Many students wonder how many multistate bar exam (MBE) questions they should answer each day. Some students answer hundreds of MBE questions a week. Others answer only a few MBE questions each day.
The best approach is somewhere in between. This “in between” approach is the approach that I used when I studied for the February 2011 bar exam — and I was fortunate to score over 180 on the multistate portion with over an hour to spare on each section.
This post will explain the best schedule for answering MBE questions.
Why Not Answer as Many MBE Questions as Possible Every Day?
It is not a good idea to answer so many MBE questions that you slack off on really learning the law. We see students, time and time again, do poorly on, for example, a Real Property question set. Instead of spending more time memorizing their Real Property outline, these students assume if they complete more questions, they will improve. Thus, they answer more and more questions and get more and more frustrated as they realize they are not improving! The better solution for these students is to spend more time in their outlines and answer some questions “slowly” (discussed below) rather than trying to do a hundred questions a day.
Conversely, students that answer less than 30 questions a week are also in trouble. Many of these students spend most of their time in their outline and never feel “comfortable enough” to dive into answering questions. These students know the law well, but they never fine-tune their knowledge of how the law is applied because they never practice applying it! It is a good idea for these students to incorporate more questions altogether in their schedule—answering some slowly and practicing some in a timed setting.
We Recommend the Following MBE Schedule:
(1) Answer Some MBE Questions Slowly Each Day
It’s a good idea to do some multiple-choice questions “slowly” using this step-by-step method for answering MBE questions every day (even if it is just five or ten questions!) Going through questions slowly helps you learn − and master − the law. It helps you to intuitively understand how to tackle questions. Dissecting each question will also help build your confidence.
Paradoxically, it may even be the best way to really “speed up” when you answer questions on the actual MBE.
(2) Incorporate Timed MBE Exams Into Your Schedule at Least Twice A Week
It is also a good idea to incorporate some timed exams into your practice every week as well. We usually recommend that at this stage, a couple of months before the bar exam, you time yourself for a half-hour or an hour at least twice a week then go back and double-check each answer. As the bar exam nears, incorporate more half-day and full-day practice exams into your schedule.
Completing questions in a timed setting will build your confidence for the MBE and will help you to ensure you don’t run out of time on the actual exam.
What is the Actual Number of Questions I should Answer Each Day?
The answer to this question is very personal to you. It depends on your comfort level with the material, your comfort level with answering multiple-choice questions, how long you are able to study each day, as well as a variety of other factors.
However, with that said, if you start by spending, say, an hour or two answering ten or twenty questions slowly and methodically on one day – and then an hour taking a 33-question timed exam the next day, you are in good shape. Some days you will spend more time answering the question slowly. Other days you will spend more time taking timed exams. The point is to make answering MBE questions part of your regular routine.
A good mixture of both answering questions “slowly” and speeding up is crucial to MBE success!
If you find yourself struggling with multiple-choice, consider signing up for our one-on-one two-hour multiple-choice strategies workshop that is tailored to the MBE.
Looking for MBE Help?
We offer the following MBE products and services:
- An MBE course, which comes with several MBE sessions, all 7 MBE outlines, our MBE diagnostic, MBE guide, and MBE one-sheets!
- MBE private tutoring for those seeking one-on-one help to pass the MBE.
- Real MBE questions! We offer the latest NCBE-released questions!
- Our MBE favorites series, which dissects the “favorite” issues the MBE tests. You have instant access to them online!
- An MBE Seminar for those looking for strategies to improve their MBE score.
- An MBE guide, which has a guaranteed 7-point score increase.
- An MBE diagnostic for those who are having trouble determining why their scores are not increasing.