At the Bar Exam Toolbox, we’re firm believers in the importance of practice when you’re studying for the California bar exam. And you probably know you need to do lots of practice problems to pass, right? Unfortunately, that can be easier said than done.
Students often wonder:
- “Where can I easily find enough real practice questions?”
- “How can I make sure that I’m practicing heavily-tested issues?”
- “Where can I look for questions just on topics I’m struggling with?”
Help has arrived! If you want limitless access to real bar questions, conveniently sorted by frequency and topic, read on.
The Brainy Bar Bank is your one-stop shop for California bar exam practice questions. The BBB makes it quick and easy to find what you want, whether that’s working on a specific topic or practicing a heavily-tested area. Find out more below, or sign up now.
What is the Brainy Bar Bank?
Practice is critical. But targeted practice is even more important. Instead of just doing questions randomly, you want to ensure you’re focusing on the most commonly-tested areas and on your personal weak spots.
- The California Brainy Bar Bank collects real California bar exam essay questions dating back to 2002, more than 120 questions total. Each essay question is categorized by area of law (Torts) and one or more topics and subtopics (Intentional Torts: Assault and Battery).
You can browse by category areas, topics, and subtopics, mark your favorites, view the most- to least-commonly tested areas/topics/subtopics, and easily keep track of which questions you’ve recently seen.
How it Works
When you log in, you’ll be able to find specific types of questions, or to browse frequently-tested issues. Here’s what you’ll see:
Say you’re struggling with Civil Procedure, and are especially concerned about Personal Jurisdiction. All you have to do is sign into the BBB, select “Civil Procedure,” then select “View Questions” under Personal Jurisdiction.
You’ll then have access to all of the past questions that include Personal Jurisdiction as an issue.
You can even drill down within the Personal Jurisdiction topic, to find questions addressing specific or general jurisdiction, long-arm statutes, etc.
Click on “View Questions” under “Specific Personal Jurisdiction,” for example, and you’ll find only questions that require a discussion this aspect of personal jurisdiction.
Once you’ve narrowed things down, you can easily select your question from the list, download it, and start writing!
Think you’ll want to return to this question later? Just mark it a Favorite, for easy access!
All the questions you’ve recently looked at will be on your “Viewed” list, for easy reference.
Ready to get started? Jump down to sign up!
Not Sure What to Work On?
Deciding where to focus your time is one of the hardest aspects of efficient bar study.
With the Brainy Bar Bank, you can easily see which areas of the law are most heavily tested and can even drill down into the most heavily-tested individual topics and subtopics. This feature allows you to be sure you’re ready for the questions that are most likely to appear!
How the Overall Frequency Analysis Works
Using the Brainy Bar Bank, you can simply click to view an overall list of heavily-tested categories, topics, and subtopics.
Here’s the overall category list.
You can also see the most commonly-tested individual topics.
And the most commonly-tested subtopics.
Frequency Analysis within a Category or Topic
Within each category and topic, you can also drill down to see what’s most commonly tested. For example, say you look at the list of frequently-tested categories, and realize you need to do more work on Professional Responsibility. Just click the Professional Responsibility link to see where you might want to focus your efforts.
And you can further drill down within topics, to really target your work. Here, we’re looking only at subtopics related to duties, for example, each of which has its own associated questions.
Where are the Answers?
Having a practice question is great, but how will you know if you’ve hit the key points you need to pass?
Don’t worry! Each question includes the sample student answers released by the California bar graders. When you download each practice question, you can also download the sample answers (or wait until you’ve written your answer, if you’re tempted to look!).
Prefer to Take a Mock Exam? No Problem!
If you’d rather sit down and answer all of the essay questions from a particular exam, the BBB can help you there, too! Just choose the year and month of the exam you’d like to tackle, and you can easily download all of the questions.
If you really want the element of surprise that’s always part of exam day, have someone else print out the exam questions for you so that you don’t have advance notice of the topics you’ll be facing.
(Remember, now that the California exam is shorter with only 5 essays and 1 performance test, the past exam sets will be slightly different from what you’ll actually experience on test day. But it’s still important to practice blocks of essays without knowing which topics to expect, to ensure you’re fully prepared.)
Want even more guidance on your writing? Learn more about our Writing of the Week (WOW) program, where a Bar Exam Toolbox expert walks you through the question and answer. (Available at a special price in combination with the Brainy Bar Bank).
Performance Test Practice with the BBB
California recently switched to a 90-minute performance test, which is very similar to the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) used in Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) states. To ensure you have adequate practice materials, you’ll also receive free access to the MPT Brainy Bar Bank when you register for the California BBB. The MPT BBB gives you access to 110+ practice performance tests (a $65 value), for free!
(We’re also adding the real California performance test questions to the California BBB as soon as the sample answers are released, so you’ll have those, too.)
How the MPT BBB Works
Each performance test is categorized by the type of document requested by the examiners, so you can easily see what’s typically covered and dive into your weak areas. For example, if you need to practice Memos just select that category to see what’s available.
In this case, there are two sets of Memos available, so you can choose the type you’d like to practice, and view available questions.
The MPT BBB also includes a frequency analysis, so you can easily target the types of documents you’ll be most likely to face on the exam! (Assuming the California bar examiners test similar topics to the MPT, which we think they probably will.)
Just as in the California Brainy Bar Bank, you can mark questions as favorites for easy reference and see which questions you’ve recently viewed.
The BBB Makes Bar Exam Practice Easy!
The bar exam is hard enough without wasting time and energy trying to figure out what to work on and finding the practice questions. The Brainy Bar Bank makes it easy for you!
Ready to sign up? Just click here to get started.
Please read on for some frequently-asked questions. If your question isn’t answered, feel free to contact us and ask!
Which jurisdiction should I select?
The California Brainy Bar Bank is just for California exam takers. You will get access to bar exam questions from 2002 to the present (yup, that is a lot of practice). You will also get free access to MPT Brainy Bar Bank, with 110+ released MPT questions from the National Conference of Bar Examiners. (This is a multi-state performance test that’s very similar to the new 90-minute California performance test.)
If you aren’t taking the California bar exam, check out the https://barexamtoolbox.com/brainy-bar-bank-ube-mee-mpt/Brainy Bar Bank for the UBE (MEE + MPT).
How long will I have access to the BBB?
Your access to the BBB will be active for a full year from the date you sign up! If you decide to take a later bar exam, we can adjust your “start date” so that you will have full access during your exam-prep period.
Are all of the past bar exam questions in your database?
The California BBB dates back to February of 2002 and includes all past essay questions. Note that the California BBB omits performance test questions from before July of 2017, as these earlier questions are no longer relevant for study purposes. Instead, you’ll get access to the MPT Brainy Bar Bank, with questions dating back to 1997, along with all new 90-minute California performance tests, as these are released.
The BBB is continuously updated with new questions as they become available.
Can you tell me what issues are heavily tested on the California bar exam?
Yes, we can! The BBB lists the most commonly-tested areas of the law, and also shows you the most heavily-tested topics and subtopics overall and within each major area (hopefully you like Professional Responsibility because that one is almost always on the exam!). If something has shown up many times over the last 15 years, we’d suggest being ready for it. (Please note, California Evidence and California Civil Procedure were added to the exam about 10 years ago.)
Is the Brainy Bar Bank for first-time or repeat takers?
All bar studiers can benefit from the Brainy Bar Bank. If you’re using a commercial course, you can use the Brainy Bar Bank to strategically study heavily-tested topic areas or areas you are struggling with outside of your course materials. If you are a repeat taker, the Brainy Bar Bank can give you a fresh set of questions to work on outside of the commercial items you may have used in the past.
What if I’m struggling with my writing and need more help?
You may want to check out our Writing of the Week (WOW) course or our one-on-one tutoring options. We also have these helpful (and free) podcast episodes on the bar exam.
Have other questions? Feel free to drop us a line.
Please select the appropriate option below to get immediate access to the Brainy Bar Bank. If you’d like to learn more about the California Writing of the Week (WOW) workshop, please click here. Purchase both together, and save $45 on the combo!
What You Get
- Access to all Brainy Bar Bank materials, including:
- 15+ years of real California essay questions (more than 180 questions total)
- 20+ years of real MPT questions (more than 60 questions total)
- All released new-format California performance tests and answers
- Frequency analysis for the most commonly tested legal categories, topics, and subtopics
- Frequency analysis for the most commonly tested topics and subtopics in each legal category
- The ability to easily favorite questions and see which ones you've viewed
- The ability to easily find practice questions on specific topics and subtopics
- Access to all WOW course materials, including:
- Carefully selected practice problems, chosen from frequently-tested bar topics
- An introductory video lecture covering the substantive area(s) of law in the practice problem
- A wrap-up video of "must haves" for a passing answer
- A Bar Exam Toolbox post-answer checklist, to help you evaluate your work
- A countdown timer to help you pace yourself and stay within the time limits
- Relevant sample answers for each WOW practice problem
- 5 new-format CA performance test practice questions, videos, and answer keys
- 11 full CA practice essay questions, videos, and answer keys
- Weekly accountability to ensure you practice writing regularly
- BBB-Only: Get access to the Brainy Bar Bank for California and the MPT
BBB + WOW
- BBB + WOW: Get access to the Brainy Bar Bank for California and the MPT + CA WOW (a $235 value)
Having problems? Please contact us for help!