I Failed the Barbri Simulated MBE. How Do I Pass the Bar Exam?
If you failed the Barbri simulated MBE, you are not alone. We talk to students every single administration who fail the Barbri simulated MBE (sometimes by a lot!) and go on to pass the bar exam. Here, we tell you a game plan for boosting your MBE score as much as possible in the time you have left.
But first…let’s cover what not to do.
When a student finds out they have failed the Barbri simulated MBE, their first instinct is to do more practice questions. They want to do more to make themselves feel better. So they answer 100 more questions. They don’t do so great on those. Then they get anxious and keep answering more and more questions. This increases stress and anxiety and is not productive.
Instead, if you failed the Barbri simulated MBE, it is time to be methodical about improving your score. We recommend you take the following steps:
1. Spend some quality time each day simply memorizing the highly tested law.
“Quality time” depends on your schedule. If you have all day to study, spend a few hours focusing on memorizing the highly tested areas of law. This means that you should review this MBE frequency chart and focus on the big-ticket items (like negligence).
Do not focus as much on topics that are not highly tested (like the Rule Against Perpetuities!).
If you find you do not understand the law, invest in a session of bar exam private tutoring. A tutor can explain the areas of law you are struggling with. We frequently meet with students at the last minute to cover tricky, highly tested areas of law. Oftentimes it is just what they need to boost their bar exam scores!
2. Get real, released MBE questions.
Barbri has recently admitted that it only offers 100 real MBE questions in total. That means that your simulated MBE did not, by definition, use all released questions. At most, it contained 100 questions.
The best gauge of how you will perform on the real MBE is to use actual released MBE questions! These are questions written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. They are the closest to what you will see on the real MBE. They are the best true measure of how you are performing. And they will prepare you the best for the real MBE!
BUT don’t do all of the questions at once. This leads us to our next point…
3. Start to answer questions slowly and methodically.
Instead of speeding through MBE questions, slow down!
A bar exam taker scored 30% on her simulated MBE before last administration’s bar exam. She then went on to use this technique — of answering questions slowly and methodically for 30 days. After 30 days, she took — and passed — the California bar exam (which requires the highest passing score!). You can read her story here. You can review the technique she used to answer questions slowly and methodically here.
Her story shows you why you should not mindlessly answer 100 questions a day. It is much better to do fewer questions and do them well.
4. Make sure your schedule makes sense.
If you are studying full time, spend a couple of hours a day reviewing the highly tested areas of MBE law. ANd spend a couple of hours answering questions slowly and methodically. You should also make sure to not neglect the written portion of the exam. In the vast majority of states, you do not need a certain MBE score to pass. (This includes all Uniform Bar Exam states!) Instead, you only need an overall passing score. It is much easier for many students to improve their written scores at the last minute. So use your remaining time to practice essays and MPTs (if your jurisdiction tests them).
Stay positive. You can definitely pass this exam even without passing the Barbri simulated MBE! The simulated MBE is just that—simulated. The real MBE is what counts, and you still have time left to improve your score and pass the bar exam.
Also, check out this post on what to do instead of the Barbri simulated MBE.
Good luck studying!
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