The MBE is the part of the bar exam that most people hate. I will be honest, I hated it—studying for it and taking it (I was pretty sure I had failed after the first session of the MBE).
One of the things that I wish I had known then (that I know now) is that although there is a ton of law tested on the MBE, not everything is tested with the same frequency! When I tell my students this, they are often very surprised. So if you are feeling crunched for time or just terribly overwhelmed, you can tailor your study approach to the most heavily tested areas of the law.
How do I know what these are? Did I go through past MBE tests and tally up the questions on each subject area? No! Turns out that the National Conference of Bar Examiners actually tells you. Most of us just don’t know where to look.
The 2013 MBE Information Booklet is here to help.
Take a moment and download the 2013 MBE Information Booklet from the National Conference of Bar Examiners. This booklet contains quite a bit of handy information for you and at no charge (which sounds good after all the money you have spent on bar prep up to this point, right?).
Next, flip to page 17 of the PDF that you just downloaded. That’s where you’ll find the subject matter outlines. How nice! All the stuff to be tested. At first, it may seem overwhelming until you read the paragraph at the top of each subject matter outline, which tells you approximately how many questions will cover different subject areas on the MBE. For constitutional law,it says, “Approximately half of the Constitutional Law questions on the MBE will be based on category IV [individual rights], and approximately half will be based on the remaining categories [other stuff].” So, if I am targeting my study time, can I be pretty sure that individual rights is going to be tested on the MBE? You bet! So make sure you know and understand that law and have practiced applying it.
Then, go through the rest of the subject matter outlines. You will quickly find that you have a target list of the heavily tested areas. These are what you should be most concerned about. Not the rule against perpetuities, which worries many bar studiers.
Therefore, if you are feeling overwhelmed, get strategic about how you are spending your time! First, review the law that is most heavily tested to make sure you have it down. Don’t forget the other law, but you definitely want to be getting the most “bang for your buck” out of your study time.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some of our other articles for more great study tips!
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- Getting Mentally Ready for the Bar Exam
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