5 MBE Test Day Tips & Strategies to Maximize Your Score
What You’ll Learn:
- Why you must bubble-in an answer for all 200 questions – even if it’s a complete guess.
- Why spending too much time on any one question can be disastrous.
- The question number you should have completed at important exam intervals.
- The ideal system for transferring your answers from the test booklet to the answer sheet.
- How to approach and read an MBE question.
1. Bubble-in one answer for EVERY question on the Answer Sheet even if it’s a complete guess.
If you are almost out-of-time and still have questions left, you are better off bubbling-in random selections for the questions you have left (rather than leaving them blank). Even by randomly guessing, you still have a 1-of-4 chance statistically of getting the question correct.
Don’t leave potential points on the table… make sure every question on the answer sheet has an answer bubbled-in!
This may sound obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the amount of test takers that don’t do this and loose valuable points.
2. Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Any One Question – Pick an Answer Choice, and Move On
Read through the question and answer choices carefully, pick one answer, and then move on. Don’t second guess yourself – you need complete focus for the next MBE question. Understanding and keeping myself aware of this simple fact played a big part in cutting down my overall time per question so I could finish all questions within the allotted time.
3. Be Aware of Your Timing & Pace
This will put you on pace to complete at least 33-34 questions per hour during each session.
On exam day, it is recommended that you use a timer to keep track of the point you should be at while taking the exam. You can use the following intervals as your guide:
|Question 17||30 minutes|
|Question 34||1 hour|
|Question 50||1 hour 30 minutes|
|Question 67||2 hours|
|Question 84||2 hours 30 minutes|
|Question 100||3 hours|
Just make sure the timer/watch complies with your state’s bar exam guidelines for acceptable items in the exam room – some jurisdictions do not allow watches or timers, but will have a clock clearly visible in the exam room that you should take advantage of.
4. Have a System for Bubbling-In the Answer Sheet
Since only the answers marked on the Answer Sheet will be scored, you should have a pre-determined system of how/when you’ll transfer your answers from the test booklet to the Answer Sheet. Here is ours!
SmartBarPrep’s Answer Sheet Technique
We recommend that you take two (2) full pages of questions – or an open booklet – at a time (noting your answers in the test booklet). Once finished, then transfer those answers to the Answer Sheet.
When 30-minitues is remaining in the exam session, then switch to transferring 1 page of answers at a time. When 10-15 minutes is left, transfer 1 question at a time.
This will ensure you have all of your answers bubbled-in on the Answer Sheet when time is up.
HOW TO TRANSFER:
Below is the only foolproof way that we have found to make sure the right answer gets put into the right line of the Answer Sheet.
When bubbling in the Answer Sheet, transfer only 1 answer at a time while saying the question number and answer letter in your head while transferring (i.e. 38 is C, look at Answer Sheet line 38, and then say C as you bubble it in). Although this sounds tedious, this technique will prevent you from inadvertently bubbling an answer on the wrong question line.
Be careful and do not rush when transferring answers.
5. How to Approach & Read an MBE Question
- Step # 1: Read the Call of the question first. The call is the short statement/question that follows the fact pattern. This helps you identify the subject and the issue being tested before reading the fact pattern.
- Step # 2: Read the answer choices. Reviewing the answer choices will ALSO help you identify the issues tested, so you know what to look for when reading the fact pattern.
- Step # 3: Read the entire fact pattern, and mark it up as needed.
- Step # 4: Select the best answer choice.
We generally recommend using Method # 1 (the Linear Method) for two reasons. First, we believe more time is expended in Methods # 2 and 3 by jumping back and forth to different parts of the question. Second, in some instances we have seen an examinee’s view of the facts to be skewed as to what the question is really asking because they read the call and/or answer choices first.
However, different methods work for different people. If you have time, it’s best to test each method separately under timed conditions, and see what works best for you (considering timing, number of correct answers, and which method you find easier to use). Knowing yourself and how you think, and trusting in that, is what will make the difference in your score.
No matter which method you use, DO NOT try to choose an answer while reading the question. Instead, focus on reading everything carefully, and then (and only then) choose the best answer choice. This includes reading ALL of the answer choices before choosing an answer, as the bar examiners may try to trick you in choosing one of the first answers listed.