Studying for the MBE and Managing Your Time While Working

Did you know that the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners thinks newer MBE takers are “less able”?

1) Uh, well, given the lowkey increase of the bar exam’s general difficulty in recent years which we can’t prove anyway, it doesn’t even matter if you’re less able or the MBE is actually getting harder because you’re gonna get screwed regardless.

2) That kinda sucks because about HALF your score (also in CA starting July) is determined by scanning a series of alphabets you bubble in. Do you trust the machines? They can’t even autocorrect.

3) Fortunately, you can tilt the odds to your advantage.

I had a phone convo with Luis, a reader taking the Flordia bar who wanted to discuss how to approach studying for the MBE and doing so while occupied in a full-time job and a family. Check out the recording below.


As always, I rambled on, so it was more like a lecture than a discussion. But I’m always trying to improve my real-time communications with humans with each recording. Beep.

For your convenience, I’ve included timestamps of interest so you can consume relevant portions at your leisure.


Show Notes

2:45: Why the MBE can be a critical component of your score
3:50: Balancing accuracy and speed answering MBE questions
4:30: General multiple-choice tactics
5:25: What do you look at first for each MBE problem?
7:10: Why I keep telling you to use real questions
7:40: The supplements Luis got—these are the best ones for MBE—and how you can make them last forever
9:20: Managing study time with FT work
11:40: How Luis planned to study all the subjects and a different suggestion to cover all the subjects
13:50: How much to implement each type of studying (read outlines or what?)
17:15: The time of the day I found helpful to do the most important work
18:15: “Big” vs. “small” outlines
21:35: Why Luis refrains from Themis’s lectures (although Themis enables piecemeal review, which is one of my few exceptions for watching lectures)
24:45: How Luis might fit studying in his day
28:50: The new number of experimental questions per MBE (up from 10 of 200)—you might see more curveball questions that may increase the perceived difficulty of the exam
35:00: Why you need try to make passing the bar a high priority in your life


Resources Mentioned

Chapter from self-study guide (16:20, 34:00)

Article on improving your MBE score (31:40)


What did you think? What did you take away from this conversation? Leave a comment below.


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