Crushendo Helped Me Fail a Practice MBE Exam

Crushendo Helped Me Fail a Practice MBE Exam 

(Guest Post by Sam Meyer)

I never would have thought that receiving 40% on a test could feel so encouraging, pleasantly surprising, and thought-provoking. The webpage following the last question of the test literally read, “You Failed,” but I couldn’t help but feel like I succeeded.  Sure, this wasn’t a final exam, nor was it a midterm—truly, it didn’t count for anything at all. Yet I was ecstatic!

For my first project as a Crushendo intern, I was tasked with exploring the company’s products and reporting my findings. After my dive into Crushendo’s history and content, I have come to see Crushendo for what it truly is: a bar prep service unlike any other, developed for people just like me. There is nothing in this world I despise more than sitting down at a desk for extended periods to study, not even losing to my little brother. You can imagine my delight when I came across stories of the founder of Crushendo, Adam Balinski, studying as he hit dingers at the local baseball field, or when I read current law students’ reviews describing the meaningful practice they get from Crushendo’s content as they do other activities, like walk their dog or go on hikes. The strange thing to me was that these people were using the material in exactly the way it was meant to be used.

After coming to this realization, I couldn’t help but think: If it works for them, shouldn’t it work for me? I realized that I didn’t have to take anybody’s word for it—I needed to try these incredible outlines for myself to see if they truly worked as wonderfully as they were marketed to. In my mind, there was just one problem: I knew nothing about the law. I study neuroscience and computer science, and the closest thing I have had to any formal legal education is a law seminar I went to my freshman year (mainly because they were giving out free sandwiches). Everything I previously knew about the law came from the TV show White Collar or my buddy, whose dad is a detective. I figured if these outlines were so great, they should be able to teach someone like me about the law. This line of thought led me to joyfully fail the test I mentioned at the beginning. 

Being the scientifically minded geek that I am, I decided to run a little experiment with the Crushendo products that I was granted access to explore. I chose an outline that seemed interesting (“Criminal Law and Procedure”) and sought to gauge what I could learn from this outline and the associated flashcards. To quantitatively measure this, I found two websites that provide free practice MBE tests on criminal law (one with 10 questions and the other with 15). I took one before and the other after going through Crushendo’s outline. (Side note: The free MBE questions were from third parties that have no relation to Crushendo, which eliminates any bias they may have had to disproportionately concentrate on the same ideas as Crushendo’s study aids. None of the practice test questions in my first attempt were repeated in my second attempt, and they came from different sources. I found the MBE questions at and 

Here’s the catch: I studied Crushendo’s outline in my ideal study environment—which is slightly more relaxed and less focused than what Crushendo advises. I read through the content while I watched muted highlights from college basketball games and as I walked around campus. To review, I listened to the audio outlines as I rode the bus home, cleaned my apartment, and solved a Rubik’s Cube (just to see how much I would get out of it if I was doing something else that required significant concentration). I truly did not feel like I was learning very much throughout this whole process, but the results of my little experiment showed me that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My scores increased infinitely. Literally. I got all the questions wrong the first time, so, percentagewise, anything else is an infinite improvement. After going through Crushendo’s Criminal Law outline for 3 hours, I was able to get roughly 40% of the practice MBE questions right. In awe of these results, I wondered if my scores improved so much solely because I am legally inept, and the outlines were intellectually enlarging. To see if this was the case, I searched for other MBE prep courses with similar content (outlines and accompanying audio tracks). Not only was it quite laborious to find a company with similar services, but the only one I found didn’t work for me at all. I was granted a free sample of their 3+ hour audio outline on contract law. To keep conditions consistent, I studied their outline while watching the intriguing LSU vs. Alabama football game (again, without sound). The narration was so monotone and apathetic that I couldn’t focus on anything that was being reviewed even after turning the game off. As a result of my lack of focus, I gave up and decided that it wouldn’t be fair to compare test scores as I did before. The lack of mnemonics, humor, and personality in this audio further demonstrated to me that the services provided by Crushendo are impressively unique and unparalleled.

This investigative experience was not only shocking to me, but it has also provided me with a lasting sense of confidence in Crushendo as I think about potentially preparing for the bar exam one day. If Crushendo’s outlines can show such a drastic improvement in a kid who doesn’t know the difference between a statute and a regulation, what can it do for you?

About the author:
Sam Meyer is a BYU student studying neuroscience and computer science, planning on going into patent law. He loves burritos, Harry Potter, and all University of North Carolina sports. He never passes up a chance to hit baseballs (not even during his wedding pictures).

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