Law School Discussion

Law Students => Current Law Students => Topic started by: ttiwed on August 01, 2008, 11:15:11 AM

Title: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: ttiwed on August 01, 2008, 11:15:11 AM
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Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: unlvcrjchick on August 01, 2008, 12:18:17 PM
I thought it was exceedingly difficult to the point of bordering on being unreasonable. A lot of the answer choices seemed like they could have gone either way and I didn't think doing the practice questions helped that much. Thoughts?

Oh man, I 100% agree with you.  It was WAY harder than the BarBri simulated MBE, and I scored very high on the simulated MBE.  However, I thought the first half of the first 100 questions were the hardest (and most people I talked to agreed with me), but after that, it got noticeably easier.  Maybe they just put the more difficult questions in the beginning to "throw us off," as it were.  All I can say is, thank GOODNESS that the MBE is worth only 1/3rd of the grade in Nevada, and there is no set score you have to get either...
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: jamiejamie on August 01, 2008, 01:47:18 PM
I focused mostly on the Conviser mini-review and the lecture handouts. It's funny, I knew some of the material pretty well, as far as what was in those books. But in numerous cases while I was studying, questions popped up in my mind as to gaps in the material, or areas where it seemed ambiguous. And it turned out that that's a lot of what was tested on the MBE. It certainly seemed like the MBE question creators were aware of the Barbri material and wrote questions that were just beyond the scope of that material. So I'd advise future bar exam takers to actually contact the professors if you have a question!

For example, there was a criminal law question (I may not remember it 100% correctly) that concerned what crimes a Defendant could be found guilty of. After obtaining equipment for the purpose of committing the crime, Defendant changed his mind and attempted to talk his co-conspirators out of the crime. However, the other participants committed the crime anyway, using the equipment he procured.

Of course he's guilty of conspiracy, and I'm not sure whether that was relevant in the answer choices. But was his attempt to talk the other particpants out of committing the crime enough to prevent culpability for the committed offense? Was he required to do more, such as go to the police and actually prevent the crime?

I'm sure everyone thinks that was the easiest question on the exam, but to me it's an example of a lack of clarity in the Barbri materials.

As an aside, what was up with the question where there was a purchase-money mortgage by a third-party bank and the seller's loan made to finance the purchase of the property that was secured by a note but no mortgage. Which has priority after foreclosure?
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: unlvcrjchick on August 01, 2008, 02:10:59 PM
I focused mostly on the Conviser mini-review and the lecture handouts. It's funny, I knew some of the material pretty well, as far as what was in those books. But in numerous cases while I was studying, questions popped up in my mind as to gaps in the material, or areas where it seemed ambiguous. And it turned out that that's a lot of what was tested on the MBE. It certainly seemed like the MBE question creators were aware of the Barbri material and wrote questions that were just beyond the scope of that material. So I'd advise future bar exam takers to actually contact the professors if you have a question!

For example, there was a criminal law question (I may not remember it 100% correctly) that concerned what crimes a Defendant could be found guilty of. After obtaining equipment for the purpose of committing the crime, Defendant changed his mind and attempted to talk his co-conspirators out of the crime. However, the other participants committed the crime anyway, using the equipment he procured.

Of course he's guilty of conspiracy, and I'm not sure whether that was relevant in the answer choices. But was his attempt to talk the other particpants out of committing the crime enough to prevent culpability for the committed offense? Was he required to do more, such as go to the police and actually prevent the crime?

I'm sure everyone thinks that was the easiest question on the exam, but to me it's an example of a lack of clarity in the Barbri materials.

As an aside, what was up with the question where there was a purchase-money mortgage by a third-party bank and the seller's loan made to finance the purchase of the property that was secured by a note but no mortgage. Which has priority after foreclosure?

I also thought that conspiracy question was difficult.  I ultimately decided that he effectively withdrew, since he not only told the co-conspirators that he wanted out, but he vehemently tried to talk them out of it. Talking to the police is just one way that you can terminate culpability for the committed crime, but it's not the sole way to withdraw.

And the PMSI question about the mortgages, usually a PMSI from the seller always takes priority over a PMSI from a third-party lender, but I don't remember what answer I put down for that one...
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: jacy85 on August 01, 2008, 03:00:38 PM
I think effective withdrawal requires you to try to get tools or equipment back if you provided it for the crime.  But maybe I'm completely making that rule up in order to match up with the answer I chose.

And the PMSI seller takes priority over PMSI lender; I'm pretty sure there was a choice with that result.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: jondub on August 01, 2008, 09:24:37 PM
I focused mostly on the Conviser mini-review and the lecture handouts. It's funny, I knew some of the material pretty well, as far as what was in those books. But in numerous cases while I was studying, questions popped up in my mind as to gaps in the material, or areas where it seemed ambiguous. And it turned out that that's a lot of what was tested on the MBE. It certainly seemed like the MBE question creators were aware of the Barbri material and wrote questions that were just beyond the scope of that material. So I'd advise future bar exam takers to actually contact the professors if you have a question!

For example, there was a criminal law question (I may not remember it 100% correctly) that concerned what crimes a Defendant could be found guilty of. After obtaining equipment for the purpose of committing the crime, Defendant changed his mind and attempted to talk his co-conspirators out of the crime. However, the other participants committed the crime anyway, using the equipment he procured.

Of course he's guilty of conspiracy, and I'm not sure whether that was relevant in the answer choices. But was his attempt to talk the other particpants out of committing the crime enough to prevent culpability for the committed offense? Was he required to do more, such as go to the police and actually prevent the crime?

I'm sure everyone thinks that was the easiest question on the exam, but to me it's an example of a lack of clarity in the Barbri materials.

As an aside, what was up with the question where there was a purchase-money mortgage by a third-party bank and the seller's loan made to finance the purchase of the property that was secured by a note but no mortgage. Which has priority after foreclosure?

As to that first question lol the one about conspiracy. I thought the fact that he supplied the equipment which made the very crime possible made withdrawal almost impossible unless he neutralized and the only way to neutralize in that situation would be to get the equipment back or call the police if they refused when you asked or tried to get it back. I always thought that withdrawal, notice of withdrawal, and neutralization was necessary. I don't know, it's just one question haha.

Yeah that MBE was tough. Everyone was dismayed, I don't think I have met one person who has said they know they passed that thing, it was tough. But good luck to everyone!
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: unlvcrjchick on August 02, 2008, 10:54:59 AM
I looked at my BarBri materials re: withdrawal, and nowhere did it say that neutralizing assistance means to take back provided equipment.  All it said was that you have to do more than just announce your withdrawal.  As for calling the police, again the book said nothing about that being a requisite to withdrawal - it said simply something like "one may ALSO contact the authorities." Thus, the way I interpreted the question, since he did more than just announce his withdrawal (he tried to talk them out of it, too), I thought that was enough for withdrawal from the crime that was eventually committed.  Unfortunately, the materials don't seem to provide the answer to that question, and I also think that no amount of studying could have prepared me for the first half of the MBE (the 2nd half I found to be much easier and I walked out of the exam room 30 minutes early).
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: NoUsername on August 02, 2008, 11:08:44 AM
The PM session was the only time I've ever finished early doing MBE questions, and I finished about 20 minutes early.

There were a fair amount of questions that I was unsure about, but that was true with all my practice tests as well.  Overall I was happy with it because it seemed that the questions were more to the point than my practice questions, and they were shorter on average as well.  I could always identify what they were getting at, so that makes it easy either way; either you know the law or you don't.

VA doesn't even release the MBE scores if you pass.  Hopefully I'll pass and thus never know how I did on the MBE.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: StrictlyLiable on August 02, 2008, 11:24:52 AM
Didn't that question have additional facts like the chick who provided the equipment then went to work undercover for the police and entraped a third co-conspirator into joining?
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: NoUsername on August 02, 2008, 01:21:33 PM
I don't have any idea how you guys are able to all remember the same single question out of 200. 
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: jacy85 on August 02, 2008, 02:50:07 PM

Can anyone explain to me how the exam is "scaled." I'm a bit confused. First, people keep saying "all you need is a 120." A 120 assuming what score on the essay/MPT? Also, how does the scaled score help one pass if the passing score is based on the raw score.

I have no idea how its scaled, I only know what Bar/Bri told us about what the scale usually is (i.e. how many points are added).

As for what you need, that varies vastly by state.  I've heard some people say their state has no minimum. In GA, we have to have a minimum of 115 scaled in order for the state bar examiners to even grade our essays.  So your state may require 120, but I can't imagine they'd look at RAW score and not scaled.  I didn't think they even released raw scores.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: unlvcrjchick on August 02, 2008, 06:17:29 PM
I looked at my BarBri materials re: withdrawal, and nowhere did it say that neutralizing assistance means to take back provided equipment.  All it said was that you have to do more than just announce your withdrawal.  As for calling the police, again the book said nothing about that being a requisite to withdrawal - it said simply something like "one may ALSO contact the authorities." Thus, the way I interpreted the question, since he did more than just announce his withdrawal (he tried to talk them out of it, too), I thought that was enough for withdrawal from the crime that was eventually committed.  Unfortunately, the materials don't seem to provide the answer to that question, and I also think that no amount of studying could have prepared me for the first half of the MBE (the 2nd half I found to be much easier and I walked out of the exam room 30 minutes early).

Regarding the conspiracy withdrawal question, according to my supplement, one does have to attempt to "neutralize assistance." It says

***WITHDRAWAL

To withdraw, a conspirator must perform an affirmative act that
notifies all members of the conspiracy of her withdrawal. Notice
must be given in time for the members to abandon their plans. If she
has also provided assistance as an accomplice, she must try to
neutralize the assistance.


Regarding the PMSI question, I know that a PMSI seller trumps a PMSI lender, but I don't think the seller in the question was a secured party. I only recall the seller getting a note, not taking a security interest in the house. So the question is whether a seller with a promissory note wins over a lender with a security interest.

I did very well on the practice Barbri MBE, and very well on all of the question sets. I thought the MBE was hard, especially the first half. The second half was quite a bit easier but still harder than I'd expected.

Can anyone explain to me how the exam is "scaled." I'm a bit confused. First, people keep saying "all you need is a 120." A 120 assuming what score on the essay/MPT? Also, how does the scaled score help one pass if the passing score is based on the raw score.

I know it says to neutralize assistance: I'm not debating that.  My question is, in what form does the neutralization take? Do you have to take away the equipment, or merely try to talk them out of using the equipment in addition to telling them that you no longer want to be involved?  The materials do not say, and that was my point.  Thank goodness I need to get no minimum score in Nevada on the MBE (MBE is worth only 1/3 and the essays/MPT are worth 2/3, and you need a total overall score of only a 75).
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: jondub on August 03, 2008, 01:59:51 AM
Only the bar examining committee can answer this one. But the degree of neutralization is a tricky one. All it says in the barbri materials is that withdrawal, notice of such, and neutralization is necessary if liability went beyond mere encouragement which it most certainly did under these circumstances.

The way I looked at it is this, but for the guy supplying the equipment, the crime would have either never been committed or the criminals would have had considerable difficulty in carrying out the crime. In other words, its like I lend you my gun. Then I change my mind, voice this to you, and try to dissuade you. Then you go and use my gun to kill or attempt to kill someone. I really don't think even just talking them out of it is enough. Neutralize in that situation to me would have to be telling the store about it, the police, or getting your equipment back.

It is only one question so I dont really care, but Id like to know how people answered that one on that particular element. 
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: jacy85 on August 03, 2008, 06:02:08 AM
Only the bar examining committee can answer this one. But the degree of neutralization is a tricky one. All it says in the barbri materials is that withdrawal, notice of such, and neutralization is necessary if liability went beyond mere encouragement which it most certainly did under these circumstances.

The way I looked at it is this, but for the guy supplying the equipment, the crime would have either never been committed or the criminals would have had considerable difficulty in carrying out the crime. In other words, its like I lend you my gun. Then I change my mind, voice this to you, and try to dissuade you. Then you go and use my gun to kill or attempt to kill someone. I really don't think even just talking them out of it is enough. Neutralize in that situation to me would have to be telling the store about it, the police, or getting your equipment back.

It is only one question so I dont really care, but Id like to know how people answered that one on that particular element. 

This was my understanding of the concept of "neutralization."  I remembered part of this from crim law from 1L, and drew the same conclusion from Bar/Bri's materials. If you're giving equipment, the only real way to neutralize your assistance is *get the equipment back* or alert the police or something similar.  Giving someone burglar's tools, and then saying, "you shouldn't break into tha thouse, it's wrong, etc." is not going to cut it when they still have your tools that make the job MUCH easier than it would be otherwise.  They're more likely to get into the house quietly rather than having to break the door or smash a window, so your assistance has not been neutralized.  I think calling the police would also work.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: txlawstu on August 05, 2008, 04:09:38 PM
Everyone I have talked to has said the MBE was ridiculous and likely our downfall if we fail.  I did see a lot of PMBR type questions, but I also saw a lot of questions unlike anything I've seen before.  I went into autopilot for awhile there.  Partially because a stupid siren went off outside for a long time distracting us.  I don't know if it was harder than normal, but it was ridiculous for sure.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: unlvcrjchick on August 05, 2008, 04:47:39 PM
Everyone I have talked to has said the MBE was ridiculous and likely our downfall if we fail.  I did see a lot of PMBR type questions, but I also saw a lot of questions unlike anything I've seen before.  I went into autopilot for awhile there.  Partially because a stupid siren went off outside for a long time distracting us.  I don't know if it was harder than normal, but it was ridiculous for sure.

I think it will only be one's downfall if there is a set minimum score in that person's state.  I am so grateful that Nevada has no such requirement - overall score is what counts.  Thank goodness for small favors...
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: txlawstu on August 06, 2008, 10:01:19 PM
Everyone I have talked to has said the MBE was ridiculous and likely our downfall if we fail.  I did see a lot of PMBR type questions, but I also saw a lot of questions unlike anything I've seen before.  I went into autopilot for awhile there.  Partially because a stupid siren went off outside for a long time distracting us.  I don't know if it was harder than normal, but it was ridiculous for sure.

I think it will only be one's downfall if there is a set minimum score in that person's state.  I am so grateful that Nevada has no such requirement - overall score is what counts.  Thank goodness for small favors...

Well, in TX it's a combination score but it has a percentage for each day.  So, although you can use points from other days, 40% of the points come from the MBE.  So, if you do really bad on the MBE, you better do exceptional on other parts to make up the points.  The MBE has been known to be the downfall of examinees here.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: philibusters on August 09, 2008, 06:53:20 AM
I don't know for sure, but I was under the impression that the MBE was scaled so it didn't really matter how hard to questions were.  For example even if you only got 60% right, if the average test taker got 59% right you would be assured of a passing score.  Likewise if you got 75% right and the average testtaker got 90% right you might be in trouble.  Thus I am not understanding why everybody is freaking out over the MBE.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: xferlawstudent on August 09, 2008, 08:39:20 AM
That's rights.  Just like in law school, it doesn't really matter how hard or how easy the test is because all that matters is that you did better relative to others.

If the MBE was truly harder this year (I agree it was pretty hard) then the scaled score will be adjusted to reflect that.  IF the raw scores are low, they will add many more points to it to obtain a scaled score similar to last years. 
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: unlvcrjchick on August 09, 2008, 12:03:51 PM
I don't know for sure, but I was under the impression that the MBE was scaled so it didn't really matter how hard to questions were.  For example even if you only got 60% right, if the average test taker got 59% right you would be assured of a passing score.  Likewise if you got 75% right and the average testtaker got 90% right you might be in trouble.  Thus I am not understanding why everybody is freaking out over the MBE.

That's just the thing:  I'm "freaking out" because I think that I got less than 60% correct, despite my doing very well on the simulated exam and practice questions.  I'll be lucky if I got 50-55% correct, and since I'm sure most people probably did better than this, well, you can understand why I'm a tad worried.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: xferlawstudent on August 09, 2008, 12:50:17 PM
According to PMBR, the scaled score is usually raw score plus 8-20 points.  If the test was truly harder than previous years, look for closer to a 20 point bump.  Thus, if you got 55% then your scaled score will be in the neighborhood of 130.  That will probably pass in jurisdictions that do not require you to independently pass each section.
Title: Re: What did everyone think of the MBE?
Post by: ram0036 on October 12, 2008, 06:58:56 PM
According to a friend who took the Wisconsin bar the scale is +16.