I strongly feel that the MBE is the key to passing the bar exam. This opinion is shared by NCBE who recently stated that “MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores.” If NCBE themselves are saying that bar scores are highly correlated to MBE scores, why in the world would you focus on anything else until you were proficient at the MBE (meaning about 60%-65% correct in MBE practice). The problem is that for at-risk examinees (most foreign examinees and repeaters), they simply cannot absorb all the information that a bar review gives them. So when they study for the exam, they often waste time studying areas that are not expected to appear on the exam. Conversely, they neglect to focus on the areas that are expected to appear on the upcoming exam. This results in a below average MBE score which very frequently also results in the examinee failing the exam.
For example, out of 4,500 examinees who have sent me their scores over the past 10 years, their average MBE score was 122 (which is about 50% correct). Based on national MBE statistics, a 122 MBE places the examinee in the 12th percentile for the MBE (based on July exams from 2011-present). This means that over the last 8 July exams, about 88% of examinees nationwide did better than a 122 on the MBE. Even if you score an MBE of 130 (which is about 57% correct), this places you in the 24th percentile for the MBE, meaning about 76% of examinees nationwide would have done better than you on the MBE. Since the national bar exam pass rate is about 70%, you can’t expect to pass an exam where you need to do better than at least 30% of the examinees taking it, but you are only better than about 24% of them on the most objective and reliable component of the test.
I specialize in improving the MBE of low-scoring examinees (120s or below). Since tutoring is a significant investment of your time and money, you should seriously vet the tutor you will be relying on for your success. If you are interested in tutoring, the first step is to email me at joe [@] seperac.com to discuss my tutoring method in greater detail.