By Sara Valentine, Capital University Law School
Okay, let me just be the first to thank BARBRI for the Simulated MBE. I know, that seems like an odd thing to say, but nothing could have better prepared me for the bar exam than to sit down for six hours and do 200 multiple-choice MBE questions.
Yes, it was awful. Yes, I was tired. However, now I know what to expect on the bar exam. We’re getting into the home stretch here, and I feel confident in my ability to perform well. Why? Because I’ve been practicing (and you have, too!).
Reading comprehension does matter
I’ll be honest, there were some questions on the BARBRI Simulated MBE that I definitely should not have missed. I knew the answer to them and I could recite the correct answer now for you with the correct rule statement.
Why did I miss the question? Because of reading comprehension. I know that you’ve heard “reading comprehension is key” or something to that effect since Kindergarten and it seems redundant, but seriously, the majority of the questions that I missed were because I was rushing. I got in the heat of the moment, had a knee-jerk reaction and picked what I thought was right. Sometimes I even did that without looking at the other answer choices. DO NOT DO THAT.
Regardless of how you did, even if you did really well (yay, go you!), your scores are going to go up if you put in the time to get them where you need them to be.
200 questions is easier said than done
The best part about the BARBRI Simulated MBE is that you get a chance to not only see how you did and where you could improve, but you also see how you react under pressure for six hours. Tbh, I have test anxiety so I knew that it would come up. However, I didn’t expect myself to get so tired through the exam.
It is difficult to sit and look at questions with intense focus for hours on end.
It is difficult to keep focused and ensure that you’re doing what you need to do to answer the questions on the page.
If you need some help staying focused, I’d like to offer some advice. To ensure that I’m reading and understanding all of the important parts of the question, I underline and circle the things that are important. I underline the topic of the call-of-the-question so I know exactly what to look for when I’m reading the question. Also, if you read the call-of-the-question and you don’t know what subject it’s referring to, skim the answer choices. It’s a waste of your valuable time to read the question without knowing to which subject it’s referring.
The bottom line is now you know what it’s going to be like to sit in a room while focusing intently in three-hour blocks during the bar exam.
You need to know what you did wrong
Let me repeat it: you aren’t going to get better if you don’t know what you did wrong.
The review videos are GOLD. Not only do you get the chance to review all of the material, but you also get some GREAT tips and tricks for approaching questions. You also get some incredibly helpful mnemonics to remember crazy rules and exceptions. You know that you need to watch the videos. If you haven’t yet, you need to.
The follow-up webinar has great advice
Here’s the link to the on-demand replay. I don’t care if you are one of the super impressive people who aced the MBE (like, how…?). Even if you did, the webinar by BARBRI President Mike Sims put me at ease and gave me some peace of mind going into my last couple weeks of bar prep. It’s worth your time.
Maybe you didn’t do the best on the BARBRI Simulated MBE. Maybe you’re a little lower than you would like and you’re slightly freaking out, etc. Okay, look, we have over two weeks until the bar exam. Your scores are going to go up if you put in the time to review what you did wrong. The webinar definitely helps with that.
Y’all, we are almost there. Now we’re in crunch time and need to do what we need to do. Let’s do this!