Smarter Review: NY Bar Review Program

For all of you taking the New York bar exam, here is a guest post from Kobelah Bennah of Smarter Review that might be of use to you.

And, if you enter code "BarAdvisorInsider" when you purchase a bar prep course at, you get 15% off your bill.

Take it away, Kobelah....


Hello to all the February 2012 Bar Exam test takers out there!

Below I discuss some interesting statistics gleaned from New York bar passage rates that may ease your mind as you study for the upcoming exam. Although these trends were gathered from New York statistics, I see no reason these statistics wouldn't apply to other exams being given this February.

First, although that passage rates are just generally lower in February than they are in July (often 30% lower in New York!), don't fret.  These statistics are not as gloomy as they first appear, especially if you are a first-time test taker!

Your chances are much greater if you are a first-time test taker, especially if you are domestically educated.  In New York, the passage rates for first time test takers in February are usually 15% to 20% greater than they are for repeat takers.  If you were educated at an ABA accredited law school in the United States, your chances also jump up almost 50% higher than the guy sitting near you who was educated elsewhere.

Therefore, if you're about to take the February exam and you are nervous because you've never taken the bar exam before, and you've heard the passage rates are atrocious, don't worry.  The fact that you're new to this is a good thing!

BUT if you were foreign educated or this is not your first time taking the bar exam - there's hope for you, too!

Retakers, your chances of passing increase by how close you were to passing the exam your first time around.  If you were just a few points shy of passing in July, you are much more likely to pass this February.

Also, if you just took the bar in July 2011, and are re-taking it in February, there is good news!  90% of test-takers who take the exam for the first time in July will pass by February of the next year.  Thus, the second time is likely the charm!

Finally, there is great news for all you over-achievers out there.  Passage rates correlate pretty strongly with law school academic achievement, and the predictability of this factor only increases if you also consider your undergraduate success.

Thus, if you were a rockstar in school, you're likely to rock on the bar exam.

Of course, you should not leave your bar exam success up to chance or statistics, but I talk about some of these trends because they eased my mind when I took the New York bar exam in February of last year. Hopefully these trends will ease some pre-test jitters for you, too.

If you're like many February test takers, you may be working full-time, looking for a job, or coming from abroad and, in any of the above cases, you aren't coming straight out of law school with bar-ready material fresh in your head.  Therefore, you may not have a whole lot of time or, you may not have a whole lot of money, to devote to studying for the bar exam.

The best advice I can give you is to find a fast, efficient, focused, affordable, but complete course that can give you what you need (but not a lot more) to pass the bar.  

I found my key to pass the bar at   [UPDATE:  enter code "BarAdvisorInsider" at checkout and get 15% of your bill at Smarter Review!]

Smarter Review made it possible for me to pass even when I thought I didn't have enough time to study while working full time at a law firm.  I felt so strongly about my bar exam experience that I started out as a Smarter Review student and now I'm a co-owner of the company.

As a recent test taker, I urge all February test takers to check out Smarter Review.  Even if you're not taking the New York exam, Smarter Review can give you the most boiled down, efficient, simple, yet complete MBE preparation out there.  That's half the battle.

Anyway, check us out, especially if you're overwhelmed or behind using your current study course.  It'll make all the difference.  
And to all February test takers, good luck!

Kobelah Bennah
Managing Member
Smarter Review LLC



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