- File Size: 1064 KB
- Print Length: 79 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Coffee Publishing (January 2, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 2, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B008BY7ERO
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #319,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Bar Exam Is Easy: A Straightforward Guide on How to Pass the Bar Exam with Less Study Time and Save $3,000 Kindle Edition
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UPDATE 10/13: I passed the Georgia bar on the first try! When I bought this book I totally reconfigured my approach. I was working full time for much of the study period and this book saved me MANY MANY hours of study time I simply didn't have. Do yourself a favor, buy this book, and do what it says. I followed it precisely (though I did tend to get over focused upon MBE's). Thanks to the author - you made a real difference in my life :)
The information in this book is generally very true and valuable. It is most valuable to someone who has not yet taken a bar exam and, preferably, is only recently beginning to study for their first exam. Unfortunately, law schools are full of nervous, uptight people who are convinced that the bar exam is the most important (and difficult) thing they've ever done. It's not. It is, however, important. And I think this is why people are willing to spend $3,000 on a prep course. It gives them piece of mind. I did, and wish I hadn’t. Although challenging, the bar exam is a test of volume, not particularly of skill. This is an important point that people often fail to understand. ANYONE who can put in the requisite time can generally pass this test. It’s a matter of familiarity with the rules and the ability to apply them to given facts. But studying correctly will cut down on the time necessary to come to a point of proficiency. (Mastering the material is wholly unnecessary, and a waste of time.)
The greatest benefit this book provides is by shifting focus away from the Bar Bri and Kaplan et all methods of force-feeding reams upon reams of information down your throat before a test. You will not remember even half of the exceptions to the rules that might be covered by the exam. But the lectures spend exorbitant amounts of time going through the rules and all of the potential exceptions. Although exceptions to rules do show up on the test, they are certainly not the bulk of what's being tested in most cases. You can pass the test by correctly applying the rules, and remembering a few of the more common exceptions. Unfortunately, you don't really know what is actually tested and what is not generally tested until you start working through large volumes of past exams. And Kris does a good job of explaining and highlighting this point.
I can't remember whether he says this in the book or not (I really only read the part dealing with the essays, and didn't even look at the section on the MBE), but people spend too much time worrying about tangential details, and too little time focusing on the core issues. In any given subject, you need to know the rules, and know how to apply them. This is why practice exams are so important. They reinforce the process of working through the elements of an issue (for example, in torts, determining whether there is 1) an obligation owed before you determine whether the tortfeasor was the 2a) actual and 2b) proximate cause and therefore 3) breached his duty to determine whether he is actually liable, and then moving on to see whether there are any 4) defenses to his breach...) so that you understand that process perfectly. It's hard to understand them on a purely conceptual level without applying them directly to fact patterns. By doing practice exams, you learn the rules a whole lot better than by listening to a lecture. And no one wants to listen to a four-hour lecture five days a week, and then put in three or more hours doing practice exams. So, skipping the lecture and using reliable outlines to work through the essays is a much better use of time.
If you’re on the fence as to whether or not to spend three to five months’ rent on a prep course, read this book. If you’re not convinced that you can get away with some outlines from a friend who took Bar Bri last year and probably $200-$400 in old practice exams, then pay for Bar Bri. But after the fact, you’ll realize that you could have done the same work yourself, in less time, and with less money spent. Which is useful for buying drinks that you’ll desperately want after trying to understand all five areas of property law.
This book is a quick read. I would say it's definitely worth the small investment of both money and time. The advice the author gives is sound. Most of the bar prep systems are grossly overpriced and may or may not adequately prepare you for the exam. I'm not certain it's possible to do too many practice questions (OK, I'm sure that's an overstatement but not far off). Most of the rest of the time I spent reviewing lectures the first time around were a waste of my time.
What I like about this book is that it focuses really on studying smarter. I'm unconvinced that it takes studying as much as BarBri prescribes, especially if you focus on doing as many practice questions as possible.
After reading this book, my whole attitude about the test changed. I focused on what I could control, which was learning the tricks to understanding MBE questions and familiarizing myself with the essay topics as much as possible in preparation for the test.
Check it out before your bar prep or early into your study. I believe it'll save you both time and headaches to do so.