“What’s the BEST resource for preparing for the bar exam?”

I know it’s a hellscape out there in bar land 🧯🔥 Everyone claims to be the best supplement for bar prep.

Exam questions get more complex the more you look at them. There are too many damn options for supplements. And this vicious cycle is like a whistling kettle getting louder.

No wonder I get questions like these:

“Hello, do you have any tips for passing the bar? Sent from iPhone”

Idk check the website and sign up for my emails. I’ve been writing about this for 7 years. But sometimes I’ll bite and answer this vague kind of question.

“Do you have tutor recommendations? Should I get a tutor?”

Sure, but just consider how far you’ve taken your self-study efforts on your own and your real reason for seeking outside help. I have nothing against investing in your success for the right purpose. 

“What’s the best course/platform/material for bar prep?”

Like people, nothing is 100% at everything. I may have suggestions that fit your situation, but remember that the tool itself won’t help unless the wielder uses it properly.

OK, coming back down to the streets now…

I realize there might be different reasons for asking these questions:

– Finances
– Not being sure what each tool is really about
– Wanting to be sure it works for you

I understand that. You’re potentially spending 100s or 1000s of dollars on materials to help you pass the bar exam. Gotta do your due diligence.

  • If it’s about finances, or if you’re not sure what to get, here’s why bar prep doesn’t have to be expensive.
  • I also put together a supplement shopping list that will tell you my recommendations based on your budget level, including a $0 budget. (This document is normally only available with Passer’s Playbook, so grab it while you can.)
  • If you want to know more about MBE supplements, I compared UWorld and AdaptiBar so you can make an informed decision (separate AdaptiBar review here). For California bar takers, I reviewed BarEssays. These are some of the most popular bar prep supplements. I’m tired of seeing questions about them all the time. I put together a Resources page with other recommendations.

If you’re STILL stuck and agonizing after that, it’s time to look inward.

(BTW, this article has some important messages that took me many hours, days, and weeks of drafting and re-drafting to be as particular and sensitive as possible.)

You can only learn, not be taught.

We agonize over finding the “best” teaching tool when we should be asking ourselves how to be the best student and absorb as much as you can from what you have.

What most people mean when they say they want the “best” resource: “What’s the silver bullet that will let me get away with doing the least and still pass the bar exam?”

This is focused on the wrong idea—that merely possessing a tool will solve their problems. Don’t get a painkiller when you could get treatment.

“I just need the right shoes, THEN I could be an action hero!!”

You already are the hero in your journey.

So why do the least possible when you could run THROUGH the finish line and do MORE than you need to (and get the best outcome)?

If you genuinely wanted the “best” supplement as you claim
, you would have gotten every product I offered and recommended, absorbed and put everything I teach into action, and/or convinced me to coach you personally (an investment that could be worth at least 1000x over my clients’ lifetime, not to mention potentially saving months retaking the exam).

(I suggest the more-affordable Passer’s Playbook as an alternative, or the free material on my website and in my emails.)

Of course, I’m biased. I’ve earned the right to be unapologetic about what has worked for countless bar takers. There are hundreds of private testimonials (about 500 here, just from the past couple years) from people who applied my free and paid material, and quietly moved on with their Free Life beyond the bar.

Of course, do your due diligence. Are the choices you’re considering what you’re looking for? But at some point, the question should become, “If it worked for them, why not me?”

Of course, what I suggest is not law. Like hats, if one advice doesn’t fit, try another. Or try someone else’s “tips and tricks.” I haven’t seen anyone else offer free material like mine, though.

You also may not need the best tool!
 

If you’re up against Tiger Woods, you’re going to focus on your legs and swing techniques (and just pick a club you like). You’re not going to get organic broccoli if regular broccoli is good enough for you.

The email platform I’m using? It’s slow and buggy, but just what I need now. I can always switch later. My Google Pixel 3a? It has a plastic frame (and green texts), but it’s 80% as good, was less than half the price of a flagship phone, and still has unlimited photo storage. My 2009 Ford Escape? I’m the only Asian alive with a Ford SUV, but it can pull U-Haul trailers and lets me move anywhere I want.

This is my point…

It’s not about what’s “the best” supplement. It’s not going to do the work for you. YOU have to make it work. Any reputable resource can work, because the silver bullet is YOU, the hero.

Isn’t it freeing to know that YOU’RE in control? Only you can prevent forest fires in this hellscape.

Or maybe that’s the issue. We just want things to work in our favor automatically. How conflicting!

Your face when thinking of what's actually the best supplement for bar prep

It’s not about dedication or determination either… Anyone can desire to pass. Setting goals and intentions is the easy part.

But that desire has the weight of thousands of actions that not everyone is willing to do. Not everyone puts in the deliberate work with a consistent focus—to be a laser beam rather than a flashlight. Intention is nothing without the right actions.

Bar takers who fixate on endless researching (or not doing the most basic of research), who get distracted drumming up petitions to change the exam or getting mad about something or other, or who love to hear themselves speak on a soapbox, are less likely to pass anytime soon.

Love this comment in my Mental Engines course. The exam will change when it’s ready. Until then, change yourself.

Those people can spend their time on distractions, fighting every battle EXCEPT the one to pass the biggest exam of their lives. Let them.

Seeking perfect and seeking endless options are productivity disguised as distraction.

When you’re in trouble, go back to the basics.

Ignore the noise.

Fight for simplicity.

Stop playing defense, hiding and waiting. Go on offense. You are already all the things you need.

Choose a good option, and get going. If you have two equally good options, either will work. The act of trying to decide keeps you stuck, which is worse than either option.

If you’re even thinking about getting my materials, you might as well get them now. It’s worked for students from top law schools and unaccredited schools, busy working parents, and foreign applicants—all over the U.S. and outside it.

It’s probably going to work for you. That other thing you’re considering can work, too. 

But either way, learn how to make a decision, and learn how to make it work for you, as the dean of your own studies.

"I also bought the Magicsheets from Brian Hahn! I drill the Civ Pro timelines every morning."

"I'm on the fence about purchasing those outlines. I feel like I have lots of outlines already but I hear a lot of people like them. Is it worth the hype?"

"If you already have a lot of outlines, you don't need more of them (even if they're mine). You need to use them for practice and memorization"
I meant what I said in the beginning of this post

Instead of waiting for the perfect thing, you should be concerned about being a good student. The exam won’t wait for you.

“We are always falling in love or quarreling, looking for jobs or fearing to lose them, getting ill and recovering, following public affairs. If we let ourselves, we shall always be waiting for some distraction or other to end before we can really get down to our work. The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavorable. Favorable conditions never come.

—C. S. Lewis

So if you’re agonizing about how to find the “best” supplement…

  1. Stop hiding behind this question. Do your due diligence, but don’t use that as an excuse not to do what’s necessary.
  2. Consider whether you need the “best” vs. what’s a good fit for you. You may not need the “best.”
  3. Most of all, be the best student instead. There’s no perfect program. Stick with a few things you trust, and USE what you have as a learning tool. Make it work for you. You’re your own best supplement.

The funny part is that there are people who ask this kind of question and don’t even do anything with the answer!

…Not to mention the varying answers they get make it even harder to start moving. Avoid becoming a tool collector jumping around from one thing to another and getting overwhelmed with files and books collecting dust:

Don’t overcomplicate things. Don’t worry about making perfect choices in the beginning. Don’t find ways to avoid getting started.

We’re not buying a house here. You can always optimize as you go. You can always add (or subtract) what you need as you need it.

You can’t really mess this up. There’s not a lot in life that you can mess up permanently. You don’t have to be afraid.

Moving the wrong way is better than staying still because at least you can correct course and come out ahead.

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