About the Bar Exam

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What is the Bar Exam like for my state?
While the Bar and testing policies may slightly change from state to state, the basics are same. The Bar exam will consist of three tests (MBE, MEE, and MPT). The MBE is multiple choice while the other two are essay. The Bar exam is administered twice a year: the last week of February and July. During the 2 - 3 months between graduation and the Bar, you will spend a considerable amount of time studying for the exam. 

The components of the exam vary by state. One day is the standardized multiple choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), required in all US states and territories, except for Louisiana and Puerto Rico. The other one or two days are usually essay portions of the exam, but can include state-specific multiple choice questions.

Dates for MBE testing will be on the same date across the country. Please see the National Conference of Bar Examiners MBE website for more information.

Exam Format

The MBE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions: 175 scored questions and 25 unscored pretest questions. The pretest questions are not labeled separate from the scored questions, so you should answer all questions. The exam is divided into morning and afternoon testing sessions of three hours each: 100 questions in each session. There are no scheduled breaks during either the morning or afternoon session.

The 175 scored questions on the MBE are distributed evenly, with 25 questions from each of the seven subject areas: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

The MEE consists of six 30-minute questions. Areas of law that may be covered on the MEE may vary from state to state.

The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions: 50 scored questions and 10 unscored pretest questions. The pretest questions are not labeled separate from the scored questions, so you should answer all questions. You will have two hours to answer all questions. There are no scheduled breaks during the test.

The MPT consists of two 90-minute items. The materials for each MPT include a File and a Library. The File consists of source documents containing all the facts of the case. The Library may contain cases, statutes, regulations, or rules, some of which may not be relevant to the assigned task. You will be expected to examine the Library materials and determine the necessary legal principles to analyze the problem and perform the task. The MPT is not a test of actual law; the materials you are provided within the Library will provide sufficient data to complete the task.

Registration and Fees
Visit your state-specific Board of Law Examiners' website to download or request an application for registration. Visit the National Conference of Bar Examiners website and select your state of interest in the drop-down menu under Jurisdiction Information.

Bar Exam Scoring
What is the average Bar Exam score?
The Bar exam is a pass / fail test, and you do not receive a numeric score. Pass rates vary greatly from state to state. See NCBEX's Bar Examination and Admission Statistics.


When are results available?
Results are available one to four months after the Bar exam takes place. The results are usually posted on each state's Board of Law Examiners website, with either your name or your private exam code. Scores can also be made available via postal mail.

Note: Some Board of Law Examiners websites will only post reports of those who passed the exam.


How do I interpret my score?
Scoring is determined by the Board of Law Examiners for each state, and scoring differs by state and is subject to change with little advance notice. Visit your state's Board of Law Examiners website for more specific information.


Can I retake the Bar Exam?
Yes. However, the requirements for retaking the Bar differ by state. You may also take the exam concurrently in more than one state. See Board of Law Examiners website for detailed information.

Is it true that if my MBE score is high enough, I will pass the Bar?
Yes, in some states, if your MBE score is very high you will pass the Bar. In fact, there is a strong likelihood that your essays won't even be read—the score carries that much weight!


How much weight does the MBE carry with my state?
Each state is different and the requirements change. Some states require a minimum MBE score to even have your essays graded. If you are unsure on the requirements of your state, please visit the Board of Law Examiners for your state of interest.


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