Don’t Select Obscure Answer Choices | Expert Bar Exam Study Tips

by Roger Meslar,
BARBRI Vice President of Assessment


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 Bar Review 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.


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