Here's Why You Need to Keep MBE Subjects as a Top Priority

Why focusing too much on non-MBEs can cost you

About a month before the bar exam is the time that many bar exam studiers shift their focus away from MBE subjects and on to secondary subjects, like wills or trusts and estates.

In many ways this makes sense: it's certainly important to study all subjects that can appear on your jurisdiction's bar exam. But you'll land yourself in trouble if you start to let a week, or even several days, pass without working on your MBE subjects.

Here is why you should keep a steady diet of MBE subjects on your schedule:

1. Non-MBE subjects may not be tested, but MBE subjects will be tested. 

Whether you're taking the bar in a UBE jurisdiction or not, you'll face non-MBE portions of the bar exam. But here's the problem: you don't know which subjects will be tested. There's a decent chance, for example, that you'll never see a question about family law.

The same can't be said for MBE subjects. You know you're going to get tested on all of them, and you even know how frequently each subject will arise.

2. MBE subjects are a huge portion of your score. 

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.

But also remember that usually 1/4 to 1/2 (or more) of the essays on the bar exam are MBE subjects. The implication is clear: you should focus on studying for MBE subjects beyond when it's covered in your bar exam class because they show up on more than just the MBE

3. Making MBEs a priority will pay off. 

While you may still have some time now to study non-MBE subjects, at some point soon you're going to have to prioritize what you study.

As you make those decisions, keep this in mind: knowing just the basics of an essay-only subject can go a long way in issue-spotting and writing a good answer. But the same can't be said for MBE subjects, which have a multiple choice format. You either know the material or you don't.

So what's your major takeaway?

Resist the urge to keep MBEs on the shelf for too long, and ensure they are a consistent priority in your study schedule.


MBE and MEE Essay Flashcards that help you learn and memorize key bar exam concepts, effectively and affordably.

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