Test Prep Insight is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more
Quimbee vs Barbri
Our detailed evaluation of how the bar review courses from Quimbee and Barbri stack up
If you’re getting ready to take the bar exam, you may be faced with a tough decision – go with tried and tested bar review mammoth Barbri and pay close to $3,000, or take a chance on the company that’s delivered your beloved law school case briefs and outlines, Quimbee, for less than a grand. Given the significant differences between these prep packages, it is a truly tough call. Fortunately, our team has purchased and personally tested both of these bar review courses, analyzed all of their features, and rated them here, so you can break down which course is best for you in this side-by-side comparison.
Advantage: Quimbee. With Barbri carrying a price tag of close to $3,000 for their standard package, this category isn’t even close. At $999 for their full bar review course, Quimbee costs a fraction of what Barbri charges, and provides some of the best bang for your buck pricing in bar prep. In fact, Quimbee takes our best value bar review course designation on our list of best bar courses. And honestly, this is probably why you landed on our comparison guide. At this unrivaled price point, you want to know whether Quimbee’s bar review course will get the job done. More on this below.
Pricing and course options current as of date of publication.
Quality of The Lessons and Coursework
Advantage: Barbri. At the end of the day, it’s just hard to beat Barbri’s quality. Their course structure and materials have been vetted and incrementally improved upon for decades, giving them one of the most solid prep packages around. Their prep books are excellent and their coursework is as comprehensive as it gets. But the reality is that this is not a huge difference in quality anymore. Whereas Barbri used to hold a major lead over other bar prep providers, competitors like Quimbee have really closed the gap in the last few years.
In terms of pure quality, our team loves what Quimbee has to offer. With a streamlined curriculum focused on detailed black letter law outlines, strategy guides, and some killer video lessens, this quality disparity is not a wide margin at all. In fact, given the massive price gap, the quality between these prep providers is so close that we actually rank Quimbee higher on our list of best bar review courses. We can see why many students wonder whether Barbri is still worth it.
Advantage: Quimbee. Although Barbri holds a clear lead in terms of quantity of video lessons, our team actually prefers Quimbee’s memorable cartoon-style video lessons. Barbri takes the traditional approach to video lectures with an onscreen instructor standing behind a lectern, giving their lesson on whatever topic is being covered that day. This approach isn’t bad, and in most cases we think it can be highly effective, but the issue here is that these lectures from Barbri are just boring. We appreciate that Barbri brings in some big name attorneys and legal scholars to teach these videos, but they can still be snoozers.
On the other hand, Quimbee employs hundreds of fun and engaging cartoon-style skit videos, which we think appeal more to modern students. These short video lessons break down more complex legal issues by showing cartoon attorneys, judges and litigants acting out cases and legal principles. For visual learners, these videos are awesome, and they greatly help with tying a concept back to a visual marker that improves later recall.
Advantage: Tie. This category is basically a tie, as both Quimbee and Barbri offer bar preppers access to the same real, previously used bar exam questions. Both companies license these MBE questions from the NCBE, the makers of most states’ bar exams. This offers bar exam takers studying with both companies the same opportunity to drill on official material, so we have a hard differentiating here.
One factor that pushes this category in favor of Barbri is volume. In terms of quantity, Barbri does offer about 2,500 practice questions to Quimbee’s 1,800, with these extra 700 or so questions crafted by Babri’s in-house team. However, a counterbalancing factor is the quality of Quimbee’s detailed and well written problem explanations, which we prefer to Barbri’s. So the whole, our team calls this one a tie.
Prep Books & Outlines
Advantage: Barbri. There is no questioning the quality of Barbri’s prep books. With 50 years of history behind these books, which have been updated and revised by some of the biggest legal scholars in the US, they are about as detailed and comprehensive as they come in the bar exam space. That said, this is not light reading. You can see the picture of the monstrous stack of books you get below.
For students that love to learn via textbook, these books are an awesome resource worth their weight in gold. However, if you prefer not to burn out your eyes on millions of lines of detailed text, Quimbee’s concise black letter law outlines are noteworthy. These succinct outlines are extremely well written in an easily understandable manner, and in our team’s opinion, do a great job distilling the most important concepts down into digestible chunks. So while we have to give Barbri credit where’s its due on their books, we do very much like Quimbee’s outlines.
Advantage: Quimbee. I think the current ratings in the Apple app store say it all. As of the time of this writing, Quimbee’s app has a 5-star rating with close to 900 reviews, while Barbri gets 1-star from its 200+ raters. Yikes. After testing both apps, we have to agree. Barbri’s app is clunky and outdated, while Quimbee’s tech is snappy, responsive, and all around very easy to use, allowing access to all your materials with a few simple clicks. For some students, mobile apps may not be a big deal, but for those that plan to study while lying in bed or on a commute, take note.
Advantage: Barbri. This bar review giant does not shy away from the extras. With a big price tag, you also get big bonus resources. This includes immersion workshops, attorney support and early start access, among others. On the flip side, outside of the outlines, video lessons, practice problems and other prep course staples, Quimbee isn’t big on the extras (which isn’t a total shocker given the price point). Whether these extras justify the price gap is a different conversation, and our team sees them as being a fairly limited factor in your studies with Barbri.
Advantage: Quimbee. As both courses offer fairly standard access periods until the date of your exam, this category turns on repeats. And on that front, Quimbee wins. Quimbee offers unlimited retakes – essentially lifetime access – whereas Barbri only allows one retake. This gives Quimbee the clear long term content access win.
Money Back Guarantee
Advantage: Quimbee. It’s pretty simple to dub a winner in this category. If you complete at least 75% of your coursework with Quimbee and fail your exam, they’ll give you your money back. On the other hand, Barbri does not have a cash-back pass guarantee.
Verdict: Quimbee vs Barbri
While Quimbee’s coursework and study materials aren’t as robust as Barbri’s, our team actually prefers Quimbee over the longtime bar prep favorite. On paper, and based on history, this should be an easy win for Barbri. But this is now a very close race. In today’s age, students are looking for true value in their bar prep, and that’s exactly what Quimbee delivers. At $999, it is just hard to argue with the bang for your buck value that Quimbee provides. Their video lessons are engaging, the black letter law outlines are the perfect balance of detail and brevity, and much of their practice material is the same as Barbri’s. So when weighing both prep options, our team can’t help but to support a decision in favor of Quimbee.