You may wonder how you can answer MBE questions faster. You only have three hours to get through 100 questions and timing is critical. Here are some tips for answering MBE questions faster (and answer them correctly in the process!).
First, make sure you have the rules memorized.
The best way to get faster at answering MBE questions is to make sure you know the rules cold! Learning the rules really well will help you answer questions quickly. You won’t waste time trying to think of the rule or eliminate answer choices. It is not easy to memorize all of the nuances for the MBE. But it is the best way to improve your timing! If you are looking for tips to memorize your bar exam outlines check out this post.
We recommend you try this with one subject if you don’t believe us. Spend a few hours memorizing your outline today. Get a good night of rest. Then answer MBE questions in the morning and see if you improve.
Second, develop a system for quickly jotting out facts.
Like, if a woman is from State A and she is suing a corporation domiciled in State B and C and the corporation impleads a company from State A and C, it is very efficient to have a system to jot out these facts so you don’t have to keep rereading the fact pattern. For example:
Woman (A) –> Corporation (B / C) [–> company A/C]
Practicing a system will help you improve your timing on the MBE. This also works for convoluted mortgage priority questions, contract formation questions, and other questions where dates, times, domiciles, etc. are critical.
Third, change the order you read the question.
I, personally, start at the top of the question and read through the call of the question. Then, if possible, I pause to think of the answer choice. However, some students find it helpful to read the call of the question first. You may not know what you find easiest. I have had students who I have tutored who have always read the call of the question first. But, they find that when we review questions that I read aloud, they really like just starting from the top of the question. (Some say reading the call of the question distracts them from getting a clear picture of the facts so they find themselves rereading the facts.) So, try it both ways to see what you find better. One route will likely be faster/more efficient for you.
Whatever you do, do not read the answer choices first. I have heard some suggest this, but it does not make any sense to do that!
Fourth, if you get a really long, convoluted question, skip it.
There are some Real Property questions that would take me a solid three minutes just to understand the facts. If you find yourself reading a lengthy, complicated fact pattern, just fill in a bubble and make a note to come back to it (see below). You do not want to spend precious minutes trying to answer one question, only to miss five questions at the end.
If you find yourself spending too much time on a question, develop a dot/dash system.
I had a system where, when I skipped a question (i.e., filled in a random bubble) either because I did not know it or because it was too complicated, I put a small dash by the answer bubble on my bubble sheet. If I got to a question that I did answer (but that I merely wanted to come back to and check if I had time) I put a small dot by it on my answer sheet.
At the end of the exam, I went back to all of the questions I put a dash by and I reviewed those first. Then I reviewed all of the “dots”. This helped me to prioritize my time and not spend too long on any one question. I was also comforted knowing I could still go back to it at the end and spend time on it if I had time left.
We hope these tips help you answer MBE questions faster (and more accurately!)
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