Maryland Bar Exam

Maryland Bar Exam Format

The Maryland bar exam takes two days and consists of the Maryland Essays, the Multistate Performance Test (“MPT” ), and the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE” ). Maryland law is tested on the Maryland bar exam.

Maryland Essays
The Maryland essay section tests ten (10) essays. Each essay is designed for 25-minutes and should be answered according to Maryland law. At least one essay must deal in whole, or in part, with professional conduct. Subjects include:

  • Agency (only to the extent provided in the definitions of Business Associations, Contracts, and Torts)
  • Business Associations (Corporations, LLCs)
  • Commercial Transactions (Negotiable Instruments, Sales, Secured Transactions, UCC Provisions)
  • Civil Procedure (Maryland and Federal)
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Professional Conduct
  • Property
  • Torts

MPT (Performance Test)
Maryland tests one (1) MPT performance test.

MBE (Multiple Choice)
Maryland 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
Maryland accepts MBE scores from other jurisdictions for concurrent exams only. Maryland also offers the Maryland Attorney’s Exam for attorneys actively engaged in the practice of law for at least ten years or five of the past ten years.

Maryland Bar Exam Testing Schedule

Day 1 (Tuesday)
Morning – 3 Essays and 1 MPT (3 hours)
Afternoon – 7 Essays (3 hours)

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

Maryland Bar Exam Dates and Application

The Maryland bar exam is held twice each year on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Applications can be found on the Maryland State Bar of Law Examiners’ Website.

Exam Date Application Deadline Late Deadline
Feb. 21-22, 2017 Not Available Not Available
July 25-26, 2017 Not Available Not Available


Maryland Bar Exam Weight

MD Essays 57.3%
MPT 9.4%
MBE 33.3%

Grading Procedure
Each essay carries equal weight and is graded on a range of 0-6 points. The MPT is weighted 1.5 times as much as a single essay question and is worth 9 points. The written portion of the exam is worth 69 total points. The total written raw score is scaled to the MBE. The written scaled score and the MBE scaled score are added together to generate the total bar exam scaled score.

(Written Scaled Score x 2) + (MBE scaled score) = Total Scaled Score

Passing Score
The minimum passing score is a total scaled score of 406 out of 600. Applicants must take the oath and be admitted within 24 months of the date the Court of Appeals ratifies the Board’s report for that bar exam.

Pass Rates
Statistics can be found here.

Review and Appeal for Applicants Failing the Maryland Bar Exam
Within 60 days after the mailing date of the bar exam results, unsuccessful examinees may:

  • Review their essay test answer books and the Board’s analysis for the essay test;
  • Review their MPT answer books;
  • Order the NCBE MPT Point Sheet and Grading Guidelines;
  • Upon paying the required fee, obtain confirmation of their MBE scores. No further review of the MBE is permitted. Review for past exams can be found on the Maryland Board’s Website.

Following the initial grading, Maryland has a review and re-grading policy of the written exam for applicants who failed the bar exam but fell within a certain range of passing. Currently, the Board re-grades written tests for applicants whose total score is 396 to 405 points. The written tests are re-read to ensure each question has been graded consistent with the benchmarks established by the Board. If the re-grade results in a total scaled score of 406, the applicant passes the bar exam. Once the bar exam results are released, the results are final and no appeal is permitted.

Retaking the Maryland Bar Exam

Applicants cannot carry-over their written or MBE scores to a subsequent exam. If an applicant fails three or more bar exams, the Board may condition the retaking of the Maryland bar exam on the successful completion of a course of study.