I often hear bar exam repeaters talking about working to get higher essay scores for fear they may not pass the MBE and vice versa. This is a dangerous attitude to take.
It’s far better to focus on passing the essays and passing the MBE both, not just trying to do really good on the essays in case your MBE scores bomb.
The truth is, there is a nice bell curve of scores you can reach. A heroic effort on the essays may only put you a few points higher than the average despite the amount of time you spend. For example on the essays, despite your best efforts you are highly unlikely to get higher than a 75.
Instead, focus on doing what it takes to pass each part of the exam. Focus on passing the essays. Focus on passing the MBE’s. With the right focus, time, effort, and practice you can pass both! And that’s often the best strategy for success.