The Bar Exam Toolbox team developed the Self-Study Program to help you manage your own study without buying an expensive commercial bar review course, which may not even suit your personal needs.
We’ve taken the knowledge gained from 10+ years of helping bar studiers find bar exam success and created this program with tools and resources to help you formulate your study plan, learn the substantive law, write passing essays and performance tests, and keep your cool on test day.
What Does the Self-Study Program Include?
The Self-Study Program is designed to include everything a dedicated self-studier needs to pass. Here’s what’s included.
Help with your study plan:
- You’ll fill out and submit a detailed self-evaluation
- You’ll get written feedback and targeted advice on your study plan from one of our bar exam experts
Access to the substantive materials and practice problems you’ll need, including:
- Writing of the Week (WOW) Workshop ($235 value)
- Brainy Bar Bank (California and MPT) ($95 value)
- Practice of the Week (POW) MBE Workshop (a $149 value)
- A complimentary copy of Smart Bar Prep Standard substantive outlines ($124 value)
- (Optional) Discounted access to AdaptiBar (for MBE prep)
- (Optional) Have the Bar Exam Toolbox team prepare your custom study schedule and Asana project for you
- (Optional) Add support from a highly-qualified Bar Exam Toolbox tutor, consisting of one hour of call time, written feedback on one substantive essay, and written feedback on one performance test
Our team’s advice for bar success, including:
- An overview of the bar exam you’ll be taking
- Strategies for reviewing your past exam answers, if you’re a repeat taker
- Template study schedules that can be customized to fit your needs (screenshot below)
- Tips for using Asana and Trello (two of our favorite free resources) to create your own study plan and schedule
- Advice if you’re working and studying for the bar exam
- Useful tips for wellness during bar study
- A helpful overview of commonly tested topics on the MBE and California essays, along with quizzes to practice heavily-tested topics in each of the seven MBE subjects
You’ll have the following template study schedules to modify for your needs:
The Self-Study Program also provides materials to guide you through learning the law, executing a winning essay and performance test, and rocking the MBE.
Help on Each Section of the Test
The Self-Study Program helps maximize your points on every section of the test:
Learning the Substantive Law
- Techniques for Quickly Learning the Law
- Using Active Learning Techniques in Your Bar Study
- Tips for Studying with Condensed Outlines
- How to Use BarEssays.com (with a discount code)
Tips for Essay and Performance Test Preparation
- Where to Find Practice Materials
- Foundational Exercises to Build Skills (on reading fact patterns and outlining a question)
- Writing for Maximum Points
- Strategies for Critically Self-Evaluating Your Work
Preparing for the MBE
- Why the MBE is Challenging
- Studying Effectively for the MBE
- MBE Disasters to Avoid
- Evaluating Your Performance on Multiple Choice Practice
- Template Grid for Tracking MBE Performace
- Using AdaptiBar Effectively (including optional AdaptiBar upgrade)
- Recommended MBE Resources
And, because all the preparation in the world won’t help if you have an exam-day meltdown, there’s a section with checklists for exam-day logistics and advice on keeping your cool if things start to go south in the exam room.
All together, the Self-Study Program has what you need to pass — on your own terms!
Ready to get started? Click here to sign up.
Got Questions? We’ve Got Answers!
If your question isn’t answered below, please feel free to contact us and we’re happy to help.
When can I start the Self-Study Program?
The Self-Study Program can be started at any time because the materials are online, on demand. The template study schedules are set up for 16 weeks of part-time study, 8 weeks of part time study + 2 weeks of full-time study, 10 weeks of full-time study, 9 weeks of full-time study, and 8 weeks of full-time study.
Here’s what a study schedule looks like (with weekly and daily goals). You’ll also learn how to easily import your study schedule into Asana or Trello, where you can track your progress.
Can someone make my study schedule for me?
Yes! If you’d like the experts at the Bar Exam Toolbox to make your study schedule for you, select the Gold or Platinum levels, which include a custom study schedule. We will ask you to fill out a detailed questionnaire and will create a schedule based on your needs.
I’d like to work with a tutor for personal support. Is that possible?
Yes! If you’d like additional personal support, select the Platinum level, which includes one hour of call time with one of our excellent Bar Exam Toolbox tutors plus written feedback on one substantive essay and one California performance test. (If you’d like more time and attention, please fill out our Tutoring Contact Form to set up a call and get pricing information for our full tutoring packages.)
What is the Brainy Bar Bank?
The California Brainy Bar Bank collects over 15 years of real California bar exam essay questions, more than 180 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.
Want to learn more? See a step-by-step description here.
What is the Writing of the Week (WOW) Program?
The WOW program offers guided essay practice on 11 substantive essays and five 90-minute performance tests. Each assigned essay includes:
- An introductory “attack plan” video where Lee Burgess — co-founder of the Bar Exam Toolbox and a California bar exam expert — covers an approach to the general topic area, with a downloadable version for reference.
- A 10-15 minute substantive video mini-lecture where Lee explains the exact law you’ll need for this question.
- Next, you’ll make a pre-writing outline (using the included timer) and use the included self-evaluation to evaluate your work. When you finish, you’ll review the outlining video, where Lee walks you through exactly what your outline should have included. You’ll also have access to two sample pre-writing outlines — one in a linear, written format and the other in a diagram format, so you can see what makes the most sense to you.
- Finally, you’ll write your answer (using the included timer) and use the writing self-evaluation to help you evaluate how you did. Also included is a sample answer, drafted by the Bar Exam Toolbox, to show you what a solid answer looks like. You’ll watch a final video, where Lee walks you though the answer, and will make notes on a final self-evaluation of things to work on for the future.
The WOW assignments are included as part of each study schedule so you can use them to support the substantive review you are doing on a given day.
What is the Practice of the Week (POW) MBE Workshop?
The POW program videos walk through five real MBE questions in each of the seven MBE topic areas (35 questions total), showing you how to identify the issue and law you need to successfully answer each question. In addition, each sample question is paired with a similar practice question, so you can apply what you’ve learned (35 additional practice questions).
What have previous Self-Study students said about the program?
After failing the February 2018 California bar exam, I knew I needed to find a program that catered to my specific studying needs and was cost efficient. Thanks to the Bar Exam Toolbox Team, I found exactly what I needed to pass the July 2018 bar exam!! The requested self-study questionnaire submitted to review and highlight any weaknesses in my previous study approach, the self-study plan that took into account that I was sitting for the attorney exam, and the access to an abundance of essay and MPTs made the difference!! I am now on my way to being licensed in three states and can officially say that I took my last bar exam ever!!!! Thank you!! – July 2018 exam taker
I was a repeater who was losing hope on ever passing the bar. As you become a repeater it becomes harder and harder to find the time to study and prepare. I had issues on essays and Performance Test and this program was amazing. It helped to break down the writing part of the exam to its most basic level such as how to outline, format an essay and time management. Sometimes as a repeater or first time taker, it’s a good idea to go back to the basics. There was also a schedule that was easy to follow and made it flexible for those who are not studying full time for the bar. Plus, the creators of the program really do care about you which is not something you can say about other programs. Getting the news that I passed the California bar exam was one of the most emotional experiences of my life. Thank you barexamtoolbox I’d recommend your program to anyone studying for the bar exam. – October 2020 exam taker
Bar Exam Toolbox is an excellent resource for students seeking to study for the bar on their own. I had taken the traditional bar exam courses and while they were helpful in condensing the vast amount of knowledge that was learnt in law school into 3 months, Bar Exam Toolbox actually provides many resources that help prepare for the exam itself by emphasizing numerous practice tests, reviewing your performance, and taking what you learned with you to the next practice exam. I was working fulltime while studying for the exam and Bar Exam Toolbox easy-to-access resources helped me plan my weekly study sessions. The Bar Exam Toolbox also worked well in conjunction with the Bar Exam Toolbox podcast which I would listen to on my walks to help me stay sane during the weeks of lockdown during Covid. – October 2020 exam taker
Thank you so much! Your program was a huge reason I passed this exam. – October 2020 exam taker
I especially found the analysis aid my writing and the schedule I needed to follow helpful! – October 2020 exam taker
Ready to Get Started?
To get immediate access to all of the useful resources in the Self-Study Program, select your preferred option below. If you’d like discounted access to Adaptibar, you can add that on the next page.
(Taking the Attorneys’ Exam? Check out the Attorneys’ Exam version of the Self-Study Program.)
California Self-Study Options
What You Get
- Access to all Self-Study materials, including:
- An extensive self-evaluation, to help you structure your bar study
- Detailed daily/weekly study schedule templates, which you can modify for your personal needs
- Feedback from the Bar Exam Toolbox tutors on your study plan
- Strategies and exercises to improve your essay and performance test answers
- A free copy of Smart Bar Prep Standard bar outlines ($124 value), along with practical advice for using these effectively
- Information on how to self-evaluate your work and review any old exam answers
- Best practices for MBE prep, including how to effectively use AdaptiBar
- Practical tips for wellness during bar prep and on exam day
- Access to all Brainy Bar Bank materials, including:
- 15+ years of real CA 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
- Access to the Practice of the Week (POW) MBE Workshop
- A customized study schedule, created by the Bar Exam Toolbox for you
- Personal help from a Bar Exam Toolbox tutor, including:
- 1 hour of one-on-one tutoring time
- Written feedback on one substantive essay response
- Written feedback on one California performance test response
- (Optional) Access to AdaptiBar Simulator and MBE Prep
- Silver: Get access to all Self-Study Program materials
- Add On
- Gold: Add a personalized study schedule
- Add On
- Platinum: Also add individual tutor support
- Add On
If you’d like discounted access to Adaptibar, you can add that on the next page.
Got a question? We’re happy to help! Just contact us and ask.
Best of luck on the bar exam!