Why You Should Use Real MBE Questions – And Why Many Commercial Courses Don’t Offer Them!
Many students wonder why they should use real MBE questions when Barbri, Kaplan, Themis, and several other courses make up their own. There are a few reasons that you should use real MBE questions. And before we address these reasons, let’s first define what we mean by “real” MBE questions.
Real MBE questions are those that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) creates. The NCBE writes the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions. Many of these NCBE-released questions appeared on past exams. They are different than questions that a course makes up as they reflect the style and level of difficulty of the questions you can expect to see on the bar exam.
There are a few reasons that you should use real MBE questions:
- First, you will get used to the format of the multistate bar exam. Real MBE questions are written in a very specific style that is different than some questions by commercial courses. Some students are completely thrown off their game when they walk into the multistate bar exam and see questions written in a completely different style.
- You will see how the NCBE tests specific areas of law. Some issues appear in the same way repeatedly. By being exposed to how issues are tested ahead of time, you are more likely to answer similar questions correctly on the MBE.
- You will know what level of difficulty to expect on the exam. The bar exam is a hard test and it tests the nuances of the law. Some course-invented questions are too easy. Others are not well written at all or overly difficult and nuanced. By practicing with real MBE questions, you will be prepared for the level of difficulty to expect on test day.
- You will feel more confident and prepared for the bar exam. You will walk into the MBE day knowing that you have prepared in the best way possible. A good mindset is key to passing the bar exam. Knowing that you have completed released MBE questions will help you walk into the MBE confidently and ready to conquer the exam. And this brings us to our final and most important point.
- You are more likely to pass the bar exam. Every single bar exam, students that use real MBE questions say how much it helped them. They say that so many of the MBE questions were answerable. And they oftentimes attribute their passing score to practicing with real MBE questions. On the contrary, students that use MBE questions invented by a course often complain that the questions on the MBE were not reflective of the questions that they practiced.
Want to know where to find real MBE questions? Check out this post.
Why don’t commercial courses offer real MBE questions?
You may wonder: if there are thousands of NCBE-released questions available, why would a commercial course write their own questions? It certainly takes time and energy to write questions, and the “real” questions are much better.
We do not know for sure, but we suspect that many commercial courses do not offer real MBE questions because it affects their bottom line. Real MBE questions are not free. In order to “license” them, you have to pay a hefty up-front fee and then an additional fee for each and every student that accesses them. Unfortunately, many commercial courses are not willing to pay these fees.
We also suspect that most students do not even know to ask if the course provides real MBE questions. A tip is: If your course does not advertise that they offer real MBE questions, they probably don’t! Most students just assume that their course will provide the “best” questions. Many do not even realize until the bar exam is over that the questions they used were not real MBE questions. So, courses have less of an incentive to provide real questions if the customers are not even demanding them. (Note: Some commercial courses will provide “real” MBE questions in upgraded packages.)
A few reasons we have heard that courses do not provide MBE questions:
Some students have taken our advice and asked their commercial course if they provide real MBE questions. Unsurprisingly, the answer is no. Then they ask why the commercial course does not provide real questions. We have heard a few reasons, none of which are compelling.
“Real MBE questions are outdated”
It is true that if you go to the NCBE website and look at their sample MBE’s from the 1990’s, many are “outdated.” They are written in a different format (they will sometimes have multiple questions for one fact pattern, occasionally the answer choices are styled differently, and the questions use names instead of nouns and pronouns to describe people). Sometimes the law is outdated. However, this is a flimsy excuse. Plenty of courses, including ours and all of the sources that offer real MBE questions simply re-style the older questions to fit the modern MBE and, when applicable, update the law. Thus, yes, some of the real MBE questions are outdated, but it is not difficult to fix them to reflect modern questions, especially when you are a multimillion dollar corporation.
Further, not all MBE questions are outdated. There are plenty of recently released questions, including 210 questions released at the end of 2017. These questions are difficult and excellent! (Note: You can purchase several of them on our real MBE questions page here. We will be updating our site to have all of the questions available soon.) It is true the licensing fee is much higher for those questions, which I am sure is a deterrant to companies offering them.
“You won’t see these real MBE questions again.”
Some courses say, “we don’t offer real MBE questions because those exact questions won’t appear on your exam.” Excuse our bluntness, but this is a really dumb reason to not offer questions that are most reflective of the style and difficulty of the actual MBE. It is true that the exact questions that are released by the NCBE will not appear on the bar exam. However, they are the closest to what will appear. Further, several of the same issues will be tested in the same way. Lastly, it is not like a question that a commercial course invents is any more likely to appear on the MBE. On the contrary, many commercial courses invent questions that focus on nuances or areas of law that the NCBE does not seem to care about.
Want to know where to find real MBE questions? Check out this post.
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.