Four More Tips For Answering MBE Questions
Answering MBE questions both in preparation for and during the Bar Exam can be long and tedious. You start with the goal of finding the right answer, then approach the passage, scan the answers, and so on. After answering so many MBE questions, you may even begin to feel like an explorer…on a very long…and painful quest. At JD Advising, we understand the steps that should be taken when approaching MBE questions and how to make the process more efficient. We’ve compiled some tips for answering MBE questions on the bar exam.
Four More Tips For Answering MBE Questions
Back To Front
One of the most common mistakes we see students making when answering MBE questions comes down to approach. While it may seem counterintuitive, make sure to always read the “call of the question” first. The call of the question is the primary question you must answer and is usually found in the last line. For example, the call of the question may sound similar to “what interest, if any, does X have in Blackacre?” Another call of the question may sound like “Do X’s actions constitute a breach of the attractive nuisance doctrine?”
Consulting the call of the question before reading through the entire passage has one major benefit. It allows you to start thinking about what kind of information to be on the lookout for in the passage. Going back to the attractive nuisance doctrine hypothetical – reading the call of the question allows you to start thinking of the applicable elements before reading the passage. When it comes time to read the passage, you can be on the lookout for conditions satisfying the various elements.
Go With Your Gut
Another common mistake we see students making when answering MBE questions is the good old psych-out. Many times, students will overanalyze a hypothetical to the point of talking themselves out of the correct answer. This usually comes down to a student doubting their own confidence in answering a question. “It can’t be that obvious” or “I must have missed something” are common thoughts when answering MBE questions. Have some faith in yourself! You have been studying and preparing for months!
Small Differences Make A Huge Impact
Many students find themselves forced to choose between two answer choices that both appear to be correct. Students get so convinced that both answer choices are acceptable that they often end up guessing between the two. Obviously, this is not advisable. The good news is that it’s avoidable. Very rarely will the Examiners deem two answers to be correct. On the MBE, you’re looking for the “most right” answer choice since the instructions state to pick the “best answer.” That means you need to be able to identify the differences between the answer choices quickly and competently. Between the two answer choices, one will almost always have a reason for being better.
Mark It Up
You’re allowed to write in the test booklet, and scratch paper is provided if you need more space. For those of you taking the Bar Exam remotely due to COVID-19, digital scratch paper is provided to all students. Do not be afraid to mark up the scratch paper, test booklet, or both! MBE questions can get complex and elaborate. Hypotheticals with multiple characters, various transfers of land interest, and confusing series of events are all common. That means you’re likely going to need a system to keep track of everything going on within the question. Draw, diagram, take notes, make reminders – do whatever you need to do in order to help yourself better understand a question. Attempting to keep track of everything in your head isn’t necessary and can lead to mistakes!
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