We sometimes get calls from first time takers who are looking for advice on the bar exam. They have decided that they do not want to invest in a bar exam prep course, and would like to attempt to study for the exam on their own. We also get calls from repeat takers who attempted to take the bar exam without signing up for a bar exam prep course, and are now looking for additional resources. These calls made us think of the reasons why you should take a bar exam prep course, especially if you are studying for your first bar exam.
5 Reasons You Should Take A Bar Exam Prep Course
The main reason that students should sign up for a bar exam prep course is structure. By having a weekly or daily plan in place on what students need to learn, review and practice, students remain focused and on track to pass the exam. Students who lack this structure (and who do not have the tools to create their own plan of attack) get lost in the process and fall behind. In our full courses, for example, we provide students with course binders which includes weekly homework assignments ranging from subjects and topics to review, practice questions to complete and worksheets for additional guidance.
2. Study Material
Oftentimes, students create their own bar exam prep program by acquiring different study materials from different companies and/or using law school outlines. While most bar exam students acquire different resources, students who don’t have the structure of a bar exam prep company often lose themselves in the materials for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the material overlaps (or worse – contradicts!). Students who use law school outlines will find that sometimes the material focuses heavily on the “grey areas” (which are not focused on by MBE questions).
Other times, outlines or materials are missing large portions of pertinent information. It is hard for students who create their own materials (by way of compiling everything together) to know what they have and what they are missing. Signing up for a bar exam prep course is important because it provides students with complete materials. Students who sign up for our full courses receive all of the outline books, past essay books, practice material and also other helpful tips.
Are you a procrastinator? Do you get easily distracted? If so, you will benefit from having a bar exam prep course. A bar exam prep course will hold you accountable. You will have daily and weekly assignments which will be submitted and graded. Sometimes, even keeping track of what students have completed helps them stay focused and on track. It’s important that if you do get easily distracted or tend to procrastinate to have a plan in place to hold yourself accountable. In our courses, we monitor students closely. If they aren’t submitting homework assignments, we reach out to them and ask why. Students appreciate this extra level of accountability as it prevents them from losing focus.
Additionally, we provide essay grading in our full courses so our students can gauge their understanding of the law. Our essay grading also provides relevant and helpful feedback to students, and helps increase their scores.
4. Available Resources
This is a great reason students should sign up for a bar exam prep course. If you are the type of student who liked to ask questions in class, you will need to have someone to turn to when you are studying for the bar exam. But students who attempt to go at the bar exam alone do not have this resource available to them. Bar exam prep courses give students additional resources that are not available when they are studying for the bar exam on their own. Some of these resources include the ability to ask questions when a concept or a subject is confusing, and essay grading and feedback.
Students who sign up for JD Advising courses are able to ask questions in class to clarify certain issues.
5. You are more likely to pass
With a bar prep course, you are more likely to pass the bar exam. You will have materials and questions at your disposal and you will receive feedback and be able to make sure you are on track. You can ask questions when you are confused and get any areas of law clarified.
This can also give you confidence walking into the bar exam. Since the bar exam is indeed daunting, having confidence that you did everything you could will increase your chances of keeping a clear head during the bar exam.
Ironically, if you pass the first time utilizing a prep course, this can actually save you money. While bar prep courses are expensive, what is more expensive is retaking the bar exam again and again, delaying your ability to practice law, and also perhaps even requiring additional time off to study. Not only does retaking the bar exam mean that you will be losing money and time, you will also be carrying the burden of having to pass the bar around, and this can be emotionally taxing as well. Life is too short to take the bar exam more times than you have to!
Looking for bar exam help?
If you are looking for private tutoring, please feel free to contact us at your convenience (even if it is toward the end of your bar exam preparation!). We also offer bar exam tutoring, bar exam essay feedback, and multiple-choice (MBE) assistance to students nationwide.
In addition, we offer private tutoring for several state bar exams as well as the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). Also, check out our highly regarded Uniform Bar Exam course if you are interested in a full-service approach to the uniform bar exam. We also offer many other options if you are taking the UBE (MEE one-sheets, an MEE seminar, an MEE course, and an MPT seminar, among others!).
If you are looking for a new approach, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
Looking for (free) help?
We have several other posts on recovering from failure and on how to conquer the next bar exam you take. If you want to read more, please click on the links (on the bottom of the page if you are on your phone and on the side of the page if you are on a laptop) to see our other bar exam posts on specific bar exams or specific topics!
If you are looking for our guidance, please feel free to contact us at your convenience.
Ashley Heidemann is the owner and founder of JD Advising. Ms. Heidemann scored over a 180 on the Michigan Bar Exam in February of 2011 after graduating as the #1 student in her law school class of over 200 students in 2011. She, as well as a team of others, offer bar exam courses, seminars, and private tutoring for bar exam students nationwide. This includes services for the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) and Michigan bar exam. Please click here to contact her company, with any questions.