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UBE specifically: is Barbri or Themis better?

Posted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 8:01 pm
by da.goat
Title pretty much asks the question. I did a lot of searching on TLS, but couldn't find much specifically on prepping for the UBE. Would you recommend Barbri or Themis for UBE prep? Why? Would you supplement them with anything else?

Thanks!!

Re: UBE specifically: is Barbri or Themis better?

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 10:23 am
by Pawprynt
I took Illinois bar which will be UBE next July (sucks for me). However the only difference between the Illinois Bar Exam and UBE is that I have 3 Illinois essays instead of the 2nd MPT. Otherwise it’s rhe same test!

I used Themis and loved it. I like that Themis uses real, released questions. I didn’t notice any surprises on the MBE portion of the exam. My friends who used Barbri complained that their questions were harder and I think more confusing. I am all for simulated test conditions so I don’t think Barbri does the best at their “over prepare” tactic because that leads to overthinking.

I also really enjoyed the essay prep for themis - I found it helpful. My only complaint is that we didn’t have the essays and model answers in hard copy. It was all online and that frustrated me since I like to be able to mark up the question.

I think the biggest thing I loved about themis was the lectures were short. Instead of having hour long lectures, they were 15-20 min each and you fill in the handout as you go. I listened at 1.5-2x the speed a lot and it was manageable. I lose focus a lot so I liked having small pieces to tackle.

I think that for working part time (like I did), Themis was amazing. The calendar automatically adjusted if I fell behind or worked ahead. I would use them again for another bar exam, but luckily I passed IL!

I supplemented with JD Advising’s MEE one sheets (they were great!) and a little critical pass flash cards but I didn’t use them nearly enough to be worth it.

Good luck!

Re: UBE specifically: is Barbri or Themis better?

Posted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:18 am
by da.goat
Pawprynt wrote:I took Illinois bar which will be UBE next July (sucks for me). However the only difference between the Illinois Bar Exam and UBE is that I have 3 Illinois essays instead of the 2nd MPT. Otherwise it’s rhe same test!

I used Themis and loved it. I like that Themis uses real, released questions. I didn’t notice any surprises on the MBE portion of the exam. My friends who used Barbri complained that their questions were harder and I think more confusing. I am all for simulated test conditions so I don’t think Barbri does the best at their “over prepare” tactic because that leads to overthinking.

I also really enjoyed the essay prep for themis - I found it helpful. My only complaint is that we didn’t have the essays and model answers in hard copy. It was all online and that frustrated me since I like to be able to mark up the question.

I think the biggest thing I loved about themis was the lectures were short. Instead of having hour long lectures, they were 15-20 min each and you fill in the handout as you go. I listened at 1.5-2x the speed a lot and it was manageable. I lose focus a lot so I liked having small pieces to tackle.

I think that for working part time (like I did), Themis was amazing. The calendar automatically adjusted if I fell behind or worked ahead. I would use them again for another bar exam, but luckily I passed IL!

I supplemented with JD Advising’s MEE one sheets (they were great!) and a little critical pass flash cards but I didn’t use them nearly enough to be worth it.

Good luck!


That's really helpful, thank you! Did you find the essay graders for Themis helpful/consistent?

Re: UBE specifically: is Barbri or Themis better?

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:18 pm
by Pawprynt
da.goat wrote:
Pawprynt wrote:I took Illinois bar which will be UBE next July (sucks for me). However the only difference between the Illinois Bar Exam and UBE is that I have 3 Illinois essays instead of the 2nd MPT. Otherwise it’s rhe same test!

I used Themis and loved it. I like that Themis uses real, released questions. I didn’t notice any surprises on the MBE portion of the exam. My friends who used Barbri complained that their questions were harder and I think more confusing. I am all for simulated test conditions so I don’t think Barbri does the best at their “over prepare” tactic because that leads to overthinking.

I also really enjoyed the essay prep for themis - I found it helpful. My only complaint is that we didn’t have the essays and model answers in hard copy. It was all online and that frustrated me since I like to be able to mark up the question.

I think the biggest thing I loved about themis was the lectures were short. Instead of having hour long lectures, they were 15-20 min each and you fill in the handout as you go. I listened at 1.5-2x the speed a lot and it was manageable. I lose focus a lot so I liked having small pieces to tackle.

I think that for working part time (like I did), Themis was amazing. The calendar automatically adjusted if I fell behind or worked ahead. I would use them again for another bar exam, but luckily I passed IL!

I supplemented with JD Advising’s MEE one sheets (they were great!) and a little critical pass flash cards but I didn’t use them nearly enough to be worth it.

Good luck!


That's really helpful, thank you! Did you find the essay graders for Themis helpful/consistent?


So Themis gives you the same essay grader for all eight of the graded essays (you can submit more for grading, but I never did). I had a grader who was very harsh and nitpicky. It was almost discouraging at times, but I really feel now, looking back, that it was good for me because it trained me to really get the hang of making good rule statements and structuring my essays. I think the MEE one sheets were helpful in this regard as well because I would pull rule statements from them and just retyping those helped me memorize them. I think the essays are frustrating in the beginning because you don't know everything yet, but it definitely got easier and came together. I think most helpful for me was going through each model answer after and taking notes on the rule statements from there.

Re: UBE specifically: is Barbri or Themis better?

Posted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 12:36 pm
by mathandthelaw
Barbri student here from Cali

-I thought Barbri was okay. I felt like there was too much to do which was overwhelming. I also wish they told us to review and do all the past Cal Bar essays/PTs that they post on the web site. Towards the end I didn't follow their schedule and just did my own thing (outlining past bar essays/PTs).
-While I did feel prepared for the bar, I do think I could have spent a bit less time doing stuff they wanted and using my time more efficiently. You have to really know yourself and how you work.
-Barbri said memorization happens over time but expected us to be able to memorize while practicing in the last 2.5 weeks. That was not enough time for me to memorize. I wish I spent a bit more time memorizing earlier. Good thing I strayed away a bit.
-The multiple choice questions for Barbri were actually pretty hard. When I did the Adaptibar questions I was like omg, I feel so much better. But in a sense, I'm glad the Barbri multiple choice were hard, because although the actual MBE was worded differently, I did feel like okay I can handle difficult questions.
-Not all the lecturers were great, but the lectures were helpful. I'm an auditory/kinesthetic learner, so for me I couldn't just read everything and memorize. I need to put it to practice, tie it to something practical/great a mnemonic, and hear it.
-If you choose Barbri, I recommend following their format until the last of the lectures, then do your own thing (memorize, multiple choice, do recent past bar essays). Don't feel bad if you need to outline instead of fully writing out an essay. Don't be afraid to use different multiple choice. Do not do the extra homework they assign either. Waste of time.

Overall, if I could go back, I'd spend a bit less time doing all the practice multiple choice and essays, and start memorizing earlier. I can handle any question that is thrown at me, but if I don't have a rule memorized, I'm not going to get it right. Ya know?

Just my perspective.