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Best Bar Prep Courses (2023 Reviews)

Our in-depth guide to the best bar review courses

No matter what state you’re in, the bar exam is one of the most challenging exams in the country, and is not a test you can take lightly. So to give yourself the best shot at passing on the first try, you will almost definitely need a bar review course. But with so many options, how do know which one is best for you? Our team of experts has thoroughly reviewed just about every bar review course on the market and ranked the best ones here.

  • Price
  • Video Instruction
  • Live Class Hours
  • Practice Questions
  • Content Access Period
  • Books
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • BarMax UBE Course Bundle Savings $300 OFF
    Bundle Savings $300 OFF
    Claim Discount
    • $1,895
    • 50+ Hours Audio
    • None
    • 1,950+ MBE
    • Lifetime
    • Hardcopy & Digital
  • Studicata SALE: 15% OFF Use Code: TPI
    SALE: 15% OFF Use Code: TPI
    Claim Offer
    • $1,995
    • 110+ Hours
    • None
    • 1,400+ MBE
    • Lifetime
    • Digital
  • Quimbee Bar Review SALE: 10% OFF Applied In Cart
    SALE: 10% OFF Applied In Cart
    Claim Discount
    • $999
    • 250+ Lessons
    • None
    • 2,500+ MBE
    • Lifetime
    • Digital (Print Optional)
  • Barbri Guided Pass Live Classes Check Current Offers
    Live Classes Check Current Offers
    Visit Barbri
    • $2,799
    • 100+ Hours
    • 100+
    • 2,500+ MBE
    • 3 Months
    • Hardcopy
  • Bar Prep Hero Full Bar SALE: 10% Off Code: TPI10
    SALE: 10% Off Code: TPI10
    Claim Discount
    • $449
    • None
    • None
    • 1,500+ MBE
    • Lifetime
    • Digital

Best Bar Review Courses Summary

To easily navigate through our guide of the best bar prep courses, simply click the jump-to links above.

Best Bar Prep Courses Video Guide

In the video above, John from the Test Prep Insight team (who successfully passed the California bar exam on his first attempt) walks you through our picks for this best bar review courses list. Alternatively, you can always continue reading for more details regarding each course.

BarMax UBE Course

BarMax Bar Review

  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Self-Study
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Self-Study
Our Score

9.6

  • star
  • star
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  • star
Pros
  • Concise & targeted black letter law outlines
  • Outlines keyed to audio lectures from Harvard Law School professors
  • Insightful, well-written explanations for reviewing practice problems
  • Insanely good digital platform, integrated across desktop and mobile
  • Lean, streamlined content framework
Cons
  • No video lectures or live classes
  • No printed outlines with package (digital only)
BarMax UBE Course
Bundle Savings $300 OFF

Why BarMax Makes the Best Bar List

Once we finally got a chance to review the BarMax course, we quickly realized they wouldn’t just be a must-add to our best bar review courses list, but would also be right up near the top.

With an eye on the future of test prep, BarMax recognizes that modern students prefer to consume content digitally, and the old school live classes of yesteryear are going to quickly become a thing of the past.

As such, they smartly designed their prep program to give students access to their study materials from anywhere, at any time, on any device.

barmax lesson
One of the BarMax audio-synced outlines

In addition to this digital-first approach, our team absolutely loved the structure and depth of the BarMax curriculum. Their course content is smartly organized into logical, topic-based groupings, and their lessons are some of the best we have seen.

Their lessons feature a combination of concise black letter law outlines keyed to audio lectures from Harvard Law School professors. This is really the best of both worlds. The outlines are the perfect vehicle for distilling all of the black letter law you need to memorize down to just the need to know material.

In addition, the professors from Harvard that lead the audio-synced lectures do an incredible job expanding on the notes in the outlines, while still making the lectures highly digestible. In short, the content of these lessons is succinct, thoughtfully explained, and spoon feeds you just what you need to know to pass the bar.

Practice Material

While BarMax doesn’t provide as much practice material as some competitors in terms of straight quantity, we were very high on the BarMax practice problems and accompanying explanations.

BarMax licenses their 1,400+ MBE questions directly from the NCBE (the makers of the exam), so you are getting real test questions which were used on past exams. There is obviously no better form of practice work than previously used questions, so were really happy to see this.

BarMax problem explanation
BarMax practice question explanation

In addition, the text explanations that accompany all of BarMax’s practice problems are rock solid. We found them to be insightful, well-drafted and just the right length in terms of detail. Overall, we were very impressed with BarMax’s practice material.

The BarMax Mobile App

One of their biggest selling points, BarMax offers students a fantastic mobile app. This app goes well beyond a few practice questions and flashcards, and gives you access to all of your study materials, whether online or offline.

This is at the heart of what makes BarMax the most agile and modern bar review course. The app is intuitively designed with easy navigation, and your resources are incredibly easy to find and open.

Moreover, the app maintains a very professional appearance and is crazy fast. Load times are next to nothing. But perhaps most importantly of all, actually working through lessons and practice problems is easy.

Some apps are hard to actually use for studying with crummy layouts and unresponsive functionality, but not BarMax. The app truly makes studying from your phone or tablet a breeze and we personally found studying from an iPad one of the most effective means.

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the BarMax review course here.

Studicata

Studicata Bar Review

  • Free Version
  • Self-Study
  • Free Version
  • Self-Study
Our Score

9.2

  • star
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Pros
  • Very good Attack Outlines & QuickSheets with distilled black letter law
  • Engaging video lectures with highly digestible lessons
  • Streamlined course structure (not too content heavy)
  • Affordable price as compared to Barbri and others
  • Real MBE problems from past exams
Cons
  • No prep books or printed materials
  • Course organization has a slightly disjointed feel
Studicata
SALE: 15% OFF Use Code: TPI

Why Studicata Makes the Best Bar Prep List

Landing in the second spot on our list of best bar review courses is Studicata. And I know some of you out there might be wondering “how can Studicata outrank Barbri and Themis?”. Well, the answer is simple: for many of the same reasons BarMax does.

We absolutely love Studicata’s new age approach to bar prep, with a streamlined course structure, killer outlines, digestible videos, and digital-only content. Studicata (and BarMax for that matter) are the antithesis of dinosaurs like Barbri

Studicata attack outlines
The Studicata attack outlines are awesome

Don’t get me wrong. Barbri still has its place in the legal education world (it is, after all, crazy comprehensive). But its ways are just dated

Studicata delivers with essential-only content, a smart course framework, engaging visual content, and a value-driven price point (it is literally $1,000 less than Barbri). 

Video Lessons

The highlight of the Studicata course in my opinion is their series of video lessons. Course founder Michael leads every one of their more than 180 video lectures, and he is great. He is a bar exam guru and has a great delivery

It’s actually somewhat funny comparing his videos with those of major law professors who are paid to deliver other bar prep companies’ video lectures. While the other guys read off scripts written for them from behind a lectern, Michael rips off hour-long videos without even looking at notes or pausing

The stark contrast is almost comical to me. He knows this stuff like the back of his hand and can speak fluidly for 60+ minutes without even breaking stride. It’s just crazy good video content. It’s engaging, on point, and very digestible. 

Studicata bar videos
The Studicata bar videos are great for visual learners

Now, the production value of these videos isn’t amazing – it’s just him standing in front of a whiteboard – but the content is there. The rest is just kind of window dressing.

In any event, if you’re looking for a BarMax-like course, but with video lessons instead of audio because you’re a visual learner, Studicata is it. 

Awesome Attack Outlines & QuickSheets

Like BarMax, Studicata offers some fantastic outlines. They do a very nice job of cutting out the fluff and just distilling down what you need to learn.

However, I actually think the true value lies in the Studicata QuickSheets. These are highly condensed outlines intended to be used in the final days before the exam. They are the distilled of the distilled – maybe 4 pages per subject. 

Take it from me, you’ll need these in the final stretch before test day, and Studicata’s are great. Plus, what I like about them is that they’re aligned with everything else in the course. The video lectures, attack outlines, flashcards, and QuickSheets all use the exact same material, which I think is very important

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the Studicata course here.

Quimbee Bar Review

Quimbee Bar Review

  • Year-Round Discounts
  • Full Bar Review
  • Year-Round Discounts
  • Full Bar Review
Our Score

9.0

  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
Pros
  • At under $1,000, without a doubt, Quimbee is a great value
  • Short and engaging cartoon-filled video lessons increase material retention
  • Extremely well-crafted outlines convey only the most need-to-know material
  • Get your outlines in digital and print
  • Tons of practice work compared to some others
Cons
  • Not as much content review as you get with other courses
  • No money back guarantee with base course package
Quimbee Bar Review
SALE: 10% OFF Applied In Cart

Why Quimbee Makes the Best Bar Review List

The makers of your trusted law school case briefs and outlines, Quimbee now in the bar review game with their comprehensive bar review course. At just under $1,000 for their base course, Quimbee provides incredible value in prepping for the bar.

Their instruction consists of a nice mixture of video lessons, outlines and strategy guides. The Quimbee video lessons take a much different approach from traditional bar review courses by using engaging cartoon-style skits to convey the material being taught.

Quimbee video lesson
Quimbee video lesson example

Animated characters act out the case or legal principle being discussed in a funny and memorable way. This is a fantastic means of improving material retention and really helps with recall down the road when you see that particular case or legal issue again.

Our only complaint is that they don’t have more videos, offering only 250 or so of these engaging lessons (for the base package — the premium course has 350). The outlines and strategy guides that accompany the videos are thorough and very well-written, while still being intelligently distilled down to the most important material.

These are the basis of your content review and offer true value. While not offering quite as much study material as other courses, the Quimbee bar review course is a fantastic all-around package for the price with a solid curriculum.

The Most Bang for Your Buck

Quimbee makes our best list for one primary reason – value. When staring down the prospect of spending $3,000+ on a bar prep course, some students look for a more affordable, but comprehensive option. That’s where Quimbee comes in.

Quimbee bar review question
Quimbee MBE question

At just $999 for the base course, Quimbee costs a fraction of what other courses cost, while still offering many of the same benefits. And this is not necessarily a case of “you get what you pay for.”

Despite being on the cheaper end, Quimbee still offers solid video lessons, content-rich outlines, strategy guides and a bunch of quality bar exam questions. It’s a fantastic, streamlined package. 

Now, to be clear, the Quimbee base package doesn’t include essay grading or the past official problems from the NCBE, just 2,500 or so of their in-house crafted problems in the MBE style. If you want the full Quimbee Bar Review+ course with all features, including those official problems, that’s closer to $1,800 (which is still a good value all things considered), but a definite step up.

So something you may want to think about doing if you want the official problems, but don’t necessarily feel like you need the essay grading, is combining the Quimbee base package with an MBE practice tool like Bar Prep Hero.

That way, you get the Quimbee video lessons, study schedule, and black letter law outlines, plus you’ll still get all the official past problems from the NCBE in a Qbank with solid answer solutions from Bar Prep Hero.

More on them below, but that’s what they’re known for, and they are really good. Together with the Quimbee base package, it would cost less than $1,500 total ($1,300 with discounts), which is half the cost of Barbri. Something to think about. 

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the Quimbee Bar review course here.

Barbri Guided Pass

BarBri Prep

  • Multiple Course Options
  • Live Classes
  • Multiple Course Options
  • Live Classes
Our Score

8.8

  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
Pros
  • Extremely comprehensive and robust bar review curriculum
  • Fantastic hardcopy prep books with tons of detail
  • Rockstar lecturers like Erwin Chemerinsky
Cons
  • Very old school, book-heavy feel
  • The video lessons can be dry and boring at times
Barbri Guided Pass
Live Classes Check Current Offers

Why Barbri Makes the Best Bar List

It wouldn’t be a best bar review courses list without Barbri. Preparing students for the bar exam for 50+ years now, Barbri has a long track record of success in getting students across the finish line.

Having such a long history has allowed Barbri to vet and incrementally improve their curriculum over the years to offer students one of the soundest course structures around, even if somewhat heavy handed.

At the center of their course, Barbri offers their students both in-person and on demand video lessons. It is up to you to decide which course delivery style you’d like and there is no extra charge for attending the live, in-person classes.

barbri prep books
Barbri’s rock solid bar review books

Both course formats are excellent, though we would note that the on demand video based instruction is a bit dry and unengaging, despite being taught by some of the biggest names in the legal world.

Beyond the lessons, Barbri offers very respectable quantities and quality of practice material, as well as some incredible prep books. All in all, Barbri offers a solid all-around prep package and is definitely the conservative choice for those looking to play it safe.

Top Notch Bar Prep Books

A highlight of their bar review course, Barbri offers some legendary prep books. When you sign up with Barbri, they will ship you a massive box of printed texts, with titles including the following (if you’re in a UBE state):

  • MEE Testing
  • MBE Practice Questions
  • Multistate Performance Test Workbook
  • The Conviser Mini Review for MEE-MBE
  • Lecture Handouts for MBE-MEE
  • Simulated MBE

This is a ton of great hard copy resources and generally some of the best on the market for those students who like to study through text. The content-filled review books are incredibly thorough and well-written, covering everything you may need to know for test day. And the lecture handout booklets and practice books significantly aid in your studies.

Kaplan Bar Complete Bar Review

Kaplan Bar Review

  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Frequent Discounts
  • Money Back Guarantee
  • Frequent Discounts
Our Score

8.8

  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
Pros
  • More practice material and coursework than any other provider (4,000+ MBE)
  • Effective course structure for material retention (Learn-Practice-Review-Catch Up)
  • Engaging instructors make for very strong video lectures
Cons
  • Almost too much material to get through in 8-10 weeks
  • Heavy handed feel when it comes to daily assignments
Kaplan Bar Complete Bar Review
Up To $700 Off Applied In Cart

Why Kaplan Makes the Best Bar Prep List

Offering one of the most comprehensive and detailed bar review curriculums available, Kaplan simply couldn’t be left off our best list. In fact, of the big three (Barbri, Themis and Kaplan), Kaplan might be the best.

For one, Kaplan has a first-rate course structure designed to optimize your learning and material retention through a robust and repeated learning framework. Each subject module follows the same pattern of “Learn, Practice, Review, and Catch Up.”

kaplan bar prep quiz
One of the Kaplan bar prep quizzes

This purposeful framework provides an excellent means of learning (or re-learning) the material you need to do know, drilling it, and letting it sink in through review and recap. And this manner of studying is all wrapped around some top flight lessons, both in-person and on demand.

The in-person lectures are delivered by excellent instructors with a knack for easily communicating difficult subjects, and the on demand video lessons have some of the strongest production quality we have seen. In addition, Kaplan’s prep package is buoyed by stacks of some of the best practice material in the industry.

Mountains of Prep Material

One of the highlights of the Kaplan bar review course is the sheer quantity of practice material you get. Boasting 4,000+ MBE practice questions, multiple full-length practice tests, a library of essay and performance test prompts, and some of the coolest tools for drilling in bar review, you will never have a shortage of work.

This quantity of practice material is best in class and is utilized in multiple ways to maximize learning. Practice problems are accessed through lessons, drills, practice tests and extracurricular study.

Most importantly, you can access these problems through Kaplan’s Qbank and Qformative, two programs artfully designed to help you narrowly focus your practice and gain a deeper understanding of the material being tested.

kaplan bar video lesson
One of Kaplan’s on demand bar review video lectures

Additionally, each MBE question is accompanied by a thorough text explanation, breaking down the question and answer choices in detail, making for a full-circle learning experience through review. And all of Kaplan’s essay and performance test prompts come with helpful model answers and explanations.

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the Kaplan bar review course here.

Bar Prep Hero Full Bar

Bar Prep Hero

  • Full Bar or MBE-Only
  • Frequent Discounts
  • Full Bar or MBE-Only
  • Frequent Discounts
Our Score

8.7

  • star
  • star
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  • star
Pros
  • Focused, high-quality practice work for experiential learners
  • Focus on practice work makes Bar Prep Hero a great supplement
  • Problem solutions contain excellent explanations
Cons
  • No true hard content review
  • Would like to see addition of video lessons, books, and outlines
Bar Prep Hero Full Bar
SALE: 10% Off Code: TPI10

Why Bar Prep Hero Makes the Best List

Bar Prep Hero takes a different approach to bar prep than most every other bar review company out there. Rather than having formal instruction covering content review, Bar Prep Hero focuses on practice, practice and more practice.

The idea is that you learn by doing and reviewing each and every practice problem. Bar Prep Hero licenses its MBE, MEE and MPT materials directly form the NCBE, the body that makes the UBE portions of the bar exam.

As such, Bar Prep Hero offers first-rate practice material through questions that have actually appeared on past exams.

bar prep hero practice problem
A look at a Bar Prep Hero practice question

In addition, each MBE problem is accompanied by a detailed problem explanation, which breaks down the problem and answer choices, as well as cites to relevant case law for reference.

The MEE and MPT material also have corresponding sample outlines and model answers, offering students a chance to practice those aspects of bar testing and check their answers against the gold standard.

And for even more practice, Bar Prep Hero offers 1,600+ flashcards covering 12 of the most important legal categories covered on the bar. In short, Bar Prep Hero is all about the practice work.

Bar Prep Hero as a Supplement

The level and quality of practice material you get with Bar Prep Hero makes it an excellent supplement to any study plan. Without a thorough course of instruction though, it generally lacks the necessary content review function that other more expensive courses offer.

bar prep hero flashcards
Bar Prep Hero flashcards

However, at this extremely reasonable price point, Bar Prep Hero offers a great opportunity to serve as a complement to get you across the finish line.

If you’ve taken a free prep course through your law school, or perhaps found a great set of used prep books that get you the content review you need but without the practice, Bar Prep Hero could be the perfect option.

In our opinion, it is best utilized to supplement a study plan where the student has the content necessary to review for the bar, but just needs the practice.

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the Bar Prep Hero review course here.

Smart Bar Prep

Smart Bar Prep

  • Self-Study
  • Hard Content Focused
  • Self-Study
  • Hard Content Focused
Our Score

8.7

  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
  • star
Pros
  • Best attack outlines in bar review, hands down (you'll use everyday)
  • Color coding and topic weightings keep your studies ultra-efficient
  • Outlines are in plain language and easily digestible
Cons
  • Limited amount of practice material compared to other bar review providers
  • No video or audio lectures
Smart Bar Prep
Best Outlines Frequent Deals

Why Smart Bar Prep Makes the Best Bar List

Standing behind their philosophy of working smarter and not harder, Smart Bar Prep earns a spot on our best list by bringing an arsenal of research-based outlines and guides to the bar prep playing field. We discuss the quality of these outlines in more detail below, but just know that they are about the best attack outlines in bar review.

They are clear and concise, and lend credence to Smart Bar Prep’s belief that you’ll be best served by spending more time studying black letter law and rules that are most frequently tested, and less time on topics that historically haven’t been seen as often.

Smart bar prep study sheets
Smart Bar Prep’s condensed outlines are the best in bar review

Relative to others, Smart Bar Prep is a remarkably affordable bar prep option. Their most inclusive option tops out at about $400, and includes over 600 real MBE questions from past bar exams. You’ll also get point sheets used in the scoring of exams so you can self-assess as you go.

With such a reasonable price point, it is probably no surprise that you will not get the same comprehensive curriculum with Smart Bar Prep that you will get with others on our list.

Offering no online videos, live instruction, or printed materials (all outlines and guides are in PDF format and can be downloaded and printed), their sole focus is on condensing material into more manageable outlines and providing exam-like practice with their practice questions and guides.

If you are a student looking for a self-study option, with no desire for classroom or video instruction, Smart Bar Prep might be your best bet. Our team believes that it can easily be your one-stop resource for your bar prep, especially if you are a self-driven learner.

For others, we see great value in adding the resources provided by Smart Bar Prep as a companion for another bar prep course. In either case, Smart Bar Prep does not miss the mark when it comes to providing an affordable, no-frills bar prep option with solid resources.

Best Attack Outlines in Bar Prep

These aren’t just any outlines. They include every black letter law rule and essay topic that has been tested since 1995, as well as frequency charts to indicate how often the rules have appeared on past exams.

smart bar prep flashcards
Smart Bar Prep flashcards

These thoughtfully designed outlines do a great job of condensing all of the topics into manageable bits of information, but don’t skimp on important details. Smart Bar Prep’s outlines really shine with their color-coding, making it super easy to identify if a rule should be viewed as high, medium, or low priority.

As you will find out, in the final days leading up to the bar exam, you will want to review nothing but high-yield outlines that provide concise statements of the various rules you need to memorize, and these outlines are the ticket.

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the Smart Bar Prep course here.

AdaptiBar MBE Simulator & Prep

AdaptiBar Review

  • Practice-Focused
  • Frequent Discounts
  • Practice-Focused
  • Frequent Discounts
Our Score

8.5

  • star
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Pros
  • Some of the best MBE question explanations in bar prep w/ great detail
  • Cool, a la carte pricing keeps costs very reasonable
  • Awesome adaptive tech for hammering practice set after practice set
Cons
  • The add-on video lectures, while having great content, lack production value
  • MBE-heavy (would like to see more MPT and MEE coverage)
AdaptiBar MBE Simulator & Prep
Sale: $30 OFF Code: 30TPI

Why AdaptiBar Makes the Best Bar List

If the main focus of your bar prep is the MBE, you have to give AdaptiBar a good look. For our team, the core of AdaptiBar’s offerings boil down to four main highlights: high-quality, realistic practice work; top notch problem explanations; adaptive tech for more efficient studying; and a cool a la carte pricing structure.

It all starts with their close to 1,500 MBE practice questions, 1,400+ of which are official licensed NCBE questions from past exams. These practice problems offer an ideal opportunity to practice under exam-like conditions.

And just as important as the questions themselves, you also get access to a detailed text explanation with each problem. More on these below.

Adaptibar prep practice
A typical AdaptiBar practice problem with metrics

In addition, wrapped around all of the practice work is AdaptiBar’s proprietary, adaptive algorithm that constantly reallocates questions in your queue based your weaknesses and current performance.

This is an immensely helpful background tool that offers great value. And finally, it is worth noting that AdaptiBar offers a very helpful a la carte pricing structure, where you can pick and choose the features of your prep course.

Amongst these add-ons is a series of incredibly engaging video lectures with Professor Jonathan Grossman. These videos focus on concise breakdowns of the necessary black letter law, and do an excellent job cutting out the fluff.

Cool, Adaptive Tech

Without a doubt, one of the biggest highlights of the AdaptiBar prep program is their adaptive tech. Their patented, adaptive algorithm assesses your performance on your initial diagnostic and your ongoing practice questions to consistently reallocate question types in your queue.

The program subtly increases the proportion of question types where you are weak, ensuring you get practice where it is needed most.

AdaptiBar metrics
AdaptiBar metrics

And the program does this while balancing your weaknesses against actual question weightings from past bar exams to make sure you’re not getting practice in one area that is out of whack with past MBE administrations.

Bottom line, if you’re crunched for time or want to get to the finish line as quick as possible, AdaptiBar offers some excellent tools.

Fantastic Practice Problem Explanations

For every single one of the nearly 1,500 MBE questions you’ll see with AdaptiBar, you also get a detailed text explanation. These explanations thoroughly cover the black letter law being tested under each question, and why each answer choice is correct or incorrect.

You’ll get at least a sentence or two on why each answer choice is right or wrong, which is more than you get with some of the most expensive courses, and is pretty impressive given the total number of practice questions.

AdaptiBar goes to great lengths to explain the underlying black letter law, rationale behind the application of law to facts, and even tangential subjects that incorrect answer choices touch on. Our team loved the quality and delivery of the practice material and accompanying solutions.

➡ If you want to learn more, you can find our full review of the AdaptiBar bar review course here.

BarMax UBE Course
Bundle Savings $300 OFF

Bar Exam Information

Here is some general information about the bar exam, to help you in your quest to pass on the first attempt.

About the Bar Exam

The bar exam is a professional licensing examination that tests the knowledge and competency of a lawyer before being licensed to practice law. The bar is administered and overseen by the bar association (professional association of lawyers) of a specific jurisdiction. In the United States, bar exams are administered by the bar associations of individual states and territories.

Bar Exam Test Structure

The bar exam format varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. While some states require additional or separate testing components, the bar exam in most states is most commonly made up of three parts: (1) The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), (2) the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and (3) The Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

The MBE

The MBE comprises 200 multiple choice questions, 100 of which are given in the morning, and the remaining 100 administered in the afternoon. You are given 3 hours to complete each 100-question section, for a total of 6 hours. The MBE does not test jurisdiction-specific law. It includes federal law covering seven subjects:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contacts and Sales
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

The MEE

The MEE is made up of six, 30-minute essay questions. Each essay is designed to test one’s ability to identify legal issues and their relevance in hypothetical situations, to present a clear reasoned analysis, and demonstrate an understanding of legal principles relevant to the solution of those hypothetical situations.

The MEE tests a wide range of topics, including:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates
  • Uniform Commercial Code

The MPT

The MPT consists of two, 90-minute sections and is intended to test one’s ability to apply fundamental reasoning skills to a simulated work situation. The MPT is designed to assess six skills:

  • Communication
  • Factual analysis
  • Problem solving
  • Legal analysis and reasoning
  • Organization and management of a legal task
  • Recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas

How Often is the Bar Exam Administered?

In most jurisdictions, the bar exam is a two-day examination and is offered two times annually – once in February and once in July.

How to Study for the Bar Exam

  • Create and Maintain a Study Schedule. Building a study schedule is going to be mission critical to passing the bar exam. There is simply too much hard content to learn (or really, re-learn) before exam day. So determine how much time you have until the test date, and work backwards from there. Your schedule should include the time you intend to spend studying, the locations you will study (switch it up to break up the monotony sometimes), the specific subject you want to concentrate on, the assignments you want to complete (including practice tests), and self-care. Set goals and keep a calendar. Many bar review courses will help you in this study planning.
  • Take Practice Tests. Taking multiple practice exams is the best way to gain insight on how the test will be organized and how the information will be tested. Initially, you can take your time on practice tests. This will allow you to identify the manner in which questions are presented and give you time to focus on your strengths and weaknesses. As time goes on, do the practice tests under timed conditions so you can identify any timing issues you may encounter.
  • Learn From your Practice Exam Mistakes. Keep a log of your missed questions, together with explanations, and review the log often. This will help you identify your particular strengths and weaknesses, and can be helpful in noticing patterns of missed questions.
  • Practice Self-Care. Studying for the bar exam can be stressful, but it will be far more daunting if you don’t take care of yourself. Make sure to stay hydrated, eat healthy meals and take time for physical exercise daily. Don’t skimp on sleep. Practice mindfulness daily, and stay connected with friends and family.

FAQ

Do you need a bar review course?

Almost every aspiring attorney will need to take a bar review course in order to pass the bar exam. The bar is difficult enough, do not make things tougher by going in unprepared.

How much does a typical bar review course cost?

There are a wide variety of bar review courses commercially available today, ranging in price from $200 up to $5,000+. While that is a large disparity, know that most students will spend $1,500 to $3,000 on a comprehensive bar prep course.

How long do you need to study for the bar exam?

Most bar review courses provide approximately 8 to 10 weeks of prep time before you are ready to sit for the bar. If you’re a first-time bar exam taker, this generally means you will need to study from shortly after law school graduation until your exam date in late July.

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