First, I wanted to thank everyone for the information they've been willing to share here. I've definitely benefited a lot from it. I wish I would have read some of the information sooner, because it could have helped me avoid failing the bar on my first and second attempts.
I'm writing this to give something back.
My first attempt I failed the 2/16 bar exam. My second attempt I failed the 7/16 bar exam. Failing the first time is extremely discouraging. But failing the second time, I can't really put into words. Other than you feel utterly devastated. Especially after putting in all the time and effort on your second attempt. I finally passed (2/17) the exam.
Heres my experience with the resources I've used and my recommendations:
My first attempt I used Barbri.
RESULT: I failed.
PROS: Good reference materials if you have a question on an issue.
CONS: No guidance, no one to ask question. Poor feedback on essays.
My second attempt I studied on my own, using outlines and materials.
RESULT: I failed.
PROS: Studying and covering my weaknesses.
CONS: No one to hold me accountable, or to explain what I need to know to pass the exam.
My third attempt I used bestlawschooltutors.com
RESULT: I passed.
PROS: Good materials great guidance on how to pass the exam.
CONS: Must have the schedule to commit the time their course requires.
Before this experience, I had always thought of myself as a law student who could self study. Meaning, I could motivate myself and know where to focus my studies and what I needed to do. All I needed was reference material that was good and I could pass the exam.
What I have learned about myself through my experience and about most other people by hearing their experiences is that most people cannot self study to pass the bar exam. Most people need help throughout the process of preparing for the bar exam. I know there are many people on here taking exams in other states. My experience is for the California Bar exam only.
IF YOU ARE A SELF STUDY LAW STUDENT:
If you consider yourself a self study law student I would recommend Barbri. Their reference materials are very good, books and videos. I believe you have everything you need to pass the exam.
IF YOU ARE NOT A SELF STUDY LAW STUDENT:
If you are not a self study law student I would recommend Bestlawschooltutors.com. Or some type of similar service that will guide you through the process of preparing for the bar exam, give you feedback and hold you accountable to do the work.
Hope this is helpful.