Our sources differ on a couple of points. Namely, the only school that I am aware of that teaches the patent bar is FPLC. All other programs focus exclusively on the 'why' rather than the 'how'. This approach makes sense to me now, after having read through about half of the MPEP, because the tome is nothing more than an enormous bundle of bureaucracy encompassing very little of what is typically understood to be "law". More like.. forms, filing dates, and fees...
It most reminds me of wading through the tax code, if any of you have ever tried to do your taxes unaided.
As far as the timing of when to take the test, all the big prep companies (PRG, PLI) strongly suggest getting it out of the way before graduating law school. Most advise students to be prepared by the second semester of one's first year. I'm disinclined to heed their advice because law school promises to be challenging enough without having to cram in a bar exam somewhere. An after graduation testing scenario sounds even worse.. back-to-back bars?
I have to admit that this is my second time going over the material; I intended to take the October exam but shifted my efforts to the LSAT when I was about 75% through my study regimen. This time around, the jargon, hodge-podge nature of the MPEP, and bizarre obfuscation is less troublesome. I'd guesstimate that I'm on an even footing with someone who has been immersed in non-patent legalese for at least several months.
Good luck everyone