Multistate Essay Exam Advice – 5 Brilliant Tricks to Improve your Score!
Multistate Essay Exam Advice – 5 Brilliant Tricks to Improve your Score! In this post, we cover the Multistate Essay Exam advice that is the most important to making sure you succeed on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) — and the bar exam! These five tips and tricks will help you maximize your study time to make sure your MEE answers are the best that they can be on test day!
Multistate Essay Exam Advice – 5 Brilliant Tricks to Improve your Score!
1. Focus on the highly-tested MEE subjects when you study. And look at what might be coming up!
Not all Multistate Essay Exam subjects are treated equally. While you do not want to ignore any subject entirely, one of our best pieces of multistate essay exam advice is to focus on the subjects you are likely to see on the MEE! You can find an updated MEE chart here. (You can also see an MEE chart in the video, below).
You can see some subjects – like Civil Procedure – are tested heavily (almost every exam!). Civil Procedure is also fair game for the MBE, so it is well worth it to know this difficult subject.
Contracts, Corporations & LLCs, Agency and Partnership, and Secured Transactions are also heavily tested. Evidence, Wills, Trusts, Real Property and Torts trail close behind. Family Law and Constitutional Law are tested occasional. Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure are also tested occasionally but not as much. Conflicts of Law is the least-tested MEE subject and it is not tested by itself.
Again, this does not mean you should ignore anything entirely. However, if you have half a day to study Civil Procedure or half a day to study Criminal Procedure — Civil Procedure may be more worth your time!
Note: It is also not a bad idea to pay attention to predicted subjects. Again, while we do not think you should ignore any subject, it is not a bad idea to look at trends in what are being tested so you can focus on what might be coming up! See our most recent MEE predictions here if you are curious as to our thoughts!
2. Focus on the highly-tested topics within each subject.
Not all MEE topics are tested equally.The National Conference of Bar Examiners’ (the entity that writes the MEE) does not reinvent the wheel every time they write an exam question. On the contrary, some topics come up over. And over. And over again.
And students that are aware of these highly tested topics — and who study them — are very much rewarded with high scores!
In this post, we tell you the exact highly-tested MEE topics for each subject! (You can also purchase our MEE one-sheets if you want even more detailed information on the highly tested MEE topics for each subject!)
We have a fantastic and highly-regarded (and free!) PDF on How to Pass the Multistate Essay Exam and video on how to pass the Multistate Essay Exam (below) with excellent essay charts as well as an overview of the highly-tested MEE topics and areas of law for each subject.
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You can also watch the video below. The video is less than 20 minutes long and the PDF is super-concise but packed with great information. We highly recommend you download the PDF in conjunction with watching the video. These guides will help you if you are in: AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, ME, MA (beginning July 2018), MD, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NM, NY, ND, OH, OR, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, WA, WV, WI, WY, GU, MP, PW, VI
3. Make sure you have your essay structure down!
Essay structure is so important! You do not want to write law school answers to bar exam questions. You want to get your bar exam essay structure down! This piece of multistate essay exam advice is often overlooked. And many students write “law school essays” to bar exam questions. That is, they “argue both sides” for every issue, focus on policy discussion, and arrive at wishy-washy conclusions. A good bar exam essay answer will use a different structure!
So what structure should you follow?
Make sure your essay answers are clear and easy to read. For instance, if the essay asks four questions, organize your response around four bolded and underlined headings. This quickly tells the grader that you answered each part of the question. Next, under each heading, break your answer up into small paragraphs. Put your rule in a paragraph. Put your analysis in a paragraph. Lastly, put your conclusion at the end. Make it easy for the grader to see you have connected every dot with “RAC” (rule, analysis, conclusion).
Note: We generally do not see students get many points for “issue statements” so don’t worry too much about writing wonderful issue statements — especially if you find yourself running out of time to accurately state the rule or apply the law to the facts! Instead, focus on writing fantastic rule statements, utilizing the facts in your analysis, and arriving at clear conclusions
One piece of multistate essay exam advice which seems obvious – but which not all students do – is to practice! Practice will ensure you have your MEE structure down. It will also give you exposure to how MEE subjects are tested. We recommend that you write full essays in a timed setting at least once a week. (Make Friday your essay-writing morning, for example, so that it becomes a habit!) We also recommend you bullet point/write an essay or two every day. The importance of this cannot be overstated! Practicing – in a timed and untimed setting – will do all of the following:
- It will help you ensure you have your MEE structure down
- It will get you exposed to the highly-tested topics
- It will help you think more like a grader
- It will boost your confidence
- It will, no doubt, increase your score on the Multistate Essay Exam!
5. Self-grade your bar exam essays.
We just had a student tell us yesterday that this was the absolute best advice we gave her when she was studying for the bar exam. Rather than writing an essay and handing it into your bar review course for feedback, grade your own! Compare your essay with the MEE answer and ask yourself “Did I recognize the issues?” and for each issue “Did I state the rule? Did I analyze it correctly? Did I conclude?” You can also look at your organization and if you need to write more clearly or if your writing is looking good.
Grade yourself in a different color font (or different colored pen) as if you were actually a grader. This will get you into the mind of a bar exam essay grader. It will help you write essays that graders actually want to read!
When you self-grade, you can ignore case or statute citations, policy discussion, a lengthy analysis of the history of the law, or anything else that does not directly go to the rule, application, or conclusion.
Note: Use the answer promulgated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) to self grade. Do not use student answers. Even highly-graded student answers still tend to frequently miss what is in the model answers!
Note: You can also hand in your essay answers to a bar review course to grade! We recommend that you do not rely solely on any one grader though. You will learn the most from grading your own essays!
We hope you found this Multistate Essay Exam advice useful! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
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