How Many MBE Questions Do I Need to Get Correct? - JD Advising
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MBE Questions Do I Need to Get Correct

How Many MBE Questions Do I Need to Get Correct to Pass the MBE?

How Many MBE Questions Do I Need to Get Correct?: When preparing for the bar exam, many students get tripped up by the fact that the NCBE scales their MBE score, making it difficult to nail down exactly how many they need to get correct to pass. In this post, we try to answer the question “How many MBE questions do I need to get correct to pass the MBE?” using the information available to us. Read further for more details!

How Many MBE Questions Do I Need to Get Correct to Pass the MBE?

1. First, figure out what’s a passing score in your jurisdiction.

Not every jurisdiction scores their bar exam the same. So, let’s start with non-Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions. If your jurisdiction scores its bar exam on a 200 point scale, then you generally need to score the same as the passing score in your state. So, if we take Michigan as an example, you would need to score a 135 on the MBE to “pass” that portion.

In Uniform Bar Exam jurisdictions, all you need to do is divide the score you need to pass by 2. So, New York’s passing bar exam score is 266. 266/2 is 133. Therefore, a 133 is a “passing” MBE score in New York. Now, the UBE does allow you to pass by scoring higher on one portion or another. So, if you struggle with the MBE but score well on the essays, you can still pass the bar exam. However, for our purposes in this blog post, we are trying to answer the “how many MBE question do I need to get correct?” question, so we focus more on MBE scores.

2. Try to get a rough idea of what you need to get to your passing MBE score.

The National Conference of Bar Examiners’ (NCBE) does not publish “raw” versus “converted” scores for the MBE anymore. Therefore, we have to speculate using the tools at our disposal. Read this post to get the real data on raw scores versus scaled scores for more depth.  In short:

  1. Depending on the curve used, you can expect anywhere between 14 and 19 pointed added to your “raw” score, i.e., the total amount of questions you actually answered correctly.
  2. In the past, a 118/190 (62.1% correct) score translated into a scaled score of 136-138 (+18-20 additional points)
  3. A 120/190 (63% correct) score translated into a scaled score of 137-139 (+17-19 additional points)

Remember, as of February 2017, only 175 of the 190 questions are scored. However, the NCBE’s scale means that if you get 60-66% correct, you should “pass” the MBE, depending on your jurisdiction’s overall passage rate.

So, to answer the question “How Many MBE Questions Do I Need to Get Correct?”, answering 60-66% correct may get you there. Of course, aiming for a higher score does not hurt!

3. Prepare for the MBE using real questions.

Read this post  and also watch this 5 minute video to learn about good sources for real MBE questions. Emanuels Strategies and Tactics, 6th Edition is a great resource, and can be bought relatively cheaply online. It is a better source than Barbri or Kaplan’s simulated MBE tests, since it encompasses actual MBE questions. Many students find Barbri and Kaplan’s test more difficult and unrepresentative of the MBE.

Looking for additional MBE help?

If you are looking for MBE help, read our 10 expert MBE tips here. Check out our step-by-step guide to improving your MBE score, please review this post for an overview of tips. This is a great free MBE resource. If you would like to receive our MBE tip of the day emailed to you, please fill out the form below.