Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quantity vs. Quality

I'm often asked how many questions one should attempt to complete while preparing for the MBE. Though I do have a number in mind, the answer really comes down to the importance of quality over quantity.

The reason why quantity matters is because the more questions you do, the more angles you'll see as to each testable issue. And the more angles you see, the less likely it is you'll see anything on the test you haven't seen while studying. It's tough to believe, but the testable content on the MBE is limited, and there comes a point when you start seeing the same issues tested, though, of course, they are hidden in a wide variety fact patterns. That's when you know you are ready for the exam.

But it's extremely difficult to get to that point (with any real confidence) in the short time that is provided to study for the bar exam. And that's why quality of studying is essential, and even more important than quantity. You want to make sure that each question counts. What I mean by that is that you want to make sure that you know well the issue that was tested in every practice question that you complete, because, again, your goal is to begin to see the same issues tested repeatedly, and that is much less likely if you waste a question (by not, for example, writing down the issue that was tested in the particular question, and the rule of law needed to address the issue to arrive at the correct conclusion).

And in regard to a specific number, I'd say at least 300 questions in each subject area is a very good goal.

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