As you dive into another study session, you can revitalize your routine with a few BarMD tips and techniques. Follow along with our tactics for Real Property MBE questions today, and explore our blog for more topics (and check out the links a couple of paragraphs down).
Unlike other subjects (for example, Torts, where half of the questions are based on negligence), the 25 or so scored Real Property questions you encounter on the Multistate Bar Exam will be evenly split between five major topics:
- Ownership in Real Property
- Rights in Real Property
- Real Estate Contracts
- Mortgages/Security Devices
Since notoriously tricky concepts like the dreaded Rule Against Perpetuities and redemption after foreclosure are fair game, it’s no surprise that many students find Real Property questions the most intimidating.
- MBE Civil Procedure questions
- MBE Contracts questions
- MBE Torts questions
- MBE Evidence questions
- MBE Constitutional Law questions
- MBE Criminal Procedure + Criminal Law questions
Meaningful improvement on Real Property MBE questions takes dedicated and deliberate practice. While there’s no magic bullet, keeping the following tips in mind can make these questions a little less daunting.
Don’t Get Rattled by RAP
Repulsed by the Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP)? Thankfully, future interests (and, hence RAP) are seldom tested on the essay portion of the bar examination.
The bad news is that they do appear with some regularity on the MBE.
As you move down the multiple-choice MBE questions, RAP is likely to rear its ugly, difficult, and extremely technical head.
Don’t panic, and keep these two things in mind:
First, remember that future interests and RAP are only two among a myriad of subtopics under the “Ownership in Real Property” topic, and only five scored questions on the entire MBE will be based on this topic at all.
You can perform very well on the MBE even if you (like so many before you) never wrap your head around RAP.
Second, avoid the temptation to pick an answer choice that references RAP because you don’t understand the rule. The bar examiners are looking for the unwary to fall into this exact trap. In fact, it’s much more likely that the answer choice referencing RAP isn’t the right answer.
Add those RAP notes to your strategies and tactics for the MBE, and then move onto our next tips.
Recording Statute? Read Carefully
You’re probably familiar with the three types of recording statutes:
- Pure race statutes
- Pure notice statutes
- Race-notice statutes
Of these three, race-notice statutes are the type most likely to be tested on the MBE, but this definitely isn’t a given.
The bar examiners won’t label the type of recording statute being tested, so you must carefully parse the statute’s language and identify the type at issue.
Pure race statutes seldom appear on the MBE, yet the absence of the word “notice” is a big clue that this is what’s being tested.
On the other hand, a statute that uses some variation on the phrase “without notice”—but doesn’t include any reference to recording—is most likely a notice statute.
Finally, if the statute includes the “without notice” phrasing and makes reference to recording, you’re probably dealing with a race-notice statute. Here’s an example:
“No conveyance or mortgage of real property shall be good against subsequent purchasers for value without notice unless the conveyance is recorded.”
Know the Nuances
Equitable servitudes and real covenants have a lot in common, and the bar examiners are betting you’ll overlook the difference and select the wrong answer choice.
Keep the key differences between these two concepts in mind:
Unlike real covenants, equitable servitudes don’t have any privity requirements. Second, remember the “equitable” in “equitable servitude.” The remedy for breach of an equitable servitude is an equitable injunction, while a breach of a real covenant results in money damages.
Additionally, don’t confuse easements and licenses. Because both grant the holder the right to use another’s land for a specific purpose, these two seem similar.
However, a license can be revoked at any time, while an easement lasts either indefinitely or for some specified duration.
Become Proficient in Real Property MBE Questions + More
To pass the bar, mastering Real Property MBE questions is only one piece of the puzzle.
That’s why we offer MBE DNA, a comprehensive and unparalleled MBE program (hardcopy flashcards included). You can increase your mastery—and thus confidence—across all subjects tested.