MBE Help?

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BirdLawyerCharlie

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MBE Help?

Postby BirdLawyerCharlie » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:02 am

So, I just found out that I failed the bar for the 3rd time. Scores were 114, 124, and now 129. Needed 132 to pass. I really don't know how to squeeze the points I need out, I studied, hired a private MBE tutor, completed the Kaplan course, and did about 75% of an Emanuels cover to cover. What can I do differently to make sure I pass this time in July? I'm really thinking it's the test day anxiety that gets to me. I'm consistently getting close, but not close enough.

I'm thinking of trying Adaptibar this time, but I don't know if another program is going to help me any.

FutureLawyer2

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby FutureLawyer2 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 10:59 am

Sorry to hear.

Did you study using critical pass flashcards?

BirdLawyerCharlie

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby BirdLawyerCharlie » Mon Apr 08, 2019 11:08 am

FutureLawyer2 wrote:Sorry to hear.

Did you study using critical pass flashcards?


I did not, but I have ordered a set for the upcoming exam.

FutureLawyer2

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby FutureLawyer2 » Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:05 pm

Ok, I was going to offer you a code in case you needed a discount.

Smiddywesson

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Smiddywesson » Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:26 pm

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:So, I just found out that I failed the bar for the 3rd time. Scores were 114, 124, and now 129. Needed 132 to pass. I really don't know how to squeeze the points I need out, I studied, hired a private MBE tutor, completed the Kaplan course, and did about 75% of an Emanuels cover to cover. What can I do differently to make sure I pass this time in July? I'm really thinking it's the test day anxiety that gets to me. I'm consistently getting close, but not close enough.

I'm thinking of trying Adaptibar this time, but I don't know if another program is going to help me any.


What state?

One: 1/2 Practice questions, Barbri
Two: 1/2 Practice questions, Adaptibar
Three: Know the law behind the four OPE Exams inside out
Four: Get a prescription if anxiety is a problem.

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Tue Apr 09, 2019 1:09 am

I think Adaptibar is an important component to preparing for the MBE so if you haven't incorporated it yet, that would be a good addition to your prep for the next exam. You want to try to get through all of the questions in the program and pay close attention to the numbers. Aim to score about 70% in each subject since that puts you in a very good place when taking the actual exam.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby lawgirl3521 » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:54 am

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:So, I just found out that I failed the bar for the 3rd time. Scores were 114, 124, and now 129. Needed 132 to pass. I really don't know how to squeeze the points I need out, I studied, hired a private MBE tutor, completed the Kaplan course, and did about 75% of an Emanuels cover to cover. What can I do differently to make sure I pass this time in July? I'm really thinking it's the test day anxiety that gets to me. I'm consistently getting close, but not close enough.

I'm thinking of trying Adaptibar this time, but I don't know if another program is going to help me any.


I would definitely use Adaptibar and also do your best to memorize the Critical Pass flashcards - like every element on the card - then you need to learn how to apply those nuanced rules to the MBE fact patterns.

Also, I would highly recommend the MBE Guide from JD Advising - they guarantee a 7 point increase on your MBE score - I used it and personally saw a 9 point increase just from that one resource. Here is a link to that: https://www.jdadvising.com/mbe-guide/

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby sleeplessindc » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:50 am

Sorry to hear that. Did you take the Indiana bar exam? (Indiana released results on Monday; other states may have also.)

I think it'd be helpful for us to know how you approached each practice question. Did you analyze why you got your wrong answers wrong and why you got the correct ones correct -- and did you see a pattern? Like are you getting questions wrong because you didn't know enough of the legal nuances or obscure exceptions to tell answer choices apart? And if yes, did you set aside those finer details for later study (like incorporating them into your outlines)? Or do you keep running out of time? Are you strong in some issue areas and weak in others, or weak across the board?

BirdLawyerCharlie

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby BirdLawyerCharlie » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:16 pm

lawgirl3521 wrote:
BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:So, I just found out that I failed the bar for the 3rd time. Scores were 114, 124, and now 129. Needed 132 to pass. I really don't know how to squeeze the points I need out, I studied, hired a private MBE tutor, completed the Kaplan course, and did about 75% of an Emanuels cover to cover. What can I do differently to make sure I pass this time in July? I'm really thinking it's the test day anxiety that gets to me. I'm consistently getting close, but not close enough.

I'm thinking of trying Adaptibar this time, but I don't know if another program is going to help me any.


I would definitely use Adaptibar and also do your best to memorize the Critical Pass flashcards - like every element on the card - then you need to learn how to apply those nuanced rules to the MBE fact patterns.

Also, I would highly recommend the MBE Guide from JD Advising - they guarantee a 7 point increase on your MBE score - I used it and personally saw a 9 point increase just from that one resource. Here is a link to that: https://www.jdadvising.com/mbe-guide/


Could you tell me more about that guarantee? It looks like it's roughly $80 for what looks like quicksheets on the MBE subjects? I followed jdadvising to help me guesstimate what the essays would be like and they were spot on. So I wouldn't be opposed to checking out their MBE guides.

I also plan on purchasing Adaptibar, but a guaranteed 7 point increase would be more than enough for me to succeed.

And to answer everyone else, I think anxiety really played a heavy role in it. I study the material but maybe I'm just not putting enough time into it. I felt like I knew a lot of the black letter law, but there were some questions that were 50/50 that I never really hammered down and I'm sure that's what cost me those necessary points.

sleeplessindc

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby sleeplessindc » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:51 am

I study the material but maybe I'm just not putting enough time into it. I felt like I knew a lot of the black letter law, but there were some questions that were 50/50 that I never really hammered down and I'm sure that's what cost me those necessary points.


Honestly this makes me think that your first priority should be to go back to the practice questions you already did and hammer out why you got hard questions right or wrong, then commit the lesson learned to memory (e.g., by copying them over to your outlines). If you're using a suboptimal studying strategy, I question the value of you adding lots more questions to the pile until you fix the strategy first. (Your anxiety may be consistent with that theory because taking a timed test on material you don't fully understand is stressful.)

But you also said you used a tutor, who theoretically should've done the above. What did the tutor do for you?

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby BirdLawyerCharlie » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:51 am

sleeplessindc wrote:
I study the material but maybe I'm just not putting enough time into it. I felt like I knew a lot of the black letter law, but there were some questions that were 50/50 that I never really hammered down and I'm sure that's what cost me those necessary points.


Honestly this makes me think that your first priority should be to go back to the practice questions you already did and hammer out why you got hard questions right or wrong, then commit the lesson learned to memory (e.g., by copying them over to your outlines). If you're using a suboptimal studying strategy, I question the value of you adding lots more questions to the pile until you fix the strategy first. (Your anxiety may be consistent with that theory because taking a timed test on material you don't fully understand is stressful.)

But you also said you used a tutor, who theoretically should've done the above. What did the tutor do for you?


I think I just need to revisit how I studied. Every time I've taken the bar I've also been working full time and it hasn't left me the amount of time I've wanted to have to study. Which is stupid, I know. Why expect different results when I'm not putting in any different effort. My tutor was also not very effective. I would answer a handful of NCBE questions and he would call and we'd go through them, which was good for me but I don't think it was as effective as it could have been.

I'd really like to develop a study schedule that's MBE only, I'm resigning from my job at the end of May and will have all of June and July to study so I want to maximize my study time. I believe that will be more than enough time to cover my bases for the MBE.

Are there any recommended study schedules for 8 weeks?

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anon sequitur

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby anon sequitur » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:22 pm

If it's test day anxiety, just start preparing now to take it in July *and* February of 2020. I did this for the LSAT, for which I had ridiculous anxiety, and it really helped because on test day, I just thought to myself "this is not the big day, this is just another practice for the real thing".

Of course, this is assuming the real problem is test day anxiety, not pre-test preparation. If your average on MBE questions isn't approaching 70%, you really just need to get sharper on black letter law. Which means reviewing your mistakes on every MBE question until you zero in on exactly why you overlooked the correct answer and what mistake of law or fact led you to choose the incorrect answer, and then make sure that you can explain to yourself what the law actually is. The MBE kind of sucks as a test, so sometimes there will be answers that appear to be "less correct" but not really wrong, but if you let yourself off the hook on that account more than maybe 1% of the time, then you're missing some subtleties that you need to get down.

BirdLawyerCharlie

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby BirdLawyerCharlie » Thu Apr 11, 2019 8:49 pm

What's everyone's 8 week study schedule look like?

sleeplessindc

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby sleeplessindc » Fri Apr 12, 2019 12:11 pm

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:What's everyone's 8 week study schedule look like?


Well, what do YOU think your study schedule should look like? Do you know what skills you need to practice and what knowledge you still need to gain? Do you know what you're already doing well? What issue areas have you mastered, according to your practice results?

You're in an unusual repeater situation so it's unclear why and how other typical TLS'ers' generic study schedules would help you. I don't know, maybe they could give you ideas, but the far far bigger priority seems to be understanding your weaknesses and strengths and making a self-study schedule that's highly tailored to those weaknesses and strengths. It's sort of like asking for a magic generic formula from others -- or reassuring words that you don't need to overhaul your approach as long as you do x, y, and z.

From a practical standpoint, just telling yourself that "it's only test day anxiety" also does nothing to help you determine the specifics and helps you justify keep doing the same thing (which isn't working).

For instance, if you do understand the legal rules and nuances when you're reading them but just keep forgetting them, then repetition is key and frequently rotating topics covered may be more helpful. Or if you're actually fuzzy on the details, then you'd need to figure out which ones are most likely to show up on the exam and then triage your time to reach crystal clear understanding of them. Or if topics like civ pro are killing you, you need to set aside more time to learn and practice them.

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Kwesi2019 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:32 am

@FutureLawyer2,
Do you still have the discount? If yes, can I please have it?

Smiddywesson

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Smiddywesson » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:10 am

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:What's everyone's 8 week study schedule look like?


-I added hours as I got closer to the test, and eased up over the last several days.
-Focus on the quality of your study, not the hours. If an hour is all you have, don't push it, do an hour and take a break, returning to the materials when you recover.
-The test is given in four hour blocks. This is a physical endurance test too. Slowly build up to 4-5 hour study sessions with as much focus as you can and you will be ready for the actual test.
-You have to exercise regularly to maximize your study schedule. Watch the booze, it's a real speed bump and try to eat well.
-Get lots of sleep, especially if you are not working.
-The testing facility is not quiet, therefore, you probably want to avoid a quiet study room. I went so far as to play Youtube sites that had exam sounds, it was hilarious. Eventually, I gave up on that and just played jazz and classical music. I have to laugh at the people who complain about noises, they could drop a bomb in the testing facility and I wouldn't hear it.
-Most people need to take a week off before the test, and two is better. I passed, but working up to the last day was a mistake.
-Focus on the four OPE Exams. Those are the 400 rules they will test. Don't be a jack of all trades in a very technical test, the examiners eat people alive who kinda, sorta, know 6000 rules. Focus.
-I kept seven Word documents for the seven subjects. I used Adaptibar. When reviewing the answers, I cut and paste any law I needed to learn, I wrote down tricks and traps, and even copied whole questions I found tricksy. As test day neared, I made copies of these seven master documents and used them as outlines, deleting things as I learned them and condensing things down to a manageable size.

These are the quasi truisms I found, the rest of your study schedule will depend on your needs, strengths, weaknesses, and personality. Nobody can create a better schedule for you than you can.

PS: The old adage about Important and Immediate is so very true about bar prep. We all agree about what's immediate and important. We also agree about what's not immediate and unimportant. The successful identify the unimmediate but important and chip away at it every day. For example, the essay grading is very, very subjective. Therefore, it's a bad basket to put all your eggs, there's too much luck involved. Even though it wasn't my biggest priority, (the MBE comprised the bulk of my studies) I spent a little time each day on the MEE. That served me well in the last few weeks of panic as the test arrived. I literally didn't do a single practice essay between Massachusetts Day One, July 1989 and Mississippi Day One, Feb. 2019. Not one, and yet I still passed. I regard the essays as a substitute for a job interview. They couldn't care less if you know the law, the MBE tells them if you know the law, they are evaluating if they want you in the club. I know that sounds jaded, but that's how I see it.

Good Luck! 8)

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Dtor05 » Wed Apr 17, 2019 2:52 pm

Hey there! I passed the bar on my second attempt and only had to take the mbe. I passed with room to spare and solely used adaptibar. My suggestion is do at least 30 questions a day for the first two weeks while reviewing/keeping a document of every question you get wrong as well as the mbe outlines from your commercial course everyday. Over time you’ll have a massive document of law that you’ve been getting wrong from adaptibar. After two weeks do 50-65 questions a day and repeat the process of reviewing everything you’ve been getting wrong every other day and you’ll pass!

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Kwesi2019 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 1:44 am

Thank you.

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Neve » Sun Apr 21, 2019 12:11 am

My running list of MBE supplements:

1) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE - available on Amazon. Fairly cheap book. Has good tips on approaching the MBE and contains lots of practice questions.

2) Adaptibar (http://www.adaptibar.com) - I didn't use this, but wish I had since it has received raving reviews. The only con to Adaptibar is the price.

3) Barmax MBE Questions (https://getbarmax.com/barmax-mbe-questions/ - supposedly "comparable" to Adaptibar). At only $249, it's a good price, but Adaptibar has tracking tools to individualize your MBE study and show your progress in a method that Barmax can't. But Barmax seems to be more economical than Adaptibar. You also need an iOS device to use it.

4) OPE from the MBE site to practice the most recent test questions: http://store.ncbex.org/all-online-practice-exams/. OPE it isn't the cheapest option, but these are real, recent MBE questions and not the souped up Barbri ones. Barbri questions are not representative of the modern MBE. I hear Barmax has all these OPEs included.

5) Critical Pass (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/VS3TS7D - referral link contains a discount code for $$ off) - Great flashcards for the MBE! You can't apply the law to an MBE question, if you don't know the law. I used Critical Pass for my bar study along with the CMR from Barbri and their simulated questions (although the Barbri questions are very different than actual MBE questions). I also used Emanuel's S&T during my study period, but not as much as I should have since it's a great resource.

FutureLawyer2

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby FutureLawyer2 » Sun Apr 21, 2019 9:10 pm

Kwesi2019 wrote:Thank you.


My pleasure!

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby ReasonablePersonSSC » Tue Apr 30, 2019 7:06 pm

There is not much I can add about MBEs, but I know Emanuel’s S&T for MBE was vital to my success. I did all questions once and repeated all incorrectly answered questions until I got them right.

For essays in California, Mary Basick’s book is vital.

For PTs, I downloaded all the free ones from the NCBE site and did several under timed situation, but read and analyzed the Point Sheets for all of them until the lightbulbs went off. The Point Sheets are a guide to the developers’ expectations for good answers, and taught me how to find the “Easter eggs” in the PTs.

Don’t study for the bar, PRACTICE for the bar!

Cop2lawyerNYC

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Cop2lawyerNYC » Wed May 01, 2019 12:38 am

Here’s one suggestion if you haven’t tried it yet. I teach this strategy to my students (I’m in the test-prep business. Not MBE though)

Instead of hitting more multiple choice questions, go back to the rules. Break them down word for word and start thinking like a test writer. With each word, ask yourself, how can they F me on this one? Then think of all the ways you, the “test writer” can screw someone over.

Here’s an example of how that would play out:

Subsequent remedial measure rule: “Evidence of measures taken after an event, which measures if taken before it occurred would have made the event less likely to occur, is not admissible to prove negligence or culpable conduct in connection with the even”

Now, you go over it word by word and see how you can trick someone...evidence of measures taken AFTER an event. Mmm, so, if there’s an accident and there were measures taken 2 weeks before the accident is that admissible? Yes it is! Bec that’s not a SUBSEQUENT remedial measure. Subsequent = after...
Then move on to the next few words...and so on.

Do this and ponder what each word means! Make up scenarios. Hammer it in. I would get up and say it out loud and then explain (as if I’m speaking to someone) it in plain English.

If you act as if you’re teaching this to someone and you’re writing the questions it really makes you that much sharper and confident.

I coached a few of my classmates using this approach (those who were having a hard time with the MBE) and they all said it helped.

Good luck! You can do this!

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby Smiddywesson » Wed May 01, 2019 12:14 pm

Just a note of encouragement:

You are so close to the cut score that you are within what I call "The Luck Zone." There's easily plus or minus a dozen or more points around the cut score where mere circumstance determine whether you pass the MBE. That luck zone is even wider with respect to the essays due to the variance in grading standards. Look at it this way, inasmuch as most of the grades are clustered around and slightly above the cut score, you are already in the company of the majority of people who pass. You are looking for a solution, a new way to approach this and ensure victory, however there's another way of looking at it to bring comfort to a troubled soul. You don't have to be better, you just have to do the work to stay competitive and be around to collect your win. Sooner or later it IS going to happen. A lot of us are not aware of this Luck Zone, and consider the fact of passing or not passing as some sort of just deserts. It is not, and the smug winners and dejected losers are identical, they are ignorant of the fact that this is just a game, and circumstance often determines the outcome.

I would recommend Adaptibar for a number of reasons. Pay attention to the wrong answers, they don't reinvent the wheel every time they cycle in a new question, they reuse those wrong answers over and over again. Adaptibar will also help you with your time management. I studied over a long period of time. At first I struggled with speed. The next stage stage saw me with a consistent extra hour, so I switched to reading all four answers every time. That pushed up my score by nearly 10%. I also allowed myself to scan the call before I read the fact pattern. Normally, I advise against this, reading it first doesn't help enough to counteract the mistakes from not reading it last, and reading it twice normally takes too much time. For example, if you take just ten seconds to read it twice, that's 10 times 200, or 33 minutes out the window in a six hour test. Focusing on speed allowed me to make adjustments later to raise my score. It also allows one to take extra time in those convoluted Contract, CivPro, and Property questions.

So what I am trying to say is relax this time around, you have already proven you can do this. Do enough practice questions to develop speed and allow you to take the time it takes to solve the brain teasers on this test. Be experienced enough to be comfortable allowing 3+ minutes to solve a tough Contracts question, because a LOT of questions on this test require much more than 1.8 minutes. In my opinion, exactly half of them. This is not just a black letter law test, it's an IQ test. Do not stress out about not knowing all the law, that's not necessary. Slow the heck down and puzzle out what they are asking, do not rush to tell them about the law, that's responsible for a large portion of the failures. Your job isn't always to spew black letter law, it's to figure out what is the question, and then puzzle out the answer. That takes time. Lots of people pass this test without studying a lot of black letter law. That's because they slow down and answer the damn questions. They don't try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

Good luck.

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby altalawyer505 » Fri May 03, 2019 2:25 pm

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:
sleeplessindc wrote:
I study the material but maybe I'm just not putting enough time into it. I felt like I knew a lot of the black letter law, but there were some questions that were 50/50 that I never really hammered down and I'm sure that's what cost me those necessary points.


Honestly this makes me think that your first priority should be to go back to the practice questions you already did and hammer out why you got hard questions right or wrong, then commit the lesson learned to memory (e.g., by copying them over to your outlines). If you're using a suboptimal studying strategy, I question the value of you adding lots more questions to the pile until you fix the strategy first. (Your anxiety may be consistent with that theory because taking a timed test on material you don't fully understand is stressful.)

But you also said you used a tutor, who theoretically should've done the above. What did the tutor do for you?


I think I just need to revisit how I studied. Every time I've taken the bar I've also been working full time and it hasn't left me the amount of time I've wanted to have to study. Which is stupid, I know. Why expect different results when I'm not putting in any different effort. My tutor was also not very effective. I would answer a handful of NCBE questions and he would call and we'd go through them, which was good for me but I don't think it was as effective as it could have been.

I'd really like to develop a study schedule that's MBE only, I'm resigning from my job at the end of May and will have all of June and July to study so I want to maximize my study time. I believe that will be more than enough time to cover my bases for the MBE.

Are there any recommended study schedules for 8 weeks?



You need to come up with a study schedule that works for you and your learning styles. That being said, I would recommend that you stop memorizing two weeks before the test. Those two weeks should be reserved for retaining all of the information you have learned and optimizing the number of practice questions and review sessions.

Working full time is not helpful at all, so it's good that you are taking all of June and July off. Studying full-time isn't just about optimizing the amount of time spent studying, it's also about putting yourself in the right mindset to take the exam and eliminating all unnecessary stressors and distractions. Good luck!

LaShuanMichelle

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Re: MBE Help?

Postby LaShuanMichelle » Sun May 05, 2019 9:25 pm

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:So, I just found out that I failed the bar for the 3rd time. Scores were 114, 124, and now 129. Needed 132 to pass. I really don't know how to squeeze the points I need out, I studied, hired a private MBE tutor, completed the Kaplan course, and did about 75% of an Emanuels cover to cover. What can I do differently to make sure I pass this time in July? I'm really thinking it's the test day anxiety that gets to me. I'm consistently getting close, but not close enough.

I'm thinking of trying Adaptibar this time, but I don't know if another program is going to help me any.


Im sorry to hear you didnt pass but do not be discouraged! It also took me 2 attempts to pass the MBE & a third attempt to pass the MEE.

Like you I was really close. 132.4 first attempt & finally 137 in second attempt 137.4, I needed a 133 to pass that portion.

I focused on studying the law in the key areas covered on the MBE for the first 2-3 weeks. I did a deep dive with a memorization component spending 8 -12 hours on each subject, wrapping up each subject with 25 - 50 MBE questions. Reviewing my answers & the rationales to make sure I have a solid understanding before moving on to the next subject.

Then after I made it through each subject, I did nothing but MBE questions, at first un timed, 100-150 questions at a time then spending a day to review the test.

I repeated this several times. Then I looked at the subjects I did poorly on & did another deep dive, memorization session before wrapping up with a 200 question MBE practice exam.

Hope this helps! Dont give up!



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