In the last week or so, I have been getting emails from folks specifically on studying for the bar exam early. Some folks want to study early because they are working full time (this is the most common email). Other folks are coming back to studying after taking a long break (even as much as 10 years) and want to study at a slower pace. What kind of prep programs can I recommend?
I might argue that technology is at times a distraction and can make it hard to study, but it can also help us study! No longer are you required to sit in a room with 300+ of your closest friends to take a bar review course. You can, instead, purchase an online program that will accommodate your calendar.
Some of the programs that I am familiar with are Themis, BarMax (updated review coming soon), and Celebration Bar Review. AdaptiBar is another great tool (but it helps you study only for the MBE portion of the exam). You could start studying tomorrow if you want to, thanks to the Internet and wonders like the iPad. Some of these programs even create a study schedule for you months ahead so you can spread out the work. Isn’t it great when you can just make your own schedule?
Word to the wise—these courses are the best fit for people who are self-regulated learners. If you need the accountability of going to a classroom each day, they might not be a good solution for you.
Many tutors will help you prepare for a longer preparation period than just the few months prior to the bar exam. Working with a tutor can also help you tailor your prep to your academically weak areas, so your work is more targeted. A tutor can also give you the accountability that you might be missing from some online programs, as you can meet as often as you and the tutor think is appropriate. But remember, not all tutors are created equal. (You can check out this post on how to select a bar exam tutor.)
Some individuals are worried about money (and time) and want to study on their own. Self-study for the bar exam is totally possible (for the right person). You need to be very disciplined, if you are studying on your own. There are tools out there that can help you though, depending on the jurisdiction you are studying for. Here are a few resources to check out if you are planning on self-studying for the bar exam:
- Check out www.beagoat.com. The website has self-study resources for those studying for the California Bar Exam and the multistate bar exam.
- There are other great books out there, specifically from BarWrite on essay writing and the multistate performance test. You should check these out if you are looking for detailed guides about how to do better on these parts of the exam.
Are you preparing early for the exam or trying to self-study? Have you found any great resources that are working for you? Please leave your tips and thoughts in the comments.
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Did you find this post helpful? Check out some other great articles:
- Getting an Early Start on Bar Preparation
- When Should You Start Studying for the Bar Exam?
- Does it Take 10 Weeks to Study for the Bar Exam?
- Are You Next to Take the Bar Exam? 5 Tips for You!