Best BAR Prep Courses

Candidates who want to practice law in the United States are required to take the BAR exam. The BAR exam is very stressful as it spans 2-3 days, depending on which state you are taking it in. Explore the best BAR prep courses below to ensure you are prepared as possible when you take your BAR exam.

Each state in the United States has their own BAR association. With each state having their own BAR association, the BAR exam will vary from state to state. However, in the past couple of years, states have adopted somewhat similar testing formats.

Most states use the Multistate BAR Exam (MBE) for the multiple-choice questions, and either the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) or the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) for the second day of essay testing. Some states will use the Uniform BAR Exam (UBE) which includes three parts – MBE, MEE, and MPT.

Students who wish to refresh their knowledge on multiple topics while also learn new material should consider a BAR prep course. BAR prep courses will offer different strategies and test taking tips that will help students become more comfortable when taking the BAR. Students who are more comfortable with the materials and concepts they will be tested on will receive higher scores on the BAR.

Use our reviews of the top 6 BAR prep courses to make your choice based on budget, learning style, guarantees and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Our Picks for Best BAR Prep Courses
  2. Comparison Table
  3. Who Needs an BAR Prep Course
  4. Quimbee
  5. Kaplan
  6. Bar Max UBE
  7. Bar Max MBE
  8. Critical Pass
  9. Bar Prep Hero

Our Picks for Best Bar Prep Courses

  • - Recommended

  • Best For: Most comprehensive BAR prep course
  • kaplan logo
  • Rating:
  • Visit Kaplan

Best Bar Prep Course Reviews (2020)

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Bar Exam Prep Quimbee Kaplan Bar Max UBE Bar Max MBE Critical Pass Bar Prep Hero
  quimbee logo kaplan logo Bar Max UBE logo Bar Max MBE logo Critical pass logo Bar Prep Hero logo
Rating 
T-G Recommended

T-G Recommended
Pricing $999 $2499 $1899 $999 $170 $449
Subscription Length Until You Pass 90 days Lifetime Lifetime 1-Year Lifetime
Free Trial
Study Plan
Graded Essays
Flashcards
Practice Questions 1800+ 4000 1750+ 1750+ 0 2215
Lecture Hours 120+ Videos 220 Hours 50+ Hours 20+ Hours 0 Hours 0 Hours
Course Delivery Online Online Online Online Online and Hard Copy Online
Best Feature Graded Essays + Guarantee Answer Explanations BAR Graders on Staff Lifetime Access + Analytics Detailed Flashcards Official MEE and MPT Tests
Summary  Review Review Review Review Review Review
Learn More GO! GO! GO! GO! GO! GO!

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Who Needs a bar Prep Course?

The BAR exam is necessary for all lawyers who wish to practice law in the United States. It is essential that candidates pass this exam and comprehend the material on the exam to help them succeed in their professional careers. 

Finding your best approach to preparing for the BAR exam can be challenging. BAR prep courses can be time-consuming and expensive. Do you need a BAR prep course? The answer depends on many factors.

Factors to Consider

  • Study discipline – if you routinely have trouble maintaining a study schedule, you’ll find that a prep course is worth it.
  • Need for encouragement – if you need encouragement, feedback and motivation, a prep course with an instructor (either in-person or online) is a good option.
  • Budget – BAR prep courses can get expensive. If money is tight, consider our best value recommendation, or self-study with BAR prep books.
  • Learning style – if you have a history of successfully studying with books, a self-study approach with a good BAR prep book may be your best plan.

Benefits of an bar Prep Course

  • Simulates actual test – the online exams included in a BAR prep course do a great job of simulating the actual BAR exam.  
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses – the best BAR prep courses offer advanced diagnostics to identify the topics you need to focus on.
  • Quality instructors – courses that include live instructors and interactive lecture videos will help you with efficient strategies, motivation, and one-on-one feedback.
  • Comprehensive study plans – BAR prep courses will help you craft, and stick to, a customized study schedule that works for you

Why an BAR Prep Course May Not Be Your Only Option

  • Instructor-dependent – if you opt for an instructor-led course, the quality of your instructor will be a significant factor towards your success.
  • Expensive – the best BAR exam prep courses may be over $2000.
  • Time-consuming – prep courses often require significant study/prep time
  • DIY alternative - self-study using prep books may be a cost-effective alternative

Bottom Line - If you need to pass the BAR and have the budget, a top BAR prep course is a great option.

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BAR Prep Course Online Reviews

Quimbee UBE Review

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  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Recommended
  • Price: Starting at $999

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Quimbee Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Middle of the Pack in Terms of Pricing.
  • Content

  • 120+ Lecture Vidoes and Garded Essays.
  • Questions

  • 1800+ BAR Practice Questions.

Quimbee Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • 120+ Lecture Videos and Graded Essays.
  • Course Guarantee.
  • Cons

  • No Flashcards.
  • No Study Plan.

Quimbee Summary

Quimbee offers their UBE BAR prep course for $999. The course includes 1800+ practice questions, 120+ video lessons, personalized essay feedback, and a 100% money back guarantee. This UBE BAR prep course will work best for students in 35 jurisdictions. If your jurisdiction does not fall under this prep course, Quimbee also offers an MBE prep course for $499 that works well with 54 jurisdictions. 

The UBE prep course from Quimbee is 100% online but students may add a print package when they checkout. The print package includes Quimbee’s BAR review outlines and an MPT workbook. When students purchase the course, they will also gain access to the mobile app. Students can do everything through the mobile app except uploading graded essays. 

Quimbee also offers a free MPRE course with purchase of the UBE prep course. Students who need financing to purchase the course can receive 0% financing. All practice questions in this prep course are real, licensed questions from previous BAR exams and cover all 3 components of the UBE – the MBE, MEE, and MPT. Overall, Quimbee was one of our choices for best bar prep course. 

Best features of Quimbee – Graded essays and course guarantee.

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Rating:

T-G Recommended

Bottom Line

Another great option for those looking for a fairly priced option. Good balance of review content and practice questions. 

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Kaplan Prep Review

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  • Test-Guide Rating:  T-G Recommended
  • Price: Starting at $2499

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Kaplan Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Most Expensive Course We Reviewed.
  • Content

  • Includes Study Plan and Answer Explanations.
  • 220 Lecture Hours.
  • Questions

  • Course Includes 4000 Practice Questions.
  • Most of Any BAR Prep Course We Reviewed.

Kaplan Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Number of Practice Questions
  • Answer Explanations and Graded Essays
  • Cons

  • Most Expensive Course We Looked at. 
  •                                                                                                  

Kaplan Summary

Kaplan offers their BAR prep course for $2499. This prep course is online and on-demand. The course includes 220+ hours of lecture videos, 4000 MBE practice questions, flashcards, and graded essays. Students who prefer a live BAR prep course can register for Kaplan’s live online prep course for $3499. 

When purchasing the BAR prep course from Kaplan, students will need to select the state in which they plan to take the BAR exam – this is how Kaplan tailors the BAR prep course to your specific state. Kaplan includes answer explanations with every single question which is a great way for students to learn the materials and drill down specific concepts. 

Students will also have the ability to have their essays graded by real lawyers who have already passed the BAR exam. Kaplan uses real essays that appeared on the actual BAR exam to give students the most realistic study experience. Kaplan claims that 90% of their students who complete more than 75% of the prep course go on to pass the UBE BAR exam.

Best features of Kaplan – Number of MBE practice questions and answer explanations.

kaplan logo

Rating:

T-G Recommended

Bottom Line

For those who can afford a more expensive option, this is the course for you. Kaplan’s BAR prep course is the complete package.

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Bar Max UBE Prep Review 

Bar Max UBE logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $1899

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Bar Max UBE Feature Summary

  • Price

  • On the More Expensive End of BAR Prep Courses.
  • Content

  • Includes 50+ Lecture Hours and Flashcards. 
  • Lifetime Subscription and Graded Essays. 
  • Questions

  • Course Includes 1750+ Practice Questions.

Bar Max UBE Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Graded Essays.
  • Lifetime Subscription.
  • Cons

  • Little on the Pricey End.
  • -

Bar Max UBE Summary

Bar Max offers their BAR UBE prep course for $1899. The course is an online self-paced course. Students who purchase this course will get instant access as well as having lifetime access. The course includes over 50 hours of lectures, 600+ flashcards, 1750+ MBE questions, 130 practice essays, and 75 perf tests. 

The lectures included in this UBE prep course are from Harvard Law School educated law professors. All practice questions are actual MBE questions which are perfect for students to study to get a better feel for the BAR exam. Students will also be able to study for the BAR exam by completing the practice essays and perf tests. The perf tests are designed to help students study for the performance test section of the BAR where candidates are asked to solve real-life legal tasks that they may encounter in their future law careers. 

When students enroll in this BAR prep course, they will receive 10 personalized writing critiques. Students can use these critiques to have others look at either their perf test answers or essay answers to see how they performed. Bar Max uses former BAR graders to make sure students will receive the most accurate feedback.  

Students will receive a welcome packet when they register for the course. The welcome packet includes a course calendar, PDF’s of previous essays, example performance test questions, and model answers. This welcome packet is sent via email to students.

Best features of Bar Max UBE – Former BAR garders on staff.

Bar Max UBE logo

Rating:

Bottom Line

Great course for those looking to prepare for the Uniform BAR Exam (UBE). Good combination of lecture videos, questions, and flashcards.

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Bar Max MBE Review

Bar Max MBE logo

  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $999

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Bar Max MBE Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Middle of the Pack in Terms of Pricing. 
  • Content

  • Includes 20+ Lecture Hours and Flashcards.
  • Lifetime Subscription and Study Plan.
  • Questions

  • Course Includes 1750+ Practice Questions.

Bar Max MBE Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Lifetime Subscription
  • Flashcards
  • Cons

  • Not as Many Lecture Hours as Other Courses
  • -

Bar Max MBE Summary

Bar MAX also offers a BAR prep course for those who only want to study for the MBE portion of the BAR exam. This MBE BAR prep course is available to students for $999. The course includes 1750+ MBE questions, 20+ hours of lectures, and 400+ flashcards. Students will receive lifetime access to the course when they purchase it and will gain access to the course right away. 

As with Bar Max’s UBE prep course, all lectures are from Harvard Law School educated law professors. All practice questions are actual MBE questions and this prep course includes more than 1750 practice questions. Also included with the course is a calendar and task list to help you stay on track and organized. 

Students will be able to study wherever they want while on whatever device they choose. This MBE BAR prep course also uses advanced analytics to help students track their progress. The analytics will inform students on which subjects they are strong and weak in, which will help save students time when studying for the BAR exam. 

Best Feature of Bar Max MBE – Lifetime access and analytics

Bar Max MBE logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Good combination of resources for students who are looking to study for the Multistate BAR Exam (MBE).

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Critical Pass Review

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  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $170

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Critical Pass Feature Summary

  • Price

  • Cheapest BAR Study Option We Looked at.
  • Content

  • While this is Not a BAR Prep Course, Flashcards are a Great Resource.
  • Questions

  • No Questions Included but Flashcards Serve as Substitute.

Critical Pass Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Color-Coded Flashcards.
  • Room for Note Taking.
  • Cons

  • No Questions.
  • No Lectures.

Critical Pass Summary

Critical Pass is a unique BAR exam prep option because it is a little different from the other BAR prep courses. Instead of offering a complete BAR prep course, Critical Pass offers detailed flashcards to help students prepare. Students can purchase the MBE flashcards for $169.99. 

Each flashcard is color-coded and organized by subject and sub-topic for efficient studying. The flashcards also include clear and concise statements along with overviews of larger themes and topics. Students can add their own notes to each flashcard as there is dedicated space for notes at the bottom of each flashcard. The cards are sturdy enough to study anywhere and cover all subject on the MBE. 

When students purchase these flashcards, they will also gain access for 1 year to Critical Pass’s digital app. The app includes digitized content, quizzes, highlighting, and note-taking. Critical Pass also offers flashcards for the MEE which are available for $99.99. Critical pass offers a great product for a great price, these flashcards are a great resource for students to pair with another BAR prep course. 

Best features of Critical Pass – Detailed flashcards and price.

Critical pass logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

Great resource with great pricing. Good idea to use this as a supplement with other BAR prep materials. 

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Bar Prep Hero Review

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  • Test-Guide Rating: 
  • Price: Starting at $449

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Bar Prep Hero Feature Summary

  • Price

  • On the Lower End of BAR Prep Courses We Reviewed.
  • Content

  • Lack of Lecture Hours Really Brings this Course Down.
  • Questions

  • Course Includes 2215 BAR Practice Questions.

Bar Prep Hero Pros and Cons

  • Pros

  • Official MEE Tests.
  • Official MPT Tests.
  • Cons

  • Lack of Review Materials.
  •  -

Bar Prep Hero Summary

Bar Prep Hero offers a couple of different options when it comes to BAR exam prep. They offer an UBE prep course for $449, an MBE prep course for $299, and a simulated MBE for $99. For our purposes, we will be looking at the full UBE prep course that is available for $449. 

The UBE prep course includes 2215 MBE practice questions, 42 premium tests, 1800+ flashcards, and a 200 question MBE exam. Bar Prep Hero also includes every official MEE essay and various MPT tests from the last 23 years of BAR exams. Students have the option to download MEE essay questions and read different interpretations of these questions. 

While the prep course may not include the most in-depth answer explanations, students receive 15 detailed email consults to ask experts questions on subjects they may not fully understand. Bar Prep Hero offers a full refund for all students who do not pass the BAR exam. While this course is available for a great price, it lacks lecture videos and other review materials. This course would work well for those who learn via practice questions and flashcards. 

Best Features of Bar Prep Hero – Official MEE essays and MPT tests from last 23 years of BAR exams.

Bar Prep Hero logo

Rating:

 

Bottom Line

This course is good for those shopping with a budget. Course lacks lecture videos and content review but makes up for it with practice questions and lifetime access.

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BAR Prep Course FAQ

Is a BAR prep course worth it?

BAR prep courses are a great way to learn new material and refresh yourself on old material. Some factors to consider might be your budget, learning style, and self-discipline. BAR prep courses will help identify strengths and weaknesses, simulate the actual test, and provide a study plan.

Which online BAR prep course is best?

After reviewing numerous courses, we found that Quimbee and Kaplan were the best BAR prep courses. Quimbee was our choice for best value while Kaplan was the most comprehensive BAR prep course we looked at.

How do you prepare for the BAR exam?

One of the best ways to prepare for the BAR exam is by enrolling in a BAR prep course. A BAR prep course will help students stay focused and motivated while also learning new material. Students will be able to study exam-like practice questions and get familiar with the BAR format when taking a BAR prep course.

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 Last update: 9/10/2020