How Do I Know If I’m Prepared For The MBE?
The MBE is a component of the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and also appears on the majority of state-specific bar exams. In most jurisdictions (including jurisdictions employing the UBE), the MBE is worth fifty percent of the total bar exam score. Given this, many students often wonder if they are adequately prepared for the MBE. In this post, we provide you with some indicators to help you determine whether you are prepared for the MBE!
How Do I Know If I’m Prepared For The MBE?
1. Have you spent enough time memorizing MBE materials?
As you create your bar exam study schedule, be sure to set aside time to memorize the material. Many students fall into a trap when approaching the MBE that they will recognize the answer to a particular question when they review the available answer choices. As you prepare for the MBE, you should have enough material memorized so that you are able to identify the legal issue, the applicable rule, and answer the question all before looking at the answer choices! If you are unable to do this for the majority of your practice questions (especially as you get closer to the bar exam), it’s likely that you need to spend some more time memorizing your outlines.
2. Have you practiced enough MBE exams under timed conditions?
When starting your studies for the bar exam, practicing MBE questions can be time-consuming! When you start practicing with MBE questions, you might not yet be familiar with the law, you are still getting used to the structure of MBE questions and answer choices, and you are diligently reviewing your responses so you can better understand how to answer MBE questions correctly. As you continue to practice MBE questions, make sure you time yourself.
You are likely on track to pass the MBE if you consistently correctly answer MBE questions under timed conditions. Be sure to complete an entire practice exam while preparing for the bar exam. You can also do “mini” exams (50-100 questions) under timed conditions as well!
There are a number of methods students use when practicing timing for the MBE. For example, you may have decided to “divide” your time into 15-minute increments, in order to complete about 9 MBE questions every 15 minutes. Here is an illustration of that timing strategy:
- After 15 minutes, you should have answered 9 questions
- At the 30 minute mark, you should have answered 18 questions
- After 45 minutes, you should have answered 27 questions
- Finally, at 60 minutes, you should have answered 36 questions
A timing strategy can also help with test-day anxiety. Practicing timing can help you keep a steady pace on test day, making it less likely that you’ll run out of time! Remember, if you are unable to answer the last few questions, the impact to your total score is likely only a couple of percentage points. Many examinees have run out of time on the MBE and still passed the bar exam!
Also, be sure to practice with NCBE-released questions. You can purchase the NCBE’s newly released 2022 practice exam from our website!
Be sure to stay encouraged! It is normal to get some questions wrong during practice. More importantly, understand why your answer choices are correct and incorrect, and learn what to look out for going forward.
3. Are your practice scores close to the general MBE passing score?
Each jurisdiction establishes its own MBE “passing” scaled score. For example, in Michigan, you need to score at least a 135 on the MBE to pass. However, this does not mean that you have to answer 135 questions correctly in order to pass! It is the raw score that will tell you the number of correct questions out of the 175 scored questions that is required to pass. Because you are aiming for a 135 scaled score, you want at least a 118 raw score. This means that in Michigan, you would have to answer 67.42% of MBE questions correctly in order to obtain a 135 on that portion of the exam.
You can also use the MBE raw score conversion chart as a guide to give you a general ballpark of how you are scoring.
4. Here are some other indicators to determine if you are prepared for the MBE.
- Practice: You practiced more questions than you can count (and you spent time understanding why an answer was right or wrong!).
- Law Memorization: You memorized all that you can. Review this post on how to memorize your bar exam outlines if you are looking for new ways to learn the law.
- Highly Tested Topics: Your study schedule incorporated focused attention to the highly tested topics for each of the seven (7) MBE subjects.
- Supplemental Study Tools: Perhaps you have purchased JD Advising’s MBE Guide, which is a supplemental study tool that focuses on common topic areas that students have trouble with. The MBE Guide gives tips and information so that examinees can answer at least one more question correctly per subject.
- MBE Tutor: You may have worked with a bar exam tutor while preparing for the bar exam. A bar exam tutor can provide singith regarding memorization and help you with MBE questions in a manner that’s tailored to you. If you are considering whether tutoring services are for you, check out our blog post, Do I Need A Bar Exam Tutor To Pass The Bar?
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