Students often ask whether they really need to take a commercial bar review course. The answer is yes. The bar review course provide a great deal of resources that you will need to succeed.
First, bar review companies provide you with the law that you need to know. They have studied bar exams more than anyone, and will pinpoint what you really need to know and will help you prioritize your studying. This is especially critical if you are taking the Uniform Bar Exam because the National Conference of Bar Examiners use a variety of sources for determining the “general principles of law” that they test on. There is no one place you can go to learn the law, absent using a commercial bar review course. NCBE suggests that one look at their older essay exams to determine the sources of law that are used. However studying solely from past essays will only give you a limited picture of what can be tested and will not be sufficient. You need a more comprehensive source, which is where the bar review companies come in.
Additionally, the commercial bar review companies provide you with practice materials. The key to passing the bar exam its strategic practice. The bar review companies will give you essays, MBEs, and MPTs to practice from.
This is far from an ideal or equitable system, but it is the system we have. Unless someone has the resources to create an entirely open source bar review company, applicants must pay for a commercial bar review course in order to have a good shot at passing the bar the first time.