I will preface this entire article by saying: there are moments in our bar study where we are overwhelmed by the material. And in a moment of panic and confusion, we begin to think that the study aids available to us are not enough. The goal is not to buy every study aid or material that is out there in preparation for the bar exam. Instead, it should be to find the study tool that most effectively helps you learn the material. In moments of panic, navigate study mode by asking yourself: “am I actually learning?”
The purpose of this article is to share other resources that are available to you if one method is not working for you…in case you want to try something new!
Buying Used vs. Buying New
The other think I will say is, if at all possible, invest in material that prior bar students are selling. It will be much cheaper than buying any of the following material new. Check different online marketplaces for some kind souls who are selling. As someone who has bought most of my study aids used, and also sold my study aids to future bar takers, I will attest to the fact that surviving the bar exam makes you kinder. The rite of passage that comes with getting used material or giving them away, it is heartwarming. And most likely, this random person may have tips for you.
Just make sure the material is not highlighted all over or falling apart. That would honestly be the worst.
The most effective tool I used while studying MBE topics were the Critical Pass Flashcards. I had the paper version, and they truly did consolidate the material in a way that I could make sure I covered the most crucial topics in my review. But I have heard of people who also used the online version and downloaded the flashcards onto their devices. The content is the same across the board.
Critical Pass Flashcards are not a study aid you can use from the start of your bar studying. Instead, they become a staple as you slowly conquer each new bar topic. First, you need to learn the material in detail. Critical Pass has a flashcard for each major topic, making it a great tool to refresh your memory as you review. And as you start to forget material, Critical Pass Flashcards work well to remind you what subtopics are associated with each big topic. They make it easy to recognize what you know well, and flag what you need to revisit and review.
MBE Practice Questions
Using AdaptiBar to prepare for the MBE on the bar exam was the best decision I made while studying. My commercial bar course provided a lot of practice multiple choice questions, but I had trouble recognizing patterns for each type of question. AdaptiBar taught me how to tackle each type of question I might encounter in each subject. After doing 900 questions in the first 6 weeks of my preparation (most of them answered very, very wrong), I started to understand what each question was trying to test. I could recognize what MBE subtopic was being tested, and it became easier for me to avoid getting distracted or tripped up. Moreover, AdaptiBar had a set of videos you could purchase along with the test bank. The 6-minute videos further broke down each question type in to a mini-analysis. The whole program oriented me to start thinking about how to beat the exam. And that is the way you need to think to pass.
I would highly recommend this as a supplement to your MBE study schedule.
MEE & MPT Practice
Practicing for the MEE and MPT portions of the bar exam is a crucial step to guaranteeing you pass. Many bar prep students neglect the MEE and MPT in the mad rush to master MBE topics. However, doing even one targeted practice for MEE or MPT each week for 10 weeks can tremendously improve your score. If you do not have access to practice essays from your bar course, here is where you can find practice exams.
The NCBE Website
At the NCBE Study Aids website, you can access free MPTs, associated point sheets and summaries for administrations from 2011 to 2021. You can also purchase one of the Bar Exam Value Packs.
State Bar Websites
Certain bar exam websites have MPT practice questions and the best written sample answers available to the public. A good place to start is the Georgia Office of Bar Admissions, but you can also try Texas, Minnesota, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New York websites for past administrations.
Brainy Bar Bank
The Bar Exam Toolbox’s MEE and MPT brainy bar banks each give you access to previous administrations of MEE and MPTs with a purchase. Both can also be purchased together as a bundle and used to raise your essay scores.
Another option that the Bar Exam Toolbox offers is the Writing of the Week (WOW) course, which builds you a schedule and offers timed essay practice each week for your 8-10 week bar preparation. The full program includes over 17 hours of writing practice and a total of 26 writing assignments (MEE essays and MPTs).
In conclusion, this article is only for those of us who are unable to digest the material with the study resources we are currently using. Sometimes, switching it up helps you find a study aid that explains topics or helps you study in a way that makes sense to you. In the end, the goal is to get what you need into your brain.