Top Five Multistate Essay Exam Tips
The multistate essay exam is very important — it is worth the equivalent of 105 MBE questions! In other words–30 percent of your overall bar exam score! There are a few things you need to do to pass the multistate essay exam — have good materials, understand those materials, memorize them, and apply them (i.e. practice!). We take you through these multistate essay exam tips in this post!
1. Make sure you are using good materials!
When you study for the multistate essay exam, don’t try to use three different outlines for each subject. Instead, settle on one outline that is detailed, but not too detailed! A 10 to 30 page outline for most subjects should suffice (10 pages for, say, Conflicts; 30 for a subject like Secured Transactions). If you come across a multistate essay exam topic when you practice that is not in your outline, add it to your outline. The multistate essay exam tends to re-test topics! If you are looking for super-efficient MEE outlines, check out ours here. (Or check our our MEE one-sheets if you are looking for a great overview of what is tested on the multistate essay exam! Also, consider signing up for our MEE course. It is a ten-hour week-long course and our outlines come with it!)
2. Make sure you understand the materials you are using.
If you don’t understand what per stirpes distribution is, or what the anti-lapse statute really means. Or what the Uniform Principal and Income is in practice, then you need to complete this step! You might gain a better understanding of it through lecture, or googling it, or private tutoring! Note that it is possible you understand a subject just by reading about it in your outline if, for example, you had the class in law school. But if you find yourself struggling to understand something, you need to try to get a solid comprehension of what it is before moving on to the next step.
After all, it is going to be very hard to memorize a concept–then apply it to a fact pattern–if you do not even understand it to begin with!
(Note: If you are interested in tutoring for the MPT, MEE, MBE or any portion of the bar exam, please check out our our private tutoring options here. Also, check out our online and in-person in-depth one-week MEE course that shows you a fantastic and tailored approach to the MEE.)
3. Memorize your outlines.
Students love to skip just from understanding a subject to “applying” it. Do not make that mistake! You have to memorize the elements. You have to be able to articulate the highly-tested areas of law especially on the MEE!!! The answer will not be in front of you — you will have to write about a topic.
This is very important. Out of our multistate essay exam tips, this is the one we see students skip the most! They often skip it because they are overwhelmed by the amount of things on their “to do list” that their commercial course provides. Or they don’t know how to memorize or where to start.
If you are “bad at memorizing” or if you do not know where to start, see this post on seven tips to memorizing your bar exam outlines. It can help you come up with different approaches to memorizing and also make sure you are repeating the information enough so that you are studying efficiently.
4. Apply what you know to past MEE questions.
There are a lot of stellar sources for past multistate essay exam questions. We recommend you do all the free ones on the NCBE website (www.ncbex.org) then move on to paying for questions. Your money will not be better spent! Note that if you take a commercial course, they should provide the questions to you.
Don’t assume that “you are a good writer” and don’t need to practice. We see students fail the bar exam every time because they do not practice MEE questions! Practice early and practice often!
When you practice, make sure you pay careful attention to the MEE sample answer. We tell you how to study the MEE sample answers here. If you tend to be the type to procrastinate, then one of the most important multistate essay exam tips you can follow is to incorporate answering MEE questions into your schedule.
5. Study efficiently.
You cannot learn everything about every subject tested on the MEE. Time is your most valuable asset during bar prep and you want to make sure you are studying the most efficient way possible. This is one of the most important multistate essay exam tips that we can pass along–especially if you are a perfectionist and tend to want to know everything before an exam.
- See what subjects are tested most on the MEE by studying our MEE subject frequency chart.
- See what topics are tested the most, by purchasing our MEE one-sheets. If you don’t have money to spend on one-sheets, then go through past MEE’s and make your own. This can be a great exercise in deciphering the highly-tested topics within each subject!
The takeaway is this: You don’t want to spend the same amount of time studying Conflicts of Law (a subject that is infrequently tested) as you spend studying, say, Civil Procedure (a subject that is tested nearly every exam!). Further, you do not want to spend the same amount of time studying transfer (a topic that is frequently tested in Civil Procedure!) as you do studying Erie (a less-tested topic).
You want to spend your time studying the most highly-tested subjects and most highly-tested topics within each subject.
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