Self-Study Tips

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moreperfect

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Self-Study Tips

Post by moreperfect » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:55 pm

I'm preparing to take the September UBE. I've been out of law school for a year or so and I can't afford a bar prep program and, more importantly, I'm working and I'm not sure I'd get much benefit from one. I'm wondering if anyone would be willing to share self-study strategies. What resources worked for you? If you worked full-time, how did you structure your time? I'd welcome any help, including links to other threads covering this topic or links to blogposts discussing other's experiences. Thanks.

sleeplessindc

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by sleeplessindc » Mon Jun 08, 2020 7:44 am

moreperfect wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:55 pm
I'm preparing to take the September UBE. I've been out of law school for a year or so and I can't afford a bar prep program and, more importantly, I'm working and I'm not sure I'd get much benefit from one. I'm wondering if anyone would be willing to share self-study strategies. What resources worked for you? If you worked full-time, how did you structure your time? I'd welcome any help, including links to other threads covering this topic or links to blogposts discussing other's experiences. Thanks.

When I took the UBE, it had been almost a decade since I took 1L classes. I self-studied and did well. After the final day of testing, I walked out confident that I had passed.

What I did was digitize an old BarBri Mini-Conviser I got for free from a friend and use that as the base for my own customized outline, which I then continuously refined as I took practice questions. Given that my prep books were a bit old, I also made sure to cover all the topics on the NCBE official outlines. Finally, I read through all the BarBri model essays. The only money I spent on test prep materials was on practice questions.

While working full-time, I studied in the evenings and weekends for a few months. That did take a lot of self-discipline. When I felt especially run down/exhausted, I tried to shift my studying to the morning. I then took the final two weeks off from work to study full-time.

It's crucial to do practice questions and continuously review what you did wrong and what you did right. I recommend making that a pillar of your studying strategy. Unfortunately some brute force memorization is also unavoidable.

I think you'll be okay. Good luck!

sleeplessindc

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by sleeplessindc » Mon Jun 08, 2020 8:22 am

Two more things:

JD Advising has a great resource on writing essays. I mention it because one of its core recommendations is to memorize and practice banging out model sentences, which I'm so glad I did. I believe studying for the essays also helped me with the same topics in the multiple choice section and vice versa. (But I did not blow off the MEE essay topics that aren't covered by multiple choice.)

Another type of resource that I found very helpful is statistical analyses of which topics are the most heavily covered. In other words, you should spend much more time nailing down your understanding of deeds and mortgages rather than the Rule of Perpetuities, especially if it's taking you hours to understand the latter. Your goal is to pass, not to achieve the highest score ;)

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SilvermanBarPrep

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by SilvermanBarPrep » Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:14 pm

For sure pick up a copy of the 7th edition of Strategies and Tactics for the MBE. As a self-studier, you should be spending a lot of time on practicing your application of the law. I feel like this is one of the big secrets of bar prep. Namely that memorizing law is important but that the difference between passing and not passing is so much more determined by the skill of applying the law that you've learned. It's a test of skill even more than it's a test of knowledge.

On that end, read through lots of old released essays. If you struggle with IRAC then write some as well. But importantly, learn well how all this law that you're learning has been applied by those who have scored high on the essays. Learn that skill and then replicate it the day of the exam.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:21 pm

Study published questions for mbe and mee.

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b290

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by b290 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 11:49 pm

SilvermanBarPrep wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:14 pm
For sure pick up a copy of the 7th edition of Strategies and Tactics for the MBE. As a self-studier, you should be spending a lot of time on practicing your application of the law. I feel like this is one of the big secrets of bar prep. Namely that memorizing law is important but that the difference between passing and not passing is so much more determined by the skill of applying the law that you've learned. It's a test of skill even more than it's a test of knowledge.

On that end, read through lots of old released essays. If you struggle with IRAC then write some as well. But importantly, learn well how all this law that you're learning has been applied by those who have scored high on the essays. Learn that skill and then replicate it the day of the exam.

Sean (Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring)
This. I’m going to add that unless one really sucks with the MBE, writing practice will do wonders.

My $.02

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Subpoena_Colada

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by Subpoena_Colada » Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:53 am

I worked full-time for about two months while studying for the bar. Then I had about three weeks off just to study. While I was working full-time, I studied evenings (2-3 hours a night) and also on weekends. Not fun, but definitely doable!

I did have a traditional bar review course, but I didn't follow their schedule and I didn't write out a single full-length essay. I really think that my most valuable time was spent practicing MBE questions. I used the Strategies & Tactics book since it came highly recommended and they use NCBE-released questions, but the explanations are just okay IMO.

I’m taking another bar exam soon (will be working full-time), so I've been looking into additional options. You might consider an online MBE supplement like Adaptibar ($395) or UWorld ($299). I've been using UWorld's free trial, and I think they've done a really good job with their explanations and their use of images is really helpful if you're a visual learner like me. You can also get ahold of sample MEEs and MPTs from the NCBE's website. I haven't looked at these materials yet, so I can't vouch for their quality.

Good luck with everything!

legalnerd784

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Re: Self-Study Tips

Post by legalnerd784 » Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:58 am

I am using a commercial bar prep course as I prepare for my exam this fall. However, I still purchased a supplement because I wanted to do some self-paced studying of my own. My main area of concern was the MBE because I didn't feel like my bar prep course had very realistic questions. Luckily, there are a good selection of reasonably priced supplements that use MBE questions that appeared on past bar exams.

Strategies and Tactics by Emmanuel is a nice option if you are really on a budget (around $90 on Amazon). You can also find cheaper used copies, but they might contain writing by their former owners, which can get annoying. Also, it has the fewest number of questions.

Two great online options for less than $400 are Adaptibar ($395) and UWorld ($299). Both have over 1,600 questions, and you can try both for free to see which one you prefer. I went with UWorld because I was drawn to their use of flowcharts and tables in their explanations. I also appreciated their full explanations of the incorrect answer choices.

One final tip if you are looking for a full-fledged bar course is to check out your local bookstores for materials. As long as they aren't more than a few years old, they should be good resources to study for the exam. Half Price Books is a solid option, and I am sure Amazon has quite a selection as well.

Good luck on your studies!

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