Essential Bar Prep Materials

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BirdLawyerCharlie

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Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby BirdLawyerCharlie » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:08 pm

Okay, so I've been browsing and lurking this forum for the past hour and it seems like everyone recommends something different. Is there anyway we can aggregate what people prefer most? I took the July 18 bar and passed the essay portion and failed the MBE by 6 and have to retake and I'm looking for something to bump my MBE score over that threshold.

I took 98% of Barbri and since it did not work for me I am looking into doing Themis or Kaplan as well as supplementing it with additional resources. Things I hear good news about are:

- Critical Pass cards
- Adaptibar
- BarMax
- Emanuels
- Finz Strategies and Tactics

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a male human

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby a male human » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:11 pm

I'll add BarEssays if you're taking the CA bar.

nthp

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby nthp » Thu Nov 08, 2018 10:59 am

I'm sorry that you didn't pass BirdLawyerCharlie. You are so close and will get it in February.

Adaptibar is a good source if you learn by finding patterns. Just do as many practice questions as time allows for you, write down the right answers to the questions that you get wrong, and try to figure out why the answer you picked is wrong together with the other wrong answer choices. Eventually, you'll notice patterns in any given fact pattern. There's only so many ways that they can test you, so it doesn't really matter how old the questions appear to be.

Additionally, I found that the most important thing for me while using the program was to pretend that I'm being timed for each question. I only allowed myself, at most 2.5 minutes to answer a question. I averaged about 1.5 minutes. This started from the very beginning of practice. This allows you to train yourself to think quickly in a short amount of time so that you are not fretting on the day of the exam that you cannot finish on time.

You want to get your accuracy within a range that you feel comfortable with to pass, because the actual exam conditions can throw you off and you might be on the lower end of that range.

I hope this helps. Again, I'm sure you'll pass the next time. Good luck to you.

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby SilvermanBarPrep » Thu Nov 08, 2018 12:36 pm

For self-studiers who won't be taking a class, I generally recommend Barbri's Convsier Mini Review for outlines to learn the law. They aren't short, but they aren't as daunting as the other book they put out, and they cover all the information you'll need to know for the test. Just black letter law, not many examples or illustrations of the law, which keeps the page count down.

As for practice questions:

Strategies and Tactics for the Finz Multistate Method (4th edition)
Strategies and Tactics for the MBE (6th edition)
Adaptibar
Seperac
OPE 1-4 (on the NCBE Website)
MBE Study Guide (on the NCBE website)

Note that some of the above will overlap with the same questions, but my point is only that all of the above are excellent resources when studying.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

Neve

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby Neve » Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:14 pm

My running list of bar prep materials:

1) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE - available on Amazon. Fairly cheap book. Has good tips on approaching the MBE and contains lots of practice questions.

2) Adaptibar (http://www.adaptibar.com) - I didn't use this, but wish I had since it has received raving reviews. The only con to Adaptibar is the price.

3) Barmax MBE Questions (https://getbarmax.com/barmax-mbe-questions/ - supposedly "comparable" to Adaptibar). At only $249, it's a good price, but Adaptibar has tracking tools to individualize your MBE study and show your progress in a method that Barmax can't. But Barmax seems to be more economical than Adaptibar. You also need an iOS device to use it.

4) OPE from the MBE site to practice the most recent test questions: http://store.ncbex.org/all-online-practice-exams/. OPE it isn't the cheapest option, but these are real, recent MBE questions and not the souped up Barbri ones. Barbri questions are not representative of the modern MBE. I hear Barmax has all these OPEs included.

5) Critical Pass (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/L2L68Z5 - referral link contains a discount code for $$ off) - Great flashcards for the MBE! You can't apply the law to an MBE question, if you don't know the law. I used Critical Pass for my bar study along with the CMR from Barbri and their simulated questions (although the Barbri questions are very different than actual MBE questions). I also used Emanuel's S&T during my study period, but not as much as I should have since it's a great resource.

Law&coffee

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby Law&coffee » Sat Dec 08, 2018 7:55 pm

Adaptibar
Emmanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE
Critical Pass

Neve

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby Neve » Sun Jan 13, 2019 2:53 pm

BirdLawyerCharlie wrote:Okay, so I've been browsing and lurking this forum for the past hour and it seems like everyone recommends something different. Is there anyway we can aggregate what people prefer most? I took the July 18 bar and passed the essay portion and failed the MBE by 6 and have to retake and I'm looking for something to bump my MBE score over that threshold.

I took 98% of Barbri and since it did not work for me I am looking into doing Themis or Kaplan as well as supplementing it with additional resources. Things I hear good news about are:

- Critical Pass cards
- Adaptibar
- BarMax
- Emanuels
- Finz Strategies and Tactics


I took Barbri and passed the Texas bar exam on my first try. However, while Barbri did an excellent job of preparing me for the essays, their prep material for the MBE was subpar. I found the actual MBE portion much more challenging than the simulated Barbri MBE questions. I don't think you can go wrong with extra prep material for the MBE, but as a tip, select one or two core supplements (such a Critical Pass and AdaptiBar) and stick with it in addition to a traditional bar prep course.

megamega88

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby megamega88 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 3:23 pm

Barbri posts all past bar exam mbe questions somewhere on their platform. they don't have an algorithm like adaptibar does but if you are not concerned about that there is no reason to shell out the extra bucks for adaptibar then.

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a male human

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby a male human » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:15 pm

megamega88 wrote:Barbri posts all past bar exam mbe questions somewhere on their platform. they don't have an algorithm like adaptibar does but if you are not concerned about that there is no reason to shell out the extra bucks for adaptibar then.

This is the first time I'm hearing this. Are they licensed questions or ones they wrote?

In fact, which prep courses offer real MBE questions? So far I heard Themis and maybe Kaplan but nothing conclusive.

megamega88

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby megamega88 » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:26 pm

a male human wrote:
megamega88 wrote:Barbri posts all past bar exam mbe questions somewhere on their platform. they don't have an algorithm like adaptibar does but if you are not concerned about that there is no reason to shell out the extra bucks for adaptibar then.

This is the first time I'm hearing this. Are they licensed questions or ones they wrote?

In fact, which prep courses offer real MBE questions? So far I heard Themis and maybe Kaplan but nothing conclusive.


they r licensed questions. but my bad they are not all of the past released mbe questions. just from certain years but they are orig mbe questions.

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a male human

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby a male human » Sun Jan 13, 2019 4:28 pm

megamega88 wrote:
a male human wrote:
megamega88 wrote:Barbri posts all past bar exam mbe questions somewhere on their platform. they don't have an algorithm like adaptibar does but if you are not concerned about that there is no reason to shell out the extra bucks for adaptibar then.

This is the first time I'm hearing this. Are they licensed questions or ones they wrote?

In fact, which prep courses offer real MBE questions? So far I heard Themis and maybe Kaplan but nothing conclusive.


they r licensed questions. but my bad they are not all of the past released mbe questions. just from certain years but they are orig mbe questions.

Interesting... Thanks for clarifying!

Smiddywesson

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby Smiddywesson » Thu Feb 28, 2019 5:17 pm

I just took the February bar. The questions are confidential of course, however there were very few substantive law surprises. Everything you need is right there in that two foot thick pile of materials and what is released by the NCBE. However, the format was a big surprise. Do not listen to the drivil about how the questions now resemble the OPE Exams or the Study Aids. These questions were far more difficult than those materials. What you will be facing is a hybrid, somewhat shorter questions than the old released questions, but a lot longer and more difficult than the 610 questions released in the Study Aids and OPE Exams. Very tricksy stuff my precious.

Let's put it this way. I studied for a year. I did 3802 questions, after which I studied the answers and took notes. By comparison, Adaptibar lists the average customer as having done 986 for the February 2019 test. Two weeks going into the test I was scoring between 91% and 94%. I was averaging about one or two guesses per session. On the MBE day, I guessed five times on each session. Obviously, wrong answers don't only come from guessing, they appear even when you think you know the answer, but this demonstrates how much harder the real thing was than practice. My best guess is I got a raw score somewhere between 160 and 176. Moral of the story, take around 10% off your practice scores and there you go, or to put it another way, plan on your raw practice scores equaling your scaled score on the real thing.

PS: I finished with an extra 30 minutes in each session. Plan on time management being very difficult on the first 20 questions or so, and they making adjustments as you go. In each session I was right around 36 minutes on question 20, which left no extra time at all and somewhat panicked me. You have to anticipate you will slow down with fatigue, hence the panic. However good test taking techniques show over the long run and I was able to build up a pad that enabled me to spend as long as I needed on a question for most of the test. That's a good feeling. Bottom line, start early, take as many practice questions as you can, and make sure you look at your outlines because there's a fair amount of stuff you won't see in the practice tests. Equators are never released, so 60 out of 200 questions can only be answered by your long outlines. Best materials? Adaptibar and Barbri long outlines.

not guilty

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby not guilty » Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:01 pm

SilvermanBarPrep wrote:For self-studiers who won't be taking a class, I generally recommend Barbri's Convsier Mini Review for outlines to learn the law. They aren't short, but they aren't as daunting as the other book they put out, and they cover all the information you'll need to know for the test. Just black letter law, not many examples or illustrations of the law, which keeps the page count down.

As for practice questions:

Strategies and Tactics for the Finz Multistate Method (4th edition)
Strategies and Tactics for the MBE (6th edition)
Adaptibar
Seperac
OPE 1-4 (on the NCBE Website)
MBE Study Guide (on the NCBE website)

Note that some of the above will overlap with the same questions, but my point is only that all of the above are excellent resources when studying.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)


The "mbe study guide" is just more questions right? I wish they made a precise outline of actual material.

paperplanes22

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby paperplanes22 » Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:39 am

I’ll get back to you when I find out if I actually passed this time, but I did the formal prep course thing before and it just didn’t work for me - it just wasn’t a good match based on how I learn. So, this time I went with the most cost effective yet actually effective combination I could create, and this is what I used:

AdaptiBar ($395)
Barbri Mini Conviser ($65 on eBay)
Studicata ($397) - totally 100% worth it - I think this is the most underrated of the sources I’m listing here
Emanuel’s S&T ($80 on Amazon)

Total cost: $937

... I also found Barbri lectures free-of-charge online, so I watched them leisurely to reinforce what I’d learned.

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anon sequitur

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby anon sequitur » Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:56 pm

I used BarMax's MBE question set, which is the same set of questions that Adaptibar and Themis use (all the published MBE questions available, including the OPE tests). The nice thing about BarMax is that you get lifetime access, so if I ever have to take the bar again my MBE study is set. I found BarMax's user interface to be crappier than Adaptibar's, but generally fine, it's just reading questions off a screen. The analytics aren't as cool, but good enough and honestly, I think it's easy to get too wrapped up in the analytics, they're really not that useful.

Anyway, I was surprised how much the OPE tests are different from the old MBE questions--much more straightforward, with a noticeably more modern focus. Still tricky, but fewer awful stupid questions. It's too bad there are only 600 and some of the modern questions, they were great for study and practice, but I think you probably need at least 1000+ to get a full overview of all the MBE topics. Of course, there were things on the real MBE that I had never covered in any previous practice question, but that was the same as happened when I took it in 2015 too, and from reading these forums, it happens literally every single time the MBE comes out. I didn't see anything that made me think this MBE was particularly unusual. Of course some questions were really hard. It's hard to do 200 MBE questions a day after you've spent 6-7 hours doing high-stakes essay exams, there's always going to be stuff that messes people up.

Huevoranchero

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby Huevoranchero » Wed May 29, 2019 12:21 am

paperplanes22 wrote:I’ll get back to you when I find out if I actually passed this time, but I did the formal prep course thing before and it just didn’t work for me - it just wasn’t a good match based on how I learn. So, this time I went with the most cost effective yet actually effective combination I could create, and this is what I used:

AdaptiBar ($395)
Barbri Mini Conviser ($65 on eBay)
Studicata ($397) - totally 100% worth it - I think this is the most underrated of the sources I’m listing here
Emanuel’s S&T ($80 on Amazon)

Total cost: $937

... I also found Barbri lectures free-of-charge online, so I watched them leisurely to reinforce what I’d learned.



Hey I was wondering if you could elaborate your study method with that material? I just happened not come across this and am taking the Colorado bar exam. I purchased studicata last week, coming from TX to Colorado. How'd you use Studicata? Did you just follow their schedule or vary it up? Any info would be welcomed. Thanks!

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mornincounselor

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby mornincounselor » Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:39 pm

Using Critical Pass, Adaptibar, and Emmanuel I feel like I'm on track to do fine on the MBE. But as someone who didn't buy a formal course how would you recommend we do good on the Texas state specific essays ?

Neve

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Re: Essential Bar Prep Materials

Postby Neve » Sat Jun 29, 2019 8:16 pm

mornincounselor wrote:Using Critical Pass, Adaptibar, and Emmanuel I feel like I'm on track to do fine on the MBE. But as someone who didn't buy a formal course how would you recommend we do good on the Texas state specific essays ?


First, you need to format your response in CIRAC. This is very important. Second of all, you need to master the law to articulate it in an essay format. Third, Texas essays are very predictable - meaning that essay topics are recycled year after year. When I was studying for the Texas bar exam, I spent nearly ten days devoted to just the essays. I did all essay questions for the last fifteen years or so. When doing this, the Texas Board definitely recycles questions and answers. They can't possibly test on every topic out there. Highly recommend reviewing the last 7-10 years of Texas essays for each topic.

There should be a book of prior Texas essay questions and responses in one of the bar books provided by Barbri, if you are taking that course. I believe they also available online on the Texas Board of Law Examiners website.

I also highly recommend Critical Pass (referral link for $ off - http://criticalpass.refr.cc/ZT9TTK). I found them such an asset to help me pass the bar exam.



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