The bar is sufficiently intimidating to any first year law student, however, I am more concerned with how 'patterned' testing (and teaching) could leave students, such as myself, at a disadvantage in a 'real-world' law practice.
There is no doubt that some subjects are particularly well suited to a patterned testing of material. Torts, for example, is a particularly mechanical subject that many first year students write off as a subject that is only passingly relevant (similar to how many high-school students regard calculus). However, every student is going to see tort law again, whether or not they would like to...on the State bar exam. Will the preparation of a 1L Torts class that concentrates around a patterned outline, be enough to scrape by on the bar? I am not the least bit confident, as evidenced by my inability to produce a concrete answer to a relatively simple question from my uncle (at least I knew it was concerning torts...).
Such a lack of confidence cannot be unique to myself, as it is likely a predominant reason why expensive bar preparation courses are so widespread. Law students pay an absurd amount of money for school, yet many 1L students sign up for these pricey bar preparation courses before they even finish their first semester!
Perhaps a movement away from a patterned style of teaching/testing and towards a more practical approach to certain subjects, especially torts, could better prepare students to handle problems that present in law practice, and on the bar exam.