Please note that the updated MBE outline is not available until late-May for July exams or late-December for February exams. If you subscribe prior to the release of the updated edition, an older version of the MBE outline (intended for the immediately preceding exam) is available. Thus, you should avoid marking up/editing the older edition because it will be replaced with an updated version about two months before the exam.
According to NCBE, “MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores.” I have likewise found that if examinees do well on the MBE, they typically pass the exam. This SEPERAC MBE OUTLINE is keyed to the 2020 NCBE Subject Matter outlines and broken down into 176 MBE categories that represent the ABC level items in the 2020 NCBE Subject Matter outlines. For each of the 176 categories, this outline contains the black letter law expected to be tested on the upcoming MBE. In addition, the expected number of MBE questions on the upcoming MBE is reported for each of the 176 categories. Generally, there are 25 pages of black letter law for each MBE subject and I regard each page of black letter law as representing one expected MBE question.
Click here to view a sample of the Seperac MBE outline before you purchase. For example, the outline is in a protected PDF format to prevent copying/sharing and each page is watermarked. Thus, while you can print it, you cannot copy from it or edit it.
The majority of my time is spent trying to understand the bar exam and make outlines reflective of the exam in such a way that the content is proportioned based on how much it will contribute to your score. For example, the new areas the MBE currently tests are proportionally and contentually covered in this outline. Accordingly, the black letter law portions of this MBE outline only contain the content I expect to be tested to the upcoming MBE (meaning you are somewhat taking calculated risks using my materials). For example, some sections of my outline are much smaller than any similarly sized bar outline. Meanwhile, other sections are much larger than similarly sized outlines. However, subscribers should treat this outline as their MBE study bible because I regard it as more contentually on-point than similarly sized outlines. For example, I strongly believe you can pick up extra MBE points simply from this outline’s coverage of the new MBE areas which most other outlines fail to cover appropriately. In contrast, if something is not significantly covered in the black letter law sections of this outline, I do not regard it as important for the upcoming MBE.
The outline content is proportioned based on the 2020 NCBE MBE Subject Matter Outline (along with what I expect to be tested on the upcoming MBE). For example, based on the NBCE Subject Matter outline, the subject of Real Property consists of five categories: (1) Ownership; (2) Rights in Land; (3) Contracts; (4) Mortgages; and (5) Titles. Each category is equally weighted, meaning each category will represent 20% of your Real Property MBE score. However, if you look at the MBE outlines of the big bar reviews, you would not see anything remotely close to these proportions. For example, 44% of Barbri’s Real Property outline is based on category 1 (Ownership) even though it is only 20% of an examinee’s MBE score. Meanwhile, 7% of Barbri’s Real Property outline is based on category 3 (Contracts) even though it is 20% of an examinee’s MBE score. Likewise, 8% of Barbri’s Real Property outline is based on category 4 (Mortgages) even though it is 20% of an examinee’s MBE score. Kaplan and Themis are similar. For Kaplan, 45% of Kaplan’s Real Property outline is based on category 1 (Ownership); 9% is based on category 3 (Contracts) and 9% is based on category 4 (Mortgages). For Themis, 36% of Themis’ Real Property MBE outline is based on category 1 (Ownership); 9% is based on category 3 (Contracts) and 12% is based on category 4 (Mortgages). In contrast, my MBE outline consists of about 175 pages of black letter law where each page is intended to represent one MBE question. The one thing I can assure you about my outline is that you are wasting very little time when you read it – almost every piece of information is relevant to the upcoming MBE exam.
I limit the black letter law to one page per expected MBE question. Thus, my outline cannot cover everything and information that I regard as less important is omitted. It is easy and it is safe to just keep adding to an outline. This is why I feel that the outlines of other bar reviews get so bloated and out of proportion – something gets tested so they add it to their outline, so over time the outline just grows and grows, often rather disproportionately. The bar reviews never seem to take a look at the overview and re-balance based on what is currently tested. Perhaps they feel it is dangerous to remove something that was tested in the past in the event it is tested again in the future. For examinees with good memories, this really isn’t a big deal. For examinees with lower ability, this is problematic. I regard my MBE Outline as the best representation of the current MBE exam you will ever see in a commercially available outline – it is highly on point both proportionately and contextually. This outline consists of 175 pages of MBE black letter law in PDF format that is keyed to the 2019 NCBE Subject Matter Outline. It is both proportionally accurate (25 pages per MBE subject) and contentually on-point (1 page per expected MBE question) for the upcoming MBE exam. With this outline, you won’t see such inefficiencies, except in rare cases (about 5% of the categories required more content than what proportionality dictated). My MBE Outline covers the topics from the perspectives they will likely be tested on. For example, an examinee who failed the Florida exam with an MBE of 127 purchased the MBE Outlines module and subsequently passed told me: “Hi Joe! I wanted to let you know I got the great news that I passed the mbe portion of the FL bar! I’m a repeat taker and your outline helped me SO MUCH! THANK YOU! “ In regards to the examinee’s failing attempt, she told me “I felt extremely unprepared for the real property section because there were so many topics I hadn’t even heard of. For example there was a mortgage question regarding marshaling which was in NONE of my bar prep materials. And there was maybe a sentence regarding the fair housing act.” This is precisely what my MBE outline addresses.
Please note that this is a comprehensive outline rather than an attack outline so it will take you some time to get through it. While an attack outline (i.e. an outline that is 3-5 pages per subject) may be more manageable as the exam nears, I find that outlines significantly smaller than 25 pages per subject are too superficial for productive MBE study. With each exam, I actually have to force myself to limit each subject to only 25 pages of black letter law. I honestly feel that I need more than one page of black letter law per MBE question to cover all the nuances for each MBE topic, but I have settled on one page per MBE question for the time being. Since I put a lot of time into trying to understand the exam, so you can regard my outlines as an excellent reflection of it. Basically, what you can expect on the exam is what you can expect in my outline (which also illustrates how comprehensive the scope of the MBE is). Put simply, the best benefit of my MBE Outline is that it is packed with the nuances you will see on the MBE.
Please note there is a separate subscription ($150 upgrade cost) which combines this MBE Outline with my MBE Rules outline. The MBE Rules outline contains 1,827 rules based on the released NCBE questions from 1991 to present organized by MBE category (including the 2019 MBE Study Aid questions and 2020 MBE3 Civil Procedure questions). The Combined MBE outline provides you with the most compete picture of the current MBE exam by merging the legal concepts behind the past NCBE questions with the black letter law you can expect to see on the upcoming MBE. Through these 1,800+ added MBE rule statements, you will have synopses for every legal concept NCBE has tested in their released questions from 1991 to present. If you plan to answer the released NCBE questions, this serves as a great second perspective, but if you don’t have the time to answer all 1,800+ released NCBE questions, this serves as an excellent hedge.