How to Raise MBE Score?

tina789
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How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby tina789 » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:45 pm

How are you guys raising your MBE scores? My MBE is always 10-20 points too low. I tried Adaptibar, was scoring in the 45% and raised my score by 10 points, but it wasn't enough. I recently used Adaptibar again and was scoring in the 57% and my MBE dropped 10 points. I'm not sure if this is because of the recent changes to the MBE or what.

I'm a bit lost here, so any advice/suggestions on what worked for you is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.

ur_hero
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby ur_hero » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:46 am

Well, what are your subject weaknesses? The point of adaptibar is that, aside from the practice, you can see what areas you are scoring lowest in, and accordingly, study those even harder.

I'd highly recommend at the very least reading each answer explanation for the one's you get wrong very very carefully and do NOT move on until you completely understand why the correct answer is correct (and why you instead picked the wrong answer). Personally, I even at least briefly skim the explanation for questions I got right (and certainly for ones I guessed on).

Along with the above, stop and study any concepts you don't understand as necessary before moving on. Maybe even write out rule statements.

Lastly, if you haven't used them, critical pass flash cards are pretty good to use in conjunction with MBE studying. Carefully read and understand a particular topic of cards, and then test yourself on just that subject. Rinse and repeat as necessary.

Honestly, MBEs a grind of memorizing rules, recognizing patterns, and identifying how a question may or may not be trying to mislead you. I think careful and thoughtful practice is the best way to go (as opposed to going through "X" number as fast as possible). Speed will come the better you get at it, so I wouldn't force that until you do timed practice later on in your studying.

MRSP
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby MRSP » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:13 am

I am going to be taking the bar this July, but have received some advice on how to study for the MBE and also have started using my study tools which have been working well so far. I am also using Adaptibar, and have purchased the Critical Pass Flashcards, both of which I am liking and finding effective. I have a spreadsheet where I copy and paste the rules of practice questions I get wrong, or rules of questions I got right, but for the wrong reason, then I review those after my study sessions. I organize them by subject and subtopic (ex. Con Law, Individual Rights), so that I can a pattern in which subjects/areas/rules I am struggling with, and will add those notes to my flashcards if needed so I can memorize them. I was told that a few things are crucial to raising our MBE score, 1) practice questions under timed conditions, and lots of them, as many as you can, 2) reviewing wrong answers afterwards and religiously until they are not an issue anymore, and 3) not spending most, or too much study time on things other than practice questions and your review sheet, such as watching hours of lectures and taking notes. I may watch a few sub-topic lectures if I am struggling with a concept, but plan to do the majority of my MBE study doing questions and training myself to learn the different types of questions, as well as reviewing my outlines.

JoeSeperac
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby JoeSeperac » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:30 am

Ur_hero and MRSP both offer really good advice on the MBE and you should follow their advice to the letter. The only other thing I would add is to vary your sources of MBE practice questions. While the law behind the past NCBE questions will give you insight into some of the legal concepts you can expect to see on the upcoming MBE, they are not always representative. For example, the entire area of Constitutional Protection of Accused Persons is under-represented in the released NCBE questions (it is just 3% of the 1,600+ NCBE questions, but expected to be 7% of your MBE score on the J17 MBE). Thus, if your MBE study is based solely on the law behind the released NCBE MBE questions (i.e. you only use the Strategies and Tactics books or Adaptibar to prepare for the MBE), you will be under-prepared for some areas and over-prepared for others. Quite honestly, there are a lot of new topics (especially with Real Property) that you won't see in the released NCBE questions (and Civil Procedure is a whole other matter because no one has good practice questions for it yet).

tina789
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby tina789 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:28 pm

I also go over each and every single question (whether I get it right or wrong) and write out the rule statements for the wrong ones and then study those. But I guess I just need to spend more time with those flash cards and have those rules down cold.

And agreed, the Civ Pro questions on Adaptibar don't seem representative of the MBE ones.

@JoeSeperac: What other resources would you recommend then for the new topics?


Thank you all for your help and feedback! I really appreciate it.

ur_hero
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby ur_hero » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:01 pm

tina789 wrote:I also go over each and every single question (whether I get it right or wrong) and write out the rule statements for the wrong ones and then study those. But I guess I just need to spend more time with those flash cards and have those rules down cold.

And agreed, the Civ Pro questions on Adaptibar don't seem representative of the MBE ones.

@JoeSeperac: What other resources would you recommend then for the new topics?


Thank you all for your help and feedback! I really appreciate it.


It can be exhausting reviewing each question like that, so just make sure you're actually taking in and understanding the concepts and rules behind why you got a question right or wrong. If you aren't seeing improvement, it either you need (1) more practice; or (2) more focus on making sure you understand before moving on. The improvement WILL be gradual though, so don't let that be disheartening. It takes a lot of work (I think) to start making progress beyond 60% correct, but the results will show over-time.

As I suggested above, try breaking down your strong and weak areas. It's so so much easier to pick up more points in your weak areas where you are just unfamiliar with what the law is, and not necessarily bad at analyzing it. For me, for whatever reason, I really struggled with Property and Evidence at first, but quickly brought those up by grinding my understanding of mortgages, race/notice statutes, and hearsay + hearsay exceptions. (Brought me up from 65ish to low 70s consistently).

Good luck!

tina789
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby tina789 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:00 pm

Yea I understand improvement is gradual. I'm just confused on how I was improving my average up to a 57% but I did worse on the actual exam and dropped my MBE by 10 points. Idk. I found it baffling and it made me question adaptibar's reliability.

But thanks for the advice! I guess I just need to start practicing my weak areas more.

maxmartin
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby maxmartin » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:27 pm

tina789 wrote:Yea I understand improvement is gradual. I'm just confused on how I was improving my average up to a 57% but I did worse on the actual exam and dropped my MBE by 10 points. Idk. I found it baffling and it made me question adaptibar's reliability.

But thanks for the advice! I guess I just need to start practicing my weak areas more.

10 points might be within the normal range, my score also dropped 9 points from J2016 to F2017. And I didn't use any additional material to prepare for these two exam. Remember 25 was introduced, I am pretty sure it affects me negatively.

BlenderBtl90
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby BlenderBtl90 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:47 pm

ADAPTIBAR.

Used it to prep for California, and since I loved it, I used it to review for NY as well (passed both).

Feel free to PM me and i'll be happy to share my Adaptibar strategy.

Good luck, and happy studying!

MRSP
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby MRSP » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:06 pm

[quote="tina789"]Yea I understand improvement is gradual. I'm just confused on how I was improving my average up to a 57% but I did worse on the actual exam and dropped my MBE by 10 points. Idk. I found it baffling and it made me question adaptibar's reliability.

But thanks for the advice! I guess I just need to start practicing my weak areas more.[/q

Like others have said, do you think the fact that 25 new questions were added in that caused the 10 point decrease? Perhaps certain areas of law like those new property subtopics? Or was timing an issue for you on the actual exam vs adaptibar practice tests, thus causing you to have less time on some questions or guessing a few? I personally have an issue with running out of time on exams so I have to really take a ton of practice exams in simulated testing conditions or else I will probably end up tanking the MBE :( I'm grateful that Adaptibar has the timing feature for this reason.

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SilvermanBarPrep
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Sat Apr 22, 2017 1:36 pm

This can be really complex and multifaceted but as an initial point I would very much recommend having a notepad nearby while doing practice questions. Every time you answer a question incorrectly (or believe you may have guessed correctly on a question) write down the rule of law that had you known it it would have guided you to the correct answer. Each question is really testing your ability to apply a specific rule of law to a given set of facts and so if you answer a question incorrectly, that is an indication not necessarily that you don't know the rule but that you don't yet know how to apply that rule to fact patterns. You want to write the rule down so that you can take note that you missed it and try to understand the rule better. Eventually you'll find that there are far less rules that you're struggling to apply, and that is the absolute key to improving your score on this exam.

Sean (Silverman Bar Prep)
http://www.mbetutorial.blogspot.com
Last edited by SilvermanBarPrep on Sun Apr 23, 2017 1:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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theInnerCircle
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby theInnerCircle » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:08 pm

I scored in the 70th mbe percentile this time around and passed in a ube jdx.

I used Barbri and honestly, I think their questions are good but they overload on some things that I found were simply not tested. Like w/ civ pro Barbri really likes smj and venue, but then the actual test had like what, 2 of those questions. However, I find the length and style of the Barbri ones to be most accurate. I've never used Adaptibar but I would be hesitant to rely on it too much because they use OLD questions and we know the NCBE is outpacing every test prep company at this point. I imagine that the NCBE considers those old questions complete trash now. (+ what JoeSeperac said)

ur_hero's simple rinse/repeat methods are true. Also, intimidation and motivation were big hurdles for me. But when I got past the frustration and thinking of "they're trying to trick me," my practice scores began improving. Don't get bogged down! :)

happyhour1122
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby happyhour1122 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:26 pm

emanuel. straight up.

tina789
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby tina789 » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:44 pm

Thanks for the advice, everyone! Good luck to those taking the J2017!

MRSP
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby MRSP » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:24 pm

theInnerCircle wrote:I scored in the 70th mbe percentile this time around and passed in a ube jdx.

I used Barbri and honestly, I think their questions are good but they overload on some things that I found were simply not tested. Like w/ civ pro Barbri really likes smj and venue, but then the actual test had like what, 2 of those questions. However, I find the length and style of the Barbri ones to be most accurate. I've never used Adaptibar but I would be hesitant to rely on it too much because they use OLD questions and we know the NCBE is outpacing every test prep company at this point. I imagine that the NCBE considers those old questions complete trash now. (+ what JoeSeperac said)

ur_hero's simple rinse/repeat methods are true. Also, intimidation and motivation were big hurdles for me. But when I got past the frustration and thinking of "they're trying to trick me," my practice scores began improving. Don't get bogged down! :)


If Adaptibar's questions are old and outdated which test company's practice MBEs would be best to use? I am asking since it is ideal to do as many practice questions as possible, and I would like to do at least 1,000. For that to be possible it wouldn't hurt to use Adaptibar's older questions along with a book or program that has more recent questions or material right?

Ridgewood_53
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby Ridgewood_53 » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:40 pm

tina789 wrote:How are you guys raising your MBE scores? My MBE is always 10-20 points too low. I tried Adaptibar, was scoring in the 45% and raised my score by 10 points, but it wasn't enough. I recently used Adaptibar again and was scoring in the 57% and my MBE dropped 10 points. I'm not sure if this is because of the recent changes to the MBE or what.

I'm a bit lost here, so any advice/suggestions on what worked for you is greatly appreciated. Thanks guys.


1. Don't watch lectures, ever!

2. Read your outlines in entirety. Look for nuance and memorize elements of law.

3. Do at least 2500 MBE questions.

4. Read the explanations, even the ones you get right.

5. Use the statistical data provided by your prep company, if you use you. See where you are weak and re-read outlines in those areas and memorize those elements of law.

RavenAgain
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby RavenAgain » Tue Apr 25, 2017 10:32 am

My theory on MBEs is as follows: if you are below 1350 you have to learn more black letter law (read Barbri books or similar), if you are above you need to learn strategy (chose MBEs who have detailed and good explanations, like Emanuel)...

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theInnerCircle
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby theInnerCircle » Wed Apr 26, 2017 10:19 pm

MRSP wrote:If Adaptibar's questions are old and outdated which test company's practice MBEs would be best to use? I am asking since it is ideal to do as many practice questions as possible, and I would like to do at least 1,000. For that to be possible it wouldn't hurt to use Adaptibar's older questions along with a book or program that has more recent questions or material right?


As I mentioned in my original post, I liked Barbri. I've seen some Kaplan questions that a friend used, and thought they were overly complex/vague. Try to get your hands on some Barbri questions if you can. Shoot a PM over, I might be of help. ;)

I +1 the other advice about doing 2,000+ questions too.

MRSP
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby MRSP » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:06 am

theInnerCircle wrote:
MRSP wrote:If Adaptibar's questions are old and outdated which test company's practice MBEs would be best to use? I am asking since it is ideal to do as many practice questions as possible, and I would like to do at least 1,000. For that to be possible it wouldn't hurt to use Adaptibar's older questions along with a book or program that has more recent questions or material right?


As I mentioned in my original post, I liked Barbri. I've seen some Kaplan questions that a friend used, and thought they were overly complex/vague. Try to get your hands on some Barbri questions if you can. Shoot a PM over, I might be of help. ;)

I +1 the other advice about doing 2,000+ questions too.


Thank you so much!

tina789
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby tina789 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:44 pm

theInnerCircle wrote:
MRSP wrote:If Adaptibar's questions are old and outdated which test company's practice MBEs would be best to use? I am asking since it is ideal to do as many practice questions as possible, and I would like to do at least 1,000. For that to be possible it wouldn't hurt to use Adaptibar's older questions along with a book or program that has more recent questions or material right?


As I mentioned in my original post, I liked Barbri. I've seen some Kaplan questions that a friend used, and thought they were overly complex/vague. Try to get your hands on some Barbri questions if you can. Shoot a PM over, I might be of help. ;)

I +1 the other advice about doing 2,000+ questions too.


were you guys doing 30 questions/day and doing full length practice tests as it got closer to the exam to accomplish 2,000+questions?

Also, does anyone recommend any resources that are good for the new material being tested on the MBE?
Those barbri questions are also old, right?

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uclapookie09
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby uclapookie09 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:01 pm

tina789 wrote:
theInnerCircle wrote:
MRSP wrote:If Adaptibar's questions are old and outdated which test company's practice MBEs would be best to use? I am asking since it is ideal to do as many practice questions as possible, and I would like to do at least 1,000. For that to be possible it wouldn't hurt to use Adaptibar's older questions along with a book or program that has more recent questions or material right?


As I mentioned in my original post, I liked Barbri. I've seen some Kaplan questions that a friend used, and thought they were overly complex/vague. Try to get your hands on some Barbri questions if you can. Shoot a PM over, I might be of help. ;)

I +1 the other advice about doing 2,000+ questions too.


were you guys doing 30 questions/day and doing full length practice tests as it got closer to the exam to accomplish 2,000+questions?

Also, does anyone recommend any resources that are good for the new material being tested on the MBE?
Those barbri questions are also old, right?


I don't know how many practice questions I did, but 30 a day sounds right + full simulated exams. Barbri questions are great for teaching the concepts and rules, but are more difficult than the real thing. I would start with those in the beginning and read through the answers. I found the NCBE questions helpful for simulating the real thing. Emmanuel book is also great, though it hasn't come out with the new book to include Civ Pro questions.

squiggle
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby squiggle » Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:32 pm

uclapookie09 wrote:
tina789 wrote:
theInnerCircle wrote:
MRSP wrote:If Adaptibar's questions are old and outdated which test company's practice MBEs would be best to use? I am asking since it is ideal to do as many practice questions as possible, and I would like to do at least 1,000. For that to be possible it wouldn't hurt to use Adaptibar's older questions along with a book or program that has more recent questions or material right?


As I mentioned in my original post, I liked Barbri. I've seen some Kaplan questions that a friend used, and thought they were overly complex/vague. Try to get your hands on some Barbri questions if you can. Shoot a PM over, I might be of help. ;)

I +1 the other advice about doing 2,000+ questions too.


were you guys doing 30 questions/day and doing full length practice tests as it got closer to the exam to accomplish 2,000+questions?

Also, does anyone recommend any resources that are good for the new material being tested on the MBE?
Those barbri questions are also old, right?


I don't know how many practice questions I did, but 30 a day sounds right + full simulated exams. Barbri questions are great for teaching the concepts and rules, but are more difficult than the real thing. I would start with those in the beginning and read through the answers. I found the NCBE questions helpful for simulating the real thing. Emmanuel book is also great, though it hasn't come out with the new book to include Civ Pro questions.


Emmanuel does have a new book (6th edition) that includes Civ Pro. I used for the Feb 2017 exam. It was great.

Not sure who has questions for the new property topics. Emmanuel mentions the new topics, but I didn't see any specific questions on them.

Also, some of Adaptibar questions are old but not all of them. Both Emmanuel and Adaptibar include real OPE questions; both also include their own questions, which make up the bulk of their questions. I used both. PM me if you need an Adaptibar discount code.

Neve
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Re: How to Raise MBE Score?

Postby Neve » Sat May 06, 2017 12:49 pm

List of Supplements for Raising your MBE Score:

1) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE - available on Amazon. Fairly cheap book. Has good tips on approaching the MBE and contains lots of practice questions.

2) Adaptibar (http://www.adaptibar.com) - I didn't use this, but wish I had since it has received raving reviews. The only con to Adaptibar is the price.

3) Barmax MBE Questions (https://getbarmax.com/barmax-mbe-questions/ - supposedly "comparable" to Adaptibar). At only $249, it's a good price, but Adaptibar has tracking tools to individualize your MBE study and show your progress in a method that Barmax can't. But Barmax seems to be more economical than Adaptibar. You also need an iOS device to use it.

4) OPE from the MBE site to practice the most recent test questions: http://store.ncbex.org/all-online-practice-exams/. At $50 per OPE it isn't the cheapest option, but these are real, recent MBE questions and not the souped up Barbri ones. Barbri questions are not representative of the modern MBE. I hear Barmax is only $249 and has all these OPEs included.

5) Critical Pass (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/8GVXRT9 - referral link contains a discount code for 20% off) - Great flashcards for the MBE! You can't apply the law to an MBE question, if you don't know the law. I used Critical Pass for my bar study along with the CMR from Barbri and their simulated questions (although the Barbri questions are very different than actual MBE questions). I also used Emanuel's S&T during my study period, but not as much as I should have since it's a great resource. Note: When I purchased Critical Pass flashcards, I got a free shipping code by liking Critical Pass on Facebook. However, I don't know if this code is still available.




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