Wednesday, October 7, 2015

MBE Strategy: Extract the Principle

Along with developing a very deep knowledge of the testable law, understanding the test itself is essential for success on the MBE. There are quite a few strategies that I work on with students when working through MBE questions together. One of these strategies is to extract the relevant principle from each question. The writers do a very good job of hiding exactly what they are testing, but each question absolutely tests one specific legal principle.

If you answer a question incorrectly, your initial thought should be to understand the principle that the question was testing, because it will be tested again both in future practice questions, and perhaps on the MBE when you take it. The questions will not repeat, but the principles, or legal concepts, will. I recommend that whenever you answer a question incorrectly you write down the legal principle that the question was testing, and then go back to the part of the outline that explained that principle if you don't fully understand it.

You will, in time, begin to notice the same principles tested within a given subject. I often compare this to legal research. A good indication that you've adequately researched a legal issue is when you begin to come across the same cases over and over again. When studying for the MBE, beginning to note that the questions in a given subject are testing only principles that you've already seen in previous questions is a very good indication that you have prepared adequately for that particular subject.

More strategies to come soon......

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