How to Pass the Uniform Bar Exam
How to Pass the Uniform Bar Exam: On the first day of the UBE examinees must complete six 30-minute essays in the morning (MEE) and two 90-minute MPTs in the afternoon. On the following day, examinees must answer 100 multiple-choice questions in the morning and 100 multiple-choice questions in the afternoon (MBE). Are you unsure about how to study for this exam? Do you find yourself answering questions but feel like you aren’t getting anywhere? Below are five top tips on how to pass the uniform bar exam.
How to Pass the Uniform Bar Exam
1. Use well-written up-to-date outlines.
There is no substitute for quality outlines! This was true in law school and it’s equally important for the bar exam. The NCBE announced recently announced changes to the topics covered in Real Property on the MBE and MEE (beginning with the February 2017 administration). For example, students will now be tested on property owners’ associations; the drafting, review and negotiation of closing documents; and some nuances of zoning. Make sure you are learning the law that you need to know to give yourself the best chance of passing the bar exam!
2. Know your MBE subjects well.
The MBE subjects will be tested on the multiple-choice questions as well as the essays. You will likely see two or three essay questions (and sometimes more!) on the MEE that test your knowledge of MBE subjects. This accounts for at least one-third to one-half of your points on the MEE portion! With respect to the MEE, begin with frequently tested subjects (e.g., Civil Procedure is a favorite!). See this post for MEE subjects by year!
3. Practice using real questions.
Your best resources for the exam are past questions! Practicing with real questions will give you a good idea of how certain subjects are tested – you will begin to identify common types of questions (e.g., if you are reviewing criminal law on the MBE, it is highly likely that you will be asked to determine the “most serious crime” a person has committed). Check out the Study Aids section of the NCBE website to find some free MEE and MPT questions from past administrations. If you are looking for past MBE questions, take a look at Emanuel’s Strategies & Tactics for the MBE (sixth edition), Adaptibar (online only), or MBE practice exams on the NCBE website (online only). Here’s our take on how to improve your MBE score.
4. Actively review the answers to any questions you complete.
An important part of doing practice questions is reviewing the answers – for both essay and multiple-choice questions. This is not the time to skim! Take the time to figure out why you answered a question incorrectly. Were you unable to remember the rule? Did you read the question incorrectly? Did you miss issues in an essay? It is best to review the answer to a question immediately after you answer it. If you delay reviewing your answers you are less likely to see an improvement in your scores! Knowing why you answered a question incorrectly can help you review more effectively. This is our advice on how to answer MEE questions!
5. Do not save your review of the MPTs for the week before the bar exam.
Many students make the mistake of looking at their first MPT the week before the bar exam and begin to panic. Even though you do not need to memorize any law for this portion of the exam, you still need to feel comfortable completing any MPT task (e.g., objective memorandum, persuasive brief, opinion letter, demand letter, etc.) within 90 minutes. It is also good to review at least one uncommon MPT task. The MPT accounts for 20% of your overall score (the same as 70 MBE questions!) – do not miss out on getting points on this section! Throughout the course of your bar review, schedule time to look at each of these tasks and address any timing issues you may have. Make sure to take the MPT seriously!
Christine, one of our bar exam tutors, wrote this post. Christine has passed three bar exams, including California, New York, and New Jersey. She also scored in the 95th percentile on the MBE, and specializes in helping students raise their MPT scores.
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