scored low on the MEE, scored low on the multistate essay exam

What Are the Changes to Real Property on the MBE?

What Are the Changes to Real Property on the MBE? In August 2015, the NCBE announced on its website that it would be making changes to how Real Property is tested on the MBE and MEE beginning with the February 2017 administration. Regardless of whether you are taking the exam for the first time or whether you are retaking the exam, there will be new topics to learn. Below we explain some of the major changes you will encounter on the exam.

What Are the Changes to Real Property on the MBE?

1. You will see questions concerning closing documents and real estate documents.

 The NCBE announced that it will be testing examinees on the drafting, review, and negotiation of closing documents, as well as persons authorized to execute real estate documents. A closing document is detailed and includes information pertaining to brokers’ commissions, taxes, inspection contingencies, and warranties. Generally, a licensed real estate agent, licensed broker or attorney has the authority to execute a real estate document.

2. You will see questions on property owners’ associations and common interest ownership communities.

The NCBE has never tested students on property owners’ associations and common interest ownership communities (i.e. condominiums) before. Therefore, you need to be familiar with how these communities are created, as well as the fact that the restrictions contained in the declaration of the common interest development are covenants running with the land. Further, be aware of the tests used to determine whether such restrictions are reasonable. (Usually they are upheld!)

3. You will need to know some of the nuances concerning zoning.

The NCBE has indicated that it will be testing the details of zoning. This may include but is not limited to the following: the differences between cumulative and non-cumulative zoning; the validity of “grandfather” clauses; and the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RIULPA), which prohibits zoning restrictions that impose a “substantial burden” on the religious exercise of a person/institution, unless the government has a “compelling interest.”

4.  The MBE will no longer test fixtures.

For MBE day you no longer need to know the fixture and trade fixture doctrines. As you do practice multiple-choice questions you can skip these questions. However, if you are in a state that tests fixtures on the essay portion of the exam, you should review this area of law by looking at previous exams that have tested these issues.

5. The MBE will no longer test ademption and antilapse.

As you review Real Property, also keep in mind that you will no longer encounter multiple choice questions on abatement of devices. However, you will need to know these concepts for the written portion of the exam! These are fundamental concepts in Wills (Decedents’ Estates). The best way to review these topics is by memorizing the law and doing practice exams.

Finally, make sure you have a good outline that covers the new material. Learn the concepts and do not forget to memorize the law! Don’t be caught off guard by changes to Real Property on the MBE!

Christine, one of our bar exam tutors, wrote this post. She has passed three bar exams, including California, New York, and New Jersey. Christine scored in the 95 percentile on the MBE, and specializes in helping students raise their uniform bar exam scores!

Do you sell an outline with these changes?

We do have a Real Property outline that is completely updated for February 2017. However, we do not sell it separately from tutoring! If you are interested in tutoring for Real Property, for $400 you will receive:

  • A Real Property outline that is well-organized and fully updated with the 2017 changes. This outline is tailored to the MBE portion of the bar exam but is also useful for the state portion. (We also have an outlined tailored to the Uniform Bar Exam, and MBE/MEE.)
  • A two-hour private tutoring session with a tutor on Real Property
  • Five essays graded for Real Property if you are in a UBE/MEE state or if we otherwise have access to your state essays.