Advice for the MBE in July 17'

not guilty
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Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby not guilty » Thu Feb 23, 2017 7:56 pm

While it is fresh in your head......what did you do right? what did you do wrong? what would would you do differently?

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Chevron Deference
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby Chevron Deference » Thu Feb 23, 2017 8:18 pm

Always look at why you got a question wrong during bar prep then write down the answer and review and put it in your outline if you make outlines. Also, do the same thing for questions you got right but are unsure why you go that question right.

Expect the bar exam to be completely different than your bar prep midterms and final reviews.

MRSP
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby MRSP » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:17 pm

Chevron Deference wrote:Always look at why you got a question wrong during bar prep then write down the answer and review and put it in your outline if you make outlines. Also, do the same thing for questions you got right but are unsure why you go that question right.

Expect the bar exam to be completely different than your bar prep midterms and final reviews.


Great advice. What bar prep course/materials did you use to make you feel that way if you don't mind me asking? How were they different from the exam?

yankeeman86
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby yankeeman86 » Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:32 pm

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Last edited by yankeeman86 on Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

HiOCEAN
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby HiOCEAN » Fri Feb 24, 2017 12:20 pm

Where are you taking the exam?

If you'll be taking the MEE, for the essays you must get SmartBar Prep, which lists all the rules and gives you how frequently they are tested. Just try to memorize those any way you can. Like seriously start memorizing from this early on so you don't feel at the last second you don't know anything for the essays. Use this to memorize the rules, period. You will not be sorry. Why waste time creating your own rule statements by hunting through the outlines? Total waste of time. Use SmartBar Prep. It's a shame that barbri and other major test prep companies don't offer this.

Critical Pass flash cards are great to use for the MBE. Just go through one subject a day for the last month, and it will really help you feel in touch with every subject on an ongoing basis.

Don't listen to lectures if you feel it's not really doing anything for you. Just read the outlines and work off those. Don't feel compelled to make an outline. Some of us just don't need to spend hours and hours doing everything in outline format. If that's you, then don't fight your natural tendencies and waste time doing outlines. They will not help.

However, once you go over MBE questions, and you were unable to get the correct answer or just were not sure of the answer, make a LIST of these rules (or flashcards). Go over these rules until you understand it. I felt this was a good replacement for outlines.

Start studying early in the game and don't waste time. Get off facebook. Change your password to something strange, write it down somewhere and hide it. Get web blocking apps to block news websites or whatever sites you visit. Don't take your computer to the library/study place with you unless you know for sure you'll be using it for that day's studying.

That's it for now.

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ndbigdave
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby ndbigdave » Fri Feb 24, 2017 1:04 pm

I have written other longer posts about my prep. But the best advice I can give is to use real MBE questions (Adaptibar/BarMax) because I think that will give you the most fair assessment of where you stand with the material. I didn't do nearly enough questions in practice, but my actual bar score was right in line with what I was generally scoring on my 30 question sets that I was doing prior to the test. From what I have witnessed, heard and read Barbri (and other traditional programs) make up their own questions, most of which are purposely more nuanced and tricky and merely a way to scare students in to continuing to study. There is pretty strong statistical evidence that Barbri scores go up from 10 to 15% (or higher) when compared to the last MBE practice test students take. I think that is completely stupid, needlessly adding stress and teaching students to hunt for super nuanced tricks (or assuming all questions are that difficult) when that simply isnt the case.

I do agree that doing sets and then following them up with a review of the answers is very helpful. Perfect world you would do a set and review ALL the answers to make sure you got questions right for the right reason! Admittedly, I only looked at the ones I got wrong (if I looked at all) and that proved helpful as it was fresh in my mind (I knew WHY I picked the answer and could then read the explanation as to why it was wrong). I think BarMax's explanations are great, but have heard that Adaptibar's answer explanations are also good. (Meanwhile I have heard of and seen some of the BarBri explanations which are unnecessarily long and convoluted - but that is in part because the underlying questions are unnecessarily long and convoluted.

HiOCEAN
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby HiOCEAN » Fri Feb 24, 2017 2:48 pm

Strategies and Tactics by Emmanuel is a great resource. Their answer explanations are the best I've seen.

yankeeman86
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby yankeeman86 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:56 pm

ndbigdave wrote:I have written other longer posts about my prep. But the best advice I can give is to use real MBE questions (Adaptibar/BarMax) because I think that will give you the most fair assessment of where you stand with the material. I didn't do nearly enough questions in practice, but my actual bar score was right in line with what I was generally scoring on my 30 question sets that I was doing prior to the test. From what I have witnessed, heard and read Barbri (and other traditional programs) make up their own questions, most of which are purposely more nuanced and tricky and merely a way to scare students in to continuing to study. There is pretty strong statistical evidence that Barbri scores go up from 10 to 15% (or higher) when compared to the last MBE practice test students take. I think that is completely stupid, needlessly adding stress and teaching students to hunt for super nuanced tricks (or assuming all questions are that difficult) when that simply isnt the case.

I do agree that doing sets and then following them up with a review of the answers is very helpful. Perfect world you would do a set and review ALL the answers to make sure you got questions right for the right reason! Admittedly, I only looked at the ones I got wrong (if I looked at all) and that proved helpful as it was fresh in my mind (I knew WHY I picked the answer and could then read the explanation as to why it was wrong). I think BarMax's explanations are great, but have heard that Adaptibar's answer explanations are also good. (Meanwhile I have heard of and seen some of the BarBri explanations which are unnecessarily long and convoluted - but that is in part because the underlying questions are unnecessarily long and convoluted.



First time taking it? Are you good at taking standardized tests? If you do at least 1,500 questions, I would do no more than 500 Adaptibar Questions. Out of the 200 questions that are tested, 25 are experimental. Of the remaining 175, 80-90 are "easy" and the rest are medium to difficult. If you do only Adaptibar, there is a good chance you will under-perform. Browse the forum and you will come across many who used Adaptibar only and then complained about the actual test being more difficult. May have worked earlier for 2014/2015 test takers.

mycoxsafloppin
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby mycoxsafloppin » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:07 pm

not guilty wrote:While it is fresh in your head......what did you do right? what did you do wrong? what would would you do differently?


1,500 MBE questions. Real ones, from Themis or Barbri.

Read every explanation, even ones you get right.

yankeeman86
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby yankeeman86 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:10 pm

ndbigdave wrote:I have written other longer posts about my prep. But the best advice I can give is to use real MBE questions (Adaptibar/BarMax) because I think that will give you the most fair assessment of where you stand with the material. I didn't do nearly enough questions in practice, but my actual bar score was right in line with what I was generally scoring on my 30 question sets that I was doing prior to the test. From what I have witnessed, heard and read Barbri (and other traditional programs) make up their own questions, most of which are purposely more nuanced and tricky and merely a way to scare students in to continuing to study. There is pretty strong statistical evidence that Barbri scores go up from 10 to 15% (or higher) when compared to the last MBE practice test students take. I think that is completely stupid, needlessly adding stress and teaching students to hunt for super nuanced tricks (or assuming all questions are that difficult) when that simply isnt the case.

I do agree that doing sets and then following them up with a review of the answers is very helpful. Perfect world you would do a set and review ALL the answers to make sure you got questions right for the right reason! Admittedly, I only looked at the ones I got wrong (if I looked at all) and that proved helpful as it was fresh in my mind (I knew WHY I picked the answer and could then read the explanation as to why it was wrong). I think BarMax's explanations are great, but have heard that Adaptibar's answer explanations are also good. (Meanwhile I have heard of and seen some of the BarBri explanations which are unnecessarily long and convoluted - but that is in part because the underlying questions are unnecessarily long and convoluted.



FYI for J2016, I averaged 72% on 900 Adaptibar Questions. My score was a 136, which probably translates to 61-63%.

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ndbigdave
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby ndbigdave » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:17 pm

yankeeman86 wrote:
ndbigdave wrote:I have written other longer posts about my prep. But the best advice I can give is to use real MBE questions (Adaptibar/BarMax) because I think that will give you the most fair assessment of where you stand with the material. I didn't do nearly enough questions in practice, but my actual bar score was right in line with what I was generally scoring on my 30 question sets that I was doing prior to the test. From what I have witnessed, heard and read Barbri (and other traditional programs) make up their own questions, most of which are purposely more nuanced and tricky and merely a way to scare students in to continuing to study. There is pretty strong statistical evidence that Barbri scores go up from 10 to 15% (or higher) when compared to the last MBE practice test students take. I think that is completely stupid, needlessly adding stress and teaching students to hunt for super nuanced tricks (or assuming all questions are that difficult) when that simply isnt the case.

I do agree that doing sets and then following them up with a review of the answers is very helpful. Perfect world you would do a set and review ALL the answers to make sure you got questions right for the right reason! Admittedly, I only looked at the ones I got wrong (if I looked at all) and that proved helpful as it was fresh in my mind (I knew WHY I picked the answer and could then read the explanation as to why it was wrong). I think BarMax's explanations are great, but have heard that Adaptibar's answer explanations are also good. (Meanwhile I have heard of and seen some of the BarBri explanations which are unnecessarily long and convoluted - but that is in part because the underlying questions are unnecessarily long and convoluted.



FYI for J2016, I averaged 72% on 900 Adaptibar Questions. My score was a 136, which probably translates to 61-63%.


I am sorry to hear the score was lower - at 72% I would have thought you would be closer to the mid 140s (as a guess). I dont think any one program can guarantee results because, the MBE is a totally new set of 200 questions. Adaptibar claims that it can predict with relative accuracy how you will do, but even that just cant account for each individual student and the fact that the final test you take is a brand new set of 200. Just because you got 72% of the last 200 isnt a LOCK that you were going to do so on the final test (but Id say it would give me an indication that youre on the right track. A 136 is far from a great score, but for both Michigan (which required a 135) and Illinois (which requires a 133) you would pass in both...which is all that would matter assuming you were even an below average essay writer.

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ndbigdave
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby ndbigdave » Fri Feb 24, 2017 4:26 pm

yankeeman86 wrote:
ndbigdave wrote:I have written other longer posts about my prep. But the best advice I can give is to use real MBE questions (Adaptibar/BarMax) because I think that will give you the most fair assessment of where you stand with the material. I didn't do nearly enough questions in practice, but my actual bar score was right in line with what I was generally scoring on my 30 question sets that I was doing prior to the test. From what I have witnessed, heard and read Barbri (and other traditional programs) make up their own questions, most of which are purposely more nuanced and tricky and merely a way to scare students in to continuing to study. There is pretty strong statistical evidence that Barbri scores go up from 10 to 15% (or higher) when compared to the last MBE practice test students take. I think that is completely stupid, needlessly adding stress and teaching students to hunt for super nuanced tricks (or assuming all questions are that difficult) when that simply isnt the case.

I do agree that doing sets and then following them up with a review of the answers is very helpful. Perfect world you would do a set and review ALL the answers to make sure you got questions right for the right reason! Admittedly, I only looked at the ones I got wrong (if I looked at all) and that proved helpful as it was fresh in my mind (I knew WHY I picked the answer and could then read the explanation as to why it was wrong). I think BarMax's explanations are great, but have heard that Adaptibar's answer explanations are also good. (Meanwhile I have heard of and seen some of the BarBri explanations which are unnecessarily long and convoluted - but that is in part because the underlying questions are unnecessarily long and convoluted.



First time taking it? Are you good at taking standardized tests? If you do at least 1,500 questions, I would do no more than 500 Adaptibar Questions. Out of the 200 questions that are tested, 25 are experimental. Of the remaining 175, 80-90 are "easy" and the rest are medium to difficult. If you do only Adaptibar, there is a good chance you will under-perform. Browse the forum and you will come across many who used Adaptibar only and then complained about the actual test being more difficult. May have worked earlier for 2014/2015 test takers.


Just saw you had quoted me earlier as well.

I think it is safe to say I am above average test taker. I think if I didnt work full time and had access to the appropriate tools my scores would have been much above average. Instead, I was lazy, wrote no practice essays, did just shy of 200 practice MBEs, but did listen to the BarMax lectures, then used a 3 year old mini-Convisor to prep for essay topics and more MBE review. I was an above average student (at a tier 4) who excelled in large part because I had practical experience at court and then at a firm that gave me lots of real work to do/learn. Further, I definitely can write (granted not "law review style" but I have done freelance brief/memo writing for years and my clients are always happy. Those skills definitely translated to the essay portions (in my opinion). As for the MBE, many of the subjects were "relative strengths" (I did really well in contracts, evidence, civ pro, crim law/pro, grasped con law, but struggled with real property).

The real best advice would be to direct 1Ls to actually learn the material and stay fresh with it, bar prep started as soon as you were admitted to your school. Learning how to brief a case, extract the relevant information, then apply legal concepts to evolving fact patterns are skills you learn. Learning how to think and write like a lawyer is a skill that grows over time. So many students, especially at my tier 4 found ways to cheat or cram and get by with "passing" grades, few gained practical experience, therefore our passage rate has not been great because many of my fellow classmates were learning material for the very first time and being forced to learn or re-learn material along with 22 other subjects in a finite amount of time - its a recipe for disaster.

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SilvermanBarPrep
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Sat Feb 25, 2017 2:15 pm

Truly excellent advice in this thread. I'd just add that when you're reviewing your wrong answers don't focus only on the answer you picked that ended up being incorrect but also understand what mistake you made that led you to eliminate the correct answer. Further, when you get a question right, focus on why all the other answer choices were incorrect.

By the time you take the exam you want it to be very natural to approach each question looking for errors in the answer choices and eliminating them until you are left with the correct answer. After studying the MBE for some time now it very much seems to me that this is a really helpful approach just because the test is designed so that even the correct answer might have some flaws, or might not be entirely correct (in other words, it might be arguably correct). You're looking for the best answer and the best way to find the best answer is to eliminate the answers that are worse.

Sean (Silverman Bar Prep)
http://www.mbetutorial.blogspot.com

squiggle
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby squiggle » Sat Feb 25, 2017 3:26 pm

HiOCEAN wrote:Strategies and Tactics by Emmanuel is a great resource. Their answer explanations are the best I've seen.


I completely second this. Emmanuel's is great and tests nuances. You need to get the newest version though, as the older versions don't have civ pro and have less questions in the other six MBE sections.

ProspectiveStudent69
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby ProspectiveStudent69 » Mon Mar 06, 2017 8:24 pm

Create your own outlines. Start with the bare bones, then work outwards. It will allow you to understand the material deeply and in an organized way. Also, repetition is crucial. Writing, reading, and applying the rules many times is key. I used Adaptibar to get my speed up for the MBE. I also did many practice tests through Barbri. Use the Barbri mid-term to gauge your proficiency. Modify your focus areas when you find your weak areas. You must understand all of the basic rules in each subject, then expand to the necessary exceptions. If you do not have a good foundation, you will continue to struggle. It is a process that you need to constantly refine. Write down the areas that you are constantly getting wrong and memorize the rules.

InterAlia1961
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby InterAlia1961 » Tue Mar 07, 2017 11:29 am

Prepare for questions that test the fine points of a subject, where there were two "right" answers that are very similar. You have to find the most right one. Oh, and review CP. Just do it. You don't know nearly enough about removal jurisdiction. Trust me.

chuckfin0808
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby chuckfin0808 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 6:54 pm

Do not focus solely on the MBE section. I know it's easy to prioritize your study schedule to the point of ignoring a smaller portion of the exam.

Make sure you spend an adequate amount of time studying each exam section. It may not seem like a big deal now, but if you fail by 1 or 2 points, you will be pissed that you "winged it" on a small section of the exam. :(

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a male human
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Re: Advice for the MBE in July 17'

Postby a male human » Tue Mar 21, 2017 5:21 pm

The MBE can account for up to half of your score on the bar (yeah, including CA now!). Half of your fate hangs on a series of alphabets. I’m not talking about your essays here (which are also a series of alphabets). I’m talking about exactly 200 alphabet letters.

The paragraph above has more than 200 characters. So there’s a lot hinging on making those careful, objective decisions. What’s more, the questions are expertly crafted to fill you with doubt unless you know the law cold.

So even if it may seem like you could BS your way by “multiple guessing” at times (after all, the right answer is there somewhere), we must prepare adequately and patch up our weak areas.

Quick action items:

1. Practice with real MBE questions. You want to practice with something closest to what you’ll actually see on the real thing (just like how you don’t practice essays with old final exams from law school). Manufactured questions from Barbri et al. are useful for drilling problem areas but are generally “harder” for the wrong reasons. Focusing on artificially difficult questions isn’t the right kind of “stress testing.” If you want to make it harder or give yourself a buffer, try to answer each real question in something like 1.5 minutes (instead of the allotted 1.8).

Get real questions from the 6th Edition of Emanuel’s Strategies and Tactics Vol. 1 (and/or Vol. 2) or AdaptiBar (my review here). If you decide to get AdaptiBar, might as well PM me for a $30 coupon (I will get $15 in kickback). Or ask some spammer elsewhere on the forums (which AdaptiBar HATES). Well, I don't care what you do as long as it helps you.

2. As you do MBE questions, track how many you got right and wrong for each subject. The advantage of the MBE is that figuring out your weak areas is more definite than with essays because of the MBE’s objective, quantitative nature. Most people tally their overall win rate (all subjects), but it’s entirely possible that this number doesn’t reveal where you’re weak. For example, 90% in one subject + 50% in another gives you 70% average, but the latter needs much work. Track this data (and be honest about it) and surgically treat your weaknesses.

3. Thoroughly review and understand all the answer explanations in their entirety, for each question you got wrong and right. Just because you were correct doesn’t necessarily mean you were right. Make every question a learning experience. Each question is an opportunity to validate your understanding of the law (check that you got it right for the right reasons instead of a lucky guess or a misunderstanding) or to learn (or reaffirm) a legal principle or why another answer was better (if you got it wrong).

4. Quality over quantity. That is, while you’ll want to do enough questions to broadly cover the scope of tested subject matter (at least 700-800 Qs), avoid sacrificing the quality of your learning to brag about doing 2,000+ questions. If you did thousands of questions without learning the rationale behind the correct answer, you might as well have not done them at all. If you’re worried about whether you're learning enough, focus your effort on taking something away from each question.

5. On that vein, don’t be afraid to redo questions later on (weeks, days, or even hours later), especially ones where you’re not quite there yet. Thinking it’s a waste of time? If you really understood those questions you’re repeating, you should be able to get 100% of them correct.

Tactics for game day:

1. Transfer answers in batches to save time (mark answers on one or two pages of the booklet at a time).

2. If you need to make an educated guess, pick the answer that supports or refutes a party’s prima facie case (rather than a defense to the p/f case).

3. In case you run out of time, have a default letter for last-minute guessing (any letter will work).

Hope this helps! Again, you can get real questions from the 6th Edition of Emanuel’s Strategies and Tactics Vol. 1 (and/or Vol. 2) or AdaptiBar (my review here). Each has its pros and cons, but these are the two overall best resources I know of for being prepared for the MBE.




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