I graduated in 2010, studied and took the California bar (passed my first time). I used two bar review courses simultaneously (AdaptiBar was not one of them, but looking back, I would have definitely added it). Overall, I took over 90+ essays, and 1,700 – 1,800 Multiple Choice questions in prepping for the California Bar. I spend my time now advising law firms, and Fortune 1,000 companies using their own data to draw insights, and offer ways to improve their businesses. AdaptiBar has taken the same approach that I use in work, and applied it to studying for the bar. Overall, I found their program very helpful because it gave me the ability to immediately start assessing not just a weak subject, but a weak subtopic.

Quick disclaimer: As part of this review, I did reach out to AdaptiBar and asked if it would be alright for me to have access to the program, in exchange for me reviewing their product, and sharing it with everyone on the website. While doing my research, I also requested a discount that I could share with everyone. If you want to receive $30 off your order, you can click the link here to sign up (note I do receive a commission, but found the AdaptiBar program extremely useful, and do recommend it).
Let’s get one question out of the way. Is AdaptiBar worth your time? The answer is: Yes! If you are self-studying, or struggling on multiple-choice questions and need a way to assess your weak spots and improve, then AdaptiBar offers a great program that provides you with fully licensed questions from the same people that administer the MBE.
About the Program
AdaptiBar was started in 2003, by a law student who was looking to fill the gap in online bar study programs. The course is designed for anyone taking the multiple-choice exam, but can really help those who fall into two groups of people:
  • Those who have decided to study for the bar on their own; and
  • Those who might have purchased a formal program, but need additional help on the multiple-choice portion of the exam.
The formal AdaptiBar course offers everything one could need, or use to prepare for the multiple-choice section of the exam and the base course includes:
  • 1,730 simulated questions (1,530 of which are licensed from the NCBEX)
  • 4 full OPE exams (2006, 2009, 2011, 2013) – Included in the 1,730
  • Dynamic learning and performance to diagnose your weakspots, while making sure to maintain your strong suits.
  • An iPhone app that provides pretty much everything that you can access through the website for on-the-go.

How to Use AdaptiBar To Maximize Your Results:

If you sign up for the free trial there is an initial orientation stage, to get situated. After that, AdaptiBar has a recommended program, that is outlinedwithin their handbook.adaptibar-preparation-method

They recommend taking a set of questions and using their powerful benchmarking and analytical tool to find your weaknesses. I created this infographic to show exactly how they recommend you study. If you want to download a pdf copy, you can click here.

  • Step 1: Outline Studying

Read each one of your outlines prior to taking the course so you understand the content.

  • Step 2: Conduct an Initial Assessment Using their Platform

The initial assessment comes down to completing approximately 350 questions (50 in each subject). This will give you a solid base on which to see where you need to improve. It also starts giving the AdaptiBar platform, the ability to measure your performance.

  • Step 3: Assess Your Weaknesses

Assessing your weakness is fairly simple. You can use the AdaptiBar program’s benchmarking area (outlined in detail below) to identify weak areas for improvement.

  • Step 4: Fix Your Weak Spots

Under step 4, you are honing the topics that you are the weakest in, taking extra multiple-choice questions to better position yourself. You do this by taking 1 subtopic each day, and reviewing your outline, and taking more multiple choice questions.

  • Step 5: Reassess Your Weak Spots

After having completed an additional 350 questions, it’s time to start the process over again. The goal here is to continue on, eliminating weak areas as you complete the course.

Note, as you go through the Adaptibar process, they will message you to let you know when it is time to move on to a new topic, or to reassess your weaknesses. You can see a sample screenshot below:

adaptibar-messages to move on to a new subject

AdaptiBar Features

While the full program is very robust, there are three specific features that I want to highlight that I found extremely helpful during my review of the program.

  • AdaptiBar’s adaptive technology and benchmarking abilities
  • Practice Questions
  • Practice Exams

I’ll go into detail about each of the three below.

Feature 1: Adaptibar Adaptive Technology & Benchmarking

The core aspect of AdaptiBar is their adaptive technology. Here is how it works, you begin answering questions on a variety of topics, and benchmark yourself. AdaptiBar’s technology keeps track of your answers, analyzing how well you are doing on certain subjects and subtopics. As you are completing practice questions, AdaptiBar will, for lack of a better term, adapt to your needs, and provide you with more questions in your weak areas until you start to improve.
This means that each person who subscribes to AdaptiBar will have a unique study path. You can always pick and choose which topics/subtopics you want to be tested on, but, if you really want to maximize the program, let the technology adapt to your needs.
AdaptiBar is also well known for their powerful, proprietary benchmarking tool. Imagine being able to take a question, see all aspects of how you performed on it, including how long it took you, what your answer was, whether it was right or wrong and why. Now add onto that, the ability to see how others performed, and cut that information by topic and sub-topic. You then start to get a sense of how powerful the AdaptiBar platform is.

 

The process for maximizing benchmarking is fairly straight forward, you answer questions through either Practice Questions, or Practice Exams while AdaptiBar works in the background to assess your weak areas. The more questions that you take, the better the program becomes. At any time you can go into the Performance menu to see your current performance. It measures your performance against other groups of individuals. Overall, the program was extremely helpful, and if I was to take the exam again in another state, I would incorporate AdaptiBar into my own study schedule.

Benchmarking and Reports

 AdaptiBar offers a plethora of benchmarking and analytical tools as part of the program, which are designed to help you pinpoint your weak areas on the MBE. They offer, Subject Performance, Subject Analysis, Timing Performance, Timing Analysis, Past Questions, Exam Reports, Past Performance Tables, and Question Progress to see how many questions you’ve answered overall in the program. I’m going to focus on two areas for this review:

Subject Performance & Subject Analysis:

The subject performance section lets you see how well you perform across the 8 subjects on the Multistate bar exam. Within each subject, AdaptiBar has broken them down into smaller subtopics (30 in total). As you continue to answer more and more questions you can measure your performance on an individual level, against the state average, or on a national level. What is great is that you can also export a pdf of your current performance across all topics and subtopics. This feature is extremely important as it is part of the recommended AdaptiBar program where you examine your weaknesses in each subtopic. You can see a sample picture of the benchmarking area below.
benchmarking-sample

Timing Performance & Timing Analysis:

AdaptiBar also gives you the ability to break out how well you perform on questions and assess what your sweet spot is for answering questions. The picture on the bottom is a sample of your timing analysis. So, for a specific subject (in this case for me it was Civ. Pro) I could see that generally, it took me 137 seconds to answer a question, which is about 20 seconds longer than is recommended.
 Adaptibar Product Reviewi-need-to-work-on-my-civil-procedure-response-rate

Feature 2: Practice Questions

If you sign up for AdaptiBar, you will likely spend the majority of your time in the Practice Questions Section. Depending on what you want to accomplish, you have the ability to select the topics you want to be tested on and subtopics. Below is a picture of your options.

starting-practice-questions

practice-questions-statistics

Once you’ve selected your set of questions, you can take on each question individually, and review your answer against the correct answer. AdaptiBar provides a full writeup about why each response was correct/incorrect. No more having to switch back and forth in a book! As stated above, you can benchmark yourself  against other people’s responses… at the individual question level.

Here is what I mean. The picture on the right shows my own performance on this question. I’ve only taken the question once, so my average for this question is 100%. The average for those who are signed up in my state is 83%, while the national average is slightly below that. I can also see what were the most popular responses.

Lastly, I want to bring attention to the icons at the top of the picture. You can flag a question to bring attention to it later, or, click into one of AdaptiBar’s videos, or ask about it on the forums “chat bubble”

This actually brings up one of the things about the AdaptiBar program that I wish they had. When you choose to create a discussion topic on a question, it includes the question number, but not the question and answers themselves. As a result, there were several threads I reviewed where someone asked specific questions on a point of law, and people were unable to respond as the question was not readily available. This is a feature I really hope AdaptiBar includes in the future.

 

 Feature 3: Practice Exams
When it comes to practice exams you have two options. First, because AdaptiBar has licensed practice exams, which have been released by the NCBEX, you can take a formal practice exam of 100 questions. The second option is to have AdaptiBar make a customized practice test. The below picture is an example of how you can customize your exam.
adaptibar-customized-practice-exams
One of the more interesting aspects of the AdaptiBar program is their online video lectures. They have partnered with Professor Jonathan Grossman to create online lectures on each of the 30 subtopics. These videos are purchased separately from the main course and range in price from $15 – $65 each. You can purchase them either separately, or as bundles.

What is nice about the video series is that if you choose to purchase them, they become part of the program. As you work your way through practice multiple-choice questions, there may come a point where you need to reference a video talking about a specific subtopic. You can link directly from the question to the corresponding video.

I’ve included a sample video from Professor Grossman below.

The iPhone app has almost everything the main program has (I’ll most likely do a separate write-up at some point about my experience with the app). I used the app on the iPhone 7+. It is included in the base program and comes with:

  • Access to the practice questions
  • Practice Exams
  • Flash Cards (Must be purchased separately)
  • Performance Metrics
  • Video Lectures (Must be purchased separately)

You don’t get access to the charts and graphs, but you do have the ability to see a breakdown of your performance on the questions that you’ve taken thus far, along with the overall program performance. Note, they also have an Android App as well, that has the same functionality of the iPhone App, but given that I don’t have an Android, I wasn’t able to test it out.

Pricing Options

Pricing for the course is simple, flexible, and straight forward:

 

Base Program:

MBE & Simulator Prep Course: $395

  • For $395, you get access to all 1,730 questions, iPhone app, and all benchmarking, forums, etc.

Extras:

  • Smart Flashcards: $95
    • You can get access to 950 flash cards to test yourself across all the subjects.
  • Video Lectures: $15-$65 each
    • Video lectures can be purchased separately or as a bundle depending on your needs.

 

When it came to pricing, here is how I thought of the cost of the course. When I originally studied for the bar exam, I purchased the two OPE exams that were available ($50 each). If was to do it today, I would pay $200 for all 4 tests. So, in reality, for an additional $195, you are getting access to benchmarking, 930 additional MBE questions, and a program that will assess your weaknesses.

Closing Thoughts

 After spending a few weeks with AdaptiBar, I can say that I was very impressed with the program overall. It operates as a great addition to anyone who is preparing for the bar, it gives you all available licensed MBE questions, along with detailed explanations of the answers.
 

Pros

Cons

  • Adaptive technology to help pinpoint areas of improvement while leading up to the bar
  • Wish there was the ability to link to questions when discussing in the forums
  • Real bar exam questions that were used on past bar exams
  • Wish there was a more interactive beginners guide to help show off all the features Adaptibar offers
  • Complete flexibility on how you complete the program
  • iPhone & Android apps have almost everything you need for the program (questions, benchmarking, videos, etc.)
  • Pricing is very flexible.

AdaptiBar was able to provide a promo code, you can sign up for a free trial using the link below, and if you decide to purchase the full course, you will receive $30 off your order (note I receive a small fee at no cost to you, if you decide to purchase the full program).

Register Here