If you are taking the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), you should be aware of these Multistate Essay Exam formatting tips that have a potential to make a big difference in your score. They are simple tips to put into practice and they make your answer organized and easy to read. In other words, they make it more likely you will get more points!
Five Simple Multistate Essay Exam Formatting Tips to Boost Your Score
Most MEE questions are about a page long and many will contain specific questions for you to answer. Make sure to carefully read the facts and the questions posed so you can respond fully to the question. When you write your answer keep these five simple Multistate Essay Exam formatting tips in mind!
1. Use headings. (Short and sweet headings are fine!)
Use headings when you write your MEE answer. It is much easier to use simple headings that correspond directly with the questions asked. So, if a question asks if a statement can be used for impeachment, you can simply write “Impeachment” as your heading. We recommend you bold or underline your headings or number them to correspond with the questions asked.
Many students spend a long time trying to write an eloquent heading. In reality, we do not see students get a lot of points for issue statements. A simple issue heading is fine. You can focus on incorporating facts in your analysis section rather than incorporating them in your heading.
2. Use IRAC.
After you state the issue, use IRAC (issue, rule, analysis, conclusion). In other words:
- Have a heading that concisely addresses the issue posed (as explained above)
- State the rule. (Use as many key words as you can!)
- Apply the law to the facts. (Use as many facts from the fact pattern as you can!)
- Conclude. (Make sure to actually arrive at a conclusion!)
For some reason, some students get out of “IRAC” mode when they write bar exam essay answers. But it is more important now than ever. A grader is not grading you on how well you can write. They are grading you on whether you have addressed the issues posed clearly and concisely. Using IRAC makes the grader’s job easy. They will be able to quickly see you addressed the issues posed.
3. Don’t start with a conclusion.
If you start with a conclusion, you risk losing points. We see students who start with an incorrect conclusion get deducted quite a few points.
If the answer is “Yes, the plaintiff has committed a battery” and you start your answer with “No, the plaintiff has not committed a battery” the grader will lose faith in your answer from the outset. It seems like some graders barely read what examinees write after seeing an incorrect conclusion.
In order to avoid an immediate bias, we recommend you put your conclusion at the end of addressing each issue (using IRAC) rather than at the beginning. (See below for an example.)
4. Use paragraph breaks.
There is nothing that is more annoying to read than an essay that is in one long paragraph. Make it easy on the grader’s eyes (and brain!) by incorporating paragraph breaks into your essay answer.
5. Bold or underline key words.
We recommend that you make it a habit to bold or underline key words or legal terms that will impress the grader. This will quickly draw the grader’s attention to your correct rule statements. (They may even naturally skip over some of the incorrect things you say if you make it a point to bold or underline key words that they are looking for!)
If you bold or underline key words, you also minimize the risk that the grader will miss a key point you make. Graders are only human and after grading a lot of essays, they tend to “scan” the essays rather than reading every word. If you emphasize the words they are looking for, you minimize the risk that they will miss something.
If you are looking for a general overview of what your Multistate Essay Exam answer format may look like, it should probably look something like this:
State the rule.
Apply the law to the facts.
State the rule.
Apply the law to the facts.
We hope you enjoyed our Multistate Essay Exam formatting tips! Good luck studying!
Seeking MEE Expertise?
Check out our February 2024 bar exam sale to save on our one-sheets, bar exam outlines, and mastery classes!
🌟 Freebies & Discounts
- Free Bar Exam Resource Center: Explore for leading guides, articles, and webinars.
- Expert-Crafted Bar Exam Guides: Unveil insights on high-frequency MEE topics and strategies for success.
- Free Webinars: Engage with top bar exam experts.
🔥 Top-Rated MEE Resources
- MEE One-Sheets: Boost your confidence with our most popular bar exam product!
- Bar Exam Outlines: Our comprehensive and condensed bar exam outlines present key information in an organized, easy-to-digest layout.
- NEW MEE Mastery Class: Unearth focused, engaging reviews of essential MEE topics.
- Bar Exam Crash Course and Mini Outlines: Opt for a swift, comprehensive refresher.
- MEE Private Tutoring and feedback: Elevate your approach with tailored success strategies.
- MEE Course: Preview our acclaimed five-star program for unmatched instruction, outlines, and questions.