2014 California Bar Exam Predictions

If you are into bar exam predictions, these are good videos to watch.

I always like to post these from Dr. Saccuzzo when they come out.

Part 1:

Part 2:


MBE Bar Exam Advice

Here is a collection of links to blogs, books and other resources to help you prepare for the MBE and to answer any questions you might have about the MBE portion of the bar exam.

Study Advice
MBE Study Strategy
How to Memorize
Retrieval Practice and Memorization
10 MBE Tips
Preparing for the MBE
Sean Silverman's Blog

MBE Books & Study Aids
Strategies and Tactics for the MBE (Read this book review to learn more.)
Finz Multistate Method
Critical Pass Flashcards
Dominate the Bar Flashcards
How to Make Your Own Flashcards

NCBE Skeleton Outlines can be found in the MBE Exam Info booklet available here
Free MBE Outlines


Bar Exam Pass Video

I think these videos people make of themselves checking bar exam results are pretty cool.

The excitement is so genuine.  Plus, you can use these types of videos to help with positive visualization too.


Funny Bar Exam Video

Is this the best bar exam humor video ever?  Yeah, I think it is.

(Hat-tip to The Desertion.)


Esquire Pie

Passing the bar exam never tasted so good!

A Slice of Esquire Pie
I have to say, though, that I prefered Esquire Beer as a reward for passing the bar.


What to do if you fail the bar exam

If you got bad bar exam results, check out this presentation for some ideas about how to respond to the results and how to move forward with re-taking the exam.

If you would like to read more about failing the bar exam, here are some posts to look at:
  1. Responding to the initial news
  2. Evaluating circumstances of bar exam failure
  3. Evaluating bar exam results


Special delivery

The huge BarBri box.

It can be super-overwhelming when you first get all these materials.

Don't worry.

You can do this.

It's real.

The Bar Exam Baggie!

The dreaded bar exam baggie.

I never took a picture of mine, but someone did and shared it on Flickr.

The Bag

(PS -- Not sure what jurisdiction this is for. NY?)


Bar Exam Essay Class -- Call of the Question

Here is a slideshare presentation to help you analyze the call of the question on bar exam essays.
Bar Exam Essay Class: Call of the Question from BarExamMind


If you would like more help with writing bar exam essays, be sure to get my book, How to Write Bar Exam Essays: Strategies and Tactics to Help You Pass the Bar Exam, available on Amazon, BN, Audible and iTunes.



MBE Cheat Sheet from Smarter Review

I recently received a review copy of The MBE Cheat Sheet from Smarter Review.

The Cheat Sheet is billed as a collection of concise outlines that only include the most tested areas of law so that you can know enough to pass without becoming overwhelmed.

In fact, the introduction to the book says "Whenever you find yourself inundated with too much law to learn, simply skip your assigned lectures or reading and study the Cheat Sheet instead."

The Cheat Sheet says that it omits the subpoints of law that are rarely, if ever tested, and gives you only the points you need to pass.

I have not surveyed the MBE questions over the past decade, so do not know if the assertion made by the Cheat Sheet authors is correct.  However, I have reviewed the outlines, and I agree that they cover the major points of law for the bar exam.  Any subpoints should be easy to learn by reading the answer explanations to practice MBEs and by practicing essays.

The outlines themselves are well-written and concise.  They are not outlines in the traditional sense, but are written as paragraphs, typically providing a few sentences explaining the law (e.g., the elements of a tort) followed by a brief example applying the law to a set of facts.

It seems to me that the ideal user of the Cheat Sheet is someone who only has a few weeks to study or who has taken and passed a bar exam before and does not need a full-blown review course.  It could also act as a supplement to a substantive review course.  If you find the materials provided by your bar review to be difficult to understand, the Cheat Sheet might be what you need to help you make sense of it.

I did wish that each chapter's table of contents had page numbers associated with each heading to allow me to find topics more quickly, but other than that, the book was easy to read and use.

You can get the Cheat Sheet at or for a much lower price at  And, if you use my code "BarAdvisorInsider" when you order at, you will get 15% off your purchase price.


Free Beer

Where was this guy when I took the bar exam?


Best Bar Exam Flashcards

Seems like most people like using flashcards to study for the bar exam.

I used them and thought they were very helpful, especially for reviewing points of law that I had difficulty memorizing.  (Here is my other post about flashcards.)

I recently received an email recommending two flashcard resources, so I thought I would pass it along to you in case it helps.

The first is an online flashcard program called Anki. You can make the flashcards on your computer and/or you can download an app for iOS and Android that lets you take your flashcards on the go. (The iOS app is a bit pricey at $24.99.)

The good thing about using online flashcards is that you can't lose them or destroy them by spilling water or coffee on them.

The second recommendation was for Critical Pass flashcards.  You can get these in paper format or as a smartphone or iPad app.  I have heard good things about these cards from others.


Do you have any recommendations for bar exam study aids?

If so, please leave a comment below or send me an email using the CONTACT button at the top of this site.  I'll be sure to share the recommendations with everyone.


Studying and the Brain

While not directly discussing the bar exam, this interesting infographic showing ways to tailor studying to achieve better test results.  Note that it verifies that frequent practice testing, such as retrieval practice, is very important for mastering topics.

The Science of Study


MBE Study Approach

Check out this video to learn Dennis Saccuzzo's advice for how to approach MBE problems:

Also, if you are concerned about your MBE scores as you begin your bar exam prep, be sure to check out this post for some reassurance.


Discounted Bar Prep Materials

Bar exam results are being released this time of year.

If you want to buy bar prep materials at a discount, now is the time to be looking on Craigslist, Amazon, and Ebay because people who passed the bar are looking to unload their study materials.

If you are still in law school and plan to self-study for the bar exam, get your bar study materials now, at a discount, rather than paying full price for them later.

And, don't forget to check out these free PDF guides:

Ultimate Bar Prep Resource Guide


How to Study for the California Bar Exam for $500 or less

Bar Exam Basics -- Free Ebook

If you are getting ready to take the bar exam, make sure you have all the basics taken care of to ensure your best chance of success.

To help you do this, subscribe to the Bar Exam Mind newsletter and get your free copy of the 54-page ebook, Bar Exam Basics:  Foundational Bar Exam Tips.

PS -- If you don't want to sign up for the newsletter, you can buy a copy of the book for your Kindle or Kindle-enabled device for only $2.99.


Bar Exam Affirmations

Ever thought about using affirmations to help you create a positive bar exam mindset? Here is a collection of ten bar exam affirmations to get you started:


Smarter Review -- Cheat Sheets

Smarter Review is a company that prides itself on making bar exam studying more efficient.

If you need a quick resource for the MBE or for the New York bar exam, check out Smarter's Review's new Cheat Sheets.

Here is how the folks over at Smarter Review describe their Cheat Sheets product:

Because the materials are so focused, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you’ll be able to learn the law and ace your practice. No other bar review product gets you ready after only a few weeks of study. As a result, these materials have been called, “bar review anti-materials.”  (Source:

If efficient bar prep sounds good to you, check it out.

And, if you decide to buy, don't forget to use my discount code BarAdvisorInsider to save 15% off the purchase price.

Photo credit.


July 2013 Bar Exam

It is that time again.  Time for another bar exam cycle to begin.

In this post, I want to let you know about some important posts and resources that can help you pass the bar exam.

If you don't have much time, download my free PDF Ultimate Bar Exam Resource Guide (no email opt-in, just click the link and grab it) and read it when you get a chance.

But, if you have some more time, keep reading.

Bar Exam Basics

Take some time to read my posts on diligence and anticipation of conditions.  These are two concepts that are critical to bar exam success.

Then, check out my posts on about performing a "bar exam level set" near the start of your bar studies and about how to create a mindset that will help you pass the bar exam.

Lastly, sign up for the Bar Exam Mind newsletter to receive your free 54-page e-book filled with bar exam advice.

MBE Preparation Resources

The MBE was my least favorite portion of the bar exam.  I felt like the questions were designed to trick you as much as they were designed to test your knowledge.

Be sure to read my posts about how to approach the MBE (here and here).

If you like outlines, you can get my MBE outlines here.

Finally, check out my review of Adaptibar to see if it might be a resource you can use.

Essays and Performance Tests

To get my initial take on how to write bar exam essays, check out this post.

My introductory performance test approach is available here.

Test Day Tips

Finally, read my thoughts about what to do during the bar exam itself.  Read it now, decide what you want to implement, and then move ahead. 


If you have any questions about the bar exam, please leave a comment below and I will respond.  You can also email me using the CONTACT link at the top right of this page.

Good luck on the bar exam!


July 2013 California Bar Exam

As an alumnus of the California bar exam, it has a special (read:  painful) place in my heart.

So, I like to do a post just for you lucky souls who get to tread the path of woe through the California bar exam.

I jest, of course.  It isn't that bad.

It is a lot of work, but totally doable.

Here are some links that you might find useful:
For those of you who want or need some help with anxiety or stress, check out these resources:
Finally, be sure to download my Ultimate Bar Exam Prep Resource Guide for more great resources!


If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below or use the CONTACT button at the top right of this page.


The Final Countdown—Your Last Two Weeks

silver number two on black background
And then there were two....
Today we have a guest post from Diana over at Themis Bar Review to help you get through these final two weeks of bar exam prep.

Take it away, Diana.


There are just two weeks left until the biggest exam of your life and you’re a wreck.  By this point, you’ve given up on that exercise regimen, you’ve stopped eating healthy food, you may have even stopped changing your clothes every day.  One minute you’re outlining the hearsay exceptions, the next, you’ve convinced yourself they’re all actually nonhearsay.  Your parents are worried, your pets are starving for affection, and you feel like a total stranger to yourself.  

Don’t worry, you’re fine!  Hundreds of thousands of lawyers have gone through this rite of passage and many, many more will after you.  You’re in really good company.

With only a couple of weeks left, you may be losing steam.  But remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  Now is the time to dig deep and finish strong. YOU CAN DO THIS.  And, to help you with that final push to the finish line, I have 5 tips inspired by my iTunes library to make sure you do.

1.  Let it Be

Add listening to this Beatles classic to your to-do list every day from now until the exam. You can’t possibly learn everything.  No one can.  If the Rule Against Perpetuities is still a blurry mess in your brain, move on.  There’s really no use obsessing over an issue you’re not grasping.  You’ve been reading outlines and practicing questions for weeks.  You’ve been listening to lecture after lecture.  One tricky rule of law is not going to make or break you on the exam. And believe it or not, more rules will sink in and click in your mind these last two weeks than your whole first month studying.  You’ve learned more than you realize.  Do not dwell on what you don’t know.  Trust in what you do know. 

2.  Don’t Speak

Hush, hush darlin’.  Now is not the time to debate your practice essay answers with your friends.  Chances are, your answers are going to be different and there’s no need to freak yourself or your friends out.  It’s only two weeks.  Focus on yourself, your studies, the fresh air, etc., and don’t let yourself be distracted by other test takers.

3.  99 Problems

Jay-Z didn’t pass the bar, but take this song as advice and practice 99 bar review problems every day.  Maybe 99 is a bit high, but you get the idea.  Even if you’re sick of practicing your essays and multiple choice questions, you cannot stop now.    At this point all the information you need is in your brain; practicing will help you recall it faster and more efficiently.  Practicing will also help you become comfortable with how the rules tend to be tested in your jurisdiction and doing so under exam conditions will perfect your timing.  If you’re in a jurisdiction with a performance test on the exam, practice at least one more of those in these final weeks. With only two weeks left, you need to keep practicing until all you can see around you are potential torts and crimes, and then practice some more.  Do 99 problems and failing won’t be one.

4.  Lay Down

So listen good, cause I’m tellin’ it straight.  You don’t got no more time to waste.  You need to focus on yourself in these last days.  The last thing you want is to be sick for the exam.  Get your rest, eat healthy, stay away from sick people, and take care of yourself.  There is no greater barrier to your success than exhaustion, or the flu.  

5.  Breathe

There’s a light at the end of this tunnel, you shout, cause you’re just as far in as you’ll ever be out.  You’ve studied so hard and it’s all about to pay off.  This exam will not conquer you.  (And, remember, even if you don’t pass this exam, you can take it again in July. That’s not the end of the world.) That’s it.  Just breathe.

If I had a sixth song on my iPod, it would be called “You’re Going to Get Your Life Back Soon, Just You Wait,” and probably Beyonce would sing it and it would be at the top of the charts.  You’ve been diligently studying for so long, being the boring one who can’t go to parties and movies and the mall like everyone else.  But remember that it’s going to pay off.  Just think, by the end of this month, you will be FREE!    You can waste time watching all the YouTube videos and reading all the Facebook statuses you’ve been missing.  You can do WHATEVER.  That’s what’s waiting for you at the other side of this test.  Your life!  So, buckle down and make these last couple weeks count.  Own this test.  Then, sit back and enjoy being human again.

Have some awesome iTunes-inspired study tips of your own?  Share them with us by commenting below!

About the Author:
Diana Belair is the Managing Editor and a Regional Director at Themis Bar Review.  She is a graduate of Suffolk University Law School and is licensed in both Colorado and Massachusetts. In her spare time, she loves creating awesome playlists for her iPod, reading the Blue Book, and learning Beyonce’s latest dance moves.


Thanks, Diana!

If you would like some more ideas about how to spend the final two weeks, here are a couple of posts you might also want to read:



One Month Until the Bar Exam

How are you feeling?

Is your study program working?

Do you feel confident?

Here are some resources containing thoughts about this milestone:

Bar Exam Mind "One Month Until the Bar Exam" podcast

Some ideas from

More from Solo Practice University


February 2013 California Bar Exam Predictions

I was never one to look at bar exam predictions, since I preferred just to study everything.  But, if you want some essay topic predictions for the February 2013 California bar exam, check out these videos from Bar Secrets:

Here is part I:

Here is part II:

For more interesting videos, including debriefs of the July 2012 California bar exam essays, head over to the Bar Secrets YouTube channel.

Need more essay help for the California bar exam?  Be sure to check out


BarEssays announces updated content

I just received an important email from the good folks over at

They have just added over 200 real, graded essays from the July 2012 California Bar Exam, including high and low scoring essay examples for every July 2012 essay question and performance test.  This is in addition to their huge database of answers from prior years' exams.

If you are taking the February 2013 California bar, these newly-added essays and PTs could be of great help, since it is likely that the grading preferences of the July 2012 exam graders will be reflected in the February 2013 grades.

In addition, if you sign up for the premium subscription, you will get access to model answers by a former bar grader.  This includes model answers going back to July 2003 and through July 2012.

If you think might help you with you bar exam prep, sign up now.

For more information, check out my review of


Bar Exam Podcasts

Here is a list of some podcasts about the bar exam:

Bar Exam Mind podcast:  This is my own podcast.  I talk about how to have a good mindset for the bar exam, how to study for the bar exam, and offer some advice about exam day.  No set publication schedule for new episodes.  I add an episode when I think I have something useful to offer.

I Passed My Bar Exam podcast:  My friend Dustin Saiidi has been doing his podcast since 2011, and has been updating it regularly.  His last few episodes are a series of really helpful interviews.  Check it out.  [You might also be interested in Dustin's Bar Exam Mental Edge hypnosis/visualization program too.]

Celebration Bar Review YouTube channel:  This is not strictly a podcast, but is a YouTube channel filled with all sorts of helpful videos about the bar exam.  Topics include myths of the bar exam, how to study, and discussions of mindset and related topics.

Arizona State University bar prep podcast:  This was last updated in 2009 and has some Arizona specific information.  But, the podcast is a series of lectures by law school faculty about various subject areas covered on the bar exam.  If you are having trouble with a particular area of law, you might want to listen to the episode covering that area.


Do you know of any podcasts or YouTube channels I should add to the list?  Leave a comment below.
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