MBE Questions Wrong

What To Do If You Consistently Get MBE Questions Wrong

Do you find yourself getting practice MBE questions wrong, and then reading the explanation to find out that you picked the second-best answer choice?  In this post, we provide some tips for how to avoid making this mistake and to improve your MBE score!

What To Do If You Consistently Get MBE Questions Wrong

1. Memorize the law.

If you are able to logically narrow down the answer choices to two, but then end up picking the wrong one, it might be because you haven’t learned the law well enough!  MBE questions tend to test the nuances of the various laws, not the general concepts.  So it isn’t enough to have a general understanding of what hearsay is or what negligence is – you need to know the details!

For instance, when the MBE tests dying declarations, most students have a general understanding of how the dying declaration exception to hearsay works.  They can recognize that death must be imminent, and they usually recognize that the statement has to be about the cause or circumstances of death.  Some students even know that the person doesn’t actually have to die.  But most students miss that this hearsay exception is only permitted in criminal homicide or civil cases.  So if the declarant doesn’t actually die, and the criminal defendant is charged with assault, the dying declaration exception cannot be used to admit the victim’s statement!  Knowing the nuances of the law will help you spot these small distinctions between answer choices that make the difference between getting a question correct or incorrect!

2. Slow down!

While it is important to incorporate timed tests into your study schedule, try answering practice questions slowly and methodically as you begin studying for the bar exam.  In this post, we break down How to Answer MBE Questions.  Taking a slower approach as you start doing practice questions will help you dissect the questions and understand exactly how they are written.  Once you have a better handle on how to answer an MBE question (and after you have spent some time memorizing the law – see #1 above!) you should find your MBE score improving!

As you are slowly working your way through a multiple-choice question, one thing to focus on is precisely which legal issue is being tested.  Look at the wording of the call of the question and, before looking at the answer choices, see if you can identify the answer in your head.  Sometimes wrong answer choices are wrong because they don’t answer the call of the question or they aren’t relevant with the given facts.  So, even though it might sound like a great answer choice because it correctly states the law and it might be logical, it is still wrong!  Trying to identify the answer BEFORE looking at these answer choices will allow you to avoid being tricked into picking one of these answer choices that sounds good, but is not correct!

3. As you practice, write down what you get wrong.

Many students use multiple choice questions simply as a measuring stick of how well they are doing as they move through bar prep.  A student might answer 20 questions, check which ones they got right/wrong, calculate the percentage of questions they got correct, and never look back at those questions again.  Take some time after you answer each question to understand why you got the question right or wrong and turn it into a learning opportunity!

As you answer multiple-choice questions, keep a legal pad next to you.  If you answer an MBE question incorrectly, don’t just mark it wrong.  It also isn’t enough to simply read the explanation.  Write down why you answered the question incorrectly on your legal pad!  Did you not know the law?  If so, write down the correct law on your legal pad!  Did you misread the facts?  Write that down on your legal pad!  As you keep doing this, your legal pad will highlight the specific laws that you miss (or keep missing) and/or things that are continuously causing you to answer multiple-choice questions incorrectly, such as misreading the facts!

As you study, keep referring back to your legal pad to remind yourself of the things that you need to spend some more time on.  Even if you find that you are missing questions because you are misreading the facts, that is your hint that you need to spend some time reading MBE questions slower to make sure you don’t miss anything!  Hopefully, this will prevent you from continuing to make the same mistakes over and over!

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