My 5 Rules for Passing the MBE

You ever have interactions with dog owners that go like this?

Oh he’s so well trained!

Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit.

Ooooh look at how well he’s trained!

The MBE is probably the lever that will move your bar exam result the most.

Yet we see that training when it comes to the MBE is sometimes shoddy and not really there.  We LOOK like we’re trained, and you very may well be, but the actual exam experience is different from the simulations.

When you’re actually on the hotseat, you’re automatically less good at the things you’re normally good at on a day-to-day basis.

"I did 4000 questions on AdaptiBar and was 72% overall, so I'm confused on what I need to do better for my MBE."

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.”

I don’t want you to find out that you actually weren’t training well as you fall to its level on the real thing. Instead, I want you to pass the MBE (and the bar exam) with flying colors.

To that end, here are my five rules for passing the MBE:

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Busting 4 Myths of Memorization for the Bar Exam

Many bar takers are obsessed with the idea of memorization for the bar exam.

Understandably, a lot of students naturally panic and have concerns about it. I think it comes from a place of insecurity. There’s a LOT to remember after all.

Panic mutates into paralysis. They say, “As long as I memorize this perfectly, I will be set for the bar exam.” They end up holding a bag of theoretical knowledge they don’t know how to use, neglect the performance test in the process, and end up with a score that’s not terrible but not great either. After all, they still memorized everything enough to stumble through.

This may seem to be a safe approach, but it’s actually reckless. This is a common thought process, especially for those starting out.

Maybe that’s why people are excited about the possibility of open-book bar exams in some states. I eagerly await their realization that it’s not just about having access to knowledge—but whether they can use it properly. Removing the memorization requirement doesn’t really change the exam. In fact, it will probably hurt if you’re wasting time looking things up.

It’s not that I’m ragging on memorization. You should memorize for the bar exam—but not at the expense of learning. Memorizing is simply table stakes. Everyone’s doing it. It’s a minimum requirement. Just a cost of entry.

So you do want to start memorizing as early as you can. 

But I want to point out what bar takers miss when they get tunnel vision around memorization. Don’t miss the forest for the trees:

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