Advice for MBE memorization

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boblawlawblog

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Advice for MBE memorization

Postby boblawlawblog » Wed Jan 30, 2019 12:45 am

I am having a heck of a time with MBE prep. I can remember General Law for Essays. I just can't handle the MBE's. This will be my fourth bar exam sitting, and every sitting my MBE score is roughly 60%. In practice, my MBE score is always roughly 60%. However, lately that score has fallen to about 50-55%, and the more questions I do, the more it falls. I am TERRIFIED. There is one month between me and this test, and I don't know what to do with my time. I get exhausted reading outlines, and not much sticks. Even if I do, the questions always trip me up and despite being able to narrow down the answers to two choices, I never pick the right one of the two. I am looking for any advice on how to improve.

So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Jan 30, 2019 4:53 pm

I think with one month left, you should be learning most of the law from the practice questions you're working on. By working through questions you're both working on the skills required to do well on the MBE, but you're also learning the substantive law tested in each question. And if you get a question wrong, it's merely an opportunity to learn some more law.

It's different when there is one month left as opposed to, say, 2.5 months. Pouring over outlines (especially if you don't feel you're gaining from that) isn't your best strategy at the moment.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

Lancair

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby Lancair » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:26 am

+1 - sample questions and lots of 'em are the glue that makes them stick for me. So much of the MBE is about application and you can't learn application by reading an outline.

justanotheruser

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby justanotheruser » Thu Jan 31, 2019 1:03 am

boblawlawblog wrote:So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?


Passed the CA bar exam after failing 5 times. MBEs were almost always a strength. To me, the key was prioritizing practice problems over *pure* memorization. The bar doesn't test you on whether you can recall specific rules. It tests whether you can apply and detect the nuances of rules in the context of fact patterns. Doing actual problems, reviewing why your answer was wrong (or right if you got lucky with a guess), and seeing how they're trying to trick you is, I think, the best way to prepare. Good luck!

Law&coffee

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby Law&coffee » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:03 am

It depends on how you best memorize information. For me, I learn best by flash card so Critical Pass was a good choice for me (referral link - https://criticalpass.refr.cc/7LQ8X4Z).

If you learn best by outline, then I would stick with that learning tool. In law school, I got my best grades by turning outlines into flash cards.

Smiddywesson

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby Smiddywesson » Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:56 pm

boblawlawblog wrote:I am having a heck of a time with MBE prep. I can remember General Law for Essays. I just can't handle the MBE's. This will be my fourth bar exam sitting, and every sitting my MBE score is roughly 60%. In practice, my MBE score is always roughly 60%. However, lately that score has fallen to about 50-55%, and the more questions I do, the more it falls. I am TERRIFIED. There is one month between me and this test, and I don't know what to do with my time. I get exhausted reading outlines, and not much sticks. Even if I do, the questions always trip me up and despite being able to narrow down the answers to two choices, I never pick the right one of the two. I am looking for any advice on how to improve.

So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?


I sprinkle multiple choice questions on my cornflakes in the morning, so I'm not a good role model, it comes easy for me. However, I know exactly what's wrong with your prep, you are spread too thin. The NCBE says the four OPE Exams and the two Study Aids contain everything you need to pass. Throw away everything else and focus. There are no more than 620 rules encompassed in those materials, learn the rules, the exceptions, and pay attention to the tricks. Hopefully, you passed this time. If not, you are in for a treat. JoeSeparac.com knows about focus and sells an outline based on these core rules. Buy it and and master this small area of the bar. You'll pass the MBE easily. However, if you fill your mind with needless information that isn't tested, your command of the 620 will weaken and you may compromise your performance. Believe me, I know. I was averaging over 91% going into the test and got all sorts of easy stuff wrong like manslaughter. I didn't learn about focus until it was too late. With those kinds of number, I still did fine, but I could have done better if I just knew to par things down to what's on the test and specialize on that. For example, you don't need to know about Riparian Rights, it isn't tested. About a third of that big company outline is sheer crap that isn't on the test anymore and it's standing in your way of mastering what is tested. Less is more.

John---

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby John--- » Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:34 pm

Smiddywesson wrote:
boblawlawblog wrote:I am having a heck of a time with MBE prep. I can remember General Law for Essays. I just can't handle the MBE's. This will be my fourth bar exam sitting, and every sitting my MBE score is roughly 60%. In practice, my MBE score is always roughly 60%. However, lately that score has fallen to about 50-55%, and the more questions I do, the more it falls. I am TERRIFIED. There is one month between me and this test, and I don't know what to do with my time. I get exhausted reading outlines, and not much sticks. Even if I do, the questions always trip me up and despite being able to narrow down the answers to two choices, I never pick the right one of the two. I am looking for any advice on how to improve.

So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?


I sprinkle multiple choice questions on my cornflakes in the morning, so I'm not a good role model, it comes easy for me. However, I know exactly what's wrong with your prep, you are spread too thin. The NCBE says the four OPE Exams and the two Study Aids contain everything you need to pass. Throw away everything else and focus. There are no more than 620 rules encompassed in those materials, learn the rules, the exceptions, and pay attention to the tricks. Hopefully, you passed this time. If not, you are in for a treat. JoeSeparac.com knows about focus and sells an outline based on these core rules. Buy it and and master this small area of the bar. You'll pass the MBE easily. However, if you fill your mind with needless information that isn't tested, your command of the 620 will weaken and you may compromise your performance. Believe me, I know. I was averaging over 91% going into the test and got all sorts of easy stuff wrong like manslaughter. I didn't learn about focus until it was too late. With those kinds of number, I still did fine, but I could have done better if I just knew to par things down to what's on the test and specialize on that. For example, you don't need to know about Riparian Rights, it isn't tested. About a third of that big company outline is sheer crap that isn't on the test anymore and it's standing in your way of mastering what is tested. Less is more.


Smiddywesson: Would you recommend not doing adaptibar and sticking with the OPE exams only? Because Adaptibar includes a lot of old questions.

Smiddywesson

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby Smiddywesson » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:19 pm

John--- wrote:
Smiddywesson wrote:
boblawlawblog wrote:I am having a heck of a time with MBE prep. I can remember General Law for Essays. I just can't handle the MBE's. This will be my fourth bar exam sitting, and every sitting my MBE score is roughly 60%. In practice, my MBE score is always roughly 60%. However, lately that score has fallen to about 50-55%, and the more questions I do, the more it falls. I am TERRIFIED. There is one month between me and this test, and I don't know what to do with my time. I get exhausted reading outlines, and not much sticks. Even if I do, the questions always trip me up and despite being able to narrow down the answers to two choices, I never pick the right one of the two. I am looking for any advice on how to improve.

So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?


I sprinkle multiple choice questions on my cornflakes in the morning, so I'm not a good role model, it comes easy for me. However, I know exactly what's wrong with your prep, you are spread too thin. The NCBE says the four OPE Exams and the two Study Aids contain everything you need to pass. Throw away everything else and focus. There are no more than 620 rules encompassed in those materials, learn the rules, the exceptions, and pay attention to the tricks. Hopefully, you passed this time. If not, you are in for a treat. JoeSeparac.com knows about focus and sells an outline based on these core rules. Buy it and and master this small area of the bar. You'll pass the MBE easily. However, if you fill your mind with needless information that isn't tested, your command of the 620 will weaken and you may compromise your performance. Believe me, I know. I was averaging over 91% going into the test and got all sorts of easy stuff wrong like manslaughter. I didn't learn about focus until it was too late. With those kinds of number, I still did fine, but I could have done better if I just knew to par things down to what's on the test and specialize on that. For example, you don't need to know about Riparian Rights, it isn't tested. About a third of that big company outline is sheer crap that isn't on the test anymore and it's standing in your way of mastering what is tested. Less is more.


Smiddywesson: Would you recommend not doing adaptibar and sticking with the OPE exams only? Because Adaptibar includes a lot of old questions.


If I were to do it over again (sigh), I would focus like a laser beam on the 4 OPE Exams and the two study aids.

"Learning the material presented in the four OPEs should put you in a very good position to do well on the MBE. Each set of 100 represents a good sample of the content in the full-length MBE." - Susan M. Case, Emeritus Director of Testing, NCBE.

These people are math eggheads. When they say something, they mean it. My opinions are different than her's, but she knows, so my opinions are now hers. THE NCBE is launching a learning center with revised (upgraded) materials on March 25. That's your ticket to win.

Above and beyond that, I recommend Barbri questions. The hardest third of the MBE is the equators, the 60 questions used from the previous two tests to compare groups and make the scale. Adaptibar, Themis, and BarMax do not have them, they are never released. Therefore, if you want to just study 2/3 of the test like I did, you can study them hoping you will get better at spotting the WRONG answers. Obviously, the best tricks are used over and over again through the years, so the old questions are still helpful. However, you really do want to test your skills at the hard ones written by the big companies. What goes into the secret sauce of these questions, and whether it's fair to idiots like me who just used the released questions this time around, we will never know. Their students routinely report about a 10%-15% kicker from their practice performance, and they ARE the bar review market when it comes to numbers, so a wise person wouldn't buck the system and just include them in your prep so you compete on an even playing field.

Here's the issue. Time management is a big part of taking the bar, but it's so very much more important during prep. More is not better. Knowing the 620 some odd rules in the OPE Exams and Study Aids beats the tar out of being pretty familiar with 6000 rules. The bar examiners eat people for lunch who are pretty familiar. The test is about details. Study the NCBE stuff until you know it inside out, sprinkle on some Barbri or Kaplan mojo, and sure, if you have the time and money, do something else. The issue is everyone runs out of time, and you damn well have done the most important things first before that last panic week hits. I studied for a solid year because I'd been away from the law for 30 years. During the last week, even I was wishing for more time. Everyone does it. Prioritize. When Barbri says do 10 essays in every subject, laugh in their faces. Anything that takes you away from your current top priority is exactly why you will fail. Don't do everything, that's death.

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:57 pm

Smiddywesson wrote:
John--- wrote:
Smiddywesson wrote:
boblawlawblog wrote:I am having a heck of a time with MBE prep. I can remember General Law for Essays. I just can't handle the MBE's. This will be my fourth bar exam sitting, and every sitting my MBE score is roughly 60%. In practice, my MBE score is always roughly 60%. However, lately that score has fallen to about 50-55%, and the more questions I do, the more it falls. I am TERRIFIED. There is one month between me and this test, and I don't know what to do with my time. I get exhausted reading outlines, and not much sticks. Even if I do, the questions always trip me up and despite being able to narrow down the answers to two choices, I never pick the right one of the two. I am looking for any advice on how to improve.

So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?


I sprinkle multiple choice questions on my cornflakes in the morning, so I'm not a good role model, it comes easy for me. However, I know exactly what's wrong with your prep, you are spread too thin. The NCBE says the four OPE Exams and the two Study Aids contain everything you need to pass. Throw away everything else and focus. There are no more than 620 rules encompassed in those materials, learn the rules, the exceptions, and pay attention to the tricks. Hopefully, you passed this time. If not, you are in for a treat. JoeSeparac.com knows about focus and sells an outline based on these core rules. Buy it and and master this small area of the bar. You'll pass the MBE easily. However, if you fill your mind with needless information that isn't tested, your command of the 620 will weaken and you may compromise your performance. Believe me, I know. I was averaging over 91% going into the test and got all sorts of easy stuff wrong like manslaughter. I didn't learn about focus until it was too late. With those kinds of number, I still did fine, but I could have done better if I just knew to par things down to what's on the test and specialize on that. For example, you don't need to know about Riparian Rights, it isn't tested. About a third of that big company outline is sheer crap that isn't on the test anymore and it's standing in your way of mastering what is tested. Less is more.


Smiddywesson: Would you recommend not doing adaptibar and sticking with the OPE exams only? Because Adaptibar includes a lot of old questions.


If I were to do it over again (sigh), I would focus like a laser beam on the 4 OPE Exams and the two study aids.

"Learning the material presented in the four OPEs should put you in a very good position to do well on the MBE. Each set of 100 represents a good sample of the content in the full-length MBE." - Susan M. Case, Emeritus Director of Testing, NCBE.

These people are math eggheads. When they say something, they mean it. My opinions are different than her's, but she knows, so my opinions are now hers. THE NCBE is launching a learning center with revised (upgraded) materials on March 25. That's your ticket to win.

Above and beyond that, I recommend Barbri questions. The hardest third of the MBE is the equators, the 60 questions used from the previous two tests to compare groups and make the scale. Adaptibar, Themis, and BarMax do not have them, they are never released. Therefore, if you want to just study 2/3 of the test like I did, you can study them hoping you will get better at spotting the WRONG answers. Obviously, the best tricks are used over and over again through the years, so the old questions are still helpful. However, you really do want to test your skills at the hard ones written by the big companies. What goes into the secret sauce of these questions, and whether it's fair to idiots like me who just used the released questions this time around, we will never know. Their students routinely report about a 10%-15% kicker from their practice performance, and they ARE the bar review market when it comes to numbers, so a wise person wouldn't buck the system and just include them in your prep so you compete on an even playing field.

Here's the issue. Time management is a big part of taking the bar, but it's so very much more important during prep. More is not better. Knowing the 620 some odd rules in the OPE Exams and Study Aids beats the tar out of being pretty familiar with 6000 rules. The bar examiners eat people for lunch who are pretty familiar. The test is about details. Study the NCBE stuff until you know it inside out, sprinkle on some Barbri or Kaplan mojo, and sure, if you have the time and money, do something else. The issue is everyone runs out of time, and you damn well have done the most important things first before that last panic week hits. I studied for a solid year because I'd been away from the law for 30 years. During the last week, even I was wishing for more time. Everyone does it. Prioritize. When Barbri says do 10 essays in every subject, laugh in their faces. Anything that takes you away from your current top priority is exactly why you will fail. Don't do everything, that's death.



Print out all this advice out and study it along with the law, ha. It's excellent.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

Smiddywesson

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Re: Advice for MBE memorization

Postby Smiddywesson » Wed Mar 20, 2019 4:25 pm

SilvermanBarPrep wrote:
Smiddywesson wrote:
John--- wrote:
Smiddywesson wrote:
boblawlawblog wrote:I am having a heck of a time with MBE prep. I can remember General Law for Essays. I just can't handle the MBE's. This will be my fourth bar exam sitting, and every sitting my MBE score is roughly 60%. In practice, my MBE score is always roughly 60%. However, lately that score has fallen to about 50-55%, and the more questions I do, the more it falls. I am TERRIFIED. There is one month between me and this test, and I don't know what to do with my time. I get exhausted reading outlines, and not much sticks. Even if I do, the questions always trip me up and despite being able to narrow down the answers to two choices, I never pick the right one of the two. I am looking for any advice on how to improve.

So far, I've used Adaptibar (currently sitting at a 57% average), and Strategies and Tactics.

Do flashcards really help with MBE that much? If so, is critical pass really that worth it? I looked at a deck once, and it's insane how many cards there are. How can anyone truly memorize all that stuff?

What worked for you?


I sprinkle multiple choice questions on my cornflakes in the morning, so I'm not a good role model, it comes easy for me. However, I know exactly what's wrong with your prep, you are spread too thin. The NCBE says the four OPE Exams and the two Study Aids contain everything you need to pass. Throw away everything else and focus. There are no more than 620 rules encompassed in those materials, learn the rules, the exceptions, and pay attention to the tricks. Hopefully, you passed this time. If not, you are in for a treat. JoeSeparac.com knows about focus and sells an outline based on these core rules. Buy it and and master this small area of the bar. You'll pass the MBE easily. However, if you fill your mind with needless information that isn't tested, your command of the 620 will weaken and you may compromise your performance. Believe me, I know. I was averaging over 91% going into the test and got all sorts of easy stuff wrong like manslaughter. I didn't learn about focus until it was too late. With those kinds of number, I still did fine, but I could have done better if I just knew to par things down to what's on the test and specialize on that. For example, you don't need to know about Riparian Rights, it isn't tested. About a third of that big company outline is sheer crap that isn't on the test anymore and it's standing in your way of mastering what is tested. Less is more.


Smiddywesson: Would you recommend not doing adaptibar and sticking with the OPE exams only? Because Adaptibar includes a lot of old questions.


If I were to do it over again (sigh), I would focus like a laser beam on the 4 OPE Exams and the two study aids.

"Learning the material presented in the four OPEs should put you in a very good position to do well on the MBE. Each set of 100 represents a good sample of the content in the full-length MBE." - Susan M. Case, Emeritus Director of Testing, NCBE.

These people are math eggheads. When they say something, they mean it. My opinions are different than her's, but she knows, so my opinions are now hers. THE NCBE is launching a learning center with revised (upgraded) materials on March 25. That's your ticket to win.

Above and beyond that, I recommend Barbri questions. The hardest third of the MBE is the equators, the 60 questions used from the previous two tests to compare groups and make the scale. Adaptibar, Themis, and BarMax do not have them, they are never released. Therefore, if you want to just study 2/3 of the test like I did, you can study them hoping you will get better at spotting the WRONG answers. Obviously, the best tricks are used over and over again through the years, so the old questions are still helpful. However, you really do want to test your skills at the hard ones written by the big companies. What goes into the secret sauce of these questions, and whether it's fair to idiots like me who just used the released questions this time around, we will never know. Their students routinely report about a 10%-15% kicker from their practice performance, and they ARE the bar review market when it comes to numbers, so a wise person wouldn't buck the system and just include them in your prep so you compete on an even playing field.

Here's the issue. Time management is a big part of taking the bar, but it's so very much more important during prep. More is not better. Knowing the 620 some odd rules in the OPE Exams and Study Aids beats the tar out of being pretty familiar with 6000 rules. The bar examiners eat people for lunch who are pretty familiar. The test is about details. Study the NCBE stuff until you know it inside out, sprinkle on some Barbri or Kaplan mojo, and sure, if you have the time and money, do something else. The issue is everyone runs out of time, and you damn well have done the most important things first before that last panic week hits. I studied for a solid year because I'd been away from the law for 30 years. During the last week, even I was wishing for more time. Everyone does it. Prioritize. When Barbri says do 10 essays in every subject, laugh in their faces. Anything that takes you away from your current top priority is exactly why you will fail. Don't do everything, that's death.



Print out all this advice out and study it along with the law, ha. It's excellent.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)


You ought to know, I got a lot of my opinions from your excellent site.
Whenever I get anxious about the February results, I come here to blab (too much) or turn to the Silverman site. Well done sir!



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