Best Uniform Bar Exam Advice
Top 5 Tips to Pass the Uniform Bar Exam
Are you taking the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and looking for the best Uniform Bar Exam advice? Below we discuss five tips to help you study more efficiently and improve your score.
Best Uniform Bar Exam Advice- Top 5 Tips to Pass the Uniform Bar Exam
Despite its name, the Uniform Bar Exam passing score is not the same in every state. Currently, 27 jurisdictions administer the UBE and Massachusetts will do the same beginning with the July 2018 exam. Each state sets its own passing score out of a possible 400 points. The UBE passing score currently ranges from 260 to 280. If you plan on practicing in one or more UBE jurisdictions take a moment to read up on the passing score in your state to ensure that your score can be transferred from one jurisdiction to another. Then, read our best five tips to pass the Uniform Bar Exam below.
1. Memorize the highly tested black letter law.
We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to memorize the rules for the commonly tested issues. The most common mistake people make is saving all of their memorization for each of the 15 subjects until the last two weeks of bar prep. That is too much information to cram all at once. As you review a subject, set aside time each day to focus on active memorization. You can quiz yourself on an area of law, cover up your outline and write out portions of it, recite the law aloud, etc. Make sure you have good techniques to memorize the law.
- Begin by memorizing the rule statements for the highly tested issues on the MBE. Having a vague idea of the law is not a good approach to the MBE. The multiple-choice questions are nuanced and usually test the exceptions to the general rule.
- Then memorize the highly tested areas of law on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE).
2. Use real MBE, MEE, and MPT questions to study.
The best way to study for the exam is by doing questions that have been written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. This piece of Uniform Bar Exam advice is sometimes a surprise to examinees. In law school the best way to study for finals exams was to look over old exams written by your professor. And when you were studying for the LSAT, the best questions to review were actual official LSAT questions.
The same advice holds true when studying for the bar exam. You can identify question stems, testing “traps,” and also learn how to structure your answers. Below are sources for actual released questions:
- See sources for past Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions here.
- You can find real Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions here. Check out Emanuel’s Strategies & Tactics for the MBE (sixth edition), Adaptibar (online only), or MBE practice exams on the NCBE website (online only). Read the post to see the advantages and disadvantages of those three sources.
- See sources for real Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions here.
3. Review the answers to the questions you do on the same day and, ideally, as soon as you answer the questions.
Students commonly ask us how many practice questions they should do. The answer is not the same for everyone. However, you should keep in mind that sacrificing quality for quantity is big mistake. If you do 50 MBE questions every day but never review them, or review them a week later, you haven’t truly learned from your mistakes so you won’t see your score improve very much. It is crucial that you review the answer for every question you do immediately after you complete it.
Understand why you got the question wrong. Were you unable to remember the rule? Did you misunderstand the call of the question? Were you too tired and unable to concentrate on the fact pattern? You may surprise yourself in learning which mistakes you make most often. The sooner you can correct them, the quicker your score will increase. Read this post on how to improve your MBE score. Read this post on how to self-grade your essay answers.
4. Incorporate timed practice exams into your study schedule.
Our next piece of Uniform Bar Exam advice is about timing. The bar exam is a test of endurance. Ideally you want to approach the last essay question or multiple-choice question with the same level of concentration that you had for the first question. Test endurance is developed over time.
To avoid test fatigue, sprinkle in mini practice tests into your study schedule. For example, you can start of with 25 timed MBEs and one timed MEE. Then try doing 50 timed MBEs and two timed MEEs. Each of these mini tests will help you increase your concentration for full-length practice exams. As for MPTs, we recommend doing at least one each week. Begin with objective memos and persuasive briefs and then moving onto opinion letters, demand letters, and also uncommon tasks. If you have issues with timing, this will give you enough weeks to work out your approach to the MBE, MEE and MPT.
5. Create your own stellar bar exam study schedule.
Finally, our last piece of Uniform Bar Exam advice is to make your own uniform bar exam study schedule. It could mean making changes to the schedule provided to you by your commercial course. Or it could mean making changes to a schedule that you made for yourself.
Don’t be afraid to change your schedule if it is no longer working for you. At the end of each week, take ten or fifteen minutes to assess which study methods are working for you. Do you need to spend more time on some Evidence essays? Do you need to spend some more time on highly tested essay issue that is tripping you up? Then take the time to do so! As you review, begin with the MBE subjects and focus on your weakest subjects first.
Ambika, one of our bar exam tutors, and Ashley Heidemann, founder of JD Advising, wrote this post on how to pass the Uniform Bar Exam the first time you take it. Ambika has passed three bar exams, including California, New York, and New Jersey. She scored in the 95 percentile on the MBE, and specializes in helping students raise their uniform bar exam scores!
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