While the MBE can be punishing, you can use this to your advantage.
1) Why the MBE is so tough.
Most people regard the MBE as the hardest portion of the bar exam. The 200 questions are rarely easy or straightforward. They can be tricky, and sometimes worded in a way that guides you to the wrong answer.
Unlike other portions of the bar exam (particularly essays), you can't "game" the MBE or disguise a bad answer with good writing. You either know an MBE answer or you don't.
Finally, the MBE is often a huge portion of your score, accounting for as much as 50% of your total bar exam score in many states.
2) Understand its significance to your total bar exam score.
The last point above — that the MBE makes up a huge portion of your total score — can work to your advantage, even if the MBE counts for less than 50% of your state's total bar exam score.
Why? Because MBE subjects are often tested on the essay portion of the bar exam. In fact, usually 1/4 to 1/2 (or more) of the essays on the bar exam are MBE subjects, or at least incorporate knowledge of MBE subjects.
3) Studying MBE subjects helps you on essays.
Because MBE subjects usually make up at least 1/3 of essay subjects, when studying for the MBE you're also studying for the essay portion of the bar exam. It's almost certain that you'll face several MBE subjects in your essays. So, you're preparing for as much as half of the essay portion alone just by studying MBE subjects.
The takeaway here is that you must know your MBE subjects to pass the bar exam, especially before you invest too much time in mastering other subjects. So at this stage, make sure you are really digging into MBE subjects.
Mastering the MBEs now will reward you across the entire bar exam.