Tips If You Want To Improve Your MBE Score Now
The Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE) is a critical component of the bar exam. For many, it’s difficult not only because of the subjects being tested, the exam’s fast pace, but also due to the multiple-choice format that many law students are not accustomed to. If you are concerned about your MBE performance, keep reading to learn how to improve your MBE score now!
Tips If You Want To Improve Your MBE Score Now
What is the MBE?
If you want to improve your MBE score, it helps to understand the ins and outs of the test itself. The MBE is a six-hour exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions. This exam is broken into two, three-hour sessions separated by a break. The MBE tests Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. Check out this post for a further breakdown of tested MBE topics.
The MBE is administered in every state in the U.S. with the exception of Louisiana. It is also administered in the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and U.S. Virgin Islands. In jurisdictions where the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is administered, the MBE is one of three components of the exam and is weighted as 50% of examinees’ scores.
How is the MBE scored?
Like we said above, the MBE is frequently worth 50% of an examinee’s overall bar exam score. This varies in jurisdictions where the UBE is not administered. For the most part, most jurisdictions don’t have a minimum MBE score to pass just as long as you get an overall passing score. There are some exceptions to this. For example, Kentucky requires a minimum MBE score of 132, and South Dakota requires a minimum MBE score of 120. For more information, check out our post about passing MBE scores in each state.
Now that you know what type of score you’ll need on the MBE, let’s talk about how to improve your MBE score.
Identify your testing issues
Make sure you identify what issues you run into in testing whether it be in a previous bar exam, a law school exam, the LSAT, or bar exam preparation. Do you have issues with timing? Does your anxiety distract you when you face a difficult question? Do you not know the actual law well enough? Identifying what issues you may face on test day is the first step you can take to improve your MBE score. Take some time to reflect on what your testing abilities so you can make the best test day strategy for you.
Use real MBE questions
MBE questions are written in a specific way. While many commercial bar exam preparation companies write their own MBE practice questions, they often vary in format. The content may be the same, but students often get to the bar exam and are thrown off by having to answer questions that look different from those that they practiced. These commercial questions are helpful to learn the law, but if you really want to improve your MBE score, you’ll need to practice with real MBE questions!
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) drafts the MBE. The NCBE also releases a limited number of past NCBE questions for free on their website. You can also purchase more released MBE questions from the NCBE or from us! Not every practice question you do has to be an official, released MBE question, but you should utilize those questions as a resource. If you want to improve your MBE score, start by practicing with the real thing!
When you answer a practice question incorrectly, write it down!
Perhaps the most important thing in practicing for the MBE is knowing why you missed a practice MBE question! If you answer a practice MBE question incorrectly, reading the explanation is the first step. But don’t stop there! In analyzing the explanation, write down the law for the question you got wrong. Perhaps you didn’t know the exceptions to a law or missed a keyword that changes the answer. Reading the explanation will make sure you identify why the question is wrong, but writing down the law is the key to making sure you understand what is being tested and don’t answer incorrectly in the future.
Perhaps you missed a question because you misinterpreted facts or because you misread the call of the question. If this applies to you, write down where you went wrong! That way, you end up with a list of laws or other issues you need to focus on. These weaknesses will become strengths with a little extra hard work.
Memorize the law
Doing thousands of practice problems won’t help you improve your MBE score if you don’t know the law to begin with! Understanding the law is not the same as having the law memorized. You should be able to identify nuances of the law. The MBE isn’t going to test whether you have a general overview of negligence or criminal procedure. Focus on highly tested MBE topics, and add memorization exercises to your bar exam study schedule. It’s not possible to know every single word of every single outline, but knowing as much as possible will give you the tools you need to improve your MBE score and pass the bar!
Whether you are a repeat-taker who wants to improve your MBE score or you are preparing to take the MBE for the first time, keep these tips in mind!
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