DON’T SELECT OBSCURE ANSWER CHOICES

Roger Meslar,
BARBRI Sr. Director of MBE Testing and Assessments

TRUST WHAT YOU KNOW, DON’T OVERTHINK IT.

By now, you’re getting a very real understanding of the very large challenges presented by the MBE.  One big final exam covering all of your first year and more. You have only 6 hours to answer 200 questions, each of which have 4 answer choices. Or in other words, you have only 6 hours to sort through 800 answer choices trying to find the right ones. No wonder no one has ever gotten a perfect score on the MBE!

While the challenge may seem daunting, let me offer you a tip to make it a bit more manageable – one that I’ve used on all the MBE’s I’ve taken and passed. When you see an answer choice on the MBE that looks completely unfamiliar, more often than not, that answer choice is wrong.  The correct answer will probably be familiar to you. It will contain a rule of law or a use a line of reasoning you’ve seen before during your BARBRI course. So don’t get caught up in wondering if the exam is trying to trick you. If you come across any obscure answer choice, don’t mark it. Trust what you know for sure.

The purpose of the MBE is to test your substantive knowledge and legal reasoning skills. It rewards both your understanding (not just memorization) of the law and your ability to apply that law quickly and expertly to 200 fact scenarios. You don’t want to spend your time second-guessing the bar examiners or spending too much time poring over an obscure answer choice. If an answer includes something you’ve never studied in law school or did not see in BARBRI, chances are it’s not the correct answer.

Keep that in mind and you’ll be one step closer to a great score on the MBE.

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50 years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on what will be 100 bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.

THE LOW HANGING FRUIT: THE MPT

Steve Levin,
BARBRI Director of Essay Testing

IT’S WHERE YOU CAN PICK UP VALUABLE POINTS.

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is included in most state bar exams (see the jurisdictions administering the MPT) and carries a good percentage of your overall points. For example, if you’re sitting for the bar in a UBE state, the MPT is worth 20% of the total bar exam score. If you are like most students, you’ll be spending a majority of your time working practice MBE questions and writing practice essays, but you don’t want to lose sight of the MPT. It’s a part of the bar exam that’s more important than you may realize because on each exam, many examinees fall just below a passing score. The MPT is an easy place to pick up valuable points or, conversely, lose points if you’re not prepared.

The MPT is designed as a real-world readiness measurement for bar examiners to assess your fundamental lawyering skills. Rather than testing substantive legal knowledge, the MPT requires you to think critically and resourcefully with the information presented/available and complete a realistic task a beginning lawyer might encounter. For example, you may be asked to create a persuasive brief, legal memorandum, client letter, discovery plan, settlement offer, will, closing argument, etc. Whatever the given assignment, you’ll need to demonstrate your ability to evaluate the facts of the case file, analyze the problem, and perform the task within the 90 minutes allotted for each MPT item.

If you prepare for this portion of the bar exam by putting finger to keyboard or pen to paper and practicing, you can leverage the MPT to put yourself in a stronger position to pass. The best way to familiarize yourself with possible MPT tasks is to work practice MPTs during your bar review. Your PSP will assign practice MPTs to you and the BARBRI MPT workbook will get you prepped for this, often-overlooked, area of the bar exam.

Remember, every point on the bar exam counts and just a few points can make the difference between passing and not passing. So if you’re taking the exam in any of the states that require the MPT, be sure to keep this low hanging fruit in sight, spend time on it, and pick up those valuable exam points. Be sure to download the 2017 BARBRI Bar Exam Digest for information about your state’s MPT and bar exam scoring formula.

ABOUT BARBRI BAR REVIEW

BARBRI pioneered bar review and proudly celebrates 50 years of helping more than 1.3 million students pass the bar exam. BARBRI’s constant innovation, leadership and depth of experience based on what will be 100 bar exams going back to 1967 influences all aspects of bar review – where it’s been, where it is today and the vast possibilities of where BARBRI will lead it next. Every year, the overwhelming majority of law students across the nation choose BARBRI Bar Review to prepare for the bar exam – and pass it the first time. Learn more about the nation’s #1 bar review at BARBRI.com.

#BarPrepLife: Creatures of Habit

This was a good experience because, much like what I expect to happen during the bar exam, I was working near strangers in a room that I had never been in before.

When it comes to studying for the bar, it is clear that “bar-preppers” are creatures of habit.

The library, the local coffee shop, the kitchen table; everyone has their favorite study spot.  I recently received some advice from a lawyer about the need to switch environments when it comes to studying for the bar exam.

The lawyer told me that it is a good idea to change your study spot every so often in order to get used to working in a new environment in an attempt to adapt to the unfamiliar location of the bar exam.  For many students, the bar exam is administered in a place that is completely new and foreign.  In Michigan, the July bar exam takes place at the Michigan State University basketball arena, also known as the Breslin Center.  As I have never studied, nor taken a huge exam, in a basketball arena, I decided to take this advice to heart and study in a new environment.

Throughout bar prep, I have been studying at my law school.  This is unfamiliar for me because I have always studied at home for law school exams. At first, it took a while to get acquainted with the new space. Overall, it was a good experience because I was able to test myself by studying in an unfamiliar environment with distractions that are different than what I am accustomed to.

In an attempt to really try out this method of studying in a completely new environment, I went to the public library.  This was a good experience because, much like what I expect to happen during the bar exam, I was working near strangers in a room that I had never been in before.  It took me some time to get used to being in such an unfamiliar space, but I am glad that I am using my study time to discover by strengths and weaknesses so that when it comes time to taking the bar exam, I will be ready to perform.

Throughout bar prep, I plan on studying in different environments every so often in order to mentally prepare myself for the unfamiliar setting of the bar exam.  I think that this strategy will help me to #OwnTheBar.

Thoughts on studying in a new setting during bar prep? Tweet me or Instagram me @BarPrepLife!