Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

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amk110

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Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby amk110 » Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:42 pm

A couple of questions for those who are more familiar with BARBRI's materials than I am.

1) Approximately how many practice questions (with explanations) are in the materials? I haven't gone through them yet to count. But I haven't started practicing yet, and hear the goal is to shoot for about 2400 (400 per subject).

2) Are these questions adequate to prepare one for the MBE? (I'm sure they are, or people wouldn't take BARBRI.) But just perusing through these forums and elsewhere, there seems to be no consensus. I've heard that BARBRI's MBE questions are harder than the real thing, are easier than the real thing, are so unlike the real thing as to be a complete waste of time, and everything in between. Many of the comments stating that BARBRI's questions were "much easier" than the real thing are from 2008-ish, and those to the effect of BARBRI's questions being "harder than the real thing" are coming from... now-ish. Has BARBRI jacked up the difficulty of their questions?

At the Drive-In

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Re: Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby At the Drive-In » Mon Jun 16, 2014 8:58 pm

amk110 wrote:A couple of questions for those who are more familiar with BARBRI's materials than I am.

1) Approximately how many practice questions (with explanations) are in the materials? I haven't gone through them yet to count. But I haven't started practicing yet, and hear the goal is to shoot for about 2400 (400 per subject).

2) Are these questions adequate to prepare one for the MBE? (I'm sure they are, or people wouldn't take BARBRI.) But just perusing through these forums and elsewhere, there seems to be no consensus. I've heard that BARBRI's MBE questions are harder than the real thing, are easier than the real thing, are so unlike the real thing as to be a complete waste of time, and everything in between. Many of the comments stating that BARBRI's questions were "much easier" than the real thing are from 2008-ish, and those to the effect of BARBRI's questions being "harder than the real thing" are coming from... now-ish. Has BARBRI jacked up the difficulty of their questions?



1) There are ~125 practice questions for each of the 7 MBE subjects in the book that they give you. (MBE Practice Questions). They are divided into 6 practice sets of 18 questions and a 25 question workshop (which is supposed to be accompanied by watching a ~2 hour lecture video that goes with it.) There is also a 100 question mixed-bag set with about 15-17 questions for each subject, and then another 600 questions spread out among the subjects designed to take as practice exams (bundles of 100-200 designed to simulate an actual MBE you take at the end of the course) Everything in the book has explanations at the end, and they are good from what I have seen.

So if your goal is about 400 per subject, doing a little math here, there are 125 practice questions divided by subject, and then probably another ~100 or so spread out among the mixed subject practices, so it's probably closer to 200 per subject. BarBri also does StudySmart, an online practice test thing which is apparently the same questions as in the MBE book except in different orders. That lists there being about 183-221 questions per subject, but I don't know if that includes what's in the diagnostic exams designed to be taken near the end of class.

That being said, I think the explanations are quite good. They explain why the answer is right as well as why every other choice on the question is wrong. If you do them on studysmart they offer little links to black letter law in the explanations so you can refresh yourself really quickly if you don't understand the answer.

2) I don't know. Obviously, I'm going through the process of studying for the bar myself right now. I know numerous people in this state that have taken and passed the bar with no more preparation than Barbri offered - but this is a high passage rate state, so that's purely anecdotal and yrmv. Obviously barbri vouches that they provide you with enough to pass the MBE. I think that if you pay close attention to the explanation of the questions, you'll start to pick up patterns very quickly, and you'll see wrong answers that repeat themselves over numerous questions, especially in Con law and Evidence. Barbri also does a good job of explaining where the most tested on areas of each subject are MBE-wise.

Now this is pure speculation, but I have heard a lot of people say that they felt BarBri questions were harder than the actual bar exam questions, and that way you have a tendency to overprepare, etc. But I have heard others complain that barbri questions are too different from actual MBE questions that they weren't as helpful.

That's all I got for ya. If worst comes to worst, there are tons of MBE practice questions through other sources you can get if you feel you need more practice, but as I'm going through this whole process now, someone who has recently used barbri and already taken the bar might be a better source, particularly as to your second question.

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5ky

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Re: Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby 5ky » Thu Jun 19, 2014 2:12 am

Doing 2400+ questions is entirely unnecessary.

lmr

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Re: Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby lmr » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:21 am

amk110 wrote:A couple of questions for those who are more familiar with BARBRI's materials than I am.

1) Approximately how many practice questions (with explanations) are in the materials? I haven't gone through them yet to count. But I haven't started practicing yet, and hear the goal is to shoot for about 2400 (400 per subject).

2) Are these questions adequate to prepare one for the MBE? (I'm sure they are, or people wouldn't take BARBRI.) But just perusing through these forums and elsewhere, there seems to be no consensus. I've heard that BARBRI's MBE questions are harder than the real thing, are easier than the real thing, are so unlike the real thing as to be a complete waste of time, and everything in between. Many of the comments stating that BARBRI's questions were "much easier" than the real thing are from 2008-ish, and those to the effect of BARBRI's questions being "harder than the real thing" are coming from... now-ish. Has BARBRI jacked up the difficulty of their questions?


BARBRI can actually be easier than the MBE for some subjects-don't believe the hype that barbri is harder-they aren't. I find that barbri tailors to puts in the cmr or lecture. You need to do the real MBE questions. Check out strategies and tactics by emmanuel-those are 500 real mbe questions w explanations. That coupled w barbri should be enough.

amk110

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Re: Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby amk110 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 6:16 pm

I'm finding that 2400 questions, while perhaps not totally unnecessary, is not something I can actually accomplish. I have two additional questions:

1) Are BARBRI sets 5 and 6 in MPQ1 worth the effort? I keep hearing that these last two sets are not representative of the difficulty of the actual bar exam and are actually counterproductive in that one will score quite low on them after doing well on the preceding sets. I'm finding this to be true, as I'm averaging 50-65% on sets 1-5, then getting abysmal 30ish percentages on set 6. Which seems to be testing exceptions and nuances I quite literally never heard of in three years of law school and two attempts at bar prep.

2) Many of you are suggesting I try the "real" questions. But I've heard that BARBRI's MPQ2 (the 450 mixed-subject questions) are, in fact, released NCBE questions. Is this true?

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VulcanVulcanVulcan

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Re: Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby VulcanVulcanVulcan » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:04 pm

amk110 wrote:I'm finding that 2400 questions, while perhaps not totally unnecessary, is not something I can actually accomplish. I have two additional questions:

1) Are BARBRI sets 5 and 6 in MPQ1 worth the effort? I keep hearing that these last two sets are not representative of the difficulty of the actual bar exam and are actually counterproductive in that one will score quite low on them after doing well on the preceding sets. I'm finding this to be true, as I'm averaging 50-65% on sets 1-5, then getting abysmal 30ish percentages on set 6. Which seems to be testing exceptions and nuances I quite literally never heard of in three years of law school and two attempts at bar prep.

2) Many of you are suggesting I try the "real" questions. But I've heard that BARBRI's MPQ2 (the 450 mixed-subject questions) are, in fact, released NCBE questions. Is this true?


Sorry for an idiotic question--did you guys get a second MPQ book? I only have the big medium-blue one. Are the MPQ2 questions just online under Practice Questions?

amk110

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Re: Difficulty of BARBRI MBE Questions?

Postby amk110 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:11 pm

Sounds like you have the 2014 materials. I'm not familiar with those. Last year, it was two books. MPQ1 was single subject. MPQ2 was mixed.



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