I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they doing

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JohnStamos

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I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they doing

Postby JohnStamos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:35 am

this? I feel like it isn't fair to use what we know to trick us into answering wrong. At least 10-15 questions now have been discovered to be misleading.

nixy

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:53 am

I don't get this question. They're testing your knowledge. Of course they're going to include questions with superficially appealing (but wrong) answers.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Cop2lawyerNYC » Fri Jul 27, 2018 7:54 am

JohnStamos wrote:this? I feel like it isn't fair to use what we know to trick us into answering wrong. At least 10-15 questions now have been discovered to be misleading.


Do you know which ones in particular?

MOD EDIT: Don't do that... mentioning specific bar questions is an instaban and could become a C&F issue with your state bar.


I did notice a handful. Part of my strategy—and it worked out well during practice—was to eliminate the 2 “wrong” choices” right away. Since you know before reading the choices that the answer will be either good or bad (eg if the search is bad, the typical answer choices would be good, good, bad, bad—I would just eliminate the 2 “good” and figure out which one of the 2 “bad” is the right answer).
Hopefully this tactic doesn’t sink me for this exam.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Wild Card » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:04 am

Are you trolling people? Wtf is wrong with you? Are you a sociopath?

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby JohnStamos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 8:09 am

Cop2lawyerNYC wrote:
JohnStamos wrote:this? I feel like it isn't fair to use what we know to trick us into answering wrong. At least 10-15 questions now have been discovered to be misleading.


Do you know which ones in particular? I did notice a handful. Part of my strategy—and it worked out well during practice—was to eliminate the 2 “wrong” choices” right away. Since you know before reading the choices that the answer will be either good or bad (eg if the search is bad, the typical answer choices would be good, good, bad, bad—I would just eliminate the 2 “good” and figure out which one of the 2 “bad” is the right answer).
Hopefully this tactic doesn’t sink me for this exam.

I'm not going to mention particular questions because that violates the rules. I will say that generally they used the conditioned response best answer as a wrong answer on many questions. Same fact pattern and you would have "pre-guessed" that an answer choice would be right because it satisfied the conditions of a particular rule and was exactly like one of the questions used during your prep course. Same names or occupations even. But the answer you've seen 100 times would be wrong because of some rare exception they slipped in and hoped you'd make an assumption based on that exact fact pattern. Pretty shocked they'd stoop this low to be fair. And the people looking at this with me agreed we wouldn't have noticed of we hadn't seen the text of the questions.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:03 am

...what do you mean you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t seen the text of the questions? In what universe would you have not seen the text of the questions?

I mean what you’re talking about is pretty much the point of testing people.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Jdsquared87 » Fri Jul 27, 2018 10:09 am

nixy wrote:...what do you mean you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t seen the text of the questions? In what universe would you have not seen the text of the questions?

I mean what you’re talking about is pretty much the point of testing people.



Amen to this.

They aren't trying to make this exam easy and you're supposed to read the questions....that's how you get your answer. It couldn't be more clearer than that.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby White Dwarf » Fri Jul 27, 2018 11:13 am

And what's "instinctive" will vary between test-takers. We've all gotten trick questions wrong that changed how we look at problems. That's kinda the point of doing 2,000 practice questions.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby GoneSouth » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:09 pm

Jdsquared87 wrote:
nixy wrote:...what do you mean you wouldn’t have noticed if you hadn’t seen the text of the questions? In what universe would you have not seen the text of the questions?

I mean what you’re talking about is pretty much the point of testing people.



Amen to this.

They aren't trying to make this exam easy and you're supposed to read the questions....that's how you get your answer. It couldn't be more clearer than that.


Stepping back to first principles though (which I think the OP was trying to do), why shouldn’t they try to make the exam easy such that people with good knowledge of the general legal principles underlying each area should pass?

Why should a person’s fitness as a lawyer be judged on whether they know or don’t know an exception that applies in 1% or cases that likely aren’t even in an area they’ll be practicing in?

I agree with the OP that 1. This basically tests short-term memorization rather than ability to use legal reasoning and 2. This isn’t a good way to evaluate lawyering skills.

The bar should teat familiarity with the big picture rules and general principles, not hyper-specific variations on those rules. In real life, on the small chance you run into a case that implicates those exceptions, you can look them up on Westlaw.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby JonTheMandamus » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:24 pm

They do it because there are simply more people who meet the qualifications to be a lawyer than the existing need in the market. Now can we let this thread die?

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:29 pm

The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby JohnStamos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:35 pm

nix wrote:I mean, come on.

Honestly this comment is abusive and shouldn't be allowed. Stop bullying.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby Findedeux » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:36 pm

JonTheMandamus wrote:They do it because there are simply more people who meet the qualifications to be a lawyer than the existing need in the market. Now can we let this thread die?


Well this raises an interesting issue.

We have the need for affordable legal services (which most consumers would say doesn't exist) versus the "over-supply" of legal graduates competing for the small pie of good jobs.

I don't think a consumer would prefer artificial barriers to entry since it drives up the cost of legal services. And there has never been ANY correlation between bar performance and the quality of legal services provided.

But we do love protectionism and the legal market is fairly crappy as far as job prospects go for many people.

If the bar had wanted us to write a relevant essay it probably should have been about this kind of topic.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:51 pm

JohnStamos wrote:
nix wrote:I mean, come on.

Honestly this comment is abusive and shouldn't be allowed. Stop bullying.

What? How is it bullying to express frustration with a proposition you put forward?

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby JonTheMandamus » Fri Jul 27, 2018 12:57 pm

Findedeux wrote:
JonTheMandamus wrote:They do it because there are simply more people who meet the qualifications to be a lawyer than the existing need in the market. Now can we let this thread die?


Well this raises an interesting issue.

We have the need for affordable legal services (which most consumers would say doesn't exist) versus the "over-supply" of legal graduates competing for the small pie of good jobs.

I don't think a consumer would prefer artificial barriers to entry since it drives up the cost of legal services. And there has never been ANY correlation between bar performance and the quality of legal services provided.

But we do love protectionism and the legal market is fairly crappy as far as job prospects go for many people.

If the bar had wanted us to write a relevant essay it probably should have been about this kind of topic.


I agree with what you're saying, and the current legal market is certainly an interesting issue, as you have pointed out. But I also think this thread causes more harm than benefit, so I am going to stop posting in it. Cheers.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby GoneSouth » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:09 pm

nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.

It would be pretty shitty form of gatekeeping to close the gate only after people have invested three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school. The bar should t be designed to allow a certain number of people to less each year—it should be designed to allow all who are competent to pass.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:10 pm

JohnStamos wrote:
nix wrote:I mean, come on.

Honestly this comment is abusive and shouldn't be allowed. Stop bullying.


You're always welcome to report posts that you find abusive. Frankly, based on the post you quoted, your threshold for abusive is much lower than mine, so don't expect favorable action.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:19 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.

It would be pretty shitty form of gatekeeping to close the gate only after people have invested three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school. The bar should t be designed to allow a certain number of people to less each year—it should be designed to allow all who are competent to pass.

There’s a difference btw the bar’s claimed purpose and its actual purpose. There’s been a lot of research on how, historically, it has served exactly as gatekeeping, to keep our people of color, lower income people, etc. The legal profession is also unlike the medical profession - we have very few limits on entry, and weed people through the bar exam. Medicine does the reverse.

Whether that’s acceptable is entirely different from whether it’s accepted fact. But even if it’s not acceptable, there’s no point preparing for the exam you think it should be as opposed to the exam as it actually exists.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby JohnStamos » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:32 pm

nixy wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.

It would be pretty shitty form of gatekeeping to close the gate only after people have invested three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school. The bar should t be designed to allow a certain number of people to less each year—it should be designed to allow all who are competent to pass.

There’s a difference btw the bar’s claimed purpose and its actual purpose. There’s been a lot of research on how, historically, it has served exactly as gatekeeping, to keep our people of color, lower income people, etc. The legal profession is also unlike the medical profession - we have very few limits on entry, and weed people through the bar exam. Medicine does the reverse.

Whether that’s acceptable is entirely different from whether it’s accepted fact. But even if it’s not acceptable, there’s no point preparing for the exam you think it should be as opposed to the exam as it actually exists.

I don't want to get off topic, but as a woman of color I can confirm this happens. The way the questions are worded is specifically used to discriminate against black and nonnative speakers. This is why it's justified to allow certain groups into a law school despite their LSAT scores. Unfortunately, the discrimination on the bar exam has yet to be remedied. I knew this would be an issue and prepared accordingly. My problem with the test stated in the OP is NOT about racism specifically, although it may also apply here, but about the way the questions are worded to confuse issues for those who are otherwise prepared for those issues.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby GoneSouth » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:33 pm

nixy wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.

It would be pretty shitty form of gatekeeping to close the gate only after people have invested three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school. The bar should t be designed to allow a certain number of people to less each year—it should be designed to allow all who are competent to pass.

There’s a difference btw the bar’s claimed purpose and its actual purpose. There’s been a lot of research on how, historically, it has served exactly as gatekeeping, to keep our people of color, lower income people, etc. The legal profession is also unlike the medical profession - we have very few limits on entry, and weed people through the bar exam. Medicine does the reverse.

Whether that’s acceptable is entirely different from whether it’s accepted fact. But even if it’s not acceptable, there’s no point preparing for the exam you think it should be as opposed to the exam as it actually exists.


All I think anyone in here has been saying is that what the bar is doing is unfair and not a good way to test. Nobody is saying that it’s necessarily a surprise that the bar does this.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby totesTheGoat » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:40 pm

JohnStamos wrote:I don't want to get off topic


Yeah, let's stay on the stated topic. If you want to have a conversation about racism/discrimination on the bar exam, feel free to start a separate thread. The lounge is probably the best place, but this forum is fine, too.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby nixy » Fri Jul 27, 2018 1:49 pm

GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:
GoneSouth wrote:
nixy wrote:The point of the bar is gatekeeping. Of course it’s not supposed to be easy. And testing exceptions is a perfectly valid way of testing the general principles. It’s admittedly a crappy way to evaluate lawyer skills, but if you’re going to complain about that, challenge the concept of the test rather than rearranging the deck chairs of the specific questions.

At the very least, you should expect to have to read the text of the questions, I mean, come on.


You say “the point of the bar is gatekeeping,” like it’s just some accepted and acceptable fact. But it’s not. The bar has never claimed to be a way of regulating the number of licensed lawyers. It’s supposed to be an examination of competence.

It would be pretty shitty form of gatekeeping to close the gate only after people have invested three years and hundreds of thousands of dollars on law school. The bar should t be designed to allow a certain number of people to less each year—it should be designed to allow all who are competent to pass.

There’s a difference btw the bar’s claimed purpose and its actual purpose. There’s been a lot of research on how, historically, it has served exactly as gatekeeping, to keep our people of color, lower income people, etc. The legal profession is also unlike the medical profession - we have very few limits on entry, and weed people through the bar exam. Medicine does the reverse.

Whether that’s acceptable is entirely different from whether it’s accepted fact. But even if it’s not acceptable, there’s no point preparing for the exam you think it should be as opposed to the exam as it actually exists.


All I think anyone in here has been saying is that what the bar is doing is unfair and not a good way to test. Nobody is saying that it’s necessarily a surprise that the bar does this.

The OP literally asks “why are they doing this.”

But I also disagree that it’s unfair to make people read carefully and know the exceptions. There shouldn’t really be an “instinctive” answer in a field like law.

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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby White Dwarf » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:27 pm

I think the bar exam is dumb for many reasons, but the fact that it's "unfair" to people with bad critical reading skills is not one of them. I'm sure it is much harder for non-native English speakers, but so is practicing law in the English language.

They should have some kind of alternative that's modeled on the law review write-on process. You can either take the exam, or write a 20 page closed-world brief, or something like that.


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Re: I noticed that the "instinctive" answer on several MBE questions was clearly wrong after going back. Why are they do

Postby estefanchanning » Fri Jul 27, 2018 3:54 pm

White Dwarf wrote:I think the bar exam is dumb for many reasons, but the fact that it's "unfair" to people with bad critical reading skills is not one of them. I'm sure it is much harder for non-native English speakers, but so is practicing law in the English language.


That's horseshit. I've gotten multiple practice Qs wrong because the answer/fact pattern used words I simply don't understand (non-legal terms). In the real world, I would look that shit up.

Also, the questions and answers are purposely worded so they are difficult to comprehend. This is fucked up because the exam shouldn't be testing my comprehension of a confusing question in ~2mins. Rather, it should test my knowledge of the damn law.

So, if they want to give me a trick fact pattern, by all means do so. But when they give me a confusing question and/or answer simply based on grammar/syntax/diction, then can suck a dick all the way to hell.

The bar examiners 100% abuse their powers because they feel that their "purpose" of producing competent lawyers shields them from bad-faith behavior. Without a doubt, if they get sued (and I hope they do), I am certain they will be reprimanded for their surreptitious behavior.



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