How did you like your bar prep program?

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Startled Rabbit

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How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby Startled Rabbit » Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:57 am

I know we have the "choosing a bar prep program" sticky, but it seems some people think a particular program might not be the gold standard anymore. I've also noticed Themis users have seemed the most comfortable with how prepared they were for this July's exam.

BillCooper

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby BillCooper » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:01 am

If I have to re-take in Feb., I think I am just going to to self-study from outlines. I mean, the NCBE tells you what's going to be on the exam. For example, I found the Themis lectures to be a complete waste of my study time. I would have been better off just reading from the outline and taking practice MBE, MEE tests.

From what I understand, the last couple of UBE exams have essentially been the bar examiners flipping through the Barbri/Themis outlines and seeing what they failed to cover and testing that material.

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A. Nony Mouse

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:28 am

Startled Rabbit wrote:I know we have the "choosing a bar prep program" sticky, but it seems some people think a particular program might not be the gold standard anymore. I've also noticed Themis users have seemed the most comfortable with how prepared they were for this July's exam.

Not saying it's not a question worth asking, but I think people's opinions may change somewhat depending on whether they ultimately pass (most people come out of the exam freaked out).

ironbmike

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby ironbmike » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:39 am

Barbri really sucked. Especially for the price/reputation. It was completely off on the MBE. They should be ashamed of themselves.

doctoroflaw91

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby doctoroflaw91 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:41 am

I more or less used Barbri's lectures and their essay book, but otherwise crafted my own study program. I knew that their approach (throwing a bunch of information at people and then waiting to memorize until July) was not going to work for me, so I tried to plan for that in advance.

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MCFC

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby MCFC » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:16 am

I did BarBri. I wouldn't spend your own money on it but overall it was fine.

styr

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby styr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:41 am

BillCooper wrote:If I have to re-take in Feb., I think I am just going to to self-study from outlines. I mean, the NCBE tells you what's going to be on the exam. For example, I found the Themis lectures to be a complete waste of my study time. I would have been better off just reading from the outline and taking practice MBE, MEE tests.

From what I understand, the last couple of UBE exams have essentially been the bar examiners flipping through the Barbri/Themis outlines and seeing what they failed to cover and testing that material.

I would believe it, especially with this round of MBE questions. I'm dissatisfied with Barbri MBE prep, but everything else is fine. I thought Themis would be better for essays, but recent feedback on the Themis essay grading shows that it probably doesn't make a difference. If Themis uses more of the recent released MBE questions, I could see that being useful, as opposed to Barbri's made-up trick questions that bore very little resemblance to the real MBE, at least in July 2016.

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Lovely Ludwig Van

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby Lovely Ludwig Van » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:12 pm

I used Themis. The one thing I'll say about them, is they have EXCELLENT customer service. Maybe Barbri does too, so maybe that's not a differentiator. I thought Themis' materials were just average though. The MBE questions (not actual NCBEX questions, but ones drafted by Themis writers) were very often very debatable (especially the torts and contract questions), with no good rationale justifying one answer over the other. That was very frustrating at times. But if nothing else, it forces you to learn the doctrine better. I thought the essay and MPT prep were fine. Prepping for the MEE is just shitty in itself, and there's no way to undo that. You just have to put in the work as far as memorizing everything.

styr

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby styr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:22 pm

Barbri customer service is generally responsive once you've paid for the course. One thing I noticed is that they store passwords in plain text (no mention of encryption for their storage) AND will ask you to read your password to customer service representatives over the phone (two big information security 'no-no's). Be warned!

I only found out about that because I was already using a long randomly-generated string of extended ASCII characters, and the rep on the phone specifically asked about it. Barbri sadly is not the only organization that does this, and I've recently dealt with the same stuff involving businesses and financial institutions that handle my money and payment info. That said, I didn't have to furnish any here.

Swimp

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby Swimp » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:23 pm

A did Barbri and agree with the poster above that they seemed pretty off-base with their recommendations about where to spend time and what topics not to worry about.

styr

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby styr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:25 pm

Barbri is still giving me access to my online materials. Is that supposed to happen?

apricot

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby apricot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:27 pm

Pieper - the leader of the course is past his prime and some lectures were bizarre disorganised rants without beginning or end. The text book and materials were decent.

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TLSModBot

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby TLSModBot » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:28 pm

A. Nony Mouse wrote:
Startled Rabbit wrote:I know we have the "choosing a bar prep program" sticky, but it seems some people think a particular program might not be the gold standard anymore. I've also noticed Themis users have seemed the most comfortable with how prepared they were for this July's exam.

Not saying it's not a question worth asking, but I think people's opinions may change somewhat depending on whether they ultimately pass (most people come out of the exam freaked out).
Yeah this. I feel fine about Themis right now, but if I fail then FUCK THEMIS IN THE EAR

styr

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby styr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:29 pm

Capitol_Idea wrote:I feel fine about Themis right now, but if I fail then FUCK THEMIS IN THE EAR

Same with anything that could have led to future failure. If I managed to pass despite all this shit show, I will try never thinking about this traumatic event ever again.

Cellar-door

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby Cellar-door » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:32 pm

I think the BarBri program is decent, they do a good job of explaining right and wrong answers in their quizes etc (I did online only), the one problem is they totally guessed wrong as to where the emphasis was going to be so they emphasized a lot of stuff that wasn't on the test and barely mentioned a lot that was heavily represented.

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby SLS_AMG » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:38 pm

ironbmike wrote:Barbri really sucked. Especially for the price/reputation. It was completely off on the MBE. They should be ashamed of themselves.


+1.

Obviously, I'll be furious with BarBri if I don't pass, but even if I did, I won't be happy with them. Considering what they charge, they should provide at least a somewhat decent product. I don't expect them to have prepared me for every single question, but considering the amount of time they spent on some topics that literally did not even appear, or appeared in one question, they should be ashamed.

jdmonkey

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby jdmonkey » Thu Jul 28, 2016 3:51 pm

I think Barbri needs to completely revamp crim. Also civ pro needs to be changed. Barbri also had too many questions about estates in land and RAP, at least in proportion to the way it is tested

omar1

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby omar1 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:08 pm

What people don't understand that a prep course is just a guideline. They give you materials, programs, lectures etc. But you should follow your own prep- whatever has worked for you thus far in life. I was following Barbri's schedule and lectures and everything to the dot, got 90 on their final. Ended up with 150 on the real thing. So you have to use what they give you, but don't forget the way you are or the way you studied for the past years. Good luck to all of you waiting, the next months will suuuuuuck.

styr

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby styr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:55 pm

jdmonkey wrote:I think Barbri needs to completely revamp crim. Also civ pro needs to be changed. Barbri also had too many questions about estates in land and RAP, at least in proportion to the way it is tested

I saw nothing about RAP on the MEE or MBE. One MBE question about a valid springing executory interest. Lots more problems about easements, mortgages, recording, etc.

L_William_W

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby L_William_W » Thu Jul 28, 2016 6:24 pm

The Barbri books are good for learning the law since they're very comprehensive. However, the actual Barbri course is shit. It's a waste of money. They just use a cookie cutter, data dumping approach. Ameribar, which I used after flunking the bar three times, gives you the specific skills you need to pass. You actually learn the material- you don't just memorize rules.

I'd recommend buying some used Barbri books on Amazon and using Ameribar.

Startled Rabbit

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby Startled Rabbit » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:07 pm

styr wrote:
jdmonkey wrote:I think Barbri needs to completely revamp crim. Also civ pro needs to be changed. Barbri also had too many questions about estates in land and RAP, at least in proportion to the way it is tested

I saw nothing about RAP on the MEE or MBE. One MBE question about a valid springing executory interest. Lots more problems about easements, mortgages, recording, etc.


Interesting. I think I remember Kaplan telling us not to worry too much about RAP. They were correct in doing so. And they made an effort to give us lots of mortgage questions. Overall, I think they did well with the MBE. They could stand to beef up their essay practice methods though.

One issue I had with Kaplan was how much material I had to print. It resulted in me wasting time hole punching to put stuff in folders, and I also had to make sure my printer cartridge was consistently full. I would have preferred a giant box of books like BarBri offers. I printed a LOT.

styr

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby styr » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:55 pm

L_William_W wrote:The Barbri books are good for learning the law since they're very comprehensive. However, the actual Barbri course is shit. It's a waste of money. They just use a cookie cutter, data dumping approach. Ameribar, which I used after flunking the bar three times, gives you the specific skills you need to pass. You actually learn the material- you don't just memorize rules.

I'd recommend buying some used Barbri books on Amazon and using Ameribar.

Impressive pass rate (regardless of completion) and money-back guarantee. Barbri was interesting, but if it led me to fail (probably because of the MBE), there's no way in hell I'm just going to take the same stupid materials and hope I pass the second time around. AmeriBar does seem to cater to a lot of repeaters, but if it breaks the cycle, then good on 'em. It's nice to see a lot of competitors doing a lot of different things, but they're not all so confident in their results.

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sublime

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby sublime » Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:56 pm

MCFC wrote:I did BarBri. I wouldn't spend your own money on it but overall it was fine.

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby BigZuck » Fri Jul 29, 2016 1:11 am

Lovely Ludwig Van wrote:I used Themis. The one thing I'll say about them, is they have EXCELLENT customer service. Maybe Barbri does too, so maybe that's not a differentiator. I thought Themis' materials were just average though. The MBE questions (not actual NCBEX questions, but ones drafted by Themis writers) were very often very debatable (especially the torts and contract questions), with no good rationale justifying one answer over the other. That was very frustrating at times. But if nothing else, it forces you to learn the doctrine better. I thought the essay and MPT prep were fine. Prepping for the MEE is just shitty in itself, and there's no way to undo that. You just have to put in the work as far as memorizing everything.

I'm questioning whether you even took the bar

I mean, Themis gonna Them and it was ridiculous with a lot of questions. But it wasn't the poorly written garbage that was the actual MBE we just sat through. The MBE had a lot of questions that had no right answer. That thing we just sat through, overall, was WAY more debatable than what Themis forced us to endure. If anything, Themis should have given us MORE debatable questions to prepare ourselves with.

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rcharter1978

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Re: How did you like your bar prep program?

Postby rcharter1978 » Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:40 am

doctoroflaw91 wrote:I more or less used Barbri's lectures and their essay book, but otherwise crafted my own study program. I knew that their approach (throwing a bunch of information at people and then waiting to memorize until July) was not going to work for me, so I tried to plan for that in advance.


I think this is the way to go.

Barbri should go back to what they do really, really well, which is BLL.

From my understanding, the essay portion was a more recent addition (for California at least) and I don't think they do a great job at it. When I was taking Barbri my essay scores were all over the map and it was hard to understand why. With multiple graders who put in different levels of effort in giving notes its hard to really standardize the essay grading so you get good feedback.

And either Barbri should partner with AdaptiBar, purchase AdaptiBar, or just be very very clear that students understand that the Barbri MBE questions are meant to prepare you, but they aren't supposed to mimic MBE questions, but just help the student to understand concepts that will be on the MBE.



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