The Best Bar Exam Prep Course: Why paying more doesn’t guarantee a better outcome
September 22, 2022
You’ve studied hard and passed the bar exam, now it’s time to find the best bar exam prep course. But which one is right for you? Is it the one that costs thousands of dollars or the one that costs a few hundred?
There are pros and cons to both and in this article, we will be comparing them to help you figure out which one will be best suited to your learning style, study habits, budget, and overall personality. Keep reading!
How much do bar exam prep courses cost?
On average, bar exam prep courses cost $1,500 to $2,500. Depending on where you live, the price can fluctuate from as low as $850 to as high as $4,000.
For example, there are course prices in Illinois for less than $1,000 and about twice that amount for residents of California. Of course, the higher price of an out-of-state course is indicative of some variation in course quality but there is no guarantee that the higher-priced out-of-state courses are better than those priced lower within your state.
How long should I spend studying before taking the bar exam?
- Study daily for six months straight before taking the exam.
- Take at least one bar prep course.
- Familiarize yourself with all material on the exam.
- Start studying as early as possible (you’ll thank yourself later).
What can I expect in bar exam practice tests?
Students should expect to complete about 200 of these problems in the two weeks leading up to the exam. You can expect around 100 MBE questions and about 50 essays, with some subjects not being tested at all. These practice tests offer good practice,
but you shouldn’t worry if you are unable to do them all because that may indicate that you need to study other topics or take more time on your essays.
The best way to maximize your performance is by thoroughly studying materials like essay prompts, sample answers, and model tests so that you know what to look for and how to write quickly. Studying in between exams will help students have a second chance at getting their timing right when they are taking their actual bar exam test.
Should I choose a full-length mock exam or quick quiz questions instead?
There is no single best bar exam prep course. Rather, there are many approaches to finding success on the California bar exam that might work well for you depending on your skills and preferences.
While traditional textbooks and study guides can be expensive and may not be suited to everyone’s learning style, in-person courses offer social support through classmates or tutors to help you stay motivated throughout the process.
All of these options have pros and cons which is why you’ll want to do some personal reflection before making your decision about what type of program would work best for you.
What are the best ways to prepare for each section of the bar exam?
It’s difficult to say exactly which course is the best because no one can tell you what subjects you will be asked about on the day of your exam. You should review every subject covered on the bar exam, including property, trusts and estates, contracts, family law,
criminal law, and evidence. Choose classes that have high pass rates for that particular area or find an online review that provides success rates by school. The material taught in these courses will not be something you learn in law school because bar exam prep is taught from a different perspective. If it’s your first time signing up for bar exam classes but want to do it properly this time around,
choose ones where that offer free prep materials or charge much less than other courses available in your area.
Other tips to get me ready for my state’s bar exam.
- Create a study schedule that will allow you to set aside about 50 hours per week for at least 3 months.
- Get your materials in order and create an organizing system to keep track of them, with tabs for days of the week and index cards for each subject.
- Write out why you want to practice law.
- Develop relationships with people who have experience in law-related fields and can give you advice on how to prepare for the profession.
How should I study when my state reschedules its bar exam dates because of bad weather conditions (or other reasons)?
I believe studying to take the bar exam is one of the most stressful endeavors people will ever go through. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available for you to succeed!
First and foremost, your state’s bar exam committee (the organization in charge of the entire process) should put out all guidelines on what the specific rules are if weather conditions force a schedule change. Generally speaking, these guidelines should tell you whether or not you have a choice about staying at home or coming in to take your examination on that particular day.
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