How should I study for multiple choice questions on law school exams?
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bar exam appealsHow should I study for multiple-choice questions on law school exams?

Traditionally, law school exams did not contain multiple-choice questions.  However, it has become more popular for law school exams to include a section of multiple-choice questions. Some professors even use exams entirely composed of multiple-choice questions. If multiple-choice makes up a component of your exam, how should you study for it?

The best approach to get good at multiple-choice questions on law school exams is to get as much practice answering multiple-choice questions as you can before your exam. Do a Google search for questions or, if you have time, order books with multiple-choice questions. Many bar exam review books will have multiple-choice questions that cover: the following subjects Criminal Law & Procedure, Real Property, Torts, Contracts & Sales, Constitutional Law, and Evidence (the books released in/after 2015 should also contain Civil Procedure questions).

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If you want to excel at law school multiple-choice questions, follow these steps:

  • Make sure to go through the questions slowly and methodically when you begin practicing. Dissect each question.
  • After you read the question, ask yourself what legal issue is being tested and what legal rule you need to know to answer the question.
  • Look up legal rules that you do not know in your outline.
  • Lastly, go through the answer choices and explain why one is correct and why the other three are incorrect.

If you complete all of the questions slowly and methodically when you practice, you will learn the legal rules better and you will also internalize the best way to approach questions on your exam. You will not fall for tricks!

Closer to your final exam, work on speed. Practice answering several questions each day and make sure you are able to answer them in the time allotted. You will find yourself naturally getting faster at answering multiple-choice questions if you use the strategy above.

If your professor has a combination of questions (some multiple-choice, some essay) spend your time answering both kinds of questions when you practice. Allocate your time based on how your final exam score is calculated. If, say, only ten percent of the exam is based on your multiple-choice score, and 90% is based on your essay score, focus primarily on practicing essay questions. If it is the opposite, focus primarily on practicing multiple-choice questions.