with thousands of other BARBRI students – the largest, most statistically valid group of bar exam takers nationwide.

Only BARBRI has studied every single MBE since it debuted in 1972. In fact, the MBE portion of the bar exam has changed many times in recent years and so have our practice test questions. We’ve reviewed, edited and revised them to accurately reflect the most current MBE format. Every day at BARBRI, we are focused on providing a bar review course that continues to attract the overwhelming majority of law school students each year and one that has helped more than 1.3 million law students pass the bar exam. Now we’re here to help you #OwnTheBar.

#The1Llife: Law Preview

GUEST BLOG by Jackson Long,
1L at SMU Dedman School of Law

“During our week-long, intensive summer prep courses, you’ll learn how to brief cases, outline, study effectively and manage your time. In addition, you’ll learn unique exam taking methods and put them into practice on real law school exams.” – Law Preview

MONDAY:

campusRISE AND SHINE!!!

Summer vacation just got a quick awakening. An early wake up call for 7:15 a.m. registration and welcome comes with that first day of school type of excitement. You’re finally here – you’re first real step into heading on that marvelous, demanding path of law school.

And then torts.

After 65 pages (at least) of intense reading, I am beginning to acclimate to what law school is all about. There will be long nights and a lot of time with my head in a book. And sometimes, it will all be in preparation for when the Socratic method gets tossed my way.

But I know that there’s an advantage here – one that my class here in Dallas gets to have for the beginning of school and that all important first semester and year. There are students headed all over – small schools and to the T14. What do we all have in common? Taking advantage of an opportunity to shoot right out of the starting gate.

It’s not so much learning about torts that matters today. It’s about seeing what will be required of me, on a daily basis, to succeed in law school. It’s the lessons, tactics to achieve, study tips and learning to brief cases that make that 6:30 alarm worthwhile.

TUESDAY:

Well the first day of excitement is gone. After another late night of studying, it’s a reality that is beginning to set in. This whole thing is going to be a ton of work.

But today, we had a contracts professor, with more than six hours of time to teach us about contracts, remind us that this is a complete journey. It is one that requires many skills, but also provides many thrills.

The first thrill is my first Socratic questioning by the professor. I recite two or three facts of the case, am asked an additional question and freeze. Well this sure is fun.

This is why you prepare. This is why you take this class. I know how to better to prepare and how to better respond. And importantly, I know that feeling when you’re in class in front of 25+ people and the spotlight is on you.

The contracts professor taught us this lesson on purpose. And he told us about his first class in school when he was first got called on. I can assure you, his story was a lot worse than mine.

As he dances around the lectern with Rocky quotes and vocal expressions, our class does realize this can be fun. We are embarking on an incredible learning and professional experience that will take us to places we can never imagine.

WEDNESDAY:

They call it hump day for a different reason, but I can already tell I’m beginning to make strides. Just from two days of Law Preview, I’ve begun to read, think and question issues with much greater ability.

How can it be this quick? Well, nine hours a day in a classroom can certainly help. But by day three, I can already see the fruits of the late night labor. I can only grin when thinking about the exponential growth that lies ahead.

We’ve also had an entire series on academic success tactics, which has been extremely helpful in picking out the little nuances of law school. Professors that have been there before and know how to take (and write) exams are truly helpful. Getting into law school is a great accomplishment. Understanding that it operates in a much different way than undergrad is another success in itself.

THURSDAY:

profWe began criminal law today, which has a slight variance to the other topics we’ve already covered. It is fascinating, however. And with our professor, we intertwine discussion topics and learned law with various movie clips from familiar films. It’s a great tactic for combining something already known to a new concept.

Our professors understand where we are at in our knowledge. We have nine hours a day in class and additional reading at night. Not to mention, we are in the true infancy of our knowledge of law. So they have been fantastic in helping us reach the desired findings in our cases and discussion of theory.

It’s often “luck of the draw” when you are assigned your course schedule. But if the small sample size here indicates anything, your law professors will be intelligent, articulate in conveying the law and allow for some entertainment while doing so.

FRIDAY:

One of the top priorities of first law students – crush first year grades. It’s no secret, getting a jumpstart in school is a key to reaching that coveted spot at the top of the class.

Friday’s class is where this really hits home. After four days of learning the ropes of law school and overviewing each course topic, now you get the opportunity to see where it all will pay off. Learning exam taking strategy from the professors that give and more importantly grade exams is an enormously helpful element of the BARBRI Law Preview course.

Additionally, we had the opportunity to learn about another component of that first year GPA, legal research and writing. Being taught the differences of legal writing from regular paper writing is a critical part of succeeding in school.

SATURDAY:

computerbookLaw Preview requires six days of intense, and sometimes exhausting, instruction. By the final day, there is certainly a level of mental fatigue. It does seem appropriate though, with the daunting days of your first semester just around the corner.

Saturday offers a nice relief from more intensive material. The Lexis Nexis legal research engine offered through the course is worth the price of admission. The immense scope and ability of Lexis is amazing and it will certainly be a helpful tool as you transition to law school. Additionally, having the skills to research through Lexis is a very desirable trait to potential employers.

After completing the Law Preview course, you are so much more aware of what it will take to succeed in your first year of law school. Becoming familiar with the course material allows you to dive deeper while your peers may be just scratching the surface of the information. Listening to professors explain how they write and grade exams helps you frame your outlook on preparing for and reviewing class each week. Access to Lexis Nexis and its valuable tools is, quite simply, something that truly sets BARBRI’s program apart.

There is such a great importance put on the first year grades of law students. Why would you not want to jump to a head start? The Law Preview course gets you prepared to beat the curve – BAR none.