Be Prepared! Know These MBE Test Day Policies
Preparing for the bar exam is a long and often stressful process. Part of prepared includes knowing what to expect on test day. This post includes everything you need to know about MBE test day policies!
Be Prepared! Know These MBE Test Day Policies
What is the MBE, and who has to take it?
The MBE is a six-hour exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions. This exam is broken into two, three-hour sessions separated by a break. The MBE tests Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. For a further breakdown of tested MBE topics, check out this blog post. In many jurisdictions, the MBE is just one component of the bar exam.
The MBE is administered in every state in the U.S. with the exception of Louisiana. It is also administered in the District of Columbia, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In jurisdictions where the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is administered, the MBE is one component of the exam and is weighted as 50% of examinees’ scores. Check to see if your jurisdiction administers the UBE.
What should I bring on test day?
The list of what you can bring on test day is a lot shorter than the list of what you can not bring. A good rule of thumb is to show up with nothing but your identification materials. MBE test day policies regarding proper identification vary by jurisdiction, so it’s imperative you check with the bar admission agency where you will sit for the exam. Having everything you need on the MBE test day will make the entire experience less stressful!
What should I NOT bring on test day?
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) is the organization that drafts the MBE. It has provided a non-exhaustive list of prohibited items. These items include:
- Any electronic devices, including but not limited to
- cell or mobile phones
- digital watches or timers
- fitness trackers
- media players
- language translators
- picture-taking devices
- firearms or other weapons
- written materials (including books and notes)
- scratch paper or paper of any kind
- mechanical pencils, mechanical erasers, pens, or highlighters
- briefcases, handbags, or backpacks of any kind
- non-electronic watches or timers of any kind
- earplugs or earmuffs of any kind
- hats and/or hoods (except religious apparel) worn on the head
- food or beverages (unless pre-authorized by the testing jurisdiction)
What should I NOT do on test day?
Well, there are a lot of things you probably should not do on test day, but the NCBE has provided a list of prohibited behaviors specifically with regard to its MBE test day policies. Prohibited conduct includes:
- bringing unauthorized electronic devices (whether turned on or off) or unauthorized materials into the testing room
- taking test materials out of the testing room
- causing a disruption or disturbance
- copying answers from another examinee or sharing answers with another examinee
- continuing to work after a supervisor has instructed examinees to stop writing
What should I NOT do after test day?
You will be subject to strict MBE test day policies. However, you also need to be careful about what you do and say after the test is over. It is natural to want to talk about the bar exam after it is over. Make sure that you do not discuss the content of the MBE or any other section of the bar exam. The NCBE strictly prohibits MBE takers from retaining any test materials. Examinees cannot:
- share the substance or details of any test question, including the question’s fact pattern, option choices, or answer, in whole or in part, with anyone via electronic (including email, blogs, and online social and professional networking sites), telephonic, written, oral, or other means
- reproduce, paraphrase, summarize, or describe to any other person any test content from memory
- forward, re-post, host, or otherwise advance, on the Internet or by other means, the distribution of exam content that others have disclosed
Failing to comply with MBE test day policies and the NCBE’s after-test policies can lead to your score being canceled; denial of your bar application based on character and fitness; civil liability; or even criminal penalties.
The NCBE publishes MBE test day policies as well as policies for all other exams it drafts. Therefore, make sure you are familiar with these policies and do not forget to research your own jurisdiction as it may have additional rules and restrictions.
Overall, studying for the bar and taking the bar can be stressful. Knowing MBE test day policies ensures you have one less thing to worry about!
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