Last-Minute Multistate Essay Exam Tips
Last Minute Multistate Essay Exam Tips
There are less than two weeks until the Multistate Essay Examination! In Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) jurisdictions, the MEE component comprises 30% of the overall score. Non-UBE jurisdictions that administer the MEE set their own policies to determine how much weight should be given to the MEE in relation to the overall score. Because the MEE compromises almost 1/3 of the overall score in UBE jurisdictions, it is worth spending some time developing an efficient strategy to answer these questions. Below are last-minute multistate essay exam tips to help you score higher on the MEE.
Last Minute Multistate Essay Exam Tips to Help you Score Higher!
1. Read the call of the question carefully!
Always read the call of the question first, even before you read the fact pattern. This will help you with issue spotting because the call of the question usually reveals the subject(s) that the fact pattern is testing. It will also help you structure your answer. Try to be as precise as possible when answering the question (e.g., if a question asks you about the effect of a letter sent on April 1st, do not discuss the effect of subsequent correspondence between the parties).
2. Underline key facts and language as you read the fact pattern.
Some key facts and language that you want to pay attention are as follows:
- This is relevant in every question, but particularly in Corporations questions (which is predicted to come up on the MEE in July 2016!) because a party may wear multiple “hats” – e.g., a director, officer, and shareholder.
- If the bar examiners give you the names of different cities or states, these are facts that you should address in your answer. Locations are of particular importance in Federal Civil Procedure and Conflict of Laws questions.
- Dollar Amounts
- Amounts are of particular importance in contracts questions that test contract formation, Statute of Frauds and remedies. You may also see dollar amounts in Trusts questions, especially when remedies for the breach of a trustee’s duty are tested.
- Language in Quotation Marks
- Any time you see language in quotes, make sure to address it in your answer. Do not paraphrase any language in quotation marks; analyze it as it is written. You will often see such language in contracts and evidence questions (e.g., contract formation, hearsay).
3. Address each issue individually using headings.
Sometimes a question will ask you address multiple issues. Use a heading for each sub-issue. For example, if you have an evidence question that focuses on hearsay, you may have to discuss relevant hearsay exemptions and exceptions. Under hearsay exceptions, you could have separate headings for dying declaration, present sense impression, and excited utterance. If you use headings, not only will your answer be more organized, it will also be easier for the bar exam graders to see that you spotted all the relevant issues. (…And easier for the graders to award you points!)
4. Note the applicable law and use the appropriate legal terminology in your answer.
- Applicable Law
- Do not forget to tell the examiner which law applies to a question (e.g., UCC Article 9, the Uniform Probate Code, the Model Business Corporation Act). Similarly, if you have a Criminal Procedure question that is testing a warrantless search, do not forget to note the Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. This is an easy way to get additional points.
- Legal Terminology
- Similarly, use the appropriate legal terminology in your answer. For example, if you have a Secured Transactions question, it is highly likely that you will have to discuss attachment, perfection, and the priority of creditors (e.g., purchase money security interest (PMSI) or buyer in the ordinary course of business). You will score more points if you include key terms and concepts because it shows the bar exam graders that you recognize the issues that were tested.
5. Review the fact pattern when you are done!
Set aside a few minutes to review the fact pattern after you have written your answer to see if you missed any facts. Incorporate the facts you missed into your answer. This will bolster your analysis and help you score additional points.
6. Get an overview of the highly-tested issues on the MEE.
If you have not practiced answering many MEE questions, it is not a bad idea to make sure you have an overview of the highly-tested issues on the MEE.
The easiest way to do this last-minute, is to check out our MEE one-sheets. These give you an overview of the highly-tested areas of the MEE in one sheet, front and back. We sell them in our online store.
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