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Bar Prep Hero Review
An in-depth evaluation and review of the Bar Prep Hero course
With a practice-first approach and online-only platform, Bar Prep Hero strives to offer students a faster and more efficient means of prepping for the bar exam than traditional bar review courses. Offering a digital platform focused on having students learn through working thousands of practice problems, Bar Prep Hero provides a fresh approach to bar prep at a fraction of the cost of the bar prep heavyweights. So how does this relative upstart with an appealing price tag and practice-centric approach stack up against the bar review giants? We provide a full review and analysis of the Bar Prep Hero course in this detailed guide.
Since 2012, Bar Prep Hero has helped 300,000+ students prepare for and pass the bar exam. But rather than taking the traditional prep approach of holding live classes and online lectures like Kaplan and other bar review courses, Bar Prep Hero is 100% online and built for flexible self-study. Not only that, Bar Prep Hero changes the game by utilizing a practice-focused approach to learning. In fact, there is no formal instruction at all – no classes, no video lessons, and no content-filled prep books.
You instead learn through practice, practice, and more practice. And it’s not just any practice – Bar Prep Hero licenses more than 1,700 of their practice problems from the NCBE, the body that makes the MBE and UBE. This means you get official MBE bar questions that have been used on past exams. This isn’t totally unique (other courses like AdaptiBar use licensed questions as well), but this is the pinnacle of practice question quality and where a huge portion of Bar Prep Hero’s value lies. In addition, Bar Prep Hero kicks in another 500+ simulated questions designed by their team of in-house experts to mirror real MBE questions.
Working practice problems in single subject and mixed subject mini-tests, the idea is that you learn the hard content through practice, while simultaneously conditioning yourself for the actual exam. Each of their 2,200+ practice problems are accompanied by a written explanation, detailing why the correct answer choice is just that, correct. This is where the real learning comes into place. By reading each problem explanation, which includes citations to relevant case law, you gain a deeper understanding of the relevant legal principles at play and get a feel for how the test makers try to trick you.
These practice questions cover the seven major legal topics tested on the MBE: civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts. In addition to the practice problems and explanations, Bar Prep Hero also provides 1,800+ relevant flashcards. These flashcards cover 12 important legal categories and include a brief description and/or definition of critically important terms and principles. Beyond the practice problems and flashcards, one of the Bar Prep Hero packages additionally provides access to all relevant MEE and MPT materials, as discussed further below.
Course Options and Pricing
Bar Prep Hero provides three course options from which to choose, though two of the courses have much more value than the third (at least in my opinion). Those course options include:
The Sim-MBE offering is Bar Prep Hero’s most basic and affordable option, carrying a price tag of just $99. However, while that price tag may perk your ears, do not get overly-excited. Such offering only provides access to 500+ of the simulated MBE questions, and none of the real NCBE questions or MEE and MPT materials. If you’re just looking for a little extra last-minute study in the realm of MBE, this could be a nice supplement for some extra practice, but alone it will not be enough.
The Full MBE course carries much more bang for your buck at $299. This offering boasts 2,200+ practice problems, with 1,700+ of those being official NCBE bar questions. Given that Bar Prep Hero’s highlight is their practice material, particularly their licensed rights to NCBE questions, this is a much more sensible option for those students needing more comprehensive MBE review.
Finally, for students needing preparation for the full UBE, Bar Prep Hero offers a more robust, Full Bar course. This option will run you approximately $450 and is generally the same as the Full MBE course. The difference between the courses though, is access to the MEE and MPT materials from the NCBE. With the Full Bar course you will have full access to 20+ years’ worth of MEE essays (with full analysis) and MPT tests (with cheat sheets highlighting the key legal points, facts and issues). This is Bar Prep Hero’s best value, and a must for students studying for the full UBE.
Course options and pricing current as of date of publication.
Review and Rating of the Bar Prep Hero Course
Logging in to my Bar Prep Hero course for the first time, I think I had the same question that a lot of students have, which is “Where is the instruction?”. As discussed above, Bar Prep Hero’s prep package is focused almost entirely on practice questions and explanations, lacking any real core curriculum or coursework. The intent is that you will learn by doing and reading problem explanations. While I understand the fresh approach to bar prep, which favors experiential learning styles, the lack of curriculum and instruction does not go unnoticed.
Upon logging in, I found myself looking for direction on what to study or do – video lessons, books, learning modules, anything. But unlike law school, there are no lectures or lessons. You dive right into the material by doing practice problems. At first, it is a little unnerving as you try to recall concepts from 1L and apply them to practice questions. In fact, I was somewhat frustrated. But after working through the first 100 questions or so, I quickly settled in and realized the frustration was part of the learning process. You miss a question, you read the explanation, you flag it for later, and move on. And when you circle back to that problem later you feel much more confident and have quick recall of the concept.
It is just part of the Bar Prep Hero process and a different style of learning from what you’re used to in law school. For students who like to learn by doing, this course will suit you very well. But for those students who learn better in a classroom setting or through assigned reading, there may be better bar review courses that fit your needs and learning style. This Bar Prep Hero method of teaching can still be effective for you, but it likely just won’t come as easily.
Outside of the style of learning involved, the question quality can’t be disputed. You simply cannot do better in terms of practice than actual NCBE questions, and that is exactly what you get with Bar Prep Hero. Of your 2,200+ questions, 1,700+ will be official, previously used bar exam questions. While these licensed NCBE questions are not exclusive to Bar Prep Hero (Quimbee and some other bar prep providers use them as well), they provide amazing relevancy. And even the other 500+ simulated questions designed by Bap Prep Hero’s experts do a great job mimicking real bar questions. When the two are mixed in cross-over subject quizzes, you can hardly decipher between the two.
However, while the question quality is undeniably good, the problem explanations get a mixed review overall. To be clear, the text explanations are excellent. They are detailed, well-written and very clearly articulate why the correct answer choice was the right selection. And as mentioned, they even reference relevant case law. That said, the explanations only address the correct answer choice, and do not address the incorrect choices at all. Most other prep companies provide explanations around the correct AND incorrect answer choices. This provides an opportunity for students to see why the particular answer they chose was wrong and allows for a deeper understanding of the material. But overall, the explanations, even if just covering the correct answer choice, are really solid.
I also found the method in which you work these MBE practice problems to be beneficial as well. You can choose to work practice questions in a single subject test, mixed subject test, or in a full 200-question MBE exam simulator. The single-subject quizzes are nice, as they allow you to narrowly target your weaknesses needing improvement.
On the flip side, the MBE exam simulator tests your full knowledge under exam-like conditions, where you are given 6 hours to complete the full slate of mixed bag questions. The questions also appear by subject in proportion to how questions have historically appeared on the MBE section of the bar. This is a great feature, as it doesn’t make sense to test a disproportionate number of civil procedure questions if they appear at lower rates on the real exam. In short, I was a big fan of the MBE exam simulator.
Another useful aspect of Bar Prep Hero’s prep package is the functionality around their practice test software. There are a ton of cool functions, including hints, voice-over, answer popularity, ambient background sounds, answer panels and night mode. Each of these features provides a unique and helpful role, particularly the hint and popular choice features. In addition, Bar Prep Hero utilizes a “Challenge Bank,” which collects every problem that you miss and saves them for later. This allows you to easily return to the problems that gave you issues and re-work them at a later date. This is a big part of Bar Prep Hero’s learning process and a valuable tool.
For the students anteing up for the Full Bar course, you will get access to the NCBE materials on MEE and MPT. This includes every MEE essay since 1997, as well as corresponding analysis of each essay with a model answer. It also includes every MPT test since 1997, along with a guide noting the key legal points, facts, and issues that should have been addressed in the MPT test. Once again, it’s hard to question the quality of material when it comes straight from the horse’s mouth. There is no higher authority on UBE testing material than the NCBE, so access to these essays and tests with corresponding analysis is a huge benefit. The MEE and MPT materials are also provided in the form of downloadable PDF’s, which make studying on the go fairly convenient.
That said, while the quality of the MEE and MPT materials are top notch, the practice element is lacking. There are no practice essay prompts or simulated MPT tests, offering no chance to learn by doing. I found this to be a little disappointing, especially given the focus of Bar Prep Hero’s approach on practice. I would like to see them add a few sample essays and tests around the MEE and MPT portions of the exam, and give each student a few free grades/feedback on their writing samples. But all in all, the MEE and MPT materials are very helpful.
The final element of the Bar Prep Hero package is their suite of flashcards. In total, you get access to 1,800+ online flashcards which cover 12 legal subjects. Each one contains a basic term or legal principle, with a definition or explanation on the reverse side. I personally found these flashcards to be very helpful.
Given the lack of instruction and other study material outside of the practice questions, these flashcards are a nice reprieve from constant practice. Not only that, they are very detailed and inclusive. They cover many of the fundamental principles tested on the MBE, and provide a great foundational knowledge. There is a good chance you’ve seen all the concepts at one time or another during law school, but the refresher is great.
All things considered, I was pretty impressed with the quality of the Bar Prep Hero course. Their practice questions are of the utmost quality and each provides a really helpful explanation. In addition, the flashcards are very useful, providing a great recap of concepts long forgotten since 1L year. The utter lack of content review is a little bothersome, but you should know what you’re getting as you go into this course. Their practice-first approach will not work for everybody, but for those that prefer to just learn by doing, you’ll love this course format.
User Experience and Interface
When offering a 100% online course, your digital platform generally better be darn good. Luckily for Bar Prep Hero, it is. Their digital platform is clean, intuitive and well-designed. Their practice problem sets are neatly organized in buckets by the type of test you want to take (single subject, mixed-subject or full MBE exam simulator). The rest of the material, including MEE, MPT and flashcards are also easy to find and nicely laid out.
The testing interface, which is at the heart of Bar Prep Hero’s practice-centric approach, is very sleek, as it should be. It has a very modern feel and snappy responsiveness. The problem explanations present themselves the second you choose your answer choice, and all attendant functions are easy to find. It is a very clean and professional looking platform, which is a very good thing considering how much you’ll be using it.
The MEE and MPT materials, while conveniently housed in downloadable PDF’s, could be better formatted. Personally I would like to get a hard copy book containing them all, as well as a single eBook rather than a massive series of PDF’s. But at the end of the day it really isn’t that bad.
Bar Prep Hero’s extracurricular resources are a little thin as compared to other test prep companies’ offerings. There just isn’t much offered outside of the practice material and flashcards, but one resource worth highlighting is their private email consults. You will get either 3, 10 or 15 private email consultations with Bar Prep Hero’s legal staff depending on the package you purchase. The email consults allow to you to shoot a short email to Bar Prep Hero’s legal experts asking for clarification on a particular practice problem.
If you just can’t figure a problem out or need further clarification even after reading the problem explanation (and maybe the referenced case), you can shoot them an email with your query and they’ll get back to you within a day or two. I tested this feature and found it to be alright. I sent an email with a question on a torts issue and they got back to me fairly quickly. However, the response was not much more than a regurgitation of the problem explanation in a different structure and with slightly more detail. It did give me some lift, but overall wasn’t a huge value add.
Bar Prep Hero additionally provides access to some nice analytics around your performance. These analytics allow you to see what your bar pass probability would be as of today and where your weak spots lie. The data on your weak spots is great because you can then hammer those areas through some single subject practice sets, but they are not the most in-depth metrics we have come across.
Length of Access to Online Content
The Sim-MBE course provides one year of access to Bar Prep Hero’s online content, while both the Full MBE and Full Bar each offer lifetime access. Yes, you did read that correctly – access for life. Hopefully you pass the bar exam the first go around and do not need that lifetime access (fingers crossed), but for those unlucky few that need to take the bar again, it’s nice knowing you won’t need to repurchase these practice materials.
Unfortunately Bar Prep Hero does not offer a mobile app. This is a little disappointing given that most other bar review courses offer some form of mobile app, most notably BarMax, whose mobile app is at the heart of their course and generates much of their value.
However, while they don’t have a mobile app, Bar Prep Hero’s materials are accessible on both desktop and mobile devices with seamless integration. You don’t have to pause where you leave off. Just power down one device and pick up another, and you’re right where you stopped.
Is there a Money Back Guarantee?
Yes, the Full MBE and Full Bar each carry a money back guarantee. For the Full MBE course, if you complete all MBE practice tests and fail to get a passing grade on the MBE portion of your exam, Bar Prep Hero will refund your money. Additionally, for the Full Bar course, if you complete all MBE practice tests and review all MEE and MPT materials, they guarantee you will pass your bar exam or your money back. These are some pretty generous guarantees and some nice insurance to have in your back pocket.
Verdict: Bar Prep Hero Review Course
For hands-on, experiential learners who learn best by doing, the Bar Prep Hero review course will be an excellent fit for your needs. Taking a practice-first approach to teaching MBE bar exam principles, Bar Prep Hero has licensed 1,700+ real practice questions from the NCBE, as well as designed 500+ more. These practice questions are each accompanied by thorough explanations, breaking down the correct answer choice and citing to relevant case law that provides for a deeper understanding of the legal principles at play. In addition, you get 1,800+ carefully crafted flashcards that help to refresh some of the foundational concepts you may have forgotten since 1L and 2L years.
The obvious deficiency with Bar Prep Hero’s prep offerings is the lack of instruction. There is no core curriculum or content review – just practice, practice, and more practice. Whether this will be a deal killer will totally depend on the type of learner and student that you are. Most all of the content you need to know for the MBE portion of the exam is present in the practice problems and accompanying explanations, but whether that is sufficient for your needs will be up to you. All in all, Bar Prep Hero offers a high value, high quality means of tackling the uniform bar exam that will fit self-motivated, experiential learners very well.
Bar Prep Hero offers three course options, ranging in price from roughly $100 to $450. For students taking the full uniform bar exam though, you will likely need the Full Bar course at the top end of the spectrum.
Is Bar Prep Hero all online?
Yes, Bar Prep Hero’s review course is 100% online. There are no live classes or self-study books. Everything you need is housed in their digital platform.
Does Bar Prep Hero use real, past bar exam materials?
Yes, official NCBE questions are at the heart of Bar Prep Hero’s prep course. Almost all of the material you get through Bar Prep Hero has been on a real bar exam in the past.