POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

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Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Mostly because they are similar to the current MBE questions in use today by the NCBEX, therefore you will see the same issues tested on exam day
Mostly because they help you understand how to approach MBE questions, but they do not test the same issues tested today in the current MBE
Both the above reasons in equal proportion
Neither (post your reason)
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POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby supa_mitsu » Wed Jan 03, 2018 3:18 pm

It's poll time!

After seeing a lot of succesful retakers raving about sources that use real past MBE questions, such as Adaptibar, and Emanuel, I figured this is an important question to understand better how to approach the MBE. Also, I am a retaker and using Adaptibar at the moment.

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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby a male human » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:20 pm

There's a different feel to them. You might feel good about doing well on "difficult" questions that Barbri (or whoever) intentionally wrote to be convoluted as hell, and that's just artificial difficulty. Real questions are difficult in different ways. The style, the rationale for the credited answers, and length of questions are subtly different. Even if the real MBE is "easier" compared to Barbri, you might feel like it's a different beast altogether. You want the real thing to be like practice so you don't panic more than you need to. If you want a real challenge, try answering the old questions under 1.8 minutes.

Some say that questions on the exam are starting to look different from the old questions. This is a fair point. Of course the examiners know about supplements and will throw in questions designed around the old ones to keep it fresh. So while the licensed questions are probably the closest to what you'll see on the MBE, you can also drill using commercial questions written by prep courses. You're hedging your bets so to say, diversifying your hopes and dreams, putting your eggs in multiple baskets, being glad that I also bought Etherium and not just Bitcoin, etc.

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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby toast and bananas » Thu Jan 04, 2018 3:26 pm

You don't need old MBE questions to pass, in fact, most people I know used barbri/themis exclusively end never mentioned them. Another common thread - everyone leaves the MBE feeling like they bombed it, yet most end up passing with plenty to spare.

That said, doing old questions will help you avoid the shock after the first 10 questions of the real thing when you realize they are NOTHING like barbri questions.


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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby supa_mitsu » Tue Jan 09, 2018 7:57 pm

a male human wrote:Etherium and not just Bitcoin, etc.

Lol, love the comparison. Glad I got Ether indeed 8)

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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby ndbigdave » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:44 pm

I voted for the first choice - I think it helps both regarding style + getting more experience with HOW subjects are tested.

I really cannot think of a better way to study, if there is only one thing you can do, practice questions + review the answers.

Even for those who know the BLL well (perhaps even really well) seeing how the law is tested is very beneficial. When under time constraints and not being asked to regurgerate info from a flashcard/outline the dynamic is different. Using "simulated" questions seems silly when there are officially licensed questions available that have been used on actual MBE tests. Granted, once you fork over $1k+ to Barbri or Themis having to pay even more sucks, but the analytical tools and "real" questions that are a part of Adaptibar or BarMax are worth it.


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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby Smiddywesson » Tue Mar 12, 2019 3:05 pm

Before any discussion of which is best, we have to consider that this isn't just a timed test, the real time constraints come into play during preparation. I LOVE the old questions. They are very tough when it comes to time management and can teach you a lot about the WRONG answers. Yes, they cover a lot of stuff that's not on the test anymore, but the tricks they use translate to the new questions. However, I'm not so sure they are a priority because you don't have time for everything.

The OPE Exams and Study Aids number something like 620 questions, so to just go through them twice is going to eat up most of your MBE time budget. Also consider that there are 60 equators. These take up more than a third of the test, and they are never released. Because of the "discernment" requirement in validating a distractor, these 60 questions are the toughest questions on the test. Worse, YOU CAN'T PRACTICE them with the old released questions, and they can only be prepared for with in depth outline study and harder questions like Barbri/Themis/S&T FINZ. Where you gonna find that kind of time, Bubba? You have to focus.

Bottom line: No matter how much I love the old questions, they only covered 2/3 of the materials the day they were released, and that value has only gotten worse with time. If you have the time to do them, great, but if not, they are not a priority.

Full Disclosure: I just did 3800 questions for February and most of them were the old questions. I learned this when it was too late. If I fail, I will know why and focus my efforts better.

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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Mar 13, 2019 1:32 pm

It's just like when preparing for the LSAT; it was always best to work through the official questions created by LSAC. And further back to the SAT with the College Board questions.

The NCBE questions are best here, but the bar companies also make some decent ones. And the Finz Multistate Method book is, for the most part, good. But nothing beats the real questions.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)


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Re: POLL: Why are released/old MBE questions useful?

Postby masonjarrr » Wed Mar 13, 2019 11:29 pm

I did Themis (about 1700-1800) questions, and almost all questions on Emanuel's study book.

For obvious reasons, Emanuel felt a lot closer to the actual bar questions, including difficulty level, and the line of thinking required. On the other hand, Themis felt foreign in relation to Emanuel for the most part, and most of the help they provided included review of rules for the respective subjects, more so than the skills required for actual bar questions.

Now having sat for the bar twice, I feel Emanuel helped me substantially more than Themis.

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