How To Pass The West Virginia Bar Exam
West Virginia adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) in May 2016 and will administer the UBE beginning with the July 2017 exam. You need a minimum scaled score of 270 (out of a possible 400 points) to pass the exam. This is a higher passing score than many other UBE jurisdictions, so you have to take the exam seriously. West Virginia does not have an additional jurisdiction-specific component that examinees must complete in order to become licensed. If you are wondering how to pass the West Virginia bar exam preparing for July 2017, we have some tips for you!
How To Pass The West Virginia Bar Exam
1. Create (or revise) your study schedule as needed.
No one knows what your daily commitments are better than you. Maybe you are looking after your kids or parents. Maybe you are working part-time or full time. Be realistic when you create your study schedule based on your other commitments. Not everyone will need to devote the same amount of time to each subject. Maybe you had a fantastic civil procedure professor and found yourself nodding off in your 8 AM real property class in law school.
Do not be afraid to alter the schedule given to you by your commercial course. If you need to spend a few extra days on certain topics (e.g., mortgages, hearsay exceptions), do it! Once you begin studying, set aside ten to fifteen minutes each weekend to evaluate which study methods worked for you and which ones did not. Don’t waste your time using ineffective study methods.
2. Review the explanations for every multiple-choice question that you do.
The MBE is worth 50% of your overall scaled score. If you dreaded multiple-choice question tests in law school, you will need to put in the extra time to improve your multiple-choice test-taking skills. Many students make the mistake of doing 40-50 questions a day and never taking the time to carefully review their answers. You will not see the score increases you are looking for if you practice this way.
As you start studying, begin by doing 20-25 questions a day and reviewing your answers to every question the same day! Don’t assume you answered a question correctly for the right reasons. Further, rather than simply reading the answer choice to the MBE question, if you answered the question incorrectly (or correctly for the incorrect reason) then write down the law you didn’t know or the reason you got it wrong on, say, a legal pad. Constantly review this legal pad. You will turn the law you don’t know into the law you know very well. And you will be able to find patterns in the areas of law you need to improve on as well as any other reasons you are answering questions incorrectly. Remember that the brain learns best through repetition.
Timing is key, too. By reviewing your answers the same day it will take you less time because the fact patterns will still be fresh in your mind. There are only so many ways that the Examiners can test most of the issues, so the more time you spend reviewing the explanations the better you will become at identifying common testing patterns. We strongly recommend reviewing by using actual past MBE questions. If you are looking for the best sources for past MBE questions check out our post here.
3. Read the Bar Examiners’ Analysis for every MEE question that you review.
The MEE accounts for 30% of your overall scaled score. Do not assume that certain subjects won’t show up on the essays! The Examiners are free to test any of the possible MEE subjects. Students often wonder if they spotted all of the issues or analyzed the issues correctly when they practice at home.
Luckily, there is no need to wonder! The NCBE releases Bar Examiners’ Analyses for each essay question! These are not model answers so don’t panic if your answer is not nearly as comprehensive (it shouldn’t be!). But it is an invaluable resource for reiterating the black letter law and understanding how to use the facts in your analysis. You can find the older MEE questions and analyses available for free on the NCBE website. Recent questions and analyses are available for purchase on the NCBE website. To see some actual high-scoring student answers, visit the “Minnesota Essay Questions and Good Representative Answers” section of the Minnesota Board of Law Examiners’ website, you can find past MEE questions (and good student answers). This begins with the February 2014 exam.
4. Do not neglect the MPT!
The MPT is worth 20% of your overall scaled score. And this is the only portion of the exam for which you do not need to have any law memorized. Once you feel comfortable with the various MPT tasks, this section can become one of your strongest ones! Keep in mind that each MPT is worth 10% of your overall score. Each MEE essay is worth 5% of your overall score. A well-written MPT can definitely give your score a boost if you do not perform as well as you would like on the MEE or MBE.
As you do practice MPTs, make sure that you familiarize yourself with objective memoranda and persuasive briefs (the most highly tested tasks). But don’t forget to look at other tasks such as opinion letters and demand letters. It is also a good idea to do a few uncommon tasks so you won’t feel thrown if you encounter one on exam day. If you are looking for free MPT questions check out our post.
5. Do not save timed practice exams for the last two weeks of bar study!
Do not make the mistake of not doing any timed exams or saving them all until the last two weeks of bar study. It is better to do timed practice exams throughout the course of bar study so you can build your stamina and avoid test fatigue. For example, you can start off with 33 timed MBEs and two timed MEEs. Gradually work your way up to doing a timed set of 100 MBEs, six timed MEEs, and two timed MPTs. You want to know early if you struggle with timing so you can work on it gradually. If you are looking for ways to improve your timing on a particular portion of the exam (MBE, MEE, MPT) check out our posts.
We hope this post on how to pass the West Virginia bar exam is helpful!
Christine, one of our bar exam tutors, wrote this post. She has passed three bar exams, including California, New York, and New Jersey. Christine scored in the 95 percentile on the MBE, and specializes in helping students raise their uniform bar exam scores!
Looking to Pass the Bar Exam?
Free or discounted resources
- A five-star UBE course (for as low as $1099.99!) that provides you with the best instruction, outlines, and questions. Preview our course for free here!
- Our new Free Bar Exam Resource Center, which includes our most popular free guides, posts, webinars, and more!
- Free popular bar exam guides (on the MBE, MEE, how to pass the bar exam, and what to do if you failed the bar exam) written by bar exam experts!
- A free Early Bar Prep Course for law students
- Free bar exam webinars taught by top bar exam experts
Our most POPULAR and highly rated bar exam resources are:
- Our On Demand and Premium Bar Exam Courses
- Bar Exam Private Tutoring by bar exam experts
- MBE One-Sheets and MEE One-Sheets, CA One-Sheets—rated five stars! Our customers love these supplements!
- Real MBE questions—the best practice questions available!
- NEW! Mastery Classes for the MBE, MEE, and CA bar exams (these are effective and engaging classes to review the highly tested areas of law!)