California Bar Exam Practice Essays, practice MEEs

How Many Practice MEEs Should I Complete?

How many practice MEEs should a student complete as they study for the Uniform Bar Exam?  In this post, we answer this question!

How Many Practice MEEs Should I Complete?

It is imperative that you practice writing full essays.

Many students skip actually writing full essay answers under timed conditions as they are studying for the Uniform Bar Exam. They think they can simply skim and issue-spot from old essays.  However, there are many good reasons why it is worth your time to complete practice MEEs, especially when you first start out:

  • You will recognize any potential timing issues right away (and improve your timing tremendously).
  • You will feel more confident walking into the bar exam. If you write practice essays under simulated circumstances, writing the answers for the actual exam should not feel new or foreign to you, which should hopefully boost your confidence!
  • You will understand how to organize and structure your essays so that you don’t waste time on the day of the bar exam thinking about where to begin.
  • It is easier to increase your essay score than it is to increase your MBE score, so this is a great way to boost your score!

How many MEEs should you write?

We recommend that you spend approximately 1 hour per day writing practice essays. MEEs are thirty minutes each under normal timing conditions. This means that you should be writing 1-2 practice essays per day, or approximately 6-8 practice essays per week.  In total, this will equate to approximately 60 full essays during bar prep if you are studying full-time. There are 14 subjects that could potentially appear on the Uniform Bar Exam. You should aim to write 4-5 full practice essays for each subject.

This may seem like a lot of essays, and this is probably more than most commercial courses assign.  However, as explained above, there are a lot of good reasons to practice essays.  Practicing essays is the best way to increase your score as you get closer to the exam!

Note: After you practice essays (and feel comfortable with timing), you can start to bullet point your answers to them. This way, you can get through more essays faster. Some students try to take this a step further and just read the essay and think about what the answer would be. We do not recommend this! This cuts down on the critical thinking you have to do and is not helpful.

Focus on the highly-tested material.

Now that you know how many essays to write, which essays should you practice writing in full?

Some issues come up again and again on the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE).  The best way to prepare for these issues is to write a practice essay on them.  That way, when you see that same issue on the bar exam, you already know exactly what to write!

For instance, personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction are highly tested issues that frequently appear on the Civil Procedure questions.  On Corporations essays, the duty of care and the duty of loyalty frequently appear as issues.  If you practice writing essays in advance, you will already have an answer organized and planned if you are faced with these issues on the exam!  You can find more information about the highly-tested topics within each subject in our Multistate Essay Exam Guide, which is available here!  Our MEE One-Sheets are also a great resource for not only identifying the highly-tested issues, but also providing the applicable law that you need to know!  The MEE One-Sheets are available here!

On the other hand, not every issue that is tested is predictable.  You are very likely going to see an essay testing an unexpected issue that catches examinees off guard.  To best prepare for this, it is a good idea to also practice some essays testing “odd” issues so that you have a sense of how to attack a question if you don’t know what to write! 

Don’t ignore less-commonly tested subjects!

Sometimes students who are running out of time to study ignore subjects that are not frequently tested.  While it is certainly a good idea to be well-prepared for the highly tested material, you should never ignore any subjects!  The NCBE might catch everyone off guard and test a subject that isn’t expected!  For instance, in February 2019, many students believed there would be a Wills (Decedent’s Estates) essay since Trusts appeared in the previous administration.  With that in mind, some students ignored Trusts altogether and focused on Wills.  The NCBE threw a curve ball and tested Trusts again in February 2019, catching those who ignored this subject completely off guard!  You should spread your essay practice out among all of the possible subjects, which will best prepare you for whatever is tested on the exam!

Review and issue-spot additional essays.

Even though 60 essays might seem like a lot, you should actually review more essays than that as you get closer to the exam.  Even if you don’t have time to continue writing additional essay answers in full, it is important that you review additional essays, issue-spot, and outline a brief answer to the questions.  You should aim to review an additional 5 essays for each subject that could potentially be tested on the MEE.  So, in total, you should be looking at (either writing in full or briefly reviewing) approximately 10 essay questions per subject.  This will give you the best chance of exposure to issues that appear over and over. This will make it easier for you to spot and write about those issues on the actual exam!

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