Inexpensive bar exam study

So, you want to study for the bar without spending a lot of money? 

You are about to study for the bar exam, but don't have the $3,000 or more for BarBri and no one and no firm has offered to foot the bill. 

What do you do?

First, you will need study materials.  If you know someone who took the bar last year, ask them if they still have their prep books.  Maybe they will give them to you for free or sell them to you cheap. 

If you can't find someone with books, check on Craigslist for used bar prep materials.  I sold my California bar exam books on Craigslist once I got my pass results.  I sold them for 40% of what I paid for them new.  (If you are in California, be sure to check out my special report about how to study for the California bar exam for $500 or less.) 

If you can't find anything on Craigslist, maybe you can get some outlines from people who took the test earlier.  This is not as good as having professionally prepared review materials because the professional materials have so much more information.  Still, if you are impoverished, a good outline might be enough to get you through the bar exam.

(Click to get my free MBE outlines.  If you are taking the Oregon bar, click here for my Oregon outlines; if you are taking the California bar, click here for my California outlines.)

Second, find practice questions for the MBE.  Here, you will almost certainly need to spend money if you can't get a PMBR or BarBri MBE prep book for free from someone.  Again, look on Craigslist.  If you aren't having any luck, consider purchasing the least expensive PMBR package or Adaptibar.  (CLICK HERE to learn how to get $50 off Adaptibar's regular price!.)   (You may also want to try this book or these flashcards, though I personally have not used them and cannot say how helpful they might be.)

Third, you will need to find practice essay questions and model answers.  If you purchase a used study course, you should already have access to such material.  If you do not purchase review materials, you will need to get this material elsewhere.  Check you state's bar website for model questions and answers.  The California bar site has many years' worth of real bar exam essay questions and superb model answers.  You can get a huge amount of practice here.  In fact, when I was studying for the California bar, I got fed up with the BarBri model answers and relied exclusively on the model answers provided by the California bar on its website.  (If you are in California, be sure to check out

Fourth, you must practice the performance test in the same way that you practice the essays.  Again, if your state bar provides such materials (as does the California bar), then you can use these free materials.  If not, then your only recourse is to find some professionally prepared materials.  ( also has Cal PTs.)

Good Luck.

[Disclaimer:  I took the BarBri review course when I took the Oregon bar and I used the Barbri books when I took the California bar.  If you can afford it, I recommend you use a paid review course.]

[Photo:  AMagill]


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