UBE Essay Frequency Chart—JD Advising
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UBE Essay Frequency Chart


UBE Essay Frequency Chart: Which subjects are tested frequently on the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE)? To be the most efficient when you study, you will want to study the subjects that you are most likely to see. Below we reveal the highly tested subjects on both the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) as well as the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). 

Note: As we explain below, even if you are taking the exam in a jurisdiction that is not a Uniform Bar Exam jurisdiction but that contains the MEE as a component, it is wiser to look at this UBE essay frequency chart than it is to look at an MEE frequency chart. (The UBE essay frequency chart is more indicative of what could be tested on your exam!)

Lastly, if you are interested in the MEE topics that have been tested most frequently, please review our free MEE guide for the highly tested topics and don’t miss out on our MEE One-Sheets. They are one of our most highly-rated products!

UBE Essay Frequency Chart

Which subjects are tested on the Uniform Bar Exam?

The Uniform Bar Exam is composed of the Multistate bar exam (MBE); the Multistate Performance Test (MPTs), which do not cover a specific area of law–rather, they test lawyerly skills; and also an essay portion, the multistate essay exam (MEE). Below are the tested subjects on the Multistate Bar Exam and the Multistate Essay Exam portion of the Uniform Bar Exam. To see how the MPTs have been tested, check out our MPT chart.

Subjects tested on the Essay Portion of the Uniform Bar Exam

For the essay portion, you will have six questions to answer in three hours (so 30 minutes/question). the Uniform Bar Exam tests the same subjects that the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) tests. (The Multistate Essay Exam is a six-question exam used by Uniform Bar Exam states as well as other states that do not offer the Uniform Bar Exam.)

The National Conference of Bar Examiners lists the following subjects as potential areas of law:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnership; Corporations and Limited Liability Companies),
  • Civil Procedure,
  • Conflict of Laws,
  • Constitutional Law,
  • Contracts,
  • Criminal Law and Procedure,
  • Evidence,
  • Family Law,
  • Real Property,
  • Torts,
  • Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates; Trusts and Future Interests), and
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Secured Transactions).

Six essays appear on the Uniform Bar Exam, chosen by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). (Thus, while in the past, the NCBE has released 7-9 questions for jurisdictions that use the Multistate Essay Exam to choose from, the subjects that appear on the Uniform Bar Exam have always been the same. Further, beginning February 2014, the NCBE only wrote six questions for the Multistate Essay Exam, thus eliminating the choice by the jurisdiction about which essay topic to administer.) So we think this UBE frequency chart means more than an MEE frequency chart (but we do have an MEE frequency chart here if you want to check it out). We think it is wiser to look at this chart though!

So, as you can see from the chart above, the single most highly tested subject on the essay portion of the Uniform Bar Exam is Civil Procedure. We’ve also divided up the subjects so you can see the most highly-tested to least-tested subjects. Please click on the chart to open it in a new tab to make it bigger!

[Note the data below comes from the February 2011 bar exam to the most recent bar exam.]

Tier One: Highly Tested Subjects on the Uniform Bar Exam  (In Order of Most-to-Least Tested)

  • Civil Procedure (17 full essays plus 1 combined with another subject)
  • Agency and Partnership (11 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
  • Contracts (13 full essays)
  • Secured Transactions (11 full essays)
  • Real Property (11 full essays)
  • Corporations and LLCs (9 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
  • Evidence (8 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
  • Trusts and Future Interests (8 full essays plus 2 combined with another subject)
  • Constitutional Law (8 full essays plus 2 combined with another subject)
  • Decedents’ Estates (Wills) (8 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
  • Torts (7 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)

Tier Two: Lesser-Tested Subjects on the Uniform Bar Exam (In Order of Most-to-Least Tested)

  • Family Law (9 full essays)
  • Criminal Procedure (4 full essays plus 4 combined with another subject)
  • Criminal Law (4 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
  • Conflict of Laws (This is usually combined with Wills and Trusts, Family Law, or Civil Procedure. It is not tested on its own.) (0 full essays, 6 essays combined with another subject)

A few additional notes

  • Sometimes the National Conference of Bar Examiner’s (NCBE) labels a subject “Criminal Law and Procedure” when really it is just one or the other that is tested. We listed the true amount of times NCBE tested those subjects above.
  • We started collecting data from 2011 on because that is when the first Uniform Bar Exam was administered.
  • Wondering how the July and February essay exams differ? Check out this post to see the differences!

Feel free to download the UBE chart (or email us at info@jdadvising.com if you have difficulty downloading it!) If you repost it somewhere on the internet, we would appreciate a link to this site :) Thank you!

Lastly, just like all subjects are not treated equally, neither are all topics!

The NCBE tends to test certain topics within each subject more than other topics.

See this post for an overview of the highly tested MEE topics. If you are looking for an overview of the highly-tested topics on the MEE, check out our MEE One-Sheets. These give you an overview of the highly-tested areas of the MEE in one sheet, front and back. We sell them in our online store.

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

For the Multistate Bar Exam portion, you will have 200 multiple-choice questions to answer over a period of six hours. The MBE covers the following seven subjects (which are equally tested):

  • Contracts and Sales (25 multiple-choice questions)
  • Constitutional Law (25 multiple-choice questions)
  • Criminal Law and Procedure (25 multiple-choice questions)
  • Civil Procedure (25 multiple-choice questions)
  • Evidence (25 multiple-choice questions)
  • Real Property (25 multiple-choice questions)
  • Torts (25 multiple-choice questions)

Because all seven subjects are tested equally (and they also all appear in some capacity on the essay portion of the Uniform Bar Exam, as discussed below) it is very important to know these subjects well!

[If you are wondering why the number of questions does not add up to 200, it is because as of the February 2017 exam, only 175 are scored. The other 25 are “test questions”]

Wondering which topics within the subjects are most frequently tested on the MBE?

Check out our MBE frequency chart here. You will see some topics (like negligence!) are so important and well worth your time while others (like privileges and policy exclusions) will have about two questions total on the MBE!