Uniform Bar Exam Essay Instructions: Read before taking the Uniform Bar Exam!
If you are taking the Uniform Bar Exam, it is well worth it to become acquainted with the Uniform Bar Exam essay instructions (that is, the Multistate Essay Exam instructions) prior to sitting for the exam. Below is a screenshot of the instructions that you will receive on test day. Read them now so that there are no surprises when you sit down to write your answers to the essay portion of the Uniform Bar Exam! (You can click on the screenshot to open it in a new tab.)
A few notes about the Multistate Essay Exam instructions:
Here are some important takeaways from the grading instructions posted above.
Carefully follow the timing requirements!
The instructions tell you: “You will be instructed when to begin and when to stop this test.” They also warn you not to “break the seal on this booklet until you are told to begin.” Make sure you do not type or write until you are told to. And make sure to stop when time is announced.
Examinees have failed the bar exam for failing to follow directions! Make sure you abide by these simple and important rules on test day!
You can answer the questions in whatever order you wish.
No need to start with question #1 and answer them in chronological order. You can skip around. If you are unsure of an answer and want to come back to it, feel free!
If you want to revise your answer and you are handwriting, simply draw a line through the deleted portion.
The portions with a line drawn through them will be treated as deleted by the grader.
Read the facts carefully and do not assume facts that are not given in the question.
Don’t invent facts. Don’t argue facts that aren’t there. Don’t talk about issues that are not raised by the fact pattern. Examinees do this every administration. It causes you to waste valuable time that could be better spent on addressing the issues tested!
Some questions cover more than one area of law.
Most MEE questions test one area of law but not all. You can see based on our MEE frequency chart that Criminal Procedure and Evidence have been tested together twice in recent years. Further, Conflicts of Law is always combined with another subject. So don’t assume that every question tests just one area of law.
The directions say that answers should show a “recognition of the issues,” a “knowledge of the applicable principles of law”, an “understanding of the facts” and the “reasoning by which you arrive at your conclusions.” (Emphasis added.) Make sure to connect the dots for the grader by clearly using IRAC!
Make your answer complete…but do not ramble on.
The instructions specifically say, “Do not volunteer irrelevant or immaterial information.” It is good to provide a thorough answer. It is not good to outline dump!
Answer according to general principles.
If you are in a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdiction, do not apply your state’s law. Instead, apply “generally accepted fundamental legal principles.” In other words, apply “majority law.” If you know of a minority law that differs from majority law, or if you are aware of two separate approaches that jurisdictions take, by all means, mention both. But if you are in New York, do not apply New York state law!
Good luck on exam day!
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