Can I Study For The Uniform Bar Exam In Two Weeks? - JD Advising
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Bar Exam In Two Weeks

Can I Study For The Uniform Bar Exam In Two Weeks?

The bar exam is in two weeks, and you haven’t really started studying yet.  You are wondering if it is too late or if you still have time to study and pass the exam.  Can you study for the Uniform Bar Exam in two weeks and pass?  The short answer is, yes, nothing is impossible!  Is it an ideal situation?  Definitely not.  However, we understand that sometimes things come up, life happens, and you may be left with less than an ideal amount of time to study for the bar exam.  In this post, we give you tips on how to make the most of your time to prepare for the Uniform Bar Exam in two weeks.

Can I Study For The Uniform Bar Exam In Two Weeks?

1. Spend your time efficiently.

If you have other obligations such as work, family, etc. try to put as much as possible on hold.  If you can, take time off work.  Let family members know that this is crunch time and you really need to focus solely on studying for the bar exam.  With only two weeks before the exam, you need to spend every waking moment studying for the test.

You should also create a study schedule to help you stay focused and to keep track of everything you need to review.  Your study schedule should include time to review substantive material (like an outline) and also time to do practice questions.  At the end of this post, we provide a sample two-week study schedule that you can follow if you only have two weeks to study for the bar exam.

2. Focus on the highly tested material.

Not everything is tested equally on the UBE!  Within the MBE portion of the exam, you will see exactly 25 scored questions from each of the seven MBE subjects (plus 25 unscored “test” questions for a total of 200 questions).  There are some topics that are tested more frequently than others.  For example, in Torts, 12-13 of the 25 questions test negligence.  By comparison, you will only see 3-5 questions testing “other torts,” which includes things like nuisance, defamation, and privacy torts.  So, even though defamation might be confusing, you will only see 1 or 2 questions on the MBE portion of the bar exam testing defamation.  There are many more points to be earned from learning negligence really well, as compared to defamation!  It is important that you allocate more of your time to the topics that are worth the most points.  Check out the MBE highly tested topics for more guidance as to how to allocate your time while studying for the MBE portion of the exam!

It is also true that some subjects are more frequently tested on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) portion of the Uniform Bar Exam.  Although you shouldn’t skip any subjects completely, you can check out the MEE Frequency Chart to get an idea of which subjects are ripe for testing (i.e., more likely to come up on your bar exam), and thus where you should spend more of your time.  Take particular note of which subjects were tested on the last administration or two of the bar exam, and also look at which subjects tend not to be tested twice in a row.  For example, if you see that Family Law was just tested on the last bar exam, and you notice that Family Law tends to not be tested twice in a row, it is less likely (but never impossible!) that Family Law will be tested on your bar exam.  So, you should spend less time focusing on Family Law and more time on another subject that is more likely to appear on the MEE.

Within each subject, some topics are also more highly tested than others on the MEE.  For example, one of the bar examiners’ favorite topics to test in Civil Procedure is jurisdiction (both personal and subject matter).  That this topic is highly tested means two things: first, it is more likely to appear on your bar exam so it is worth your time to learn this subject.  Second, since it is so highly tested, other students are likely prepared to face that topic.  So, when a grader is reading the essays for that subject, they are likely going to be a little bit harsher since they think that you should not have been caught off guard by such a predictable subject.  It is in your best interest to not only know that topic but know it fairly well.  It isn’t enough to just look at a topic and say, “I recognize that and can pick it out of a fact pattern.”  Instead, make sure you know the black letter law and also understand how to apply that law to a set of facts.  Check out JD Advising’s MEE Highly Tested Topics Guide and, for more detail about the highly tested topics in each subject, check out JD Advising’s MEE One Sheets.

3. Do practice questions.

As mentioned above, a good two-week study schedule will incorporate both a substantive review of black letter law and also completion of practice questions.  Reviewing the substantive law will give you a more comprehensive overview of a subject while doing practice questions will help you see how some of the topics are specifically tested on the bar exam.  Spending some time on each task will give you the best chance of passing the exam.  While you don’t have time to complete thousands of practice questions prior to the exam, there is still plenty of time to get some practice in!  Check out the sample study schedule at the end of this post for our suggested number of MBE and MEE practice questions for each subject during the two weeks you will be studying for the bar exam.

The best practice questions are real, released NCBE questions.  There are a number of places where you can purchase released MBE questions, and these will help prepare you for the level of difficulty, types of fact patterns, and ways in which the NCBE will likely test the material on your bar exam.  The NCBE has also released all of the previously administered MEE (essay) questions, some of which are available for free on the NCBE’s website, and others that are available for purchase.  Here are some places where you can find real, released MEE questions.

4. Don’t neglect the MPT!

Many students simply do not study for the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).  They assume that they will pass because they have written a memo or brief before and that they don’t need to prepare for this portion of the exam.  However, neglecting the MPT is a huge mistake!  The MPT is the only portion of the bar exam that does not require knowledge of substantive law, so the points you earn on the MPT are essentially “free points!”

Also, the MPT is worth 20% of your UBE score, which can make a big difference, especially if you happen to face an MEE subject that you aren’t entirely comfortable with or if answering MBE questions is not your strength.  Even if you are a strong writer and feel comfortable writing a brief or a memo, chances are you haven’t done it under the strict time constraints of the MPT! (You will have to complete two tasks in 3 hours or 90 minutes per task.)  Also, there are some strategies that you can use specific to the MPT to help you increase your score.  Rather than just “getting by” on the MPT, this is a great opportunity to pick up some extra points and build a cushion in case you don’t get enough points on the other portions of the exam.

We recommend doing at least one timed practice MPT before the bar exam, even if you only have two weeks to study.  Here are some MPT resources that can also help you boost your MPT score:

Sample Study Schedule

Here is a sample of what you can do during the two weeks prior to the bar exam to maximize your study time:

Day One:

Review first half of Real Property

Complete 2 Real Property essays (1 timed, 1 bullet-point)

Review first half of Civil Procedure

Complete 2 Civil Procedure essays (1 timed, 1 bullet-point)

Review Trusts

Complete 2 Trusts essays

Day Two:

Review second half of Real Property

Complete 30 Real Property MBE questions

Review second half of Civil Procedure

Complete 30 Civil Procedure MBE questions

Review Wills

Complete 2 Wills essays

Day Three:

Complete 30 Real Property MBE questions

Complete 3 Real Property essays (1 timed, 2 bullet-point)

Complete 30 Civil Procedure MBE questions

Complete 3 Civil Procedure essays (1 timed, 2 bullet-point)

Review Corporations and LLCs

Complete 2 Corporations and LLCs essays

Day Four:

Review Torts

Complete 30 Torts MBE questions

Complete 2 Torts essays (1 timed, 1 bullet-point)

Complete 1 timed MPT (objective memo)

Review Agency and Partnership

Complete 2 Agency and Partnership essays

Day Five:

Complete 30 Torts MBE questions

Complete 3 Torts essays (1 timed, 2 bullet-point)

Briefly review Real Property and Civil Procedure

Do a three-question timed MEE practice exam
(Suggested: Civil Procedure, Wills, and Corporations)

Day Six:

Review first half of Constitutional Law

Complete 2 Constitutional Law essays (1 timed, 1 bullet point)

Review first half of Criminal Law & Procedure

Complete 2 Criminal Law essays (1 timed, 1 bullet point)

Review Secured Transactions

Complete 2 Secured Transactions essays

Day Seven:

Review second half of Constitutional Law

Complete 30 Constitutional Law MBE questions

Review second half of Criminal Law & Procedure

Complete 30 Criminal Law & Procedure MBE questions

Review Conflict of Laws

Complete 2 Conflict of Laws essays

Review a practice MPT (persuasive brief)

Day Eight:

Complete 30 Constitutional Law MBE questions

Complete 3 Constitutional Law essays (1 timed, 2 bullet point)

Complete 30 Criminal Law & Procedure MBE questions

Complete 3 Criminal Law & Procedure essays (1 timed, 2 bullet point)

Review Family Law

Complete 2 Family Law essays

Day Nine:

Review first half of Evidence

Complete 2 Evidence essays (1 timed, 1 bullet point)

Review first half of Contracts & Sales

Complete 2 Contracts essays (1 timed, 1 bullet point)

Complete 2 Trusts essays

Day Ten:

Review second half of Evidence

Complete 30 Evidence MBE questions

Review second half of Contracts & Sales

Complete 30 Contracts & Sales MBE questions

Complete 2 Wills essays

Day Eleven:

Complete 30 Evidence MBE questions

Complete 3 Evidence essays (1 timed, 2 bullet-point)

Complete 30 Contracts & Sales MBE questions

Complete 3 Contracts & Sales essays (1 timed, 2 bullet-point)

Complete 2 Corporations Essays

Day Twelve:

Complete a 50-question timed MBE exam (mixed)

Complete 2 Agency & Partnership essays (bullet-point)

Complete 2 Secured Transactions essays (bullet-point)

Complete 2 Conflict of Laws essays (bullet-point)

Complete 2 Family Law essays (bullet-point)

Review a practice MPT (opinion or demand letter)

Day Thirteen:

Briefly review Real Property

10-15 Real Property MBE questions

Review answers to previously completed Real Property essays

Briefly review Civil Procedure

10-15 Civil Procedure questions

Review answers to previously completed Civil Procedure essays

Briefly review Torts

Complete 10-15 Torts MBE questions

Review answers to previously completed Torts essays

Briefly review Constitutional Law

Complete 10-15 Constitutional Law MBE questions

Review answers to previously completed Constitutional Law essays

Day Fourteen:

Briefly review Criminal Law & Procedure

Complete 10-15 Criminal Law & Procedure MBE questions

Review answers to previously completed Criminal Law & Procedure essays

Briefly review Evidence

Complete 10-15 Evidence MBE questions

Review answers to previously completed Evidence essays

Briefly review Contracts & Sales

Complete 10-15 Contracts & Sales essays

Review answers to previously completed Contracts & Sales essays

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