MBE Traps: Common Mistakes to Avoid When Studying for the MBE

You’re getting to a place in your study where the amount of MBE questions you do is increasing, and the amount will only increase from here. So, let’s get in the right mindset about the MBE, and avoid common mistakes students make.

  1. Don’t wait to practice MBE questions until you feel like you have everything memorized. A lot of students say this to themselves – “I’m not going to do MBE questions until I have all of the law down.” This is a common pitfall. Even if you have every single thing memorized, you can only develop mastery of the MBE with practice. Further, MBE practice questions help you learn. You will uncover new nuances, exceptions, and details you may not learn by reading outlines. Practicing MBE questions does two main things: (1) apply what you know and (2) tell you what you do not know. Practicing them throughout bar study, no matter whether everything is memorized, is critical.
  2. The reason your getting MBE questions wrong is not ALWAYS because you do not know the law. Most students always attribute getting questions wrong to a lack of knowledge of the substantive law. Although this is sometimes a reason you may get questions wrong, it is not the only reason. Use the questions you’re getting wrong to correct your understanding of the law. Going back and reviewing your outlines over and over again will not increase your MBE score. A routine of practice-review-practice-review-practice-review WILL indeed increase your MBE score.
  3. You should be doing MBE questions every day. This is extremely important. You have to get out of the mindset of “I don’t have time to do MBE questions today.” You do. Or, make the time. Even if it’s just a small set – you should be practicing these every day.
  4. You do not have to practice all MBE questions under timed conditions. Some students are surprised by this statement – but it’s true. You’re still getting used to the material at this point and studying, so it’s okay to take your time with them. You of course want to practice simulated testing, but you also want to utilize these questions to learn. Forcing yourself to do every question in 1.8 minutes will sometimes inhibit your ability to learn. Doing some slow sets will give you the opportunity to learn the law and learn MBE strategy.
  5. Work actively with MBE questions. I say this all of the time. After you do a set, do not just passively read the answers and move on. WRITE down why you are getting questions wrong or the law you are missing. Go back and correct your understanding of some areas of law. Practice more questions dealing with the same subtopics or subjects that are tripping you up. Do not just use MBE questions as a measure of performance – use them to LEARN.

If you find yourself making these mistakes – take a step back. Evaluate your study. Change things up that are not working or change your MBE approach if you are falling into these traps. There’s plenty of time to improve!

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