The Multistate Bar Examination
The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners and is administered by participating jurisdictions on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July of each year. The purpose of the MBE is to assess the extent to which an examinee can apply fundamental legal principles and legal reasoning to analyze given fact patterns.
The MBE contains 200 multiple-choice questions, 190 of which are scored. The 10 unscored questions are being evaluated for future use; because these questions are indistinguishable from the scored questions, examinees should answer all 200 questions. The exam is divided into morning and afternoon testing sessions of three hours each, with 100 questions in each session. The 190 scored questions on the MBE are distributed as follows: Constitutional Law (31), Contracts (33), Criminal Law and Procedure (31), Evidence (31), Real Property (31), and Torts (33). Subject matter outlines are available by clicking on the link on the MBE FAQs page.
A list of jurisdictions currently using the MBE is available on the MBE FAQS page Applicants should contact the bar admissions agency in the jurisdiction to which they seek admission to ascertain whether the MBE is part of the jurisdiction's examination. Contact information for jurisdictions can be found in the Bar Admission Offices Directory on the home page.
The MBE is only one of a number of measures that a board of bar examiners may use in determining competence to practice. Each jurisdiction determines its own policy with regard to the relative weight given to the MBE and other scores. (Jurisdictions that administer the Uniform Bar Examination [UBE] weight the MBE component 50%.) To obtain information about bar admission requirements or to apply for admission to the bar, applicants should contact the appropriate jurisdiction.
Taking the Test
Each of the questions on the MBE is followed by four possible answers. Examinees should choose the best answer from the four stated alternatives. Each question on the MBE is designed to be answered according to generally accepted fundamental legal principles, unless noted otherwise in the question. Examinees should mark only one answer for each question; multiple answers will be scored as incorrect. Since scores are based on the number of questions answered correctly, examinees are advised to answer every question. If a question seems too difficult, examinees are advised to go on to the next one and come back to the skipped question later. Each jurisdiction will provide specific instructions regarding the appropriate marking of answer sheets.
MBE Score Services
|MBE Score Services|
MBE Study Aids
MBE study aids, including the MBE Online Practice Exams (OPE), are available for purchase at the NCBE Online Store. To access an already purchased Online Practice Exam, please log in below.
Two older study aids are available by accessing the files MBE Questions 1992 (a series of retired questions that appeared on MBEs administered between 1972 and 1991) and Sample MBE III July 1998 (the 200-question MBE administered in July 1998). Note: these retired questions are not recommended as study aids. See caveats in the files.
MBE Information Booklet
MBE 2013 Test Dates
February 27, 2013
July 31, 2013