Studying for the Texas Jurisprudence Exam

Update September 2019:

As of 9/1/2019, the TMB has moved the test to be self-administered online, which is great. The price has also decreased to $34 per attempt with unlimited attempts, which is also great.

They are now also offering their own practice materials, which you can rent limited access to until you pass the test for $99. You do not need to buy those pricey materials. Early feedback is that tested material (like the laws) is unchanged and my book remains sufficient for preparation. Given the low cost of the exam and the ability to retake endlessly, I personally would suggest applicants buy my book (or something else inexpensive), read it 1-2 times, and immediately take the exam. The exam is short, and a re-take is cheaper than other materials would be.

 

Update January 2016:

In the years since I took the JP exam, the other resources have gotten older but otherwise haven’t changed in substance or price. The landscape has changed in only one significant way: In order to fill the missing void for a concise but readable up-to-date resource, I wrote one. I’m super biased, but I think it’s overall the best, most affordable, and most palatable study option out there. A whole bunch of random people who reviewed it on Amazon agree.

You can buy the ebook here (your temporary download link will arrive via email):

My original thoughts remain below.

The Texas jurisprudence exam is an irritating last hurrah on your way to getting your license. You’ve taken USMLE Steps 1, 2CS/CK, and 3. The JP exam is not like those tests, in many ways, but particularly because this one is easy. Somewhere between three and five hours of high-yield review should be sufficient. However, don’t take this relative ease further and attempt the test cold. It’s idiosyncratic enough that you need to give the key information a solid once-over in order to pass.

The test costs $58. For this reason (and the fact that it’s extremely approachable difficulty-wise), I find it amusing that both the “recommended” resources and the major online option are so ridiculously expensive. The UTMB book is $100, the TMA Manual is $145, and the accompanying TMA Self-Study Guide is $105. The online course at texasjurisprudenceprep.com is $210. All cost substantially more than the test itself and are probably overkill for anyone who had the skill to pass the boards. You can attempt the exam up to three times if necessary for one fee.

If the residents in your program have passed around a high-yield packet of the more salient bits, studying that exclusively would almost certainly be enough. There is usually someone who has taken some serious notes over the years. As far as I can tell, the test has not changed in any meaningful way recently. By far the most affordable commercially available book is the Texas Jurisprudence Study Guide, which is quite affordable (the Kindle edition is less than $4). It’s very short: roughly 13k words, which is like 25 legitimate single space pages. The book is question and answer format (lots of white space). The form works better in theory than in practice, and the formatting in the ebook version is especially poor. The book is also awkwardly terse, has a decent number of mostly irrelevant typos, and is downright confusing in several spots. It’s essentially a long list of facts without any particular emphasis. No context, no real explanations. That said, it’s totally sufficient. And much much much more affordable. If you’re going to rely on the study guide, this online PDF from TMLT is helpful.

The other books are longer and will take more of your time. The real test is 50 questions and takes approximately 20 minutes to complete (you have 90 min allotted), so there’s lots of extraneous detail to be had here. They just aren’t worth it.

It seems as though the online course is actually pretty popular. It’s a “video” course in the sense that it’s an online audio-backed powerpoint lecture. The audio quality and voice acting approximate the quality of your very first Skype call. The course is also full of painfully awkward juvenile humor, which I imagine is an attempt to make this very dry subject somewhat more palatable. These cringe-inducing bits actually take up a fair bit of talk time. The course itself takes 163 minutes to finish watching. There are also 6 quizzes (#5 and #6 are considered the most relevant), at least some of which are reportedly appropriated from the back of the UTMB book, and some helpful handout downloads, which are honestly the best part. This is not an elegant resource, but it will absolutely get the job done and will do so more quickly than reading one of the full-length resources (The UTMB book is quite dry). They do now have a free practice quiz demo, which takes a few minutes and is worth doing to get a feel for the questions.

So, ask the residents at your program what they’ve been using. Borrow a copy of whatever they used. If you’re on your own, the cheap kindle book gets the job done. As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t really matter what you use, so long as you don’t waste too much money on it. In this case, more detail is not better.

As for the test itself, it doesn’t necessarily test things you’d think would matter. A large percentage of questions make sense intuitively. Most questions that require reading test facts that are emphasized in all study resources. There are a few randos, but not enough to seriously jeopardize passing. The question writing is pretty poor. There are plenty of “all of the above” questions as well as the negative “which of the following are NOT…” variety–which you’ll remember were stricken from the boards because negatively-framed question stems are a stupid way to get a proportion of people who actually know the answer to select the wrong choice inadvertently.

Anyway.

Good luck.

31 Comments

  1. Why isn’t your book on Amazon anymore?
    I bought it there about 2 weeks ago and tried to review it now after returning home from getting 100% on my exam. I used your book as well as the on-line Texas Jurisprudence Prep. The combination was perfect. Your book had everything that I needed to learn, but the on-line course was an easier (if much more expensive) way of learning it.
    Amazon wouldn’t let me review your book, since they don’t stock it anymore.
    Get back on Amazon!

    Reply
  2. Do you have a similar guide for the DOT exam?
    If not, could you please write one?
    Existing guides(at least that I am aware of) are a pain!

    Reply
      • By the way, took the exam today with passing score of 84.Only material used was your book-read it twice in the last 24 hours and crammed salient points/numbers. Couldn’t risk just reading it once as you suggested but in retrospect I think it could have worked.
        Glad I didn’t Waste time and money on courses or other prep material. Your book cuts to the chase.
        Will encourage anyone trying to write the annoying exam to use this book -concise, straightforward,gets the results you need

      • Thanks! I’ve sold thousands of copies at this point, had hundreds of positive reviews, and never had anyone report back a failure (though I imagine someone probably has at some point).

  3. I would like a hard copy. I could not find on amazon. Where can I buy a hard copy? Is on your website a ebook.
    TP

    Reply
  4. The online prep course talks about new updated changes in exam for 2018. Is that updated in your book or not really much has changed?

    Reply
    • I last updated the book in June of this year. Honestly though, most changes recently have been microdetails that I don’t believe are worth knowing. Most of the ones this year inluding the July TMB bulletin have dealt with telemedicine and opiate prescriptions in ways that I think are unlikely to show up on the exam in a way that violates common sense.

      Reply
  5. Read the book twice. Once a week before the test, and again the morning of. Memorized what was suggested and just passed the JP exam with a 94.

    Reply
  6. The TMB says it will change the content of the JP exam on 9/1/2019. Are you going to update the book? Very interested in using the book for my exam.

    Reply
    • Yes I plan to. The TMB plans on making its own guide available for purchase, so the timing will depend on how good theirs is and how much the content has changed if it all. The TMB basically makes the questions available to PAs for free, so we’ll have to see what they end up doing.

      Reply
      • I just purchased your book, without realizing that its gonna be changed. Can you provide me with new one?

      • It hasn’t been changed yet. It’s actually unclear if the content of the exam is going to be changed at all when the changes come next month. If the content is changed, I’ll update the book accordingly and pass that on to all recent purchases made through the site.

    • The new JP Exam materials are only available for purchase for active test-takers, can only be viewed online, and access expires after taking the exam. It is unclear at this early juncture if the exam has changed in any meaningful way or if only the distribution has changed and the TMB is using this as an additional way to raise funds.

      While the TMB will not allow me to purchase the guide myself since I am already licensed, a representative told me the guide costs $99, which is quite expensive. I would love to hear a confirmation of the pricing from a current applicant. In the meantime, people are still buying my book and I look forward to their feedback. I will update this post in the near future.

      Reply
      • Wish I could say I was surprised. Early feedback from recent takers is that the content appears likely unchanged and the book remains an excellent and inexpensive way to prepare.

Leave a Reply to Andrew Cancel reply