Important BARBRI Simulated MBE lessons for the real thing

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What is the BARBRI Simulated MBE?

The BARBRI Simulated MBE is the singular most important thing you can do to prepare for the bar exam. The simulation is held several weeks prior to your actual exam.

It exposes you to the mental and physical rigors of the Multistate Bar Exam so you know what to expect on exam day. For more information on the Simulated MBE, please read more on our product features page.

However, we have some important lessons to share that might benefit future bar preppers. There are also things you can do once you’ve taken the BARBRI Simulated MBE to increase your chances of landing on the passing side of the bar exam’s graded curve. In case you need some help understanding “the curve,” we explain everything right here.

Lessons to learn

It may seem obvious, but you should make an attempt to study for the Simulated MBE before you take it

Do something beyond watching the BARBRI bar prep lecture videos and reviewing the outlines. Ideally, do what you plan on doing in the days leading up to the actual bar exam. For example, the use of flashcards can be a great study asset aligned with your BARBRI Bar Review materials.

The Pass Predictor score report you receive, with percentile ranking by MBE topic and subtopic, carries weight

Although you can re-take the exam, you’re only graded against the majority of your peers and fellow bar takers once. Thus, it is helpful to go into the practice test with the best preparation possible.

Take the BARBRI Simulated MBE under the time/test conditions that will apply to you during the real bar exam

For most test-takers, that means adhering to BARBRI’s instructions. However, figure out how the MBE will be administered for your state/jurisdiction and prepare well for the real thing.

Avoid the temptation to speed through questions

You’re working under a time constraint, but rushing through questions leads to mistakes. Just like on the LSAT, you need to determine (a) how long you technically have per question, and (b) how long it actually takes you to work through average questions, so you can figure out how much buffer time you have for the harder ones. 

The importance of pacing yourself

Try to split your Simulated MBE into four sections to mirror your real bar exam structure. Doing this will help you see how rushing through questions impacts your score. Force yourself to slow down, read more critically, and leave yourself a small five-minute buffer for revisiting more difficult questions. The bar exam can be exhausting so experiencing this before gives you a great advantage for the real thing.

Post-BARBRI Simulated MBE pointers

Whatever your feeling, don’t stop

If you did amazing on the BARBRI Simulated MBE, congratulations (seriously, job well done), but you can’t place yourself on cruise control now. Others will be working hard to improve their score. If you stop working hard, you may find yourself in a precarious position come test day.

If you didn’t perform as well on the Simulated MBE, you’re not alone. Lower scores don’t mean you’re destined to fail. You still have four whole weeks to study and improve based on your results. You can pass the bar exam, you just need to put in some extra time and the BARBRI Simulated MBE shows you exactly where to focus your efforts.  

Incorporate more active studying

The first half of the BARBRI Bar Review course focuses primarily on passive studying – watching lecture videos. After the Simulated MBE the focus shifts to more active forms of studying – working practice questions and writing practice essays. You, too, should be shifting gears when it comes to your personal bar study. 

Try to strike a balance between knowledge acquisition, knowledge retention and knowledge application.

  • Practicing knowledge acquisition can be accomplished via the lecture videos, reading the outlines, and flashcards.
  • Knowledge retention is primarily done via repeated use of flashcards and a similar review methods.
  • Using knowledge application is accomplished through hypotheticals, practice questions, the simulated MBE, and practice essays. 

After reviewing your BARBRI Simulated MBE scores and percentile rankings, you should be able to determine those areas where you need to revisit the knowledge acquisition phase and those where you would benefit most from focusing on the application phase.

Stay positive

You have come so far in this journey, don’t let the BARBRI Simulated MBE – or the stress of studying – wear you down. Stay positive and keep going, you got this!

Click here to learn more about the bar exam curve, the BARBRI Simulated MBE, and understanding your percentile rank.

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