One of the most frequent questions we get is “How many MBE questions should I do as I prepare for the bar?” We have found many websites and discussion boards out there that suggest the “magic number” is everything from 800 to 3,000 MBE questions! The real answer is: there is no magic number of MBE questions you should do. Everyone studies and retains information differently, so why dictate an arbitrary and stress-inducing number?
Instead, here is some food for thought on how to approach answering MBE questions from a quality-over-quantity point of view.
In the fast-paced, immediate results, data-driven culture that we live in today, it can be very difficult to embrace this approach to studying. We all want to cover as much as possible as quickly as possible in order to get the best results possible. Additionally, we are constantly comparing ourselves to our peers. We become so obsessed that we lose sight of what WE need in order to succeed.
• Plan Ahead
In order to maximize your study time, create a daily strategy. Be as detailed as possible so you know exactly what you are doing that day. For example, instead of saying “I will study Torts today”, write out the areas of Torts you would like to focus on and in what capacity. Will you be answering MBE questions? Watching a video? Rewriting outlines?
Gradually immerse yourself in the information, do not jump right into a 50-question exam. Equate your bar prep with your favorite sport or hobby: You run faster and longer when you stretch first…Your knitting project is much better when you plan out your pattern.
• Avoid Over-Timing
While it is important to ensure that you are answering questions within the 1.8 minute allotted time on the MBE and covering all the material you need in order to succeed, try to avoid putting specific time limits on your study plans. Setting the expectation that you must learn a set of information within a given amount of time can be unnecessarily stressful.
Rather, study until you feel like you have grasped the concept fully. If you feel like you need to move on or are hitting a wall, make a list of items you are not understanding yet so that you may refer back to them when you return to that area of law.
• Embrace YOUR Studying Techniques
Don’t try to do what your classmate is doing. While it may be working for them, it may not be the best fit for you. Emulating others’ study habits can be detrimental to your success. Only you know what kind of learner you are, so make sure you are not shooting yourself in the foot by trying to study in a way that you are simply not wired to benefit from.
Try engaging more than one sense in your study routine. If you are studying outlines, read them and then write them out in your own words, create your own mnemonics, there are no rules to how you retain information!
Isn’t that what we are here to do? The goal of bar preparation is to LEARN the law in order to apply it in the future! Make sure you answer every MBE question with purpose. Read it carefully and methodically. If you answered incorrectly, learn why it was incorrect before you move on to the next question.
We suggest that you use AdaptiBar MBE Simulator as a supplemental program, used in conjunction with a comprehensive bar prep course. Try to answer 50 MBE questions per subject (350 total) over the course of 10-12 days. After completing these questions, review your Subject Performance and refer to your outlines in the subtopics in which you struggled the most.
If you do not make it through our entire database of licensed MBE questions, that’s ok! Our database is not necessarily meant to be exhausted.
If you avoid the urge to cram as many questions into your brain and, instead, digest the information given to you in a way you can retain long-term, your probability of bar exam success will greatly increase!
Happy studying from the AdaptiBar team!