Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Concerns regarding PLI's Patent Bar Review Course

Since finishing PLI's patent bar review course, I have been doing practice questions and have been taking practice exams on some PatBar StudySmart 4.0 software that a friend of mine let me borrow because my PLI Patware software wasn't working.

I am happy that I am finished with the bar review course, but I am not so happy that I am averaging 50% on the practice exams. (I need 70% to pass). Yes, on the sample final that PLI gave us, I scored a 68%, which is one question shy of the 70% needed to pass, but I have a feeling that this test was an unintended TRICK to falsely give us confidence for the exam.

What annoys me is that I did EVERYTHING the course told me to do -- in the order and depth the course told me to do it -- and I emerged from the course with a 50% test score average. This annoys me because when I took Pieper Bar Review for the NY bar exam, I was scoring WAY HIGHER than what was required to pass the bar exam, and I passed with flying colors. This course barely prepares you to pass.

What scares me further is that the PLI Patent Bar Review course that I am taking was purchased from a law school friend who bought the course in 2004 and passed the patent bar in 2005. But he was a scientist for a patent firm, so he knew what he was doing before he even listened to the first CD. Since then, the exam is using an updated MPEP (patent manual) with updated rules and updated cases. I don't know these new rules or cases, and I am relying on a 2-year old course which puts me at a slight disadvantage, but a worthy disadvantage because I payed FAR LESS than full price for the course. This was good for my marriage-life budget and was worth the risk.

To add insult to injury, the BarBri PatBar software in my opinion is flimsy, outdated, and has errors (I've looked up answers multiple times in the MPEP patent manual and have found that the answers on the patbar software were often WRONG.) This annoyed me.

All in all, I want to raise my average to at least 75% (ideally 80%) to give myself the cushion that I need to overcome any disadvantages I have from the conditions and circumstances of which I have walking into the exam.

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