When do people usually take this thing? I know you can take it anytime. I'm a 1L and considering signing up to take it in August before my 2L year begins. I'd like to get it out of the way and possibly be able to put it on my resume for 2L OCI.
48 hours of actual studying is way more than enough. I put in about 20-25 hours by memorizing the rules from the barbri book, taking the 3 practice tests in the back of the book and doing the practice test online. I didn't even take the actual class, just bought the book on ebay. I got a 150. The MPRE isn't bad at all so you won't need to kill yourself to get ready for it.