We answer this question every bar exam and this bar exam is no exception! Many students, despite their best efforts and their best practice at time management, will miss a question on the MEE (the multistate essay exam). Then they get anxious and spend several weeks worrying about it before getting bar exam results! In this post, we break down the math, and we tell you why missing a question on the MEE does not mean you failed the bar exam.
“I missed a question on the MEE. Will I fail the bar exam?”
If you missed a question on the MEE, you are not alone! The real question is: Does that mean you will fail the bar exam?
Luckily, the answer is no. Let’s talk about why.
If you are in a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdiction, the multistate essay exam is worth 30% of your score. (If you are not in a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdiction, check to see the percentage it is worth. In most states, it is worth about 30%!) We will assume for the sake of this post that you are in a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdiction.
Since six MEE questions are worth 30% total, that means that one MEE question is worth 5%. Assuming you write nothing and you get 0 points, you will automatically miss out on a potential of 5% of your score.
But, make sure to keep this in perspective! In a Uniform Bar Exam state, you will likely need somewhere between a 260 out of 400 potential points to a 280 out of 400 potential points to pass. That is between a 65% and a 70% total that you need to pass the bar exam. Further, because that score is scaled, you actually can get by with a lower percentage and still pass the exam! This is not a class in school where you want an A. You actually just want a D or a low C-!
Second, if you ran out of time on one of the questions, you may very well make up for it with strong answers to the other five questions. So keep that in mind. The strength of your answers to other questions could very well make up for the one multistate essay exam question that you missed.
Lastly, even students who do maintain good time management during the bar exam might still score a 1 or a 2 on an essay if they simply do not know the law. So if the question you skipped was a difficult question or one you didn’t know, remember that even if you got to it, you may have scored low. (That may not be the most consoling thing, but it is the truth ;))
We talk to students every single administration who worry because they missed MEE question (or a question and a half or a large portion of the MPT!) and many of them still pass the bar exam. Remember that while obviously having perfect time management is ideal, not having time to answer every question does not necessarily mean that you failed the bar exam!
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