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Study Advice for the CA Bar Exam (MBE Subjects)

In study skills | May 7th, 2014 | comments:

The MBE subjects are the most important subjects to study when you begin to prepare for the Bar Exam.  As discussed previously, they account for at least half of your overall grade.  You should plan on doing at least 35 MBEs per day right up until the exam.  In the beginning you should keep Jason’s outline close at hand so you can look up the law for issues you are unsure about.  Don’t worry about timing yourself at this point; you should focus primarily on getting the correct answer.  This is one of those situations in which it is not good to learn from your mistakes.  Confidently choosing a wrong answer will only confuse you later when you have to retrain your mind to see the correct answer.  And while referring to your outline as you work through the MBEs may feel like cheating, it is not “cheating.”  You will be doing yourself a huge favor by referring to the law as you puzzle out the answers because you will be reinforcing your knowledge as you practice.  In addition, Jason’s outlines refer to the cases which were decided based on the rules you are studying and reading these cases is tremendously valuable when, despite knowing which answer is correct, you are unclear as to why it is the right answer.


When your accuracy percentage increases you will find yourself referring to the outline much less often.  This is the point at which you should start keeping track of your timing.  When you’re taking the exam you have one minute and forty eight seconds to complete each question if you want to finish in exactly three hours.  In reality, you should shoot for an average of about a minute and a half.  Some questions will take longer and others will take considerably less time.  This difference may be due either to the length of the fact pattern or to your comfort level with the issue being tested.


EXAM TIP: When taking the exam you should keep track of the questions for which you are unsure of your answer.  Answering the questions in an average time of about one and a half minutes will give you five or ten minutes at the end of the session to review the questions you marked for review.


After you have worked through the MBEs for a single subject you should begin studying essays for that subject.  You will be surprised at how quickly you become proficient at spotting issues because of the work you did on the MBEs.

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