You’ve now mastered the MBE, so let’s move on to the MEE. Just to reiterate, these tips are broad stroke tips meaning that they can be applied generally by everyone. But each person will have their own way of implementing these tips. You also may notice that some of these tips are similar1Or in some cases, exactly the same!, but this is not because I am lazy and didn’t have new information to give you2I promise it’s not!. This is because some of these tips are just as important for each section of the Bar Exam, but you still need to know how it applies to this particular section. I have a lot of tips, so this post will be broken up into a few entries. Let’s jump in and get started!
- Practice from Day 1: That’s right! This is a returning favorite of mine and worth repeating. You should, nay, MUST start practicing your MEEs from Day 1. Well….maybe not Day 1 but pretty close to it. Do not fall into the “I will start practicing the MEEs once I fully understand the law” trap because that day will never come. I usually suggest to my students that they should follow their Bar Prep Company’s schedule for MEEs, but also add extras in at the end of each substantive section. For example, if you spend two days on Torts lectures, at the end of those two days you should do two Torts MEEs. Why two? Because I said to do two! Not a good enough of a reason? Ok, I’ll give you a real reason. Because doing two is going to help you more than doing one. Two will cover more law and will test your knowledge as well as your issue spotting skills more. Two MEEs will also allow you to practice your timing, your ability to move on to the next MEE after 30 minutes, and your stamina to do more than one MEE in a sitting. Once you finish these two, read the sample answers and see how you handled this law. Don’t expect it to be perfect, because nothing in Bar Prep will be perfect.
- Time Your Practice: Another returning favorite. Everything should be timed. Simple as that. There is only one way to train yourself to manage your time and get yourself used to the fast pace of the Bar Exam and that is to practice it.
- Don’t just time yourself, but Microtime yourself: Microtiming is the act of breaking down your time into smaller, more direct chunks of time that serve a particular purpose. You should be practicing this as you practice each MEE because you are going to do this on Exam Day when doing your MEEs.
So what does this look like? First, have an initial microtime schedule of how to approach each 30 minute MEE. That 30 minutes should be broken into about 3-4 minutes actively reading the fact pattern, 6-8 minutes outlining your answer, and 18-21 minutes actually writing your answer. This is a good start but it’s not where your microtiming stops!
You should also breakdown that 18-21 minutes of writing to spend more time on issues that will get you more points on the exam. How do you know what issues get more points? Some issues will just stand out more than the other issues. For example, on a Torts MEE3Sorry I keep using Torts as an example, but Torts is my favorite subject and, I think, a little easier to understand than some other areas of law cough::CivPro::cough. you may have Negligence, Battery, and Assault as your issues. It is highly likely that Negligence is going to be worth more points because that is just a more important issue in the area of Torts. Think back to how much time you spent in your 1L year on Negligence and how much time you spent discussing it in Bar Prep. Now, you don’t want to solely rely on the fact that it’s covered more in Bar Prep to determine the importance on the actual exam, but it’s a good start. Next, you can use your answer outline to guide you. After you read the fact pattern and do your initial outline, take a look at the outline and see which issues have more rule to discuss and more factual analysis based on your fact pattern. You will likely see that one issue just has more substance to talk about which means it has more points attached to it. So spend more time on this issue. Microtime that 20 minutes that you have to write your answer and spend 10 minutes on Negligence, 5 minutes on Battery, and 5 minutes on Assault.4DISCLAIMER: This is not an actual breakdown. If I am clairvoyant and you do somehow have a question with Negligence, Battery, and Assault it may not always end up being timed like this so figure out the times that work best for your question.
Now you can microtime like a champ! Make sure to incorporate this into all of your MEE practice each time you do one (or several).
Plenty more tips where these came from so stay tuned for more next month!
…to be continued!