Just finished taking the Oregon Bar. I can't speak to other jurisdictions, but I can obviously speak to the MultiState portion as well as the Oregon specific portions.
Now, I am not a good multiple choice exam taker and have always excelled at essays. So, you need to know that I HATED the MBE portion of the test. To me, two of the answers always look similar and it was sometimes hard to decide what was really be asked. Also, six hours of multiple choice questioning........well now, that is BRUTAL. It is very hard to stay focused for that long, on task, and sitting in a chair for long periods of time.
The Essay portion was a breeze. This is an issue spotting test. The more that you throw at it, the better you do. You show them what you know both with what they asked you, but what you eliminated for good reasons.
Now, what I want to pass on is this: The bar is NOT as bad as everyone makes it sound. It is what YOU make of it. I roomed with an awesome friend. We laughed and balanced each other out perfectly. We made the best of it. But more than that......I think if you let the stress get to you......you will experience it in a horrible way. I would take the test again. Yes, there is a lot you need to know, but at the same time, school really does prepare you.
AND: Barbri or Ameribar can teach you everything you need to know about Trust/Wills, Secured Trans, Taxation, Business Entities, Sales, and Administrative Law. You don't HAVE to take these in school. I would highly recommend taking Criminal Procedures though.
Sometimes I think people who say that law school was awful or the bar was this horrid thing are nuts. I would do this again all over, if given the choice of a "do-over." I think that some of us are just called, it's our passion and we know this. So for us, it's a journey not a terrible torture device.