Structure of MBE Questions &
Answer Choices

What You’ll Learn:

  • The 3-Part Structure of MBE Questions
  • The Components of an MBE Answer Choice

MBE Question Structure Breakdown

According to the NCBE, the format of an MBE question is divided into three (3) parts:³

Stem → The fact pattern setting up the problem.

Lead-In → The question at the end of the stem.

Options → The choices available for answering the question – each question has four (4) answer choices.

Sample MBE Question

The Structure of MBE Answer Choices

Most Answer Choices can be further broken down into the following components:

Result → the legal result that occurred (i.e. prevail, guilty, liable)

Logical Connector → the kind of relationship between the reason and the result
(i.e. if, because, since, unless)

Reason → the reason why the result occurred (i.e. plaintiff failed to
exercise reasonable care)

Understanding the structure of MBE questions and answers allows you to break each question into its components so you can understand the question being asked and the answer choices presented. This is especially important as the examiners have included answer choices intentionally meant to trick you.

Knowing the structure is also advantageous because you will then have a good understanding of the test itself, which allows you to maximize your performance and score extra points on the MBE!

³See, The Bar Examiner, August 2008, Recent Changes in NCBE’s Multiple-Choice Examination Programs, at pg. 26.