In this post, we cover 5 small tips to make a big difference in your multistate essay exam (MEE) score. These tips are”small” cosmetic tips or things to keep in mind as you are trying to polish your multistate essay exam answers!
5 Small Tips to make a Big Difference in your MEE Score
1. Use headings.
Use headings that correspond to each issue you are discussing. Oftentimes, the fact pattern will tell you the issues in the call of the question. Many times it will list and number the specific issues for you. You should do the same. (And if there is another issue that is hidden in the fact pattern but not covered by the call of the question, don’t forget to discuss it! That happens occasionally.)
An example of a heading is “Did the defendant commit slander?” Or even “Slander”. Bold or underline this heading.
When you use headings, there is no need to write an eloquent issue statement. Instead, your goal is to make it clear which issue you are talking about to the grader so that the grader can see you have spotted the relevant issues. (You can use a “RAC” format for each issue and your rule, analysis, and conclusion will come out there. No need to tie everything into an issue statement – it takes too much time, and it can actually hurt your score to do so, as we say next.)
2. Don’t put your conclusion first unless you know it is correct.
Many students learn the “C-RAC” method. Or they are told to wrap their conclusions into their heading. We do not recommend this in most cases. The reason for this is if your answer is wrong, the grader is immediately biased against you. We see some graders subtract a lot of points for incorrect conclusions and it makes us wonder if they even closely read your rules and analysis if you state the incorrect conclusion.
However, on the contrary, if you are confident that your conclusion is correct, state it first! The grader will immediately have more faith in your answer.
This tip alone can help boost your MEE score significantly, especially if you are in the habit of putting your conclusion first!
3. Use paragraph breaks.
We seem some students write lengthy paragraphs in their bar exam answers. Some take up half a page. However, it is better to break up a paragraph into smaller paragraphs. The reason for this is as follows:
- First, the grader is more likely to read it.
- Second, your answer will look longer. The psychological effect of reading a longer answer will be of benefit to you!
- Your answer will look more clear and organized.
All of this will result in a higher MEE score! Remember to write the kind of answer you want to read!
4. Don’t argue both sides when the question is not calling for you to do so.
Some students get into “law school mode” and make a habit of constantly arguing both sides. However, sometimes you do not need to on an MEE essay. In fact. for the majority of issues you can simply apply the law and conclude. And it is oftentimes awkward to argue both sides. So remember you are not in law school and you can boost your MEE score and save valuable time in the process. This leads to our next tip.
5. Pay close attention to your timer.
After 30 minutes, wrap up your essay and move on. Unfortunately, we get emails after every bar exam where students complain that they missed an entire question, or half a question, or sometimes more than one question! They always say “I wish I would have moved on from each question after 30 minutes!” Keep a close eye on the timer and make sure you start wrapping up your essay at 25 minutes so you can move on to the next one!
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