Are you trying to pass the bar exam? Or are you taking the bar exam for the second time?

There are so many bar exam materials out there that sometimes, it can get overwhelming. I am here to teach you what you need to know to pass the bar exam, the first time (or the next time you take it).

This post isn’t about the subjects tested.  Rather, this post is going to teach you what study materials you need. It will also help you come up with a plan of attack for exam day.

People think that there is a simple secret to passing the bar exam. In fact, I tutor many students who ask me for the tips and tricks to pass the bar exam. But, unfortunately, the tips and tricks are not so simple.  

The tips and tricks I give you below will be all you need to pass the bar exam, but they aren’t easy. But after all, if law school and the bar exam was so easy, everyone would do it. Be proud of yourself for having gotten to this place. You are about to take one of the hardest exams that exists. Take a deep breath. Implement the steps provided below. And YOU will pass the bar exam.

1) Use a Reputable Bar Course to Pass the Bar Exam.

No one wants to spend thousands of dollars to take a bar exam course.  After all, you could use that money to take a vacation once the bar exam is over. But guess what? The probability of passing the bar exam without taking a bar exam course is extremely low. You may think you have what it takes to study on your own. But trust me, you probably don’t. And who would want to come up with their own study plan anyway?! Someone else has done the work for you!

I tutor many students. One of the first questions I ask is, “what bar exam prep course are you signed up for?”  I know quite a few people who have failed a bar exam. And often times, the reason they fail is for one of two reasons:  (1) they do not take a bar prep course or (2) they do not complete a majority of the bar prep course. 

2 ) You Won’t Pass the Bar Exam by Taking Just Any Bar Prep Course. 

Notice above that I did not say that you should take a bar prep course. I said that you should take a reputable bar prep course. 

I can’t tell you how many students I tutor who come to me for advice and say that they are taking a bar prep course, but it happens to be one of the cheapest ones out there—often times, one that I haven’t heard much about. 

Let’s Talk About a Good Investment

The investment in a bar prep course will be one of the best, if not the best, investment you will make in your lifetime. One, you do not want to have to repeat the bar exam. And two, the percentage of people who pass the bar exam on their second try has been historically, low. 

The reason I believe second or third time bar takers have an overall lower percentage pass rate is because the stress of studying for an exam a second time is very high. And, many people lose confidence. If you are taking the bar exam a second, third, fourth, or fifth time, put the past behind you. You can do it!

So, what reputable bar courses do I recommend?  Well, I recommend two:  Barbri and Themis


You probably have heard of both of these bar exam companies. You also have probably seen the expensive price tag for their programs. However, as I said before, the programs are well worth the money. 

While I’m not saying that there aren’t other good bar companies out there, I know that Barbri and Themis both have a good reputation. Proceed with caution when considering other bar prep companies.

3) How Reputable Bar Prep Companies Help You Pass the Bar Exam.

Some people think that if they have the books from a reputable bar prep company such as Barbri or Themis, they don’t need to spend the thousands on a bar course.  But let me tell you why that is not the case.  

Bar prep companies offer way more than just books. In fact, if the books were the valuable part of the program, they wouldn’t give you a refund for returning the books (I know Barbri does this).  

While the books are great, it’s the entire prep course that helps you succeed on the bar exam. 

Statistics and Algorithms

Most prep courses show you your performance compared to other other students. Not only is this interesting to look at, but it also pushes you to be better. Also, the statistics show you how you compare to other students. This allows you to figure out what subjects you should focus more on.

In addition to the great statistics reputable bar courses offer, their programs use algorithms so that you can study the subjects that you are struggling with most. This allows you to improve your score exponentially. Whereas, if you keep studying something you already know, there is not a large margin to allow improvements and points to accumulate.  

Multimedia Learning

Something else that is beneficial regarding bar prep courses is the student interaction and the multiple forms of media utilized. Bar experts review information through outlines, lectures, and questions. By the time you hear or see the information by the third or forth time, it will have stuck in your brain. Also, if you aren’t sure how you learn best, bar exam prep courses are helpful! They teach the material through different mediums tailored to different types of learners.

Don’t understand something? This is another reason to invest in a reputable bar prep company.

Most reputable bar companies have instructors that you can reach out to if you are stuck. Also, there may even be a question box where you can ask and receive feedback on your practice essays. To learn how to write a good bar exam essay, you may want to check out this article!

4 ) Recommended Supplemental Materials to Pass the Bar Exam.

Using a bar prep course to pass the bar exam is one of the most important steps you can take to pass the bar exam. But to be sure that you pass, you may want to consider adding material to your bar prep course.  So, what is recommended?

Well, I highly recommend using AdaptiBar, and that is why Law School Study Guide has partnered with AdaptiBar.  Buy one of our services, and you can receive a discount on AdaptiBar!

So why is AdaptiBar a great supplement?  Well, AdaptiBar not only compares how you are doing to other students, but it gives you real MBE questions.  By doing just 20 extra multiple choice questions per day, you have a much greater chance of passing the bar exam.

Other Supplemental Study Materials

Wondering what else you can do to pass the bar exam?  Well, feel free to create flashcards.  Law School Study Guide does not recommend creating your own outlines. However, if there are certain rules that you keep forgetting, feel free to write those down on a flash card.  Or, when you can’t remember a rule, keep a journal and review the journal every few weeks. 

The last supplemental tool I would recommend is a recorder.  If you are an auditory learner, record yourself saying the rules that you have written in your journal.  Play the recording as you walk your dog or as you drive to your friend’s house for dinner.  Also, if you don’t like the idea of recording yourself, go to the law library and check out some audio CDs of bar exam topics or download lectures from online.

Looking for a bar exam tutor?  Feel free to sign up here!