3 Quick Steps To Improve Your MBE Score
We have all been there – after running through hundreds of MBE practice questions, your MBE score is still not improving. Worse yet, it may actually be getting consistently lower. You probably feel defeated, but you must forge ahead! MBE practice questions provide a terrific opportunity to improve your overall legal understanding. In this post, we’ll review three quick steps to improve your MBE score once and for all!
3 Quick Steps To Improve Your MBE Score
1. Record Your Reasoning When Answering MBE Questions
In order to improve your MBE score, it is essential to properly track your progress from the beginning (answering a question) to the end (reviewing a question you completed). When answering a problem set, write notes in the margins about:
(1) how confident you feel when answering the question and
(2) why you chose a particular answer.
You can answer questions in mixed sets as well as by subject area. Focusing on one area at a time may be helpful, particularly if you know your MBE scores are struggling in one subject.
Rating how you feel about each MBE question is the first step in helping you get to the bottom of why you keep getting MBE questions wrong. This is because simply running through question sets, does not help us establish and understand exactly why we may have chosen A instead of B. At the end of the day, we may think it is enough to know that we were right or wrong and move on. But the difference between the correct and incorrect response (A v. B) usually hangs on small, yet important detail. In order to improve your MBE score, you need to know whether you caught that detail. Did that detail come up during your reasoning? You may not remember later, so it is best to flag it early on.
By noting how confident you feel about a particular answer and briefly explaining your reasoning, you will begin to increase your MBE score by leaving yourself a unique set of clues leading you to the correct answer.
2. Log Your Questions and Answers
Once you finished answering an MBE question set, it is important for you to properly log the questions or specific topics you did. Record the question’s subject whether you answered correctly or incorrectly.
These important markers can be organized neatly in a spreadsheet or other document. You can also use a dedicated MBE question notebook or app that tracks this information for you.
When logging the question, you can either track its number or a specific location in your materials, write out the whole question, or list the specific topic area. Writing the whole question is helpful for reinforcing the question as well as for processing the correct information. This provides you the opportunity to understand how your rationale fits in with the correct answer – a re-learning process of sorts. Writing or typing the entire question can also be beneficial later when the entire log can act as a short, concise review guide for further studying. If you choose to write the topic, make sure you are properly identifying it. This usually comes up when you are reviewing the answer for accuracy. It is helpful to look at the NCBE MBE Subject Matter Outline to make sure you are familiar with what type of MBE question you are getting wrong.
After the question or topic is listed, simply indicate whether you answered correctly or incorrectly. A simple yes/no, Y/N, or X/O should suffice! Whatever works best for you.
Next, you want to log why you answered it incorrectly. You should also account for guesses and close calls – this is where confidence rating comes in handy! Check out these tips to help you when you’re guessing between two MBE questions here. When logging why you answered an MBE question incorrectly, did you:
- Read the call of the MBE question correctly?
- Know the law?
- Apply the law correctly?
- Apply the wrong law?
- Answer misrepresent the fact or assume ones that were not there?
(NOTE: A lot of apps will track your question progress for you, so use this as a foundation to then track your work in more detail and save yourself some time.)
3. Figure Out Why You Were Wrong
After taking the time to log your responses, it is time to take a deep breath and clear your mind. Answering questions and finding out you got some (or most) questions incorrect can be stressful enough. Do not let this stress permeate your studies and prevent you from improving your MBE score. Be calm and kind to yourself!
Use your log to understand precisely why you got a question wrong. Write a short sentence to help you remember why your answer was incorrect and why the correct answer is right. This will help you memorize the law and thereby improve your MBE score. (Our classes utilize a lot of memorization tools including mnemonic devices for legal principles with multiple parts.) For help with memorizing the law, check out these bar exam memorization tools!
Again, it is recommended to review MBE questions by particular subject matter if you find you are struggling there or simply dipping your toes in that area for the first time. Otherwise, it is fine to review MBE questions in a mixed manner, as this is how it will appear on test day.
We hope these three quick steps to improve your MBE score helps to empower you to keep working and improving!
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