How Can I Eliminate Wrong MBE Answers?
There will undoubtedly be those times when you just don’t know the answer to the question. Not to panic! This is normal and totally to be expected. The best way to be prepared for that inevitable moment is to learn some strategies before the test. In this post, we cover how to eliminate wrong MBE answers.
How Can I Eliminate Wrong MBE Answers?
Eliminate, and Move On
There are various ways to identify answers that don’t work. Some answers identify a useless fact but provide the right result. Other answers may mix legal concepts in an attempt to throw off the test taker. There are also, like always, red herrings. Is an answer an affirmative defense even though the question is not testing defenses? Are there any answers that are similar? If they are, how do they differ? Then relate that difference to the question being asked and you may find that the right answer can be found in that difference.
Once you’ve eliminated an answer, move on to the next one!
Read Closely— the Question and the Answers
While students are urged to read the fact pattern and the call of the question closely, they are often not told to also read the answers closely. Just as you can miss an important word (think, “not”) in the question, an important word can equally appear in the answer. Pro-tip, use a piece of paper or a ruler to make sure your eyes are on the right lines, reading all the words.
Call of Question First, Facts Later
Some people find it easier to read the call of the question, then the answers, and then the facts of the question. For some, having the conclusory framework allows them to see the relevant facts upfront, making the right answer appear more easily. For others, this can be distracting. Like all things bar exam, try each approach and see which works better for you…then do that. In either case, one thing is certain knowing what the question is actually asking is the first step towards success.
Learn through Reading
If you went to law school, you most likely at some point or another, took notes. Maybe this was highlighting certain words in your book or perhaps it was the occasional written note in the margin. These are thinking tools that can be used on the bar exam too. If you find yourself struggling, ask yourself, which words stand out? Are there “nevers” and “always”? These can serve as legal guideposts to help you eliminate wrong MBE answers.
Breathe, Center, and Focus
There is also, for many, a psychological aspect to this. Are you nervous? Second-guessing yourself? Fixated on a question that you did twenty minutes prior? These are all factors that may impact your ability to effectively eliminate the wrong MBE answers. Some students find that the best approach is a methodical approach—no matter what it may be—because it helps to minimize additional stress in an already stressful situation. Create your own method well before the bar exam, practice it rigorously, and it will serve you well on test day.
For other strategies take a look at this helpful list of ways to eliminate wrong MBE answers.
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