The February bar exam is a little over six weeks away, but it's never too early to do MBE practice questions. You should start with MBE practice questions as soon as possible, even as you're still just reviewing MBE subjects.
But with MBE questions, it's crucial that you answer them using the right approach. We can't emphasize this enough: How you tackle MBE questions can matter almost as much as how well you know the substance of the question itself.
Below we'll break down the best approach with four step-by-step tips. But first, a quick word on why it's important to have a solid and consistent method for answering MBEs.
The MBE is particularly difficult in large part because all subjects are mixed together and no question identifies its subject. So one of the biggest ways you can help your MBE score is learning how to recognize the subject while you’re reading the question. The following tips can help you identify the subject of MBE questions without distracting you from the substance of the question.
1) Don't start with the beginning of the question
When you first see an MBE question, try looking at the call of the question first, before focusing on the beginning of the question. The call is the statement or question following the mini fact pattern in most MBE questions.
It may seem counterintuitive to start reading somewhere besides the beginning of the question. But doing so will actually help you better understand the question, primarily because the call will usually give away the subject, and might even indicate what you're looking for within that subject.
2) Know the answers before you know the question
If you can't figure out or narrow down the subject based on the call of the question, you can also glance at the answer choices. Together with the call of the question, the answer choices will probably give you enough information to identify the subject, or even the topic within the subject.
3) Read the entire question carefully
After quickly glancing at the call of the question and/or answer choices, carefully read the entire question from the beginning with the subject in mind. This approach enables you to read the question with full focus. Your natural instinct when you approach any question is to try to identify the subject or figure out the answer. If you're trying to do this while reading the fact pattern, you're putting yourself at risk of becoming distracted and/or missing something.
4) Don't get tricked by answer choices
When it comes to answer choices, be sure to read every one. Even if you think you've identified the correct choice as A or B, read C and D before you move on. Usually you can eliminate one or two answer choices with some degree of certainty.
The MBE is known for getting you down to two answer choices that both seem correct. This is where careful reading comes into play. Beware of tricky word choice issues, but more importantly move on. It's better to have a 50% shot of a correct answer on a tough question than having a 0% chance on a question you didn't get to answer.
5) Mark up your test booklet
Finally, make sure you're marking up and underlining on every question. Make a note on key terms or facts. This helps you to stay active as a reader, a critical tool for MBE success.
And of course, you can't answer any MBE question unless you've learned and memorized the material - make sure you've nailed that down!
Good luck studying!
— The Critical Pass Team