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The New Baby Bar MBE-Only Format

The New Baby Bar MBE-Only Format

If you are planning to take the First-Year Law Students' Examination (FYLSX), also known as the "baby bar," you should be aware of some important changes that will affect the exam format starting in 2024.

MBE Format - No Essay

According to the California State Bar, the FYLSX will consist of only multiple-choice questions, instead of the current format that includes four essay questions and 100 multiple-choice questions. The new format will have 200 multiple-choice questions covering the same subjects: contracts, criminal law, and torts.

Why is the Exam format changing?

The California State Bar says that the change is intended to make the exam more accessible and efficient for both applicants and graders, as well as to align it with the national standards of the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE). The California State Bar claims that the multiple-choice format will still test the applicants' knowledge, analytical skills, and legal reasoning abilities. However, some critics argue that the change will lower the quality and rigor of the exam, and that it will disadvantage applicants who are better at writing than at taking standardized tests.

Will the change happen in time for the June 2024 exam?

Maybe. As of now, the new FYLSX format has not yet been implemented. The change depends on the approval of the scoring method by the Committee of Bar Examiners in March 2024. If approved, the change will take effect in June 2024. Otherwise, the exam will remain as it is until Oct. 2024.

How should I prepare for the change in format?

Fleming's has reached out to the California Bar Examiners and they recommend that applicants study as they do for the current version of the exam, more specifically applicants should study for essays and multiple-choice sections in the same three law areas (criminal, torts, and contracts) for the next exam.

How can Fleming's Fundamentals of Law help me prepare for the Baby Bar?

Fleming's Fundamentals of Law has been helping hundreds of thousands of law students and bar candidates for over four decades with their proficiency in substantive law and examination skills.

If you need help with your FYLSX preparation, you can rely on Fleming's Fundamentals of Law, a full-service law school and bar review instructional provider that offers comprehensive substantive law, exam, and writing courses to law students and bar candidates in every stage of their legal education.

Fleming's Fundamentals of Law teaches you not only the law but also how to apply it effectively on all types of testing formats. Fleming's Fundamentals of Law also provides online courses, substantive law outlines, issue-spotting strategies and approaches, in-person and online tutoring, law school and bar exam essay-writing workshops, and more.

Visit our website at to learn more about our products and services.

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