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   Questions about prep courses. Longacre vs PLI?
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   Author  Topic: Questions about prep courses. Longacre vs PLI?  (Read 697 times)
Ben Roberts
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Questions about prep courses. Longacre vs PLI?
« on: May 17th, 2007, 5:33pm »
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Basically two questions:  
 
Am I going to be significantly disadvantaged by using a PLI home study course  based on MPEP 8.2 rather than the current version?  
 
Can anyone tell me anything about the Longacre "Pass the Patent Bar" home study course?
 
More details:
 
I am just getting to the point where I am going to buy a patent bar prep course (home study) to complete over the summer and take the exam around Aug 1.  I am considering purchasing a used PLI full home study course (based on MPEP 8.2 ) or a new Longacre Pass The Patent Bar video + study guide prep course.  Both will run me about 1000 bucks.  My hesitation with the PLI course is that it isn't based on the MPEP that I will be tested on. And my hesitation with the Longacre course is that no one is talking about it so I don't know how it compares to other things out there!  
 
Any help that someone that can help me with either of these questions will be much appreciated.  I've done my best to search these forums for the answers, but haven't found them to my specific questions.  
 
Thanks!!!
 
Ben
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still_studying
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Re: Questions about prep courses. Longacre vs PLI?
« Reply #1 on: May 17th, 2007, 7:43pm »
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The course I bought on EBay turned out to be for E8R1.  I don't think it is a significant disadvantage, although a few things have been moved around in the regs since then.  On the other claw, I haven't taken the exam yet, so I won't know for sure until I get that dreaded "you only got 68 right, you fail!" message -- or not -- at the end.
 
Actually, not even then, since (after running into some issues of quality of materials) I mostly quit using the course and am just reading the whole 2300 pages of MPEP E8R4 in the raw.  I'm just using the course for the test questions now, and will be using it for last-minute review.
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smgsmc
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Re: Questions about prep courses. Longacre vs PLI?
« Reply #2 on: May 19th, 2007, 10:45am »
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Since another person is also asking about Longacre, I’ll give you my review.  It’s not based on the release that just came out this year.  But the previous one for r2.  I don’t how much he’s revised it.  He seems like a conservative guy, so my guess is not all that much.
 
(1) I bought the course in June 2005, but it hadn’t been updated since May 2004, when the new computer exam was coming online, so it was a period of considerable churn when all prep courses had to change study strategies.  Keep that in mind.  The price was right for me, about in the middle of the range.  Didn’t want to blow $3,000 right away.  And a lot of old timers recommended “Longacre and White” before they parted and went their separate ways.
(2) If you want to learn patent law in detail, don’t bother.  This is strictly a teach-to-test prep course.
(3) He “marches through the MPEP chapter by chapter” is his phrasing.  
(4) He highlights the material that will almost always on the test.  Great summary tables to memorize: “Here are the categories eligible for petition to make special...”  “Here are the rules for express mail, certificate of mailing, fax...”
(5) His format is “lecture, exam questions, lecture, exam questions...”  He’s a seasoned pro and great at explaining things.  The videos are definitely worth watching...several times.
(6) Except when he’s on vacation, he personally answers e-mail promptly within a day or so.  I asked a lot of stupid questions and got a lot of smart answers.
(7) Downside.  The user guide is very brief and doesn’t give all the details that’s in the lectures.  Major trap (don’t know if that’s still the case):  On the very first lecture, his advice is not to read the MPEP, just stick to the study guide and lectures.  Well, guess what, the lectures and the study guide doesn’t give you enough material to answer the questions.  This confused me a lot since I thought I was missing a lot.  And definitely, with the computer exam, you must read the MPEP in detail.  His study guide doesn’t have a glossary and he leaves acronyms undefined.  This is especially irksome in the beginning chapters, where he introduces material that is covered later on, so you’re left with “Huh, what does this mean? “    What I ended up doing was going through the course once, and then a second time, after I knew what was coming up.  Also ask whether his latest course has a computer simulator (the one on his website is not adequate).   But if it doesn’t, you can pick one up for ~$50.  You must learn to use the electronic MPEP efficiently.  Have fun.
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