The Magnificent MBE, part II: IRAc and Multiple Choice

The number one reason people get MBE questions wrong is because they miss the issue. Why do you miss the issue? Because you look for it in the answer choices. Don’t. The answer choices are not there to help you. In fact, three of those choices are there to distract you from the best one and seduce you away from it. Those answer choices are not your friends. The central issue is your friend and you will find it in the fact pattern. Identify the central issue in the fact pattern before going to the answer choices. The IRAc formula will help you work through the question  without getting distracted or seduced by those answer choices.

  • I: read the call of the question to get a sense of the general issue, then read the hypo and identify the central issue triggered by the facts.
  • It’s a good idea to write this down. It will serve as an anchor when those answer choices try to distract or seduce you.
  • R: once you know what the central issue is, recall the relevant rule.
  • A: apply this rule to the answer choices and eliminate those that aren’t both factually and legally correct.
  • Factually correct: addresses the central issue.
  • Legally correct: applies the relevant rule.
  • c: stay in control and don’t be distracted or seduced.
  • If this seems simple, it is. You need to control the question, not the other way around.

Tomorrow we’ll learn about the “MBE Vacuum.”

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