2020 Review: Patent Bar Reviews & Course Results

Course Comparisions

2020 Review: Patent Bar Reviews & Course Results

Comparison of Patent Bar Exam Review and Courses

Below is a quick comparison chart of the passing rates (if provided) and costs for the more well-known Patent Bar Review course providers. As you can see from first glance, it’s pretty telling:

There have been a few patent bar review programs over the years.  PRG and PLI are probably the oldest, most well known (and also most costly). PatBar is another system that’s been around for a while, with Oniprep having also been around the space for a while now also. Wysebridge is the “newest” program available (albeit now 8 years running)!  Of these (PRG, PLI, PatBar) do not consistently* provide their passing rates  (*we were able to find a reference to an 89% passing rate in 2013 and again in 2018 for PRG).  Of the remaining two providers, only one (Wysebridge) provides a passing rate (and first-time test-taking pass rate) for the last 8 years, and the average passing rate for those 8 years is around 82%.

There was one other provider (Omniprep) that listed an aggregated passing rate of 98% on its site.  We wrote about these numbers back in 2016 (and others have raised their eyebrows at their stats also). Per their site:

“Our(OmniPrep) current pass rate is 98.1%, which includes all students who have signed up for our online course from its inception in 2004. We also typically teach between 20% to 30% of all those who take the patent bar examination.” 

As the USPTO Patent Bar Exam is notoriously one of the most challenging exams in the Nation (with the average passing rate historically falling below 50%), claiming a 98% passing rate is an interesting statistic and curious marketing angle.

How to Pick a Patent Bar Review Course

While there are many factors that go into selecting a prep course, some things to consider:

  1. Passing Rate (what this post is about)
    Meaning, do you know the passing rate for that course?  After all, for many of you, it’s your hard-earned dollars you are exchanging for assistance in passing.  Knowing that the course will actually be beneficial is a good thing.
  2. Cost
    This is also a big factor.  Often big firms or companies aren’t as strict and so cost may not matter when purchasing one of those big cost courses.  That said, even with that, are you getting your money’s worth?  Cost doesn’t equal efficiency.
  3. Customer Service
    Having a team to support you through the process is super helpful, and receiving positive feedback and affirmation throughout the learning experience has been demonstrated to have beneficial impacts on one’s testing results.  This is one of the many areas where Wysebridge excels.  From guiding users through “panic attacks” or frustrations over studying to providing expert explanations of questions, the team is there (either by email or live chat) to answer questions.
  4. Focus
    Many courses provide a plethora of materials that could be considered ancillary, and not useful or essential to taking and passing the patent bar exam.  While these materials may be useful at some point, the current need for taking and passing the patent bar is what matters most.  Let the other elements go, and make sure that you have a focused program that helps you pass and trains you for the exam.

At the end of the day, it’s a balance of skill and knowledge that will help you pass. Learn too heavily on trying to memorize rules and facts without learning about the nuances of the exam, how to best attack the exam, prepare, etc…and you’ll be entering the test day at a disadvantage.  With the right course that fits your needs, you can pass…and you will pass!

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