Monday, April 11, 2011

Test-Taking Skills: Learning the Content


Hi there,
I have a general question regarding the MBE question format. As I get ready to tackle the substantive material I have found myself having trouble understanding the "call of the question" at I read through a given question (especially in Contracts), I am unclear at times on what is being asked. The reading comprehension scenarios, riddled with details trip me up badly (I know, that's precisely what the examiners are attempting to do).

Do you have any suggestions as to how, given the time constraints and the massive amount of material one needs to recall very quickly, the examinee should approach the narrative questions?

Many thanks.

WI 2011


This is an excellent question. I think it's important that you've mentioned that you've just started looking over the material; that is, most likely, what is causing the fact patterns to seem overwhelming, and also causing you to believe that you're not quite sure what is being asked in the call of the question. Before even attempting questions, I always recommend that students read through the outlines a few times to get a good feel for the testable material. That isn't to say that you should be aiming to memorize all of the law; for one, you are going to continue to learn the law while doing multiple choice questions, and you also will have time to go back to your outlines throughout your studying.

Try not to stress. The test can seem really daunting at the beginning. Half the battle is learning the law, and the other half is building up the endurance to take such a demanding, lengthy test. Start as soon as possible reading over the outlines and getting comfortable with the law; you'll find after some time that the questions will begin to make more sense in direct proportion to how well you understand the substantive material.



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