McGeorge Bar Prep

What You Need to Succeed on the CA Bar Exam

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MBE Changes

Posted by mcgeorgebarprep on September 1, 2016

The NCBE has announced that starting in February 2017 there will be 175 scored questions on the MBE, and 25 unscored “pretest” questions. (In the past it was 190 scored and 10 unscored.)  From the NCBE:

“MBE scores will continue to be expressed on a 200-point scale. Because MBE scores are equated and scaled, scores will still be comparable to those earned when there were more scored questions. The change was made in consultation with our testing and measurement staff with the goal [of] further strengthening of the MBE. The change should require nothing different in terms of preparation for the test.”

Although they assure us that this does not affect the difficulty of the test and that it does not mean that applicants should prepare differently, fewer graded questions means that each individual question will be worth a little more.  And that’s okay, because you have plenty of time and the tools you need to prepare to knock that portion of the exam out of the park.

My advice for getting a head start on your MBE prep is to use Adaptibar every week, starting now (even if you plan to sit for the exam in July).  On the weekend, pick a subject and complete 5-10 untimed questions and review the answers — that’s it.  You don’t need to kill yourself, or even to start memorizing the law right now; but this will help you revisit rules that you may not have seen for a few years.  Don’t worry if you don’t answer all (or any) of the questions correctly right now, as long as you review every answer.  Careful, slow consideration of the questions and answers is vital, and it will help you understand the law, setting a firm foundation for when the time does come to start memorizing.

You also can use that time as an opportunity to make some flashcards, or whatever other study aid you prefer.  For example, if you review just five questions each week and make a flashcard for each rule tested, you would have a stack of 80 cards by the end of December.  Taking little steps like this now can give you a major head start later.

If you are graduating in winter 2016 or spring 2017 and do not know how to purchase Adaptibar at the special McGeorge rate, you are welcome to email me at That software is required in PASS I and Remedies, but even if you are not taking those courses until next semester, you still can purchase it now, start practicing early, and retain access through your 2017 bar exam.


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