Should I get higher than average MBE scores to make up for low Bar Exam Essay Grades

by Dustin on

In this bar exam video, I discuss whether you should focus on getting higher MBE scores to make up for lower bar essay scores.

Hey everyone! Dustin here from and author of the #1 Amazon bestseller The Seven Steps To Bar Exam Success. And a question recently came across my desk was this – should I try and get an 80% on my MBE to make up for lower essays and lower PT scores?

And my general recommendation is that this is not a good idea. The reason for that is a couple of reasons. One is the bar exam is graded on a curve, so it’s easier to get into that 60-65% range, but when you want to start getting out of there and going up to an 80%, you can’t just take baby steps up there. You got to take big leaps to really get there. You have to really start getting those ancillary questions, all those questions that are really kind of out there that are on the MBE that’s almost designed to help keep everyone like back in the median range.

You have to start getting those questions and getting them right. A lot of those questions are really like needles in a haystack. They’re just far off questions about little random things, little random issues here and there. That’s going to be a big challenge to make that leap up to 80%.

Not only that is going to be a huge challenge but it probably is not going to pull up your essays and your PT scores. The MBE is worth about 1/3 of your grade and essays and PTs are worth about 2/3 of your grade. So to pull up those 2/3 with 1/3 is going to be really challenging to do. So that’s not something that I recommend. Instead, what I do recommend is focus on passing the MBE. Focus on passing the PT’s and focus on passing the essays.

Focus on passing each of those areas in and of itself rather than spending the extra time studying those random issues on the MBE questions, put your time and really get those essays down. Learn those essays. Do well.

I know it can be intimidating for a lot of people. It’s more satisfying in the mindset to be like “oh I’ll just do really well in the area I’m good at to make up for the poorer areas” but in reality, focus on passing each area. If you do that, if you practice well and you prepare well, you pass each area and you don’t need to worry about trying to get some superstar score on a specific area.

And vice versa applies. Some people want to get higher essays or PT scores that pull up their MBE, but again that’s going to be really challenging to do because again the who exam is graded on a bell curve, so to get out of that curve is really, really tough, really, really challenging. So just really put the effort in. I know it sucks.

I know it’s going to hurt but you know that’s where the true rewards are, at the end of those tunnels that maybe you don’t see the light and maybe there’s a lot of barriers to you getting there but when you make it through and you put in the time and effort and the responsibility, then it feels really good.

Focus on passing each area. If you like that tip, hit the like button below. Also, please share this video and then head on over to and get the 12 Keys To Bar Exam Success to help you have a more easier journey throughout the bar exam and pass the bar exam. Until next time, I’ll see you in the next video. And always remember that your name appears on the pass list.

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