It’s kind of a sad time of year where third year law students everywhere are already feeling stressed about finals coming up in a couple of months, and also the impending doom of studying for the bar all summer. I’m here to report that studying for the bar doesn’t have to be completely terrible, and in fact, can almost be enjoyable, with my honest BarMax review.

I used BarMax to study for the bar when my son was really young and I was very concerned about being away from him for extended periods of time. (Read about how to study for the bar with a baby here). I was not at all interested in spending 60-90 hours studying each week like some of my friends were doing. And I was also feeling the weight of mine and my husband’s crushing combined $650k of student loan debt, i.e., I couldn’t spend a fortune on studying for the bar. (Read about how to study for the bar on a budget here).

BarMax was created by Harvard alum who wanted to create a better bar prep experience for students. Their idea seems to be working, since they boast that their students have higher passing rates than states’ passing rates. BarMax, like many other bar prep courses, is a comprehensive course that has everything you need to pass the bar. There’s a specific group of people that I think should consider a different bar prep course though, read on to find out if you’re one of them, in this BarMax review.


The first and foremost thing I should share in this Barmax review is that I loved the price. For their most expensive comprehensive option, it’s only $1499, which isn’t even half the cost of Barbri’s most expensive option ($4095).

BarMax makes studying crazy flexible. I really enjoyed being able to study using the app, especially having the flashcards with me everywhere I went. I would use my flash cards while my son was playing at the park, or while we were at the play place at Chick-fil-a, sitting as a passenger in the car. . . literally everywhere I went. I also loved being able to listen to lectures on the go while I was driving or out on a run. It was really easy to incorporate studying into my lifestyle.

It allowed me to study for only 20-30 hours a week (and still pass).

It had extremely well-trained lecturers. A lot of the lecturers are or were professors at obviously prestigious schools, like Harvard.

It came with a really helpful study schedule that helped me plan out when to study what.

It provided access to study boards, where you can ask questions to have incorrect test answers explained. This part alone was one of the most helpful features that enabled me to do well on the bar. There’s no better way to improve than by figuring out what you are doing wrong.

You get real practice essays and thousands of multiple choice questions from past bar exams.


At the time, I didn’t know anyone who used BarMax to study for the bar. That made me feel really nervous, because while I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on studying for the bar, I also wanted to actually pass the dang thing.

While it is much cheaper than other options for bar prep (cough cough BarBri), it’s still expensive and when you are feeling extremely stressed about jobs and paying student loans, spending is scary.

It’s probably not best for people who aren’t self-starters/need a lot of structure in their schedule. BarMax provides for a ton of flexibility and I could see someone who prefers being in a classroom not enjoying the style of BarMax.

In a lot of states, it only offers study prep for the MBE portion of the bar. This was the case for me when I took the Oklahoma bar. However, I simply used the MBE portion of Barbri, and then went to my local law school’s law library to check out past Oklahoma bar essay exams and it worked great for me.


In short, if you are a self-starter who needs (or can deal with) a flexible studying schedule, BarMax in my opinion is the best option out there. It comes with a study schedule, all the lectures and outlines you would ever need, and most importantly, all of the essays and multiple choice questions you could ever want (like probably more than you’ll even get through). I was SO worried about not signing up for an expensive bar prep course (specifically, Barbri) because it was what all of my friends were doing and seemed like what all the upperclassmen did. But I truly believe BarMax is a superior studying experience, not to mention the fact that it’s cheaper. Just because something has been around for longer does not necessarily mean it’s better. I hope this BarMax review was helpful in making your decision about how to study for the bar.

Click here to learn more about BarMax to help you make the best decision for you.  If you sign up for BarMax, you’ll get 10% off for using my link here.

For the comments: Did you use BarMax to study for the bar? How was your experience?

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  1. I’m debating whether to use BarMax. I graduated in 2006 and tried to study for the California Bar, however, and this is no excuse, I had a wife and two children that needed my time, was running a business, have 2 special needs adult children from a previous marriage and had only about 4 hours a night to study. I took the bar a few times and failed, getting a 3rd reading a couple of times. It was always the Performance portion that I could never ace. How easy is that portion in BarMax?
    Well, I abandoned that quest in 2010. Now I’m 68 yo, retired, and with more time on my hands. I like the BarMax price, however, after being out of the game for over 9 years, I don’t know if any prep course could help me. I would do it more for the achievement of the task (it’s like something that bothers you after excelling academically at everything), because I know no one is going to hire a 68 yo rookie, even though I feel young enough to practice. Do I still have enough time to study for the February bar, or being out of it for so long, should I wait for the July 2020 bar exam?
    I would appreciate any comments in reference to my situation.

    1. Hi Art! I think you definitely have time to study before the February bar. I started studying in November, some people start later in December/early January. Plenty of time! I personally loved BarMax because it was so flexible and the app was really easy to use (and for all the reasons listed in my post, ha) but I didn’t take the California bar so I can’t speak specifically to it, sorry. Hope that helps! Good luck!!

    2. Hi Art,

      I am on the same boat! I am taking the February Bar in Ohio but I already had purchased Themis, so I just needed some extra boost for the MBE PORTION. If you already purchased BARMAX, I hope you paid full price for the program because for me, it has been a complete disappointment since I only paid for the question bank. Unless you pay full price program, you don’t have access to all the answers, only the correct ones but as you know, the explanations of the incorrect answers are very important., BARMAX told me I could only view the question board but I couldn’t ask any questions… O said ok I just need the explanation of all the answers but in order for me to get that, I had to pay full price (upgrade my package). Well, I wish you all the luck and take one day at time because this is very stressful and the last thing you need is adding other stress right now. Best!

    3. Hi Art!

      I was wondering whether you decided to take the bar exam again. I have been out of law school for 30 years and am in my early 60’s. I’m thinking about studying for the bar exam again after all these years!


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