Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

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Hopeful29clerk

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Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby Hopeful29clerk » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:21 am

I just started my bar prep and am a bit overwhelmed by what I'm seeing online. I'm using Barbri and have a few questions for anyone who might be able to help:

(1) With Barbri, is it necessary or helpful to look to other resources like the Critical Pass flash cards? I'm thinking about getting them to help with memorization but am concerned about the information from the flash cards not being entirely the same as the Barbri information.
(2) Seeing that completing 100% is unreasonable, how much of Barbri should I aim to complete and what should I skip/skim?
(3) Any other Barbri-specific tips would be much appreciated!

Thanks! :)

caitlin1016

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Re: Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby caitlin1016 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:48 am

1) I can't speak for other states but I took the Illinois bar with Barbri and passed. I used the critical pass flashcards and memorized them cold and found that extremely helpful. The content on those is basically the same as the conviser mini review, just more condensed. Memorizing those is super helpful for MBE questions.
2) Barbri gives you way too much material that they say you have to read/memorize. It's really not feasible. Use the longer outlines if you need more understanding of a subject, but otherwise, just focus on the conviser mini review. If you find the Barbri AMPs helpful, use them, but I personally didn't and they take forever. You can also skip ahead to the subject "knowledge check" and that'll determine your understanding of the black letter law and then give you MBE questions to practice based on that. Barbri also asks you to write essays before memorizing any material. You're just going to end up frustrated if you do that. You can practice essays open book initially, but otherwise, not much point in attempting essays if you haven't memorized anything.
3) Don't obsess over the percentage. Just make sure you're actively studying, not just going through the motions. If you find the lectures helpful, use them (1.5 speed is your friend for some of the lectures), but they take forever and sometimes cover extraneous information. Determine how you learn and if listening to lectures is helpful or if it's better to read through outlines repeatedly.

Hopeful29clerk

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Re: Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby Hopeful29clerk » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:33 am

caitlin1016 wrote:1) I can't speak for other states but I took the Illinois bar with Barbri and passed. I used the critical pass flashcards and memorized them cold and found that extremely helpful. The content on those is basically the same as the conviser mini review, just more condensed. Memorizing those is super helpful for MBE questions.
2) Barbri gives you way too much material that they say you have to read/memorize. It's really not feasible. Use the longer outlines if you need more understanding of a subject, but otherwise, just focus on the conviser mini review. If you find the Barbri AMPs helpful, use them, but I personally didn't and they take forever. You can also skip ahead to the subject "knowledge check" and that'll determine your understanding of the black letter law and then give you MBE questions to practice based on that. Barbri also asks you to write essays before memorizing any material. You're just going to end up frustrated if you do that. You can practice essays open book initially, but otherwise, not much point in attempting essays if you haven't memorized anything.
3) Don't obsess over the percentage. Just make sure you're actively studying, not just going through the motions. If you find the lectures helpful, use them (1.5 speed is your friend for some of the lectures), but they take forever and sometimes cover extraneous information. Determine how you learn and if listening to lectures is helpful or if it's better to read through outlines repeatedly.

This is super helpful -- thanks! I think I'll get the flash cards. Do you suggest getting only the MBE ones or also the MEE ones?

caitlin1016

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Re: Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby caitlin1016 » Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:16 pm

I'm not sure because I didn't use them...
I would also say that sometimes Barbri makes you learn your state distinctions at the same time you're learning the MBE subjects. If you feel like you can remember the distinctions, go for it, but I'd focus on nailing down the MBE content before learning state distinctions so you don't confuse yourself.

mtnmama

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Re: Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby mtnmama » Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:15 pm

Get the cards, for sure. I used Barbri and the critical pass flashcards (MBE only) in 2016 and passed first try. Currently studying for another state. Personally I wouldn’t bother getting the cards for the essay portion. You learn enough through the course/studying MBE topics. The cards are awesome to take on the fly if you want to go out into the world, go for a walk, etc.

As far as approaching Barbri, this is what worked for me:

1. After the first 3 essay assignments or so, I didn’t write out a single essay. Not one. Just outlined them and checked my answers thoroughly. Chances are, you took a lot of essay-based exams in law school. You can crank out cohesive written product if you know what you need to include. I write fairly quickly and I knew I’d be fine. When the results came out, I did better on the essay portion than the MBE despite hardly writing out a full essay answer.

2. Seriously, fuck the essay architect and fuck that AMP nonsense. Half the time, the “black letter law” they’re testing is phrased with such ambiguity that it’s hardly intelligible. After the first week, I skipped this shit entirely. You’re better off learning the law in the way that’s most effective for you and just doing the practice questions. And then finding more practice questions, and doing those, too.

This is a long winded way of saying the same thing everyone says, which is do what works for you. If your gut says go rogue, go rogue. I still used Barbri as a guide, and completed about 80%. It’s a good program. The materials and outlines are quality shit. But if something isn’t working for you and you know it, don’t be afraid to shit-can it. Know the law, do a fuck ton of practice questions, and outline some essays. Work hard af, but don’t go all unabomber. There is such a thing as doing too much. Trust yourself, you made it this far. You’re gonna be just fine :)

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265489164158

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Re: Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby 265489164158 » Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:33 pm

nrand001 wrote:hey guys, i came across cal bar bible's study materials for the CA bar and it's AMAZING! Wish I had it earlier but better late than never. Their rules statements are soo easy to memorize!!!


Mods - please. This person is DMing and posting in multiple threads to advertise.

Law&coffee

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Re: Barbri and Bar Exam Advice

Postby Law&coffee » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:51 am

I would say an 80% completion rate is good for the Barbri course. I took Barbri and I never knew anyone who completed 100%. The people I knew who completed around 50% failed on their first attempt at the bar exam. I skipped the AMP exercises; however, others said they found it helpful. Some people skipped the lectures or listened to the lectures at home on a faster speed (1.25 or 1.5).

Regarding supplements, the following list is recommended:

1) Emanuel's Strategies and Tactics for the MBE
2) Adaptibar
3) Barmax MBE Questions (cheaper alternative to Adaptibar)
4) Critical Pass (http://criticalpass.refr.cc/VS3TS7D - referral link contains a discount code for $$ off)

Regarding the supplements, I think it's important to commit to one or maybe, two max in addition to the bar course. The supplements are not a substitute. You want to be able to focus on learning the law and mastering the essays and MBE and too much material can be a detriment. It's important to strike a balance when studying for the bar with a traditional bar course and supplements.



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