Smart Bar Prep Review 2024 : Should You Pick This?

Do you know of any bar prep courses that have someone who obtained a top 5% score on the MBE section as their founder? Now without further ado, let’s go into much more detail about Smart Bar Prep, a course program created to assist recent law graduates in effectively and affordably studying for the bar exam! 

Quick Overview of Smart Bar Prep

This prep course was founded by Matthew Bates, an attorney who not only passed both the New Jersey and New York bar exams but passed them on his first try! The thing is, while he was quite satisfied with his test results, he did not exactly feel the same thing about the learning materials he got, and this led to the creation of Smart Bar Prep.

One thing he noticed from the learning materials he got was that most of them were loaded with irrelevant materials. He also felt that many of the practice questions were not based on the actual exam. So, after spending some of his time reading and analyzing the New York Bar Exam, which was believed to be the toughest of its kind, he finally created his first study guide.

Bates’ study guide uses something that is called the “80/20” philosophy. Essentially, it puts an emphasis on the idea that only 20% of things in life are essential. In line with this idea, Smart Bar Prep courses force students to focus their learning on the most-tested topics. For example, for the UBE section, the materials are mostly focused on the topic of Diversity of Citizenship.

Smart Bar Prep is also confident that its study guide can also be used in tandem with other popular bar prep courses like Kaplan, Barmax, and Barbri. Thanks to the effective design of the guide, it will allow students to better prioritize which topic to study first. On top of that, the way it presents the materials also makes it a better option for those who can’t study full-time.

Smart Bar Prep

Key Features of Smart Bar Prep

While it’s true that Smart Bar Prep looks more like a study guide rather than a full-fledged prep course, it’s hard to deny that it is one of the most affordable options out there. Imagine, you can get the Pro plan for just $449! But, of course, this prep course program is not for everyone, which is why we’ll get into the key features so you can make a better-informed decision.

  1. Priority Outlines

The outlines in Smart Bar Prep cover 517 rules that have been tested on the previous exams and are arranged to help you prioritize what to learn. The application of a color-coding system makes it easy for you to figure out the significance of each rule. In essence, you’ll use these guides as your go-to sources during the exam preparation journey.

For the new six subjects, an extra 100 rules have been included. To ensure you know precisely what an examiner is looking for, model rule statements are written in the same way as the tests are. Additionally, the guides are written in a clear way, emphasizing key legal terms, concepts, and expressions to help with remembering information.

  1. Smart Sheets

The Smart Sheets, which are intended to be utilized in conjunction with the outlines, will break down the law for every topic. They use the same color-coding system to help students quickly memorize the main topics. Typically, they are used by students to aid with review in the days preceding the exam.

These sheets concentrate on the extensively examined MBE & MEE subjects. Every topic is covered in two to ten pages along with straightforward rule statements. Furthermore, these sheets help you identify and analyze problems that are likely to be tested together by rapidly combining rule statements in groups.

  1. Frequency Charts

Students enrolled in Smart Bar Prep will also receive Frequency Charts, which display how often each rule or component has been tested on the bar exam. Thanks to the fact that they are arranged from most to least tested, you can also use these charts as a checklist to help you make sure you’ve learned about all of the crucial subjects. 

A thorough overview of the testing frequency for every field and topic category is provided in the MBE Frequency Chart. At the same time, students can easily review the complete set of the model rule statements by using the MEE Frequency Chart, which provides cross-references to the outline’s page numbers. 

  1. Smart Flashcards

The team at Smart Bar Prep knows that flashcards are an essential part of any bar prep course. However, instead of using traditional flashcards, the prep course provider offers users easy flashcard access via a mobile study platform. It even collaborated with Brainscape to employ a unique algorithm that enhances students’ educational experience.

These flashcards, which present essential concepts in a Q&A style, are perfect for helping you remember exam rules. They help you retain information better by repeating legal concepts at the right intervals. Furthermore, the algorithm will tailor the flashcards to your learning style and maximize the effectiveness of your studies.

  1. Practice Essays and Exams

It’s not enough to just understand the legal concepts on the bar exam. You’ll also need to practice to pass! In order to achieve this, Smart Bar Prep has created a number of practice tools with MBE, essay, and MPT questions that are licensed by the NCBE. By responding to these questions, students can predict their performance on the actual test.

The essay study guide, which includes previous MEE essay questions, is ideal for quickly going over a lot of essays on a particular topic. Meanwhile, the two other practice materials feature more than 100 real MPT questions and 800 real MBE questions along with answer explanations so you can see why a response is right or wrong.

Smart Bar Prep: Who Is It For?

Are you an independent learner who has the discipline to study on your own? Do you learn best by studying an outline and reading the written learning materials? If you answered yes to these questions, then Smart Bar Prep can be a great option for you. But, if you think you can’t properly study without expert guidance, then you will want to find something else.

Smart Bar Prep FAQs

  • How long will I be able to access the learning materials?

All of the study materials—aside from the Smart Flashcards—are provided in PDF format, so you can use them for as long as you like once you download them. Nevertheless, the download link for the materials typically expires six months after the date of purchase.

  • Is there a guarantee?

Indeed, a guarantee exists. If, for any reason, after going over the study guides and outlines, you’re not satisfied, simply send an email to Smart Bar Prep, and you will get a complete refund. Nonetheless, you only have 30 days from the date of purchase to complete this.

The Takeaway

All things considered, SmartBarPrep covers a remarkable number of significant areas of law in its educational materials. Its outlines are also helpful for students in concentrating on the most-tested materials to help them ace the bar exam. Because of this, it’s a good choice for any student who wants a high-quality resource at a reasonable price.


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