June 23, 2006

Bar: wanna trade advice?

My suspicion that multiple choice was going to be my strong suit is proving to be correct. So far, I've taken the PMBR early bird course and I've done approximately 50 additional PMBR questions from the Red Book per subject (0 for crim and only 25 for torts, but 50 each for the other subjects). Additionally, I've been doing all of the questions assigned by the BarBri paced program more or less when they are due.

Today, I took the simulated MBE that barbri gave and I got a 150/200. I'm going to keep studying and shooting for that elusive 80%, but overall, I think I need to switch gears and focus on the area where I suck.

So here it is. I'm offering my (albeit untested on the real exam) study plan for the MBE in exchange for any helpful tips those of you who seem to have any clue about this essay business can offer for someone who is all OVER the place and failing like mad. I seem to have trouble knowing what to focus on in the fact patterns, what assumptions to make and what issues to discuss for long bits of time vs. short ones. The best advice I've heard so far is review as many sample answers as you can get your hands on. But, I'm hoping someone out there has something a little more concrete in the way of a study plan to attack my particular problem. See, I'm a weirdo. I arrive at my conclusions via the odd road, generally. Knowing the right answer isn't getting me squat on the essays. I need to learn how to be "normal" and fast.

So, for those of you that are curious, here's how I've been studying for the MBE (YMMV, of course):

1. Do all of the reading and questions that barbri has assigned on the paced program.

2. For every set of multiple choice questions I've done (PMBR or BarBri), sit down and hand write, underline, and make sure I understand the rule behind every question I got wrong. Put those notes in the binder for 3(c) below.

3. When a subject is assigned for review, do one of the following:

  • 25-50 multiple choice questions from the PMBR red book

  • all of the flashcards from the PMBR stuff (I'm a big fan of walking around the neighborhood while going over these. My neighbors must think I'm insane.)

  • go over the charts/notes in my binder (charts/notes I've collected from BarBri, PMBR, etc. that make sense to my head)

You will note, I do not review the questions I got right. In a perfect world, sure, I'd do that too because no doubt I'm getting lucky with some of my guesses and might get it wrong next time. But, I figure with limited time it makes more sense to focus on the stuff I know I need to learn, as opposed to the stuff I *might* need to learn.

Last, but not least, if you think what I've listed above is a ridiculous amount of work, I present, in my defense, the guy who finished 3381 MBE prep questions by June 18.

The mind boggles at how much power this exam has over us, the formerly sane.

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