NCBE Media Kit

About NCBE

The National Conference of Bar Examiners, founded in 1931, is a not-for-profit corporation that develops licensing tests for bar admission and provides character and fitness investigation services. NCBE also provides testing, research, and educational services to jurisdictions; provides services to bar applicants on behalf of jurisdictions; and acts as a national clearinghouse for information about the bar examination and bar admissions.

For a timeline highlighting key milestones in NCBE’s testing program, see NCBE Testing Milestones.

Our Products and Services

Our tests

  • MBE—The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice examination developed by NCBE and administered by user jurisdictions as part of the bar examination on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July of each year.
  • MEE—The Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) is developed by NCBE and consists of six 30-minute questions. It is administered by user jurisdictions as part of the bar examination on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year.
  • MPT—The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is developed by NCBE and consists of two 90-minute items. It is administered by user jurisdictions as part of the bar examination on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year. User jurisdictions may select one or both MPT items to include as part of their bar examinations.
  • UBE—The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is coordinated by NCBE and is composed of the MEE, two MPT tasks, and the MBE. It is uniformly administered, graded, and scored and results in a portable score that can be transferred to other UBE jurisdictions. The UBE is administered over two days, with the MBE given on the last Wednesday of February and July and the MEE and MPT given on the Tuesday prior to that. Jurisdictions that use the UBE may also require applicants to complete a jurisdiction-specific law component.
  • MPRE—The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), developed by NCBE, is a two-hour, 60-question multiple-choice examination that is administered three times per year.

Our relationship to the jurisdictions

  • We develop and produce the licensing and professional responsibility tests used by most US jurisdictions for admission to the bar.
  • We help jurisdiction bar admissions processes run well from start to finish by providing support and training to jurisdiction administrators and graders, providing scoring and research services after each exam and on an as-needed basis, and conducting character and fitness investigations on behalf of jurisdictions.

Our collaboration with the bar admissions community

  • We sponsor a wide range of educational events for jurisdiction bar examiners, bar admission administrators, and states’ highest courts.
  • We conduct ongoing research relevant to bar admissions testing, as well as provide support for graduate student research in this area.
  • Our quarterly publication, the Bar Examiner, provides comprehensive, authoritative information about topics of interest to the bar admissions community.

Our support for applicants

  • We help streamline the process of applying for bar admission by providing score services and other admission-related services to applicants on behalf of jurisdictions and providing NCBE Accounts that offer applicants a one-stop secure web portal.
  • We offer study aids, including our BarNow® online study aids, with authentic bar exam and MPRE practice questions.
  • Our website, www.ncbex.org, is a comprehensive resource for bar admission requirements in all US jurisdictions and for information about our tests, character and fitness investigation services, score services, and study aids.

Our commitment to the legal education community

  • We sponsor educational events for legal educators and publish news and information of interest to the legal education community.
  • We work with organizations that support students preparing for law school and the bar, advancing our shared goals and building foundations for the future of the legal profession.

NCBE’s Testing Task Force

In January 2018, NCBE appointed a Testing Task Force charged with undertaking a three-year study to ensure that the bar examination continues to test the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for competent entry-level legal practice in a changing profession. The study is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2020.

NCBE Research/Psychometric Staff

  • All NCBE research/psychometric staff have scientific backgrounds. Most staff currently in the department, and all staff working directly on the operational equating of NCBE’s exams, have PhDs in psychometrics. Most staff without PhDs specifically in psychometrics have advanced degrees in closely related fields.
  • Some staff members worked at the National Board of Medical Examiners before joining NCBE, and others were previously on the faculty at R1 universities (major research universities).
  • Collectively, current staff have well over 160 years of directly relevant professional experience, have published over 200 articles in peer-reviewed professional journals, and have made hundreds of presentations at peer-reviewed professional meetings.
  • Staff have been nationally recognized for their technical expertise by invitations to serve as reviewers for dozens of professional journals, members of the editorial boards for professional journals, and members of dozens of grant review/technical advisory panels for the National Institutes for Health and other agencies, as well as by numerous awards and invitations to present at professional meetings.

NCBE Research, Articles, and White Papers

Testing Task Force reports

Select articles by NCBE research/psychometric staff

Select NCBE white papers 

Studies addressing purported racial bias on the bar exam

NCBE Publications

  • The Bar Examiner—NCBE’s quarterly magazine, a one-stop resource for news and in-depth articles relating to all aspects of the bar admissions process.
  • Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements—annually updated information on bar admission requirements in all US jurisdictions, including a directory of state bar admission agencies (published in collaboration with the American Bar Association).
  • Annual bar exam and admissions statistics—NCBE collects statistics from all US jurisdictions on the February and July administrations of the bar examination and on annual admissions. These statistics, along with national score distributions, examinee counts, and mean scaled scores for the MBE and the MPRE, and scores earned and transferred by jurisdiction for the UBE, are published annually in the Spring issue of the Bar Examiner.
  • NCBE Year in Review—NCBE’s annual Year in Review publication highlights the work of NCBE’s volunteers and staff in fulfilling its mission. It provides information about the many services NCBE provides to jurisdictions, the support it provides for applicants and for the bar admissions community, and the many educational events it produces and hosts. The Year in Review provides a data-filled snapshot into the work NCBE undertakes in its commitment to serving the bar admissions community.

FAQs

What is the relationship between NCBE and the states (jurisdictions)?

NCBE develops and produces the licensing and professional responsibility tests used by most US jurisdictions for admission to the bar. We help jurisdiction bar admissions processes run well from start to finish by providing support and training to jurisdiction administrators and graders, providing scoring and research services after each exam and on an as-needed basis, and conducting character and fitness investigations on behalf of jurisdictions. 

How does NCBE interact with the state (jurisdiction) bar administrators?

NCBE sponsors a wide range of educational events for jurisdiction bar examiners, bar admission administrators, and states’ highest courts, and we conduct ongoing research relevant to bar admissions testing, as well as providing support for graduate student research in this area. Our quarterly publication, the Bar Examiner, provides comprehensive, authoritative information about topics of interest to the bar admissions community.

How does NCBE interact with bar exam applicants?

NCBE helps streamline the process of applying for bar admission by providing score services and other admission-related services to applicants on behalf of jurisdictions and providing NCBE Accounts that offer applicants a one-stop secure web portal. We offer study aids with authentic bar exam and MPRE practice questions. Our website, www.ncbex.org, is a comprehensive resource for bar admission requirements in all US jurisdictions and for information about our tests, character and fitness investigation services, score services, and study aids.

What does NCBE do to help advance the legal education community?

We sponsor educational events for legal educators and publish news and information of interest to the legal education community. We work with organizations that support students preparing for law school and the bar, advancing our shared goals and building foundations for the future of the legal profession.

Contact Information

communications@ncbex.org