Are Drafted MBE Questions As Good As Real Ones?
To pointedly answer this question, the answer is “no”. We strongly believe that you should use real MBE questions when preparing for the bar exam. Among many other benefits, real MBE questions allow you to get used to the format of the bar exam and accurately assess the difficulty. However, you should know that the vast majority of questions that many bar prep companies provide students are not actual, official licensed MBE questions written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). This is the organization that writes the bar exam. Instead, they have interally drafted MBE questions that they provide to students to practice. In this post, we explore the pitfalls of drafted MBE questions.
Drafted MBE questions are not ideal because:
- The questions will not look as similar to the real MBE questions
- You will not be prepared as well for the format of the bar exam if you rely on drafted MBE questions
- Real MBE questions have certain “favorite” issues they like to test (you can see those in our MBE Favorites series here). You will not get exposed to these if you just rely on MBE questions bar prep companies invent.
How do you know if your bar prep company uses real or drafted MBE questions?
Because this distinction is so important, we recommend you clarify with your bar prep provider (assuming it’s not JD Advising) to know exactly the type of questions you will receive as part of your course. We would recommend that you ask the following questions:
- Will I receive any questions licensed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)?
- If so, how many NCBE questions will I receive in total?
- What years are these NCBE questions from? (NOTE: It is expensive for bar prep companies to license questions from the NCBE for students’ use in the course. The cheapest questions are for older questions, from 1992. These are very outdated and not the questions you want to practice on. If your bar prep company says it is offering outdated questions, ask if they have been updated to reflect the current law. Otherwise, it will not be as helpful.)
- Where can I find these – in a book you will give me, an app, online, etc.?
At least if you know whether you are getting licensed MBE questions, you can prepare accordingly. If your bar prep company does not offer real MBE questions, then you can acquire them from other sources, such as our MBE QBank!
When should you NOT use drafted MBE questions from bar companies?
Most MBE questions that are drafted by bar prep companies are not terrible, they are just not great. They are certainly not the best source of questions you can get!
We recommend making sure you find REAL MBE questions and use these first and foremost. You can then use questions drafted by a bar prep company as extra practice. But focus primarily on the real questions! They will be the best resource in preparing you for the questions you will see on exam day. You can find resources for real MBE questions here.
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