If you are wrapping up law school and preparing for the marathon run that is Bar preparation you have probably considered Barbri Bar Review as one of your choices. I purchased Barbri Bar Review when I prepared for the Bar and one of the first things everyone wanders is whether you need to complete the entire course.
You do not need to complete the entire Barbri Bar Review in order to pass the Bar Exam, in fact, most people do not complete the course. The vast majority of substantive information will be covered within the first 75% of the course, therefore, in order to be well prepared you should aim to complete at least 70-75%.
Completing 75% of Barbri is a good indicator that you put in the hard work but it is not a guarantee of success on the Bar. Keep reading to find out what additional Bar success factors you should consider as you get in the full-swing of Bar preparation.
How Long Should You Study With Barbri?
If you only need to complete 70-75% of the Barbri course how long should that actually take? Well, it turns out it takes quite a lot of time to memorize and effectively answer so much material. The MBE alone contains questions from seven different courses and the MEE essay portion of the exam can field questions from a myriad of minor subjects that you may have never taken in law school.
For most people, a minimum of eight to ten weeks is necessary to complete 75% of Barbri. Starting your Bar prep early enough becomes even more important when you realize that you will spend many hours reviewing notes, flashcards and practice exams, and much of this time will not count towards completing Barbri.
How You Study is More Important Than How Much You Study.
Both how you study and how much you study is important, but if you are not maximizing the time you put into studying than you are throwing away countless hours of time. Here are some tips that might help you maximize the time you put into your Barbri course.
- You should spend as much time going over practice exams as you do taking them. Barbri is absolutely packed with practice exams. You are never going to complete all of them, but you can make sure that you learn from each and every one. It is extremely tedious to have to delve through practice exams and assess what questions you missed but it is a crucial part of not missing the same or similar question in the future.
- Take frequent breaks. Taking frequent breaks can sound counterintuitive but hear me out, most peoples attention spans only last so long and trying to grind out eight hours in a single session is counterproductive. Instead, aim to take short breaks after each hour session or so, go get a cup of coffee or do some jump rope (my favorite). Remember Bar preparation is a marathon not a race.
- Understand the law before you take practice tests. I mentioned above that Barbri has lots of practice tests available, too many in my opinion. The biggest critique I had of the course was that it seemed to much on practice tests and didn’t give enough time to simply reviewing the law. Practice tests are important but if you have not reviewed your materials sufficiently it will take you longer to improve on the tests.
- Barbri is not the be all end all of Bar preparation. Barbri is a wonderful tool but it is not perfect. Your study methods that got you through law school will certainly be helpful for Bar preparation as well. Creating flashcards, rewriting caselaw and statutes, and having friends quiz you can all be helpful as you prepare.
How Likely Am I To Pass The Bar?
The most important question is how likely are you to pass the Bar with a 70-75% completion? The good news is that about 85-90% of Barbri first-time test takers pass the Bar. Barbri is an excellent option and completing 70-75% of the course will put you in a very strong position going into the Bar exam. In case you are having trouble with the Bar exam, check out this article on what to do if you didn’t pass.
Bar preparation is the last big marathon that every law school graduate must complete to become a licensed attorney. It is a difficult and lengthy process but Barbri is a great option for any law student that decides to take that route. Luckily, completing the entire course is completely unnecessary. Completing 70-75% of the course with a focus on quality study will put you in an excellent position to pass the Bar Exam!