Topic 10: Other Unique Ways to Boost Your Score and Pass the Bar
Take Pressure off of the MBE by Boosting Your Essay Score
Many bar examinees tend to worry a lot about the MBE and focus primarily on the MBE when they study. You may be falling into this trap if:
- You do not complete the assigned essays in your commercial bar prep course.
- You focus primarily on the MBE subjects and do not spend sufficient time studying the other subjects.
- You have goals like “answering 100 MBE questions a day” but do not have comparable essay goals.
- You have not written any Multistate Performance Tests (MPTs) or have spent comparatively little time preparing for the MPT.
- You tell yourself you can always “fake it” on an essay question.
However, the truth is that it is much easier for many examinees to substantially improve their essay score with comparatively little effort. Here are two graphs that illustrate the effort required to increase an MBE score compared to the effort required to increase an essay score.
So, the best approach to the MBE includes practicing essays! Not only are essays worth half of your total bar exam score in most jurisdictions, but many bar examinees see a big increase in their essay score with relatively little effort. This is because practicing past essays is not a task that is routinely emphasized by many commercial courses. Thus, if you practice past essays, your essays will look comparatively good next to the essays of students who have not practiced past essays, making it easier for you to earn a high score. This explains how some students see a big jump in their essay score without putting in significant effort.
Get Excited for the MBE!
This is our last—but important— tip!
A lot of examinees feel really anxious before the bar exam (which is understandable). And as a result, many examinees try to repress anxious energy by just trying to calm down. However, this is difficult to do! It is much easier to redirect that anxious energy into some positive energy!
So, here is a last-minute MBE tip to help you boost your bar exam score:
Say this one sentence to yourself to create positive self-talk: “I’m excited for the bar exam.” (Other variations include, “I’m excited for the MBE!” or “I’m excited to take this test and become a lawyer!”)
A study conducted at Harvard University showed that students who said “I’m excited!” before performing a task (rather than saying “I am calm” or not saying anything at all):
- Scored 8% better on a math test than a control group.
- Gave speeches that were considered better and more persuasive than the control group.
- Scored over 10% higher than a control group in a karaoke contest.
If telling yourself that you are excited about the bar exam has the potential to boost your score by 8%, that could make the difference between passing and failing!
So, get excited for the bar exam!!
Go to the next topic, Civil Procedure—Highly Tested MBE Topics, Charts, and a Checklist!
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