Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

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alphagamma

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Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby alphagamma » Fri Jun 20, 2014 5:34 am

I've been doing Barbri's MBE questions, and I just got a question pattern like this:

Excruciatingly long fact pattern.

(A) Wrong answer.
(B) Wrong answer.
(C) Correct answer, with one element missing.
(D) Fact from which missing element in (C) may be inferred.

Barbri has (D) as the correct answer, saying (C) is "not the best answer" because it's incomplete, whereas the fact in (D) may be used to infer X, which may be used to infer Y, which means such-and-such test is fulfilled, making it the best answer.

This is one example of what I like to think of as a "stupid Barbri question." Here's another:

Fact pattern with multiple red herrings. Basically, a soap opera.

(A) Correct answer.
(B) Another correct answer?
(C) Wrong answer.
(D) Wrong answer.

The explanation will be something like, "(A) is entirely correct, but it's not as good an answer as (B) because the plaintiff is slightly more likely to be able to prove the facts required by (B)."

I hate these questions. Are real MBE questions this evil? Or will the real questions have more obviously correct/incorrect answers, so long as you know the law?

Please, someone, reassure me.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby rawrab » Fri Jun 20, 2014 11:22 am

ugh I'm getting really annoyed doing to Barbri sets because there can be like 5 issues in one question and you have to go through an insane analysis to reach the "most correct" answer. I'm using adaptibar too and I'm finding it much for helpful in terms of actually learning anything from doing mbe practice questions instead of just being like wtf when doing barbri sets.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby MoneyMay » Fri Jun 20, 2014 7:56 pm

rawrab wrote:ugh I'm getting really annoyed doing to Barbri sets because there can be like 5 issues in one question and you have to go through an insane analysis to reach the "most correct" answer. I'm using adaptibar too and I'm finding it much for helpful in terms of actually learning anything from doing mbe practice questions instead of just being like wtf when doing barbri sets.


You find adaptibar worth it? I am about to suck it up and just sign up for it, because BarBri's questions are fucking insane and if people are saying they are unrepresentative, I want exposure to more realistic questions.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby shock259 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:12 pm

I am finding a lot of poorly worded or grey topics in the Kaplan questions too. Even when I know the rule, getting the question right isn't guaranteed. And I legitimately sometimes disagree with Kaplan answers. Meh. I take it with a grain of salt. Learn what you can from the ones that you get wrong, but don't let the others ruin your confidence. They are trying to scare us, after all.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:20 pm

MoneyMay wrote:
rawrab wrote:ugh I'm getting really annoyed doing to Barbri sets because there can be like 5 issues in one question and you have to go through an insane analysis to reach the "most correct" answer. I'm using adaptibar too and I'm finding it much for helpful in terms of actually learning anything from doing mbe practice questions instead of just being like wtf when doing barbri sets.


You find adaptibar worth it? I am about to suck it up and just sign up for it, because BarBri's questions are fucking insane and if people are saying they are unrepresentative, I want exposure to more realistic questions.



I have some bad news for you guys. The MBE questions on Themis are exactly as atrocious as the BarBri questions described in the OP.

I'm actually very thankful for this thread, because the OP puts into words what I have been struggling to do for a long time. I get really, really angry taking practice questions where I know the correct rule, but for unrelated reasons, usually due to the stupidity of the question's confusing phrasing, I get the answer wrong.

Here are my two most hated question formats:

[Question involving legal tests A, B, C, D]

Answer choices:
- wrong outcome, answer based on reason A which does not properly apply
- correct outcome, but answer hinges on reason A, which does not apply.
- correct outcome, answer hinges on reason B, which does apply
- correct outcome, answer hinges on reasons C and D, which also apply

Answer explanation:
Reason B is the simplest reason for the outcome, so we choose answer B, even though you are correct to note that reasons C and D are also outcome determinative.



And this one, which I often disagree with on principle when taking practice tests, even though I know in my heart which answer the authors want me to select:

A, clearly wrong
B, clearly wrong
C, probably wrong
D, super broad statement that does not seem even remotely specific enough to constitute a correct answer

Examples of answer D include "Because 4th Amendment," or "because the Constitution does not allow discrimination." On any other day of the goddamn week, if you chose this answer, the MBE author would tell you it's wrong for being over-encompassing and too black and white. But it's the only answer that even possibly could not be wrong, so based on it's not-100%-wrongness, it becomes the "correct" answer.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby mvpforme » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:23 pm

Does Themis use real MBE Qs?

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Tanicius

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:24 pm

Also, just a note from my MPRE experience:

I thought the Themis practice MPRE questions were often very dumb. Their dumbness was only topped by the dumbness of the MPRE questions on the ACTUAL exam I took. The quality of questions on the real MPRE I took were actually so bad that I was sure I had failed.

Take great comfort in the fact that the same people who write the MPRE also write the MBE.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby ph14 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:26 pm

I think they like playing mind games. On some questions one of the answer choices will be wrong for not stating an element. Other times the right answer will not list all the elements. So you start to think about what they were thinking when they wrote the question and whether that was just loose question drafting or intentional.

But I agree with what everyone has said in this thread so far.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:26 pm

mvpforme wrote:Does Themis use real MBE Qs?


I have no idea. The Themis people keep dodging that question by answering it in indirect ways.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:29 pm

ph14 wrote:I think they like playing mind games. On some questions one of the answer choices will be wrong for not stating an element. Other times the right answer will not list all the elements. So you start to think about what they were thinking when they wrote the question and whether that was just loose question drafting or intentional.

But I agree with what everyone has said in this thread so far.


Yeah, it makes me a lot angrier than it should. Most people pass the damn thing, but it still pisses me off that these legal "experts" who write the test are much more often testing our LSAT logical reasoning and test taking skills than they are testing our substantive legal knowledge. They could write much more straight forward questions, and the test would still be very hard for someone who doesn't know the material. But it's like, that's not good enough for them -- they have to go further and exclude people from practicing law because those people aren't good enough at catching trick phrasing or guessing the psyche of the question author.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby MoneyMay » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:36 pm

Something else that sucks is BarBri will say hearsay is going to be about 20 of our evidence questions on the MBE (I can't remember if that is the exact number, but it is for sure the majority of evidence questions we will see). But then every fucking practice question involves the best evidence rule, authentication, or rules for swearing in an interpreter. WHAT THE FUCK BARBRI

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Tanicius » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:42 pm

MoneyMay wrote:Something else that sucks is BarBri will say hearsay is going to be about 20 of our evidence questions on the MBE (I can't remember if that is the exact number, but it is for sure the majority of evidence questions we will see). But then every fucking practice question involves the best evidence rule, authentication, or rules for swearing in an interpreter. WHAT THE FUCK BARBRI


Same exact thing with Themis. Often the question will combine both hearsay and best evidence, and you won't even get to analyze the hearsay issue whatsoever because it has already been answered by excluding it under BE.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby MoneyMay » Fri Jun 20, 2014 8:47 pm

Tanicius wrote:
MoneyMay wrote:Something else that sucks is BarBri will say hearsay is going to be about 20 of our evidence questions on the MBE (I can't remember if that is the exact number, but it is for sure the majority of evidence questions we will see). But then every fucking practice question involves the best evidence rule, authentication, or rules for swearing in an interpreter. WHAT THE FUCK BARBRI


Same exact thing with Themis. Often the question will combine both hearsay and best evidence, and you won't even get to analyze the hearsay issue whatsoever because it has already been answered by excluding it under BE.


It makes me feel better everyone else is going through this (misery loves company right). But I am thinking about getting adaptibar b/c I feel uneasy about not getting the correct proportion of questions that are actually going to be tested, I feel like in evidence I should be drilling hearsay, in con law I should be drilling 1st Amendment etc.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby belowthelaw57 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:33 pm

Tanicius wrote:
mvpforme wrote:Does Themis use real MBE Qs?


I have no idea. The Themis people keep dodging that question by answering it in indirect ways.


There aren't enough licensed MBE questions for any prep course to base a course around (Contra the LSAT where there are released questions for every year going back to 1990. Doesn't matter what prep course you take. You couldn't buy them on your own. There's a very small number of actual released questions. They like being secretive to make us suffer more.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby belowthelaw57 » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:37 pm

MoneyMay wrote:
Tanicius wrote:
MoneyMay wrote:Something else that sucks is BarBri will say hearsay is going to be about 20 of our evidence questions on the MBE (I can't remember if that is the exact number, but it is for sure the majority of evidence questions we will see). But then every fucking practice question involves the best evidence rule, authentication, or rules for swearing in an interpreter. WHAT THE FUCK BARBRI


Same exact thing with Themis. Often the question will combine both hearsay and best evidence, and you won't even get to analyze the hearsay issue whatsoever because it has already been answered by excluding it under BE.


It makes me feel better everyone else is going through this (misery loves company right). But I am thinking about getting adaptibar b/c I feel uneasy about not getting the correct proportion of questions that are actually going to be tested, I feel like in evidence I should be drilling hearsay, in con law I should be drilling 1st Amendment etc.


I felt the same about all these questions w/ MPRE review and was like lows 70s%ile in Barbri. I ended up like 99.99%ile on the actual thing. I felt like I could have failed the MPRE. I thought some of the questions on the MPRE were BS also. I think as long as your tracking around where Barbri says you should be (they have a published %age you should be getting right on each set to be "average") you're fine. It's true they fuck with you but you could get questions like this on the actual exam so it's helpful. You just have to hope the actual questions will have less ambiguity (but if they do, the curve should cancel it out).

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby plath » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:13 am

belowthelaw57 wrote:I think as long as your tracking around where Barbri says you should be (they have a published %age you should be getting right on each set to be "average") you're fine.


How come my tracking is fine according the published %age you mentioned but i'm till in the "red" zone in the "Percent Correct by MBE Subject" in the PP bar? I mean, if the published %age is what you need for a "passing" score shouldn't it correlate?

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby belowthelaw57 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:44 am

plath wrote:
belowthelaw57 wrote:I think as long as your tracking around where Barbri says you should be (they have a published %age you should be getting right on each set to be "average") you're fine.


How come my tracking is fine according the published %age you mentioned but i'm till in the "red" zone in the "Percent Correct by MBE Subject" in the PP bar? I mean, if the published %age is what you need for a "passing" score shouldn't it correlate?


I'm not sure. That happened for me on the diagnostic MBE. I've also noticed that on the Barbri App, my % right is red for subjects where it's yellow in the online paced program on a computer. Best guess is that it's like the impossible to reach green triangle on the paced program. They're trying to scare you into studying more.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby MoneyMay » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:42 pm

Got Adaptibar. Can't say enough good things about it. Although I will say maybe BarBri's freak out tactics work because I am scoring MUCH higher on the Adaptibar questions and I think it's because they are easier to understand (although I am working from a small sample size at this point). The explanations are also nice, as they aren't 10 paragraphs long like the BarBri explanations.

Anyone know between BarBri and Adaptibar which questions are more representative of today's MBE? I know Adaptibar uses past questions but I'm not sure how outdated they are.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby get it to x » Sat Jun 21, 2014 5:04 pm

MoneyMay wrote:Got Adaptibar. Can't say enough good things about it. Although I will say maybe BarBri's freak out tactics work because I am scoring MUCH higher on the Adaptibar questions and I think it's because they are easier to understand (although I am working from a small sample size at this point). The explanations are also nice, as they aren't 10 paragraphs long like the BarBri explanations.

Anyone know between BarBri and Adaptibar which questions are more representative of today's MBE? I know Adaptibar uses past questions but I'm not sure how outdated they are.


Formatting of the MBE questions are generally more like Adaptibar - on the short side except for some of the Property questions which run longer. In retrospect, none of the MBE questions seemed to match up specifically with BarBri, Kaplan (I bought the online test bank of questions), and Adaptibar to me. The MBE is far more likely to ask questions on areas of law (i.e. tribal sovereignty) that are not covered by most, if any, of the commercial courses - so going through BarBri and getting strings of questions wrong along with those "WTF, what is this? why are they asking this?" moments are actually substantially helpful because that's how the MBE will play out for most people.

Just as an aside, I felt that BarBri's breakdown of questions per topic area is outdated and not reflective of the current MBE. In my administration, mortgages were tested far more heavily than BarBri indicated along with criminal adjudication.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Stinson » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:21 pm

Grain of salt, as I only took the MBE once. I would say Barbri gets you with the complicated way they write the questions. They are obnoxious, no doubt. The real thing will get you by asking weird random shit that you have no reason to know. You'll be going along fine and then bam - question about jurisdiction over Native American tribal land disputes. But the questions are generally shorter, and you'll either know them or not know them.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby AJS30 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:29 pm

Stinson wrote:Grain of salt, as I only took the MBE once. I would say Barbri gets you with the complicated way they write the questions. They are obnoxious, no doubt. The real thing will get you by asking weird random shit that you have no reason to know. You'll be going along fine and then bam - question about jurisdiction over Native American tribal land disputes. But the questions are generally shorter, and you'll either know them or not know them.


Did you feel that you were under a real time pressure to finish? One of the guys I worked for this past semester who took it in 2011 said he finished and left early, but I feel like I am going to be struggling for time. Right now it seems i'm averaging about 1.20 minutes per question, but come test day with anxiety, distractions and a lot more questions ahead of me, I'm scared I won't be able to finish.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby Tanicius » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:46 pm

AJS30 wrote:
Stinson wrote:Grain of salt, as I only took the MBE once. I would say Barbri gets you with the complicated way they write the questions. They are obnoxious, no doubt. The real thing will get you by asking weird random shit that you have no reason to know. You'll be going along fine and then bam - question about jurisdiction over Native American tribal land disputes. But the questions are generally shorter, and you'll either know them or not know them.


Did you feel that you were under a real time pressure to finish? One of the guys I worked for this past semester who took it in 2011 said he finished and left early, but I feel like I am going to be struggling for time. Right now it seems i'm averaging about 1.20 minutes per question, but come test day with anxiety, distractions and a lot more questions ahead of me, I'm scared I won't be able to finish.


Did you finish the MPRE with enough tim? If so, you'll be fine.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby lmr » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:50 pm

If you guys can't afford adaptibar you definitely need to get Emmanuel's strategies and tactics. It has 500 real mbe questions w explanations for every question and a strategy for each topic.

I'm sure your school library would at least have a copy on reserve. i think it's insane to only study the mbe through one source of questions.

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby AJS30 » Sat Jun 21, 2014 11:16 pm

lmr wrote:If you guys can't afford adaptibar you definitely need to get Emmanuel's strategies and tactics. It has 500 real mbe questions w explanations for every question and a strategy for each topic.

I'm sure your school library would at least have a copy on reserve. i think it's insane to only study the mbe through one source of questions.

Tanicius wrote:
AJS30 wrote:
Stinson wrote:Grain of salt, as I only took the MBE once. I would say Barbri gets you with the complicated way they write the questions. They are obnoxious, no doubt. The real thing will get you by asking weird random shit that you have no reason to know. You'll be going along fine and then bam - question about jurisdiction over Native American tribal land disputes. But the questions are generally shorter, and you'll either know them or not know them.


Did you feel that you were under a real time pressure to finish? One of the guys I worked for this past semester who took it in 2011 said he finished and left early, but I feel like I am going to be struggling for time. Right now it seems i'm averaging about 1.20 minutes per question, but come test day with anxiety, distractions and a lot more questions ahead of me, I'm scared I won't be able to finish.


Did you finish the MPRE with enough tim? If so, you'll be fine.


With the MPRE- I didn't really study the first time since people I spoke to said you don't need to worry about it. Took it and left early, failed. The second time I took it I was there until the last minute, passed but not by much.

I bought the strategies and tactic books, actually both volumes ( the 2nd edition I don't really like because it tells you what the topic of the the question is and then the answer is directly below the question). Anyway I've noticed that a good portion of the questions have come from the MBEs that are released on the internet like the 91, 92 & 98 exams, but in those files it says that they may not be representative of the questions styles that are asked today. If you've taken the MBE already, did you feel like the questions in the Emmanuel book are pretty similar?

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Re: Convoluted Barbri MBE Questions vs. Real MBE Questions

Postby lmr » Sun Jun 22, 2014 12:29 am

AJS30 wrote:
lmr wrote:If you guys can't afford adaptibar you definitely need to get Emmanuel's strategies and tactics. It has 500 real mbe questions w explanations for every question and a strategy for each topic.

I'm sure your school library would at least have a copy on reserve. i think it's insane to only study the mbe through one source of questions.

Tanicius wrote:
AJS30 wrote:
Stinson wrote:Grain of salt, as I only took the MBE once. I would say Barbri gets you with the complicated way they write the questions. They are obnoxious, no doubt. The real thing will get you by asking weird random shit that you have no reason to know. You'll be going along fine and then bam - question about jurisdiction over Native American tribal land disputes. But the questions are generally shorter, and you'll either know them or not know them.


Did you feel that you were under a real time pressure to finish? One of the guys I worked for this past semester who took it in 2011 said he finished and left early, but I feel like I am going to be struggling for time. Right now it seems i'm averaging about 1.20 minutes per question, but come test day with anxiety, distractions and a lot more questions ahead of me, I'm scared I won't be able to finish.


Did you finish the MPRE with enough tim? If so, you'll be fine.


With the MPRE- I didn't really study the first time since people I spoke to said you don't need to worry about it. Took it and left early, failed. The second time I took it I was there until the last minute, passed but not by much.

I bought the strategies and tactic books, actually both volumes ( the 2nd edition I don't really like because it tells you what the topic of the the question is and then the answer is directly below the question). Anyway I've noticed that a good portion of the questions have come from the MBEs that are released on the internet like the 91, 92 & 98 exams, but in those files it says that they may not be representative of the questions styles that are asked today. If you've taken the MBE already, did you feel like the questions in the Emmanuel book are pretty similar?


I haven't taken the mbe already so maybe I shouldn't talk. My advice was based on the hysterical advice I've been from former test takers and a neurotic dean who have been mass emailing us since December about bar prep. Anyway, I've taken over 1000 real MBE questions and took three out of the four OPE exams that were released by the NCBE and felt like the questions all felt similar enough where I didn't even notice they were outdated. Those OPE exams were from 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013.



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