Top 10 Best Uniform Bar Exam Tips from a 95th Percentile Scorer
In this post, we give you our top 10 best Uniform Bar Exam tips from a 95th percentile scorer. These Uniform Bar Exam tips aim to give you efficient and effective ways to study for the Uniform Bar Exam.
Top 10 Best Uniform Bar Exam Tips from a 95th Percentile Scorer
1. Don’t over-focus on one portion of the exam.
Many students have tunnel vision when they study for the bar exam and focus too much on one part of the bar exam to the detriment of other parts of the bar exam.
Remember that if you are in a Uniform Bar Exam state, your score is broken down as follows:
- Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) – 50% of your score
- Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) – 30% of your score
- Multistate Performance Test (MPT) – 20% of your score
Two common mistakes that we see students make are the following:
- Some students get so focused on the MBE, that they barely study for the MEE or MPT. They sometimes even brag about not doing one single essay or MPT prior to the bar exam! This is a big mistake. While you don’t have to spend 50% of your time on the MBE and 50% of your time on the written portion, the percentage time you spend on each should be someone proportional to the amount it is worth on the bar exam.
- Many students ignore the MPT altogether. Do not neglect the MPT portion of the exam! It is worth 20% of your score and it is quite easy to improve your score through practice especially if you are already a strong writer!
Remember there is no minimum passing score on any part of the Uniform Bar Exam so you should maximize your score on each portion to the extent possible!
2. Focus on the highly tested areas of law for the MEE and MBE.
Many students try to learn everything that they possibly can. They study day-in and day-out treating every topic as if it had as good of a chance as being tested as any other topic. If you do this, you are certainly studying–but you are not studying for the exam. Remember that your ultimate goal is to pass the bar exam (not learn everything about every area of law). So keep that in mind as you study for the bar exam.
A few notes on the highly tested areas of law:
- MEE: If you are looking for a free resource, check out our blog on the highly tested MEE topics here. (You can download a PDF and watch a youtube video!) We also offer an MEE seminar that covers the most popular topics within each subject. The seminar contains highly tested information as well as our predictions for the upcoming MEE. You can also buy our MEE one-sheets, which give an overview of the highly tested topics for each MEE subject. The one-sheets receive absolutely glowing reviews every administration.
- MBE: Here, we give you a concise breakdown of the highly tested MBE topics. You can see that 12-13 questions will test negligence, and third-party rights in Contracts is only 3-4 questions. This can help you study efficiently when you study for the MBE!
3. Get real MBE questions.
Most courses do not offer real multistate bar exam questions. Instead, they offer questions that they invented. It is crucial that you use actual offical questions that are invented by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). These real MBE questions will help you prepare for the MBE day in the most effective and efficient way possible. You can read more about where to get real MBE questions here.
4. Don’t race through MBE questions.
In an enthusiastic effort to improve an MBE score, many students race through MBE questions. Some students set inefficient goals such as completing 100 MBE questions a day or completing 5,000 MBE questions total. We talk to students who use this approach and many of them end up failing the bar exam. The problem is they are working hard but they are not working efficiently.
It is much better to focus on quality rather than quantity. While you want to get exposed to MBE material and answer sufficient questions, you do not want to only set numerical goals for yourself. In this post, we give an overview of how to improve your MBE score using a methodical approach to the MBE.
5. Learn the law, first and foremost!
One of the biggest mistakes we see bar exam takers make is that they do not learn the law. They go right from lecture to answering practice questions. Then they wonder why they don’t score high on practice exams or why they don’t know what to write when they read an MEE question.
The most important thing you can do to improve your score across the board is to memorize your bar exam outlines before answering practice questions! If you are unsure how to memorize, the post gives you a ton of practical tips. We also have a bar exam learning style quiz here if you want to some tips on exactly which approach you should use to memorize your bar exam outlines.
Many courses say that you should start memorizing two or three weeks before the bar exam. This is not a good idea! If you are looking to maximize your Uniform Bar Exam score, you need to start memorizing from the outset.
6. Learn how to format MPTs.
One of our best Uniform Bar Exam tips is to make sure you dedicate time to the MPT. This includes learning basic MPT formats.
In this post, we give you attack outlines for each type of MPT (as well as tips for each type of MPT). While it may sound basic, learning the essential MPT structure is critical. Not only will it save you time on the MPT portion of the bar exam but it will also instill confidence in your bar exam grader. (If your MPT is not structured correctly, it is the first thing the grader will see!)
7. Make sure you are familiar with MPT basics.
As you begin studying for the MPT, you should also review the tips for various types of MPTs in the same post above.
- For example, persuasive memos and demand letters should be written in a persuasive tone. Objective memos and opinion letters should be objective.
- Most tasks are written to lawyers or judges but sometimes (especially with opinion letters) you will be writing to a client.
Learning the MPT basics before you start answering questions will go a long way and it is one of the most overlooked Uniform Bar Exam tips.
8. Practice exams in a timed setting.
After every bar exam administration, we get emails from students who are panicking because they ran out of time. It is still possible to pass the bar exam if you run out of time. However, you can increase your chances of passing the bar exam if you are able to complete the exam in time! (You can also avoid this post-bar exam panic!)
The most common portion of the exam that students run out of time on is the multistate performance test portion. So please make sure to practice that under timed conditions.
We recommend you take timed practice tests prior to the exam (especially the month before the exam). Not only will this help you stay within the time constraints on the bar exam, but it should also make you feel less anxious (and more confident) walking into the exam. Note that if you struggled with timing in law school, you should make it a top priority to practice timed exams early and often.
9. Self-grade MEE’s and MPTs.
Many students make one of the following mistakes: (1) they don’t practice MEEs or MPTs; (2) they only practice the MEEs and MPTs assigned by their commercial course (which is often too few); (3) they read (but don’t write answers to) past MEEs and MPTs.
You should set a regular schedule for practicing answering – and self-grading – MEEs and MPTs. Self-grading is the process of analyzing and dissecting your own essay answer. You will see quick improvement if you self-grade. You will also get in the mindset of a bar exam grader!
If your course has an option to hand in essays for grading, you can do so, but make sure to self-grade your essays as well. (We require all of our Uniform Bar Exam full-service course students to self-grade their answers prior to handing them in because their scores improve so much when we do. We used to make it optional until we realized how much of a disadvantage non-self-grading students were at!)
For more guidance on how to self-grade your MEE answers, please see this post.
10. Get in the proper bar exam mindset.
While it may be very overlooked, being in the right bar exam mindset is critical to passing the bar exam. If you walk into the bar exam with the attitude that you will run out of time, not know the answer, and fail the exam, that could very well become a self-fulfilling prophecy. We recommend you practice visualization before the bar exam. And we also find bar exam affirmations to be helpful.
You should also consider what will help you personally. It may be meditation, yoga, getting a hotel room away from other test-takers, etc.
If you have any questions about our Uniform Bar Exam tips, please feel free to post below or contact us!
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