Topic 1: What is the MPRE and what does it test?
What is the MPRE? Many law students come to us and explain that they have heard about the MPRE and know they have to take it, but wonder “what is the MPRE?” The MPRE is the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. In this post, we answer commonly asked questions about the MPRE.
What is the MPRE and what does it test?
What is the MPRE?
The MPRE tests the established ethical rules that lawyers must abide by. These often are referred to as the Model Rules but they are formally known as the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The rules that are tested are these model rules. They are not any particular state’s rules. Rather, they are what the American Bar Association views as the best version of ethics rules. The MPRE also will test caselaw, rules, and legal opinions that reflect majority law.
When is the MPRE administered?
The exam is administered three times a year: in March, August, and October. As of 2020, the MPRE is now administered on weekdays at Pearson VUE testing centers.
How many questions are on the MPRE?
The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that are to be completed in two hours. Fifty of the questions are scored and 10 are experimental questions. These experimental questions are not scored and do not count toward your total score. As of 2020, the MPRE is administered electronically at Pearson VUE testing centers.
Does my jurisdiction require that I pass the MPRE?
Almost all jurisdictions—except Wisconsin, Maryland, and Puerto Rico—require a passing MPRE score to be sworn in to practice as an attorney. Other jurisdictions—such as Connecticut and New Jersey—do not require a passing MPRE score if the applicant successfully completed a professional responsibility course at their law school. Please make sure to check with your jurisdiction for the updated requirements.
What score do I need to pass the MPRE?
The MPRE is scored on a scale of 50 to 150. Jurisdictions require a score of 75 to 86 to pass, depending on the jurisdiction. For example, in order to be sworn in as an attorney to practice in Michigan, you need to score an 85 or higher on the MPRE. Whereas in Georgia, you only need the score of a 75 to pass. If you are wondering what score your state requires, please see topic 4, which lists each state’s MPRE requirements by jurisdiction.
In order to score a 75, you need to answer approximately 28 out of 50 questions correctly. To score an 85, you need to answer approximately 30 questions correctly out of 50.
How long does it take to get MPRE results?
It takes about a month to get MPRE results! The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) will upload results to your NCBE account online. To see MPRE results release dates and read more about how long it takes to get MPRE results, see this post.
When should I take the MPRE?
Many law schools require that their students successfully complete a professional responsibility course before graduating. We recommend that if you take a professional responsibility course, you should take the next available MPRE. This is beneficial because you will not have to study twice. And, the majority of the material will be fresh in your mind! Thus, your MPRE prep will be minimal in comparison to if you take the exam at a different time.
Furthermore, it is better to take the MPRE earlier rather than later. There are many reasons for this—e.g., some states will not let you take the bar exam without a passing MPRE score, other states only allow you to take the bar exam once without passing the MPRE. It is best to get it over with and out of the way. We discuss this further in topic 2.
Go to the next topic, Topic 2: When Should I Take the MPRE?
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