This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

not guilty
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This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby not guilty » Sun May 28, 2017 4:20 pm

Accident happens in State A. $105k damages. Plaintiff is from State A. Defendant is from State B. Plaintiff sues in State A court. D timely removes the action to Federal court. Plaintiff moves to have case sent back to State court. Should the Federal court grant the motion for the plaintiff?
A) Yes, because.. B)Yes, because....C)No, because...D)No, because...

Assuming the answer choices are reasonable, this is a very straightforward question that tests your knowledge of the law and whether you can apply it to the facts, at what I would say is a minimum competency level. But that is my version of that question.

The "real" version of this MBE question (used on the actual mbe) is 478 words with very misleading answer choices. Multiple pointless facts and red herrings. Factoring in exam stress and time limitations, this question represents why the mbe is a 'hide-the-ball,' reading comprehension test not analogous to practicing law (and also why essays make more sense). A ton of time-crunched multiple choice questions is an antiquated method to prove competency, but if that is the method they are stuck on then there is no need for such convoluted bs questions. One of the many pro-MBE arguments is going to be that tricky questions apply nuances of the law, etc but there are much better ways to test nuances, especially if this is an exam to test competency for actual practice.

/everyone I know is out drinking right now :(

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kellyfrost
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby kellyfrost » Sun May 28, 2017 7:10 pm

I know exactly how bad the bar exam is and how frustrating and draining it can be preparing for it.

With that said, nothing wrong with a day or two off, or at least an afternoon or night off.

Blow off some steam and drink some beers or whatever you like to drink.

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Leprechaun
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby Leprechaun » Sun May 28, 2017 7:55 pm

Embrace the suck and play their game. It's just a necessary step.

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rpupkin
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby rpupkin » Sun May 28, 2017 9:59 pm

not guilty wrote:Accident happens in State A. $105k damages. Plaintiff is from State A. Defendant is from State B. Plaintiff sues in State A court. D timely removes the action to Federal court. Plaintiff moves to have case sent back to State court. Should the Federal court grant the motion for the plaintiff?
A) Yes, because.. B)Yes, because....C)No, because...D)No, because...

Assuming the answer choices are reasonable, this is a very straightforward question that tests your knowledge of the law and whether you can apply it to the facts, at what I would say is a minimum competency level. But that is my version of that question.

The "real" version of this MBE question (used on the actual mbe) is 478 words with very misleading answer choices. Multiple pointless facts and red herrings. Factoring in exam stress and time limitations, this question represents why the mbe is a 'hide-the-ball,' reading comprehension test not analogous to practicing law (and also why essays make more sense). A ton of time-crunched multiple choice questions is an antiquated method to prove competency, but if that is the method they are stuck on then there is no need for such convoluted bs questions.

I don't have strong feelings one way or the other about the MBE, but I don't agree that you've identified a problem with the exam. In practice, clients generally don't present you with clean, focused questions. There's usually a bunch of extraneous stuff that you have to ignore/put-in-perspective/disregard in order to figure out what matters. Although short multiple choice question are never truly realistic, your hypothetical question is less realistic than what you describe as the MBE's approach.

I don't have a problem with testing an applicant's ability to weed out "pointless facts" and "misleading answer choices." The ability to do that is probably just as (if not more) important than knowledge of the law. I think it's fine for the MBE to test both at once.

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Martin Brody
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby Martin Brody » Sun May 28, 2017 10:42 pm

Plus the bar exam isn't really that hard.

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Sprout
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby Sprout » Sun May 28, 2017 10:47 pm

Leprechaun wrote:Embrace the suck and play their game. It's just a necessary step.

This.

Also:

Martin Brody wrote:Plus the bar exam isn't really that hard.

You were mean before but I hope you're fucking right.

JoeSeperac
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby JoeSeperac » Mon May 29, 2017 9:41 am

If all the MBE questions were easy and straight-forward, it would be too difficult to distinguish applicants sufficiently to determine who is qualified versus unqualified. According to NCBE, the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. From a paper on Item Response Theory (the MBE uses this):

One characteristic of a good test item is that high-ability candidates will answer it correctly more frequently than lower-ability candidates. The a parameter expresses how well an item can differentiate among examinees with different ability levels. Good items usually have discrimination values ranging from 0.5 to 2. This is illustrated by the ICC plots below. The steeper the slope of an ICC, the higher an item’s discrimination value. High discrimination indicates that higher-scoring examinees tend to answer the item correctly, while lower-scoring examinees tend to answer it incorrectly.

Suppose we administer a 30-item test to a large group of examinees. After testing, we select samples of high-ability examinees (Group A) and low-ability examinees (Group B). Examinees in Group A answered an average of 28 items correctly, compared to an average of only 8 correct answers in Group B. An item that nearly all examinees in Group A answered correctly and nearly all examinees in Group B answered incorrectly will have a high discrimination estimate. On the other hand, if most examinees from both Groups A and B answered an item the same way—either correctly or incorrectly—then the item most likely has low discrimination since it does not help us distinguish between higher- and lower-ability examinees.


Doing harder practice questions will improve your timing, endurance and reading comprehension skills, so they must be done. Nothing worth having is ever easy.

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SilvermanBarPrep
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Mon May 29, 2017 1:46 pm

Your points are very valid. I've studied the MBE more than most people ever will (I'm a tutor of the exam so I've had years to better understand it). And you're correct; there is an element of the exam that is intended entirely to trap the test taker rather than test the test taker's knowledge, or ability to analyze law to facts. And the makers of the test continue to deny this.

Sean (Silverman Bar Prep)

not guilty
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby not guilty » Mon May 29, 2017 4:45 pm

I agree with all points, but as I said, there are better ways to establish minimum competency. A straightforward exam and then a 1 year fellowship would make more sense than a requirement of absolutely no real world experience and an exam dependent upon reading comprehension skills.

Failing the bar does not mean you didn't know the law or even establish that you're not ready to practice (i.e. a lawyer passes one State then fails another). Not to mention, actually passing the bar does not mean that person is fit to practice.

Bar exam process is antiquated.

SilvermanBarPrep wrote:Your points are very valid. I've studied the MBE more than most people ever will (I'm a tutor of the exam so I've had years to better understand it). And you're correct; there is an element of the exam that is intended entirely to trap the test taker rather than test the test taker's knowledge, or ability to analyze law to facts. And the makers of the test continue to deny this.

Sean (Silverman Bar Prep)

oh, I'm surprised they even deny it.

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Martin Brody
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby Martin Brody » Mon May 29, 2017 4:47 pm

If you fail the bar it means you either didn't study enough or you're dumb.

not guilty
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Re: This is why I disagree with (and hate) the MBE

Postby not guilty » Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:55 pm

and weeks later.....I stand by my point :D




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