General Testmanship Tips – Part 1

Here is a pair of test taking tips from Colonel Hugh Reed‘s book Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) Primer. Check back weekly for new installments or register for a free account at ReedBarReview.com to get free, the full PDF ebook.

RULE 1

Under the time constraints of the MBE, you will only have time to read a factual setting once, in detail. Make it count! You have to read carefully in order to answer correctly. Many wrong answers, or “distractors,” are for people who skipped over an important fact. As you read a question, you may want to highlight important points and read the question actively, i.e., underline, draw yourself timelines, circle dates, parties, events, etc.

Do not become lazy, particularly in the afternoon of the exam, and let your mind wander. YOU MUST FIGHT FOR EVERY POINT!

RULE 2

Focus on the Call of the Question (Interrogatory)
The call of the question is the last few lines of the question. You must read the call before you look at the fact pattern in order to find out what they are asking you. Read the question from the “bottom up.” Accept implausible results. E.g., If the question tells you “…the jury believes Macho the Pig….” accept the result and find him not guilty regardless of what you think the outcome ought to be.

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2015 Bar Exam—How to Score High on Contracts

By now, you should have your preparation strategy fully in place for the February 2015 bar exam (Multistate Bar Exam). If you don’t, visit ReedBarReview.com and browse our site for study aids, opportunities to win a free bar prep course, and free lectures.

While you get your strategy together, spend a few minutes with this video—you’ll see what you’ve been missing. Visit ReedBarReview.com today and give yourself the best possible tools to pass your bar exam.

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MBE Gets Easier, Applicants Dumber?

After all the hard work you’ve put into law school and your law career, how does it feel to think the MBE is getting easier while applicants are getting dumber? Well, it’s simply not true, and anyone who has taken the Multistate Bar Exam can attest to that.

Read on for the facts about whether the MBE gets easier every year.

Bar Exam Myth: The MBE is getting easier; scores keep increasing while applicants are getting less able.

The fact is short and sweet—the MBE is a reliable measure of applicant ability. If you need proof, ask Hugh Reed, our founder and CEO, who has prepared for, taken, and passed bar exams almost thirty times, in thiry jurisdictions. The MBR is no picnic. It’s far from easy for anyone, no matte rhow many times it is taken, and effective preparation, based on REAL bar exam content is EVERYTHING.

The average scaled score on the MBE has varied by less than two points from year to year, indicating that the ability level of the candidate pool has been fairly stable. Changes in MBE scores follow closely the variations in average scores on other measures of candidate ability, such as the LSAT. This correlation between changes in MBE and LSAT scores indicates that increases in the average score mirror increases in the general ability level of the group being tested rather than a decline in the difficulty of the test.  

Protect your future, your law career, and your sanity. Develop and implement a bar exam strategy that includes Reed Bar Review bar exam preparation. 

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Does MBE Discriminate Against Minorities?

There’s a lot of fear and anxiety surrounding the bar exam process. That can only impede your success, so we do our best to make sure bar exam candidates understand the myths and realities of the entire MBE/bar exam process. We present the facts, based on years of research and fact-finding by the authorities behind the bar exam process, the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Here’s the myth: Does The MBE Discriminate Against Minorities

The facts look like this:

The MBE neither widens nor narrows the gap in performance level between minority and majority applicants.

Research indicates that differences in mean scores among racial and ethnic groups correspond closely to differences in those groups’ mean LSAT scores, law school gradepoint averages, and scores on other measures of ability to practice law, such as bar examination essay scores or performance test scores.

Individual items on the MBE that are relatively difficult for one group are relatively difficult for all groups; the relative difficulty of the items within a subtest (e.g., the Constitutional Law items versus the Torts items) does not differ from group to group.

Finally, total MBE scores are not higher or lower from group to group than they are on other test formats. All items on the MBE are reviewed for potential bias. Men and women serve on each drafting committee, and members of ethnic minority groups assist in the preparation and review of items at both the drafting committee level and at the level of MBE Committee and state Board review. The National Conference of Bar Examiners is committed to diverse representation on all its drafting and policy committees.

This should be very good news to schools like BSOL, where passrates are typically very low, below 50%. What you need to know is this: If you are worried about passing your bar exam, you must have a strategy for passing.

Does the Multistate Bar Exam discriminate against minorities? A resounding “NO.” Preparation, not demographics, is the catalyst of success. ReedBarReview’s passrate is near 100%. Contact ReedBarReview and ensure your passing score.

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Pass your bar exam

More About Bar Exam Myths—Read This!

Pass your bar exam

It’s really important for law students to know the truth about the bar exam, so we continue our discussion of MBE myths and truths. These facts, fueled by questions and concerns from law students, resulted from years of exploration by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. Law school is a challenge, but the law career ahead of you is worth the effort. Be sure you’re ready to move forward.

Bar Exam Myths—Not enough time is allotted to answer MBE questions.

We’d all like to think there’s a plot to make sure we trip, stumble, or fall—that would mean it isn’t your responsibility to prepare thoroughly for that bar exam, including the Multistate Bar Exam. But the truth is cruel. Research shows that the time allotted to take the MBE is sufficient for 99 percent of applicants.

The MBE is designed to be answered by a reasonably competent applicant in the amount of time available. The rate of correct responses at the end of three-hour sessions is not significantly different than the rate of correct answers at other, earlier points in the test.
A research project in which applicants were given virtually unlimited time to answer the MBE resulted in an average increase in score of about 6 raw (unscaled) points.

Since all groups benefit from an increase in time to the same degree, and since the test is scaled to account for differences in difficulty, an increase in average score would be offset in the scaling process and additional time would not increase applicants’ scaled scores.

You MUST Prepare Thoroughly and Properly for Your Bar Exam

Another major truth is that who you choose as a bar exam tutor can mean the difference between success and failure. Having a lecturer or tutor who does not take bar exams regularly is like going to a corporate attorney for a criminal matter. A tutor who doesn’t keep current with annual bar exams simply cannot know what has been tested on recent bar exams, particularly the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).

Here’s an intimidating fact—some of the largest bar review companies have lecturers who have never taken and passed the MBE! Hard to believe, but some students’ law careers depend upon uninformed tutoring. You can imagine how tough it is to pass a test that you’re not properly prepared for.

Here’s the most important fact! Reed Bar Review’s Hugh Reed has taken and passed almost 30 MBEs…and counting!   We are bar exam specialists because we teach you what YOU need to know to PASS! And those are emphatically not bar exam myths!

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MBE MYTHS

Myth 2 About the MBE Multistate Bar Exam

MBE MYTHS The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) tells us that bar examiners everywhere field questions and concerns from examinees who worry about the real truth of bar exams. Since the MBE is a crucial component of their test of minimum competence for licensure to practice law, the NCBE has conducted in depth research over years to dispel such myths. So we give you Myth 2 About the MBE Multistate Bar Exam and the truth about it.

Myth 2 — MBE questions are needlessly difficult, arcane, and tricky.

The fact is that MBE questions are designed to be a fair index of whether an applicant has the ability to practice law. MBE questions are written by drafting committees composed of men and women who are law teachers and practitioners. Before it is administered, every MBE question is reviewed at several levels:

  1. at least twice as it is edited by the drafting committee
  2. by psychometric experts to insure that it is fair and unbiased
  3. by the practitioner members of the MBE Policy Committee and their academic consultants
  4. by the members of boards of bar examiners across the country.

After a form of the MBE is administered, any question that performs in an unanticipated manner—is very difficult or is missed by applicants who did well on the rest of the test—is flagged by psychometric experts and reviewed again by content experts on the drafting committees to ensure that no ambiguity exists in the question and that the key is unequivocally correct. Should an error be detected even after this thorough scrutiny, two or more ans wers may be deemed correct in order to ensure that no applicant is disadvantaged by having a particular question appear on the form of the MBE he or she took. In a 1992 study, expert panelists reported that they believed MBE items were generally easy, correctly estimating that about 66 percent of candidates would select the right answer to a typical item. A study is underway to review the MBE test specifications (subject matter outlines) in order to make certain that the questions asked on the examination continue to relate to knowledge that is important to the practice of law. Therefore, you can rest assured that the test is probably as fair as an exam can be and that the questions relate directly to what you shoud know in order to pass your bar exam and practise law. There is not much element of the needlessly difficult, arcane, or tricky. The most important thing for an MBE candidate to realize long before taking the exam is that the way one takes approaches the exam is important. You must absolutlely be comfortable with critical thinking, recognizing facts, and expressing what you have learned—those skills that enable a successful law career. Thus, engaging with a tutor, skilled in bar exam questions, means the difference between pass and fail for a huge number of students. Remember, Hugh Reed, our founder and CEO has taken and passed nearly thirty bar exams in different jurisdictions. We don’t know anyone else who can say that, and it’s not to be taken lightly. All MBEs are different and passing one is as complicated as passing another. If you have any questions or concerns about your upcoming MBE, contact Colonel Reed or access the free study aids on our website.

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Myth #1 About the MBE Multistate Bar Exam

According to the NCBE, (National Conference of Bar Examiners) Bar Examiners across the country often encounter questions and myths relating to the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), one of the important parts of their test of minimum competence for licensure to practice law. Over the years, significant research has been conducted that dispels these myths.

Here, Hugh Reed, our founder and CEO, offers you Myth #1 and the real facts about it.

Multistate Bar Exam Myth 1

Examinees can pass the MBE by guessing. The MBE is a test of memory and test-taking ability, not of legal knowledge or analytical skill.

Here are the facts!

Research indicates that the MBE is not a “multiple-guess test” or an examination that rewards test-taking ability. In research conducted in July 1986, incoming law students took the morning session of the MBE, and their scores were compared to graduates of the same la w schools who had taken the same examination. The novices and graduates had virtually identical mean LSAT scores, so if the ability to take multiple-choice tests were the major factor influencing MBE scores, both groups should have had very similar MBE scores.

  • In fact, the highest MBE score earned by the novices was lower than the lowest score earned by any of the graduates.
  • Secondly, research on the MBE indicates that MBE scores are highly correlated with other measures of legal skills and knowledge, such as scores on state essay examinations and law school grades. These correlations provide empirical evidence that the MBE is testing legal ability rather than general test-taking ability.

Similarly, a panel of experts convened in 1992 as part of a content validity study and concluded that MBE items were material to the practice of law and that their emphasis was balanced between legal reasoning skills and memorization of legal principles.

Trust Hugh Reed, who has taken and passed alost thirty bar exams in different jurisdictions. Examinees canYou will no tbe able to pass your MBE by guessing. The Multistate Bar Exam is absolutely NOT a test of memory and test-taking ability. The only way to pass is to own the proper legal knowledge and to hone and fine tune your analytical skills. How? Hop to ReedBarReview and take advantage of courses, tutoring, free study aids, and one-on-one assistance. Do it right now, no matter what year you’re in, and be part of our 99% passrate!

 

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Three Tips for Class Notes in Law School

taking notes in law school classes

Law school is in session, and from 1L to graduation, the goal is to pass your bar exam. Let’s start with basics and consider note taking in classes. Here are three really quick tips—a short read, to give you yet another tool for getting through law school and achieving a top score on that bar exam. Read our three tips for class notes in law school.

    1. We all know that basic, important concepts are in the meat of every class lecture, but those gems may be buried under rhetoric. You must develop a listening and noting style that captures salient ideas. Write down key words and concepts. Make notes of new ideas and things you will need to repeat or memorize.
    2. Focus on the entire lecture. Leave your phone behind, and ignore text messages. If your mind drifts, bring it back to the instructor’s voice, then you’ll have a better shot at remembering the body of the lecture when you review your notes. Mentally reliving that lecture helps you remember key points for your exams.
    3. Review notes regularly, not just the week of an exam. Make it a habit to re-read a block of notes before bed each night, or during your evening time, or during any time you’re relaxed and can re-focus and implant key ideas.

That’s it. Three tips thatmake a big difference to whether or not class notes help you, or just languish in a dog-eared notebook. One more suggestion—if you have any type of learning challenge, large or small, talk to your guidance office to see what kind of study help your law school offers. Such help can encompass a variety of aids, including assigning someone to accompany you to class to take notes if that’s necessary.

Dartmouth University’s website has handouts, videos, and recordings from a variety of schools that can help you perfect your note taking skills. The resources are at the bottom of this note-taking page, scroll down.

 

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July 2014 Bar Exam Test Score Results by State

We’ve scoured the Internet and put together as much information as we could for you to access the July 2014 Bar Exam Test Score Results online.

Some states only post names of those who passed. Good luck. Anyone that needs help can totally count on the staff and tutors at ReedBarReview.com!

Alabama— No later than September 15 

Alaska—couldn’t locate exact date. At least by mid-Nov.

Arizona—October 10

Arkansas –available now 

California — Nov. 21

Colorado –October 9

Connecticut — October 3

Delaware — October 2

Florida — Sept. 22

Georgia — October 24

Hawaii — exact date unknown

Idaho —available now

Illinois — This state doesn’t appear to put results online.

Indiana — available now

Iowa — available now

Kansas — available now

Kentucky — September 26

Maine — No later than October 13

Maryland — Halloween :)

Massachusetts — mid November

Michigan — Date not available  (ReedBarReview does outstanding Michigan appeal work)

Minnesota — Applicant portals October 6

Mississippi — September 12 online

Missouri — evening of Sept 16

Montana — available now

Nebraska — results are out, but not available online; typically come out mid-September

Nevada — October 22

New Hampshire — date not known

New Jersey — No later than November 15 

New Mexico — available now

New York — second week November

North Carolina — Available now

North Dakota — Not available online

Ohio — Halloween

Oklahoma — available now

Oregon — September 19

Pennsylvania — Middle of October

Rhode Island — November. You’ll have to look for their pdf file.

South Carolina — End of October

South Dakota — they don’t post online

Tennessee — October 10

Texas — Around Halloween

Utah — date unknown

Vermont — date unknown

Virginia — October 17

Washington — available now

West Virginia — available now

Wisconsin — available now but they don’t put it online

Wyoming — available now but they don’t put it online

District of Columbia — at least by middle of November

American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and Virgin Islands do not post the list, nor do they offer a date that we could find.

Puerto Rico — couldn’t find a date

There you have them — July 2014 Bar Exam Test Score Results.

 

 

 

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Seven Top Bar Exam Study Tips

1L help

Well, law students, school is back in session. Time has a habit of passing too quickly and you should know your February bar exam will loom in front of you almost before you can blink. So begin right now to set up a successful routine to ensure your success on the MBE and on your midterms and finals. ReedBarReview will help with simple tips for study success.

  1. Study time is practically sacred. Major universities say you MUST set aside a substantial amount of time for out of class study. Schedule your time, stick to the schedule. Cramming has been proven to be unsuccessful.
  2. Dedicate organized study space. Even if space is at a premium, carve out a niche. Dedicate a small desk or even a corner arm chair and lap table. Minimize distractions. Put away phones and email accounts. Focus. You’re spending a lot of money on your career, don’t squander your opportunities.
  3. Use visual aids and effective study aids whenever you can. Mnemonics, flashcards, (click the link for a set of Hugh Reed’s MBE flashcards) flow charts, video tips, all can be life savers! Here’s one of Hugh’s FREE video MBE testing tips.
  4. Practice past exams. Know this: Hugh’s practice exams and course materials are based on real material from past MBEs, and he is an expert. Hugh has passed almost 30 different bar exams. This kind of information when you’re studying is invaluable, one of your most effective tools.
  5. Engage others in your study process. Grab your mom, roommate, or sig other and make them listen to you as you explain concepts and answers to study questions. The information will stick in your head for a longer time.
  6. Forego study groups unless you have the discipline of a saint. It’s too easy to squander time in a group of students with varying degrees of commitment. You may even get incorrect information. If you need help, ask a pro, or find one study partner who has a commitment and work ethic that matches your own.
  7. Take care of yourself. Hydrate, eat properly and regularly, rest, sleep, take breaks. Take off one day a week for total R&R that doesn’t include large quantities of alcohol. Excessive drinking kills tons of brain cells and you need every cell you can manage to conserve.

 

The very moment you find yourself feeling as though you’re getting stuck, reach out to our staff. We have FREE and AFFORDABLE courses for every aspect of law school and bar exam preparation. If you haven’t bookmarked ReedBarReview.com, and you fail to visit regularly, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Call us if you have questions. (800) 852 3926.

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