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About the Bar Exam




Essay Day  

  • The number of essays and subjects tested varies by jurisdiction.
  • The essay day usually precedes the MBE, and is generally scheduled on a Tuesday.
  • In some states (e.g. Texas) the essay day follows the Multistate day.
  • In California there are two essay days; a candidate will be given:
    • Three essays on the morning of the day before the Multistate Examination day.
    • Three essays on the on the morning after the Multistate Examination day.
  • Some states use the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and/or the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) , generally tested on the essay day.

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) Day

  • This examination is a 200-question multiple choice exam (10 of which are being evaluated for future tests and are not counted) given in 49 states and several territories on the same day:
    • The last Wednesday in February
    • The last Wednesday in July
  • The MBE is the same examination given in th 49 states that administer it.
  • The subjects tested, as of fall 2014, are:
  1. Civil Procedure (27)
  2. Constitutional Law (27)
  3. Contracts (28)
  4. Criminal Law and Procedure (27) 
  5. Evidence (27)
  6. Real Property (27)
  7. Torts (27)
  • One state does not use the examination:
    • Louisiana

  • Four U.S. territories require it:
    • Guam
    • Northern Marinara Islands
    • Palau
    • U.S. Virgin Islands 
  • For a comprehensive outline of the subjects on the MBE see MBE Information (NCBE).
  • For specific information regarding your state, please see National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).

States Differ Somewhat in Testing Requirements