Hawaii Bar Exam

Hawaii Bar Exam Format

The Hawaii bar exam takes two days and consists of the Multistate Performance Test (“MPT” ), Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE” ), Hawaii Legal Ethics Exam, and the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE” ). Hawaii law is tested on the Hawaii bar exam.

Hawaii Legal Ethics Exam
Hawaii uses a 15 question multiple-choice test that tests knowledge of the Hawaii Rules of Professional Responsibility.

MPT (Performance Test)
Hawaii tests two (2) MPT performance tests.

MEE (Essays)
Hawaii tests seven (7) MEE essays. Subjects include:

  • Business Associations (Agency, Partnership, Corporations, LLCs)
  • Civil Procedure (Federal)
  • Conflict of Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (Common Law, Sales/UCC Art. 2)
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Negotiable Instruments/Commercial Paper (UCC Art. 3)
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions (UCC Art. 9)
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates, Trusts, Future Interests)

MBE (Multiple Choice)
Hawaii uses the standard MBE. Subjects include:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (Common Law, Sales/UCC Art. 2)
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

MBE Score Transfer
Hawaii does not accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.

Hawaii Bar Exam Testing Schedule

Day 1
Morning – 7 MEE Essays (distributed in one large packet; 2.5 hours) and a 15 question multiple choice test on Hawaii Code of Legal Ethics (.5 hours)
Afternoon – 2 MPT questions (distributed in one large packet; 3 hours)

Day 2
Morning – MBE Part I (100 questions; 3 hours)
Afternoon – MBE Part II (100 questions; 3 hours)

Hawaii Bar Exam Dates and Application

The Hawaii Bar Exam is tested on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. Applications can be found on the Hawaii State Judiciary Website.

Exam Date Application Deadline
February 21-22, 2017  November 1
July 25-26, 2017  April 1


Hawaii Bar Exam Weight

MEE 25%
Hawaii Ethics 5%
MPT 20%
MBE 50%

Grading Procedure
The Hawaii bar exam is graded using scaled scores and the following procedure:

MBE – The number of MBE questions answered correctly are converted to scaled scores accounting for difficulty differences in bar exams. The American College of Testing converts the scores.

MPT – The MPT score counts for approximately 40% of the written components of the Hawaii bar exam (MEE/MPT). Therefore, one MPT problem equals three MEE essay questions.

MEE – Individual MEE essays may contain a different number of possible points, but each essay score is converted to ensure the essays contribute equally to the overall MEE score.   For example, an MEE essay covering contract law might have more issues and rules than an MEE essay covering civil procedure, but the two essay questions are weighted equally.

Once the MPT and MEE scores have been graded and weighted, they are converted again to a corresponding 200 point score scaled to the MBE. This final scaled score is added to the MBE scaled score for a total bar exam scaled score.

Passing Score
The minimum passing requirements for the Hawaii bar exam are a reported scaled score of 268. The Hawaii bar exam is graded and reported in approximately ten to twelve weeks.

Pass Rates
Not currently available.

Review for Applicants Failing the Hawaii Bar Exam
Hawaii bar examinees may request the score reports for their failing exam, but may not appeal a failing score.

Retaking the Hawaii Bar Exam

Hawaii places no limit on the amount of times the Hawaii bar exam can be taken.