At LawTutors, we give our students something called “10 tips to pass the MBE” and it is quite detailed, spanning over about 10 pages. We thought we would give you a bit of a preview, so to speak, and highlight what we think are the most important FIVE tips on tackling the MBE.
I. Study Details, not general concepts
Since the MBE will never say “please define battery”, you need to be able to apply the general concepts to specific facts and nuances. To do this, practice more and more MBE questions, so you can gather more and more examples. This will be far more effective than reviewing the same outline, since outlines only have general concepts.
II. Read the Call of the question first
When reading a question, read the call of the question first, so that you know what you’re reading for when you read the fact pattern, and can read more carefully. Remember that the topics will be mixed up on the MBE, so even knowing what area of law you are in can be beneficial.
III. Pay attention to facts
While it IS sound advice to not second guess yourself, as your instincts and the legal knowledge you already have can sometimes be beneficial, do NOT let this override obvious facts. In addition, do NOT doubt facts. If the MBE tells you something – believe it, even if it seems absurd! Lastly, only rely on facts that are in the test, do not make up new ones as you go along.
IV. Pay attention to language
Pay attention to what the bar examiners are giving you, such as a statute or special facts and do not make things more complex. If the question seems easy, it probably is. In addition, pay attention to the language of answer choices. A single word can have a HUGE impact on what an answer choice means. For example, but, since, if and unless.
But, Since: the examiners are telling you that you can answer the question based on what is given to you in the fact pattern.
If, Unless: the examiner are qualifying the answer with additional information that you are required to have to make that statement true.
As you self check and review, create a code for yourself, detailing what types of questions you are getting wrong. Pay attention to whether you got the question wrong because of substance (and then keep track of whether it was property or contracts, and within that, was it offer or damages?) or reading comprehension? What was it that made you get that question wrong? This will aid you in using your time more effectively, since you will be pin pointing your trouble spots.