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(We have an updated MBE frequency chart here, in the new guide!)
MBE Frequency Chart: Highly Tested MBE Topics
Here, we discuss the highly tested MBE topics. Before we do so, it is important to note that the MBE subjects are all tested equally. The MBE covers seven subjects:
- Civil Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Contracts & Sales
- Criminal Law & Procedure
- Real Property
Each subject is apportioned 25 questions, for a total of 175 total scored questions. (There also are an additional 25 test questions, which can be pulled from any subject.)
Highly Tested MBE Topics
While the MBE subjects are tested equally, the MBE topics within each subject are not tested equally. We have listed the MBE subjects in order and ranked the topics from most-to-least tested. You can see which subtopics fall within these topics by downloading the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) subject matter outline here.
Why pay attention to the highly tested MBE topics?
When you study for the bar exam, your goal is to study efficiently! One of the best ways to study efficiently for the bar exam is by focusing on the highly tested MBE topics.
- Civil Procedure: Jurisdiction and venue, pretrial procedures, and motions are tested the most. You should focus on these topics when you study.
- Constitutional Law: individual rights makes up half of the tested MBE questions.
- Contracts: Focus on formation and performance, breach, and discharge. These make up 50% of the scored Contracts MBE questions. You’ll also notice that only 1/4 of the questions cover UCC Article 2.
- Criminal Law and Procedure: Constitutional protection of accused persons (Criminal Procedure) makes up 50% of the scored Criminal Law and Procedure questions. You can also see that topics like Homicide make up 12.5% of the Criminal Law questions.
- Evidence: relevancy, hearsay, and presentation of evidence are highly tested and should compose the bulk of your studying.
- Real Property: This subject is evenly divided in terms of how it is tested. So, do not over-focus on one topic (like the rule against perpetuities or present and future interests, for example) since you are unlikely to see multiple scored questions on any given topic. Instead, you will see an even spread of Real Property questions.
- Torts: negligence is by far the most important MBE topic, as it makes up half of the scored questions on the bar exam.
If your goal is to study smart for the MBE, it is well worth it to focus on the topics that are worth the most points!
How do I make sure I am exposed to these highly tested topics?
The best way is to use actual, released MBE questions. We discuss this further in Topic 13. You can also read about where to find real MBE questions here or check out our Qbank of real MBE questions here.
Update: Please make sure you are using released MBE questions when you are reviewing your raw score! (The BEST current exam is the 2022 exam released by the NCBE, which you can purchase here.)
Go to the next topic, Topic 3: How to Pass the MBE.
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