This section contains general bar exam information, identifies the jurisdictions that test state law on the bar exam, and describes the three multistate tests that could appear on a state’s bar exam. This section also contains information regarding MBE score transfers.
Passing the bar exam is a condition for bar admission in almost every jurisdiction. Generally, the bar exam consists of state questions and uniform multistate questions prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (“NCBE”). Each jurisdiction is different and uses its own bar exam format, scoring, passing scores, etc. It is important to check your particular jurisdiction’s bar exam rules and regulations. Please click on the map below for information specific to each state’s bar exam.
STATE LAW ON THE BAR EXAM
Although the multistate tests are becoming more popular, many states write their own essays, performance tests, short answer questions, and multiple-choice questions. Some states use the multistate tests but require test takers to answer the questions using state specific laws. The map below identifies states testing state specific law. Click on the specific state for more information about that state’s bar exam.
|States testing State Specific Law on the Bar Exam|
|States that do NOT test State Specific Law on the Bar Exam|
The multistate tests include the NCBE prepared Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”), Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE”), and Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”). The MPT and MEE are usually administered on the same day. The MBE is administered on a separate day on the last Wednesday of February and July. In addition, most states require passage of the NCBE prepared Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (“MPRE”). The MPRE is an ethics test administered separate from the bar exam. For MPRE information, please visit the Ethics Exam/MPRE page.
Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
The MPT is part of the written component of a bar exam. The MPT tests basic attorney skills through a 90-minute problem solving task with a written product. Jurisdictions may use one or two MPTs. Test takers receive a packet of information containing a File and a Library. The File instructs the test taker to complete a specific task. The task is generally in the form of a letter from a senior attorney. The most tested tasks are objective memorandums and persuasive briefs. Tasks may also include: opinion letters, demand letters, opening and closing arguments, wills, trial briefs, contract provisions, counseling plans, etc. In addition to the task, the file also contains the source documents in the form of letters, client documents, interview transcripts, contracts, pleadings, records, notes, correspondence, etc. These documents can be ambiguous, incomplete, or conflicting. The Library contains the sources of law in the form of ordinances, regulations, statutes, and cases. Both the file and the library may contain relevant and irrelevant facts. Applicants must extract the relevant information, apply the applicable law, and produce a written product that addresses and answers the requested task. The MPT is does not test substantive law. Everything an applicant needs to complete an MPT is included in the problem. Each jurisdiction determines the scoring procedure and the scoring weight of the MPT in relation to the overall bar exam score. The map below identifies states that administer the MPT as part of the bar exam:
|States testing the MPT on the Bar Exam|
|States that do NOT test the MPT on the Bar Exam|