Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, the MBE continues to be an obstacle for many bar takers. The mean score for the February 2022 administration was 132.6, down from a mean score of 134 last year, and tying the record low score from February 2020.
We’ve previously shared some tips for tackling different MBE subjects (such as evidence, contracts, and civil procedure). Today, we wanted to share some additional general tips to help ensure you make the right call when it comes to choosing between A, B, C, and D on the big day.
Sidebar: For more assistance, check out our Mastering the MBE workshop series.
Track Your Results
If you’ve spent any time preparing for the MBE, you’ve probably tracked your results. Maybe you think you’re terrible at Torts or wretched at Real Property. However, you want to use the data to dive even deeper. In particular, you want to know the specific topics within each subject area that are keeping you from a passing percentile. For instance, a review of your Torts performance may reveal that you’re acing all intentional torts questions you see but bombing every question that tests defamation.
This is crucial information to have. First, it helps you focus your study—you generally don’t want to spend your limited time reviewing concepts you know cold. A great tip is to use the MBE Subject Matter Outline to help you determine how likely you are to see a particular topic.
It helps you determine how much time you should spend on review. While you should absolutely review defamation, given that there will likely be one or two questions testing it on the MBE, it probably isn’t worth spending a whole day reviewing the concept. Conversely, if your deep dive reveals that you struggle with negligence, you’ll want to spend time clarifying things because it will feature in half of Torts MBE questions.
Confused About Standards? Use Charts
With so much to memorize, the drafters expect bar takers to confuse things like motions for summary judgements and motions for judgment as a matter of law, and the test for public forums and designated public forums. If the differences are giving you grief, try putting the standards side by side in a chart. For example:
|MSJ||Granted if the moving party shows “no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the [moving party] is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”||Can be filed up until 30 days after the close of discovery.|
|JMOL||A reasonable jury could not disagree about whether the moving party is entitled to prevail as a matter of law.||Can be made at any time before the case is submitted to the jury.|
|Renewed JMOL||No reasonable jury could interpret the evidence presented as supporting the verdict.||Must be made within 28 days after entry of judgment.||Must make a JMOL first.|
Just creating the chart will help with memorization. You can use the “Notes” column to keep track of things you learned or missed as you worked through actual MBE questions.
Need assistance with the exam’s essay questions? Consider the following: