Five Can’t-Miss Multistate Essay Exam Tips
The Multistate Essay Exam is a very important component of not only the Uniform Bar Exam, but some state bar exams as well. Therefore, it is important to learn how to best approach it! In this post we give you five of our best Multistate Essay Exam Tips! If you work these tips into your practice, your essays will be much improved by exam day and you will be well prepared to pick up a lot of points!
Five Can’t-Miss Multistate Essay Exam Tips
1. Concentrate on the highly tested subjects and the highly tested topics within them.
All subjects are not tested equally on the Multistate Essay Exam. A review of our MEE frequency chart reveals that some subjects appear on the exam quite often, while others appear sporadically. While you should not ignore entirely any single subjects, our first Multistate Essay Exam tip is to devote more study time to the subjects that are tested the most frequently. Time is precious before the exam, and you don’t want to spend hours upon hours learning every possible detail about a subject that isn’t as likely to show up.
The same theory holds true for the individual topics within the MEE. There are certain rules within each subject that appear over and over, making those critical to understand. Thus, another one of our Multistate Essay Exam tips is to focus on the highly tested topics within each subject as well. Check out this post on highly tested MEE topics that contains a detailed guide on how to pass the MEE, as well as this post on MEE frequency. You can greatly increase your chances for success on the Multistate Essay Exam by studying smart!
2. Format your answer to mirror the call of the question.
The questions posed on the MEE are very intricate, usually containing multiple issues for you to discuss. This makes the organization of your answer very important. Accordingly, our next Multistate Essay Exam tip is to make sure that you structure your answer in a way that mirrors the call of the question. The call may present individual sub-questions. Your answer should discuss each one separately. Begin each issue with a heading (as opposed to an issue statement that might take too much time). Guide the grader along as you move through your answer. Discuss only that relevant issue under the heading. Then move on to the next issue, signaling your intent to do so with a new heading.
Make things as easy as possible on the grader and make sure that you hit on every point that the call of the question asks.
3. Bold and/or underline key terms in your rule statements.
As mentioned above, your goal should be to make it as easy as possible to allow the grader to give you as many points as possible. One excellent way to do this, and thus why it is one of our favorite Multistate Essay Exam tips, is to bold and/or underline the key legal terms in your rule statements. Each rule statement has certain legal terms that, when stated, immediately indicate your knowledge and understanding of the law. These could be like the essential words in the various elements of a crime or cause of action, or the relevant legal standard, or a legal classification. Bolding these words causes them to jump out off the page. That way, if the grader happens to just be scanning your essay, they important words won’t get buried in the paragraphs. Make your knowledge apparent, even at a glance!
4. Make sure you utilize the facts.
The analysis portion of your essay is where you can pick up a lot of points. The best way to go about doing so is to use the facts! The next of our Multistate Essay Exam tips is to make sure you are utilizing as many of the facts from the fact pattern to support your argument as you can. The facts are there for a reason! These questions are designed to test your ability not only to recall the law, but to properly apply the law to the facts. If you just jump right from stating law to a conclusion, you are missing the opportunities to pick up points! You need to connect the dots between the law and the facts that support a conclusion.
5. Practice both often and smart.
Too often we see bar exam preparers not practice enough for the essay portion. While you might have been a good writer in law school, that doesn’t necessarily mean you understand how to approach a bar exam essay. There are very different strategies involved. Thus, the last of our Multistate Essay Exam tips is to make sure that you practice! Try multiple essays for each possible subject to get a feel as to how the subject tends to be tested. Further, make sure you are self-grading your essays when you practice! Throughout the self-grading process, you will interact with both your response and the model answer in great depth. It is important to understand what you did well and what you need to improve on. Be sure to check out this post on how to self-grade your MEEs! Practice often, but also practice smart!
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