increase your Uniform bar exam score

Five Tips To Increase Your Uniform Bar Exam Score
 From A High-Scoring July 2019 Examinee and JD Advising Bar Exam Tutor

Are you wondering what to pay closer attention to as you study for the upcoming Uniform Bar Exam? Below we give you five tips to increase your  Uniform Bar Exam score from a high-scoring July 2019 examinee and JD Advising Bar Exam tutor. We always recommend practicing for the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) by working through essay questions released by the NCBE and the corresponding Examiners’ Analyses.  The best way to help you craft stronger essays is to get into the mind of the Examiners. Still, that does not mean that the Examiners will not throw some curveballs your way! This happens on almost every exam. However, based on the July 2019 UBE, it seems like the Examiners are transforming the way issues are tested on the written portion of the exam. Here are our five tips to improving your score on the Uniform Bar Exam.

Five Tips To Increase Your Uniform Bar Exam Score
 From A High-Scoring July 2019 Examinee and JD Advising Bar Exam Tutor

1. The highly tested rules may show up in ways you have not encountered before.

One of the best strategies for preparing for the essays is to spend time memorizing the highly tested rules based on past MEEs. One tip for improving your Uniform Bar Exam score is that you should not always expect to see an issue tested in exactly the same context as on past exams! For example, the Corporations essay on the July 2019 UBE focused predominantly on fiduciary duties of loyalty and care, the defenses to the duty of loyalty and the business judgment rule. All of these are highly tested issues. However, the Examiners tested these rules in the context of controlling shareholders, including parent corporations. This caused confusion for. many examinees. It is important to take a step back and see whether the issues remind you of other issues that you reviewed, and the basic principle being tested. At its core, this fact pattern was testing what duties those individuals or entities in positions of authority have towards their constituents. Thus, rather than testing the duties of directors, the Examiners tested the same fiduciary duties in the context of parent corporations.

2. Some of the facts that you need to answer a question may be left out on purpose!

Do not make the mistake of assuming that the Examiners have given you all of the facts you need to answer a question. The information that has purposely been left out is just as important as the information that is stated in the fact pattern. If further facts are needed to reach a particular conclusion, let the Examiners know! In these instances, it is a good to provide two different conclusions and your reasoning for doing so. For example, in the Wills/Conflict of Laws question on the July 2019 UBE, the facts did not state when one of the testator’s children had been born. This fact was needed to determine whether the testator’s child was an omitted child (and thus, entitled to a portion of the testator’s estate).

The Examiners’ Analysis for this essay explicitly states: “NOTE: An important lawyering skill is knowing when the lawyer needs more facts to answer a legal problem.” Thus, you want to have a conclusion that explains that the distribution of the testator’s estate if the child is an omitted child. And then you want to have a conclusion that explains that the distribution of the testator’s estate if the child is not an omitted child. This will help you pick up more points for your analysis.

3. Do not assume that statutes will be exactly the same as in earlier essays.

Another tip for improving your Uniform Bar Exam score is to pay very close attention to statutes in a fact pattern. After reviewing practice essays many students mistakenly assume they will see the exact same statutes on exam day. This is not necessarily the case! For example, the Examiners’ Analysis for the Wills/Conflict of Laws question on the July 2019 UBE explicitly states: “NOTE: One of the most important skills a minimally competent lawyer should have is the ability to read and apply a statute. A purpose of Point Five is to test examinees’ ability to read a statute, and for this purpose, we have given them an uncommon anti-lapse statute.”

4. Look out for crossover essay combinations that have not been tested before.

Sometimes a fact pattern tests more than one subject. There are commonly tested crossover combinations such as Criminal Law Procedure/Evidence and Agency/Torts. But it is always possible for the Examiners to test new crossover combinations! For example, on the July 2019 UBE, the last question was a Civil Procedure/Constitutional Law crossover. If you find that the call of the question is testing an issue that you do not remember covering at all when reviewing a particular subject, then try to remember where you did see that issue before. The last question in the July 2019 Civil Procedure/Constitutional Law asked about standing. The issue of standing shows up most often in Constitutional Law, so examinees should have discussed whether the plaintiff suffered a redressable injury that was caused by the defendant’s actions.

5. Be mindful of current trends in the news!

Our final tip is to be mindful of current events, especially with respect to Criminal Procedure and Constitutional Law. On the July 2019 Uniform Bar Exam, two of the fact patterns tested issues recently in the news. One of the issues appeared in the Family Law question. Specifically, it was a question of whether a state may require children who attend public schools to be vaccinated. In addition, the Civil Procedure/Constitutional Law question asked whether plaintiffs have standing in invasion of privacy cases where their medical data was stolen by thieves who hacked into a database. Even if you are uncertain about the case law, familiarity with how an issue has been discussed in the news is useful. It can certainly help you discuss the central arguments in these cases, This will help you pick up points!

We hope you found our tips for improving your Uniform Bar Exam score helpful. Good luck studying!

Christine, one of our bar exam tutors, wrote this post. She has passed four bar exams, including Missouri, 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!

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