The Call Of The Question And MBE Practice
Students often express concerns about their strategy when completing MBE questions. After all, studying for the MBE can be significantly different than preparing for a law school essay exam. So, how do you practice MBE questions, and do you need to start with the call of the question when practicing MBE questions? In this post, we provide some guidance on how to approach MBE questions.
The Call Of The Question And MBE Practice
Start with the fact pattern.
The best way to practice MBE questions is to start with the fact pattern. After you have read through the fact pattern and then the call of the question, stop. At this point, you should be able to determine which subject is being tested as well as the issue that is being tested. Try to recall the applicable legal rule and answer the question before looking at the answer choices. Next, read the answer choices and select the answer that best matches your conclusion. If you know the answer, you should be able to run through the answer choices and save valuable time.
Keep in mind that answer choices are designed to be tricky. If you find yourself debating between two answer choices, re-read the fact pattern and/or the call of the question for additional clues.
If you must, you can start with the call of the question.
Again, our general recommendation is that candidates start with the fact pattern when practicing MBE questions. Reading the call of the question first will not likely enable you to have a complete impression of the subject being tested. For some candidates find that starting with the call of the question can be distracting because they will end up having to read the fact pattern several times. Remember, in order to complete the MBE portion of the bar exam, candidates need to answer about 9 MBE questions every 15 minutes, or spend approximately one minute and forty-eight seconds on each question. So, if you you find starting with he call of the question to be helpful and doing so does not create a timing issue, feel free to start with the call of the question!
Do not start with the answer choices.
When practicing MBE questions, do not look at the answer choices first! If you read the answer choices first, you may be prone to misread the fact pattern in such a way that points you toward a pre-determined answer choice. Moreover, some answer choices may correctly state the law, but are irrelevant under the given fact pattern. This means that students who start with the answer choices tend to leave points on the table because they let the answer choices influence how they answer and interpret the fact pattern and call of the question!
We recommend that you cover the answer choices when you practice MBE questions to avoid looking at them until you identify the subject, legal issue, and rule being tested. It is also worth noting that you may need to spend more time memorizing outlines and rules if you need to review the answer choices, in order to identify the subject or topic being tested.
Be careful not to fall into the trap that you’ll be able to recognize the rule when you see the answer choices! Students often think they’ll recognize the correct answer when instead they need to spend more time memorizing their outlines!
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