Preparing for the MPRE

Test Format

IMPORTANT: The information in this section is for examinees taking the paper-based MPRE at a testing center administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). All March 2019 examinees and most August and November 2019 examinees will take the paper-based MPRE. If you are selected to take the computer-based MPRE at a Pearson VUE testing center for August or November 2019, you will be notified during the registration process and provided with separate instructions in your NCBE Account. Learn more about the transition to computer-based testing here

The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions: 50 scored questions and 10 unscored pretest questions. The pretest questions are indistinguishable from those that are scored, so examinees should answer all questions. 

Each of the questions on the MPRE is followed by four possible answers. Examinees should choose the best answer from the four stated alternatives. Examinees should mark only one answer for each question; multiple answers will be scored as incorrect. Scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly. Points are not subtracted for incorrect answers.

Examinees have two hours to answer all questions. All answers must be marked on the answer sheet within the two-hour time limit. Once time is called, examinees must put down their pencils; no more marks or erasures are allowed. Examinees will receive credit only for those answers marked on the answer sheet. No additional time will be allowed to transfer answers from a test booklet to an answer sheet, and only answer sheets will be scored.

There are no scheduled breaks during the test.

Subject Matter

For the MPRE's scope of coverage and the approximate percentage of items that are included in each major area, see the MPRE Subject Matter Outline.

The MPRE is based on the law governing the conduct and discipline of lawyers and judges, including the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, and controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules. Amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct or the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct will be reflected in the examination no earlier than one year after the approval of the amendments by the American Bar Association. Until that time, the examination may include questions that test on the rules before amendment.

Questions outside the disciplinary context are designed to measure an understanding of the generally accepted rules, principles, and common law regulating the legal profession in the United States and apply the majority view of cases, statutes, or regulations on the subject. To the extent that questions of professional responsibility arise in the context of procedural or evidentiary issues, such as the availability of litigation sanctions or the scope of the attorney-client evidentiary privilege, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence will apply, unless otherwise stated. As a general rule, particular local statutes or rules of court will not be tested on the MPRE; however, a specific question may include the text of a local statute or rule that must be considered when answering that question. 

Key Word and Phrases

For a list of key words and phrases included in MPRE questions, see MPRE Key Words and Phrases.

MPRE Study Aids

MPRE Online Practice Exams

The MPRE Online Practice Exams (OPEs) are 60-question, annotated online practice exams that use questions drawn from actual MPREs administered in past years. (The questions have been retired and will not appear on a future MPRE.) Annotations by the experts who write questions for the MPRE explain why each answer choice is correct or incorrect. Examinees can take the practice exam timed or untimed and receive feedback on their answers.

Note: in August 2019, NCBE, in partnership with Pearson VUE, will begin to transition the MPRE from a paper-based to a computer-based delivery platform. Learn more about the transition to computer-based testing here. The OPEs do not simulate the experience of taking the computer-based MPRE at a Pearson VUE testing center. To learn more about computer-based testing at Pearson VUE testing centers, visit the Pearson VUE MPRE page.

The MPRE-OPEs are available for purchase at the NCBE Study Aids Store. Purchasing an MPRE-OPE gives an examinee a subscription for unlimited online access to the exam for one year after the date of purchase.

Sample Test Questions

For examples of test questions similar to those on the MPRE, see MPRE Sample Test Questions.

MPRE Online Practice Exam

Recent questions from a retired MPRE with annotated answer key

Customized score report


Copyright Notice

The MPRE is owned by NCBE and is a secure exam protected by U.S. copyright laws. NCBE strictly prohibits copying, reproducing, or disclosing any MPRE questions or answers, whether via electronic, telephonic, written, oral, or other means, to any party or to any public forum during or after the exam. NCBE will use every legal means available to protect its copyrighted materials. Any unauthorized disclosure of MPRE content could result in civil liability, criminal penalties, cancellation of test scores, denial of applications to sit for future exams, denial of bar applications on character and fitness grounds, and/or disciplinary action by bar authorities.