I asked myself that very question both times I walked out of the second day of the bar exam (first in Oregon, then in California).
The MBE is a difficult test because both the questions and the answers can be cryptic or confusing. Even worse, two of the answers are often arguably correct, and you have to choose “the best” answer. This is maddening and frustrating.
I can remember on more than a few MBE questions I narrowed my answer to two choices and just guessed at the correct answer because I had to move on in order to complete the test in the time allotted.
What the hell was that?!
In Oregon, the MBE is the final day of the bar exam. I walked out of the testing center in a daze and looked for a friend of mine who wanted to meet up after the test. I walked over to him and the first words out of my mouth were, “I’m not sure I passed.” His response was, “Yeah, what the hell was that?!”
We both passed.
I had a similar feeling when I walked out of day two of the California bar exam. I passed that exam too.
Some of the MBE questions are super easy, and you know you got them right. Then a large majority are fairly clear, and you have a high confidence level in your answers. Then a significant minority are more difficult and often seem to have two correct answers. Finally, a small minority are just crazy and do not seem to have a correct answer.
A word of hope
My purpose in posting this on the evening after the MBE test is to give you hope. You probably are having concerns about your performance on the MBE. Just realize that but for a few multiple-choice test-taking geniuses out there, everyone thinks the MBE is difficult.
If you are taking the bar exam in a jurisdiction (such as California) where there is another day of the test left, shake off your concerns about the MBE and get ready for another day of writing.
That is what I did, that is what everyone who passes does.
Go get ‘em!