The 43-Day MBE Study Program
How to Study for the
Multistate Bar Exam
How I acquired knowledge for the essay from studying for the Multistate Bar Exam
This program is not for you if you want a program that holds your hand and gently guides you along, allowing you to study at your leisure, relax whenever you want, pick up your studies when and where it's convenient, or watch a video. They won't be playing videos for you at the bar exam.
Consider Occam's Razor (by William of Ockham, c. 1287–1347, scholastic philosopher).
Occam's Razor is the problem-solving principle stating that "simple solutions are more likely to be correct than complex ones." When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions.
This study program is a registered copyright protected document (# 1-7434159161) and is intended for the exclusive use of the purchaser. If necessary, review copyright protection law.
Before purchasing this program, be sure you can acquire 2,000 Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) practice questions. Find a creditable source from your law school. Practice questions are not included in this program.
The reason for this is that I have created an arm's length program (aka Arm's Length Transaction). As the program causes you to improve in answering the questions, it will be because you are acquiring both subject and question formation knowledge, NOT because I included questions structured in a way to cause this to happen.
- Print out all the questions and answers if they are not in book form.
- Print out the Answer Sheets and Review Sheets as illustrated in the program.
Print out the
- Explanation of each Session.
- The Day by Day study schedules for Sessions 1-5.
Turn off your computer.
Answers and Review Sheets will be done by hand, as at the bar exam.
- The Review Sheets are used to indicate areas of strength and weakness, allowing you to focus your attention.
- Answers and Review Sheets will be done by hand, as at the bar exam.
- Acquire, if not already in your possession, a good course outline for the following: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Evidence (Federal Rules), Real Property, and Torts.
You must have in hand 2,000 completely unmarked practice questions, with coherent answer explanations, to use this study program correctly.
Goals of This Study Program
The purpose of this Five-Session Program is to provide you with a study method of a very disciplined nature that, when followed, will do the following:
- Help you acquire the time discipline to complete the MBE within the allowed time.
- Develop your accuracy.
Help you learn how the MBE asks a multiple-choice question.
- Make you familiar with the MBE style.
- Make the questions more understandable.
- Review subject matter in a disciplined, efficient manner.
Help you accumulate knowledge of the subjects tested in the bar exam, both the essay and multiple-choice sections.
- An essay question is a collection of multiple-choice questions. Think about the example I cite below. You could easily expand this into an essay question.
My method would seem to focus exclusively on mastering the MBE. However, in practicing for the MBE, you will be learning (or reviewing) data for the essay exam, as indicated above.
For example, in a given multiple-choice question, you may be asked a contract question with choices such as these: (A) the contract is valid, (B) the contract is invalid, (C) the contract is voidable, and (D) force majeure applies. In reviewing the explanation of the correct answer, you will have acquired or reinforced contract knowledge, as you would with every subject area tested, and in a very efficient way.
About the Author, Michael Sher
Some well-known programs offer a vast amount of study material that can be counterproductive. When I sat for the bar exam, an essay question (which contained multiple parts) was worth a number of points per part. Considering this, I concluded that, after graduating from law school (not with the highest honors), I should be able to answer an essay question with sufficient competency to earn some points per question. Part B (the second day) is the MBE, with 200 multiple-choice questions, each either correct or incorrect.
My decision about what to study for was a simple cost-benefit calculation: where do I allocate my time to produce the maximum number of points? The answer to that question was self-evident. The second question–how to study?–caused me to develop my Five-Session Study Program.
I developed the Five-Session Study Program out of necessity; I attended Suffolk University Law School's four-year evening program, completing it in three-and-a-half years. I completed the program in the third week of December and sat for the Massachusetts Bar Exam during the third week of February. This gave me eight weeks (forty weekdays) to prepare for the exam. However, I had only three weeks' vacation time available, plus the twelve weekend days before the last three weeks of February, when I used my vacation time.
In July of the same year, I sat for the Florida bar exam, having accumulated approximately one-and-a-half weeks of vacation time plus the forty weekend days prior to the one-and-a-half weeks of vacation time I took.
I passed both bar exams on my first try.
In considering how to schedule my study time, I asked myself the following: If I actually had the eight weeks (forty weekdays) described above, which seemed optimal, covering the period from approximately my last final to just before the bar exam, how would I use it? Knowing that I would be sitting for the Florida Bar in July (whether or not I had passed the Massachusetts Bar), I would have only approximately forty weekend days from the end of February to the July exam to study (about the same number of days as the February prep).
The art of studying requires that certain elements be in place. Some people have an innate ability in this area, as others do in any number of areas, and some of us don't. Getting good grades is for the most part not a matter of intelligence, but rather a question of your study habits. Studying for the MBE is a very different challenge; if you fail a course, you can take another to get the credit. Fail the bar exam, and the pressure level rises exponentially.
Knowing this, rather than creating a patchwork study program that would fit my schedule but would violate my long-developed good study habits. I developed this Five-Session Study Program to fit an almost (see caveat below) all weekday (forty-three week days) program. I reworked my use of lunch breaks, nights, and weekends by treating each of those elements as a day or part thereof.
If you can dedicate forty-three weekdays to preparing for the bar exam, or you are able to do as I did, this program will help.
Caveat: I do require that part of some Saturdays or Sundays be used in your SESSION 1 study sessions, or of course to substitute for missed scheduled study sessions.
This program is a highly structured hands-on learning tool designed to help you acquire subject matter and question understanding while developing your concentration and focus, helping you complete the MBE within the prescribed time with a good chance of getting the correct answer.
The discipline of good study habits is like training for the Olympics; the harder you train, the more likely it is that you will achieve a good result. This is true for your Olympic challenge, THE MBE. Studying for the bar is serious work; you just spent serious time and money (or someone did) to get yourself to the point of preparing for the bar exam. This is the final prep. The discipline of this program, if followed as designed, will make your test results, more likely than not, what you hoped for.
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Photo by Alfons Morales on Unsplash.