UBETutoring wrote:Halp wrote:JoeSeperac wrote:If you do well on the MBE, you will likely pass. According to NCBE: "MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores." see http://www.ncbex.org/assets/media_files ... esting.pdf
This doesn't mean you ignore the MEE, but you certainly don't put 30% of your study-time into it. In the August 2009 issue of the Bar Examiner, the Chair of NCBE had this to say about the essay component of bar exams: "I wonder whether we will one day discard the traditional essay questions as a time consuming and inefficient way to measure the analytical skills and knowledge we believe new lawyers should have. It may be hard at first to imagine bar examinations without such questions. Essay questions are used to determine whether applicants can demonstrate knowledge of specific legal subjects by identifying legal issues and analyzing those issues clearly and concisely. However, good essay questions (i.e., questions that distinguish applicants sufficiently) can be a challenge to write consistently; they are time consuming and expensive to grade; and ideally they are also scaled to the MBE, because the MBE is a valid exercise in distinguishing those who are more knowledgeable from those who are less so. The Multistate Essay Examination has solid essay products, but would bar examining test legal knowledge more efficiently and easily if we had an expanded MBE? If essay questions do not measure different knowledge from the MBE, then why, other than tradition, do we continue to use them? If the answers are not graded for the quality of written expression, then essay questions are not measuring legal writing skill, either. The examinations for lawyers are coming to resemble increasingly the national examinations that physicians must take to secure their licenses. If physicians can be tested adequately on a broad variety of subjects using multiple-choice questions, why not lawyers?"
Am I correct in reading your statement to also apply to states with 50% state specific essays+MPT (rather than MEE)?
And reliability of .9 - does that mean 90% of those who pass the MBE, pass the entire exam? Surely not...
I'm not doubting the data, but they generally have a specific list of what they're looking for so there is some objectivity. There's just not a 1:1 correlation b/w knowing the law and getting the right answer. A lot of people don't know how to take the MBE, which is to just move element by element on each problem. For example, an MBE where someone applies strict liability to a factory without saying "factory is a commercial supplier". As intuitive as it is, they're not going to award the point.
There are absolutely people who have six 60 essays. They just always pass so these aren't getting released. I think it's more that a poor performance on the MBE is predictive of a poor performance on the MEE. Without being elitist, I've definitely found a marked division between MEE starting scores among t-14 grads and the rest of the population.
I think you may be proving his point to a certain extent.
Those who are truly elite, say the top 10% or so (maybe higher) know the law so well and are also capable writers that they certainly will get excellent scores even when accounting for human error/bias in grading and different topics/subtopics on each exam. I think the same is true for the bottom 20% (or so) of test takers who did not prep for the MEE and/or fail to write appropriately for essays. What Joe is pointing out is this middle glut of students who, depending on who is doing the grading and the "luck of the draw" on the topics selected for that year can have pretty wide ranging differences in scores.
I am but one data point, but I fit Joe's model to an absolute "T." I was a May 2015 graduate of a tier-4 law school, non-traditional student who went year-round at night to graduate in 3 years. I worked full-time through law school and bar prep, I had just over a 3.0 accumulative GPA while having great success in all MBE subjects outside of property. My work experience gave me tons of practice in reading/reviewing/drafting (7 year judicial clerk and roughly 1 year as a head clerk at busy med-mal firm where I wrote EVERYTHING). Joe's MBE predictor was 100% accurate, I scored a 141 in Michigan while scoring a 142 on the written portion (while putting in only a handful of hours reviewing essay topics). I passed comfortably if not spectacularly with my scores.
Fast forward just over a year and a half to Illinois February 2017. I scored a 139 on the MBE (a 2 point difference) meanwhile my essay scores went from a scaled 142 to a 122. While leaving each exam I had basically the same feelings (a few essays were in my strong areas and I felt good, had one I was just BS-ing, meanwhile the others I felt like I had something competent to say). The MPT (though I had never done one before) was a simple memo (something Ive done a few dozen times) and yet my scores plummeted and nowhere near a margin for error. I was totally baffled by my scores and I ultimately failed by 5 scaled points.
So the MBE has proven to be consistent for me (139 is merely 1.5% lower than my first score), meanwhile the essays total score dropped by just under 15%.