Efficient MEE Prep: From the Start of Bar Prep to Exam Day
Bar prep is not a one size fits all pattern. Traditional bar exam programs run for about eight to ten weeks. Most bar exam preparation programs do not heavily focus on the written part of the bar exam. This is an easy part of the bar exam to dismiss, but this is often to the detriment of students. The Multistate Essay Exam is an easy place to gain (or lose) a significant number of points. In Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdictions, the MEE compromises 30% of your overall score! As such, you should roughly spend 30% of your study time preparing for the MEE. (Learn more about MEE grading and scoring here!) In this post, we will discuss how to structure efficient MEE prep, from the very beginning up to the day of the bar exam.
Efficient MEE Prep: From the Start of Bar Prep to Exam Day
If you have a ten-week period of bar study, the first four weeks are focused on learning the law. Your bar prep program offers its own materials, and those will be helpful on your bar prep journey. Remember that this beginning stage is the time to make use of the best possible outlines. While we do not solely focus on highlighting our products and courses’ fantastic quality, our MEE one-sheets will immensely amplify your MEE preparation.
These sheets help you efficiently prepare for the MEE because they are derived from the NCBE examiner’s analysis. What this means for you and your early learning of the law is that the MEE one-sheets discuss the rules you need to know. Our outlines discuss the majority and minority approaches, where such approaches exist. The MEE one-sheets also pinpoint heavily tested areas of each subject, such as common exceptions to major rules and even exceptions to the exception. Having the most important information about the subjects available is key to efficient prep for the MEE.
In order to actively “skill-up” for the MEE at this beginning stage of bar prep, you should focus on learning the law, particularly for the most heavily tested MEE topics. If you want tangible MEE practice, our suggestion is that you focus on learning to read MEE fact patterns. Make sure you’re familiar enough with a subject area that you can comfortably spot the common issues tested for each topic. To do this, you can read the fact pattern and make some notes regarding potential issues. Then, read the examiner’s analysis and compare that to the issues you spotted. Learning to master this ability early into the bar prep process will help you to prepare for the MEE efficiently.
You have spent the first month of bar prep refreshing your recollection and learning some new areas of highly tested law. As you move into the next four weeks of your bar prep journey, you should also make some changes in your preparation for the MEE. In the beginning stage, you focused on reading MEE fact patterns and issue-spotting. Now, it’s time to practice the MEE fully. To practice, we recommend practicing subjects based on how frequently they’ve been tested. We keep a handy frequency chart of that information.
For example, if you’re aiming to practice 20 MEE questions per week, you should spend some time reading this chart and determining what subjects are highly tested. Then determine what specific parts of that subject are often tested. Now divvy up your time accordingly! Perhaps you will focus 6 essays on the most highly tested subjects (civil procedure), 6 essays on the slightly less frequently tested subjects (contracts, constitutional law, corporations, secured transactions), 4 essays on the less frequently tested subjects (evidence, torts), and 4 essays on the infrequently tested subjects (conflicts of laws, criminal law). Remember to tailor this approach to your personal needs! Focusing on the most highly tested subjects allows you to prepare for the MEE efficiently, as you are using the test statistics to guide how you spend your study time. This means you are making the most of your study time!
In the two weeks before the bar exam, it is easy to get overwhelmed and panicked. This happens to everyone. But you have a system that you put in place during the middle stage of your bar study (see above). At this point, you likely do not have a lot of time to spend on fully writing out the MEE. That’s okay—respond in bullet point format. Read the fact-pattern, but then use bullet points and outline your answer. This approach is less time consuming but still requires that you flex that memory muscle as you practice. At this stage of bar prep, efficiency is crucial because you do not have as much time. Follow the bullet point outline approach in your answers to prepare for the MEE efficiently.
As test day approaches, make sure to spend the most time on highly tested areas and areas with which you feel less prepared. Make sure to schedule some time to take a day or two off before the bar exam, as your brain will benefit from the break. Learn all the reasons we think taking breaks is beneficial. Then. check out this breakdown on everything you should (and should not do) the weekend before the bar exam! On exam day, remind yourself that you know more than you think you know and take the bar!
We have included a few other helpful steps to implement into your MEE prep.
- Make sure to read the examiner’s analysis thoroughly to understand the correct answer.
- Take that a step further and compare what you correctly addressed and what you may have missed with the examiner’s analysis.
- Finally, review your outline or the MEE one-sheets for subject areas that give you trouble.
If you want some more practice on bar exam essays, JD Advising has helpful MEE resources. If your bar prep course does not offer sufficient bar exam essay practice, or if you would like more bar exam essay practice, consider purchasing JD Advising’s MEE One Sheets, MEE Books, or the MEE Seminar to help you improve and increase your bar exam essay score.
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