What is the Uniform Bar Exam like? Here, we tell you what the Uniform Bar Exam is like, and what you can expect on test day! The Uniform Bar Exam is a two-day exam offered in several jurisdictions. It has been spreading like wildfire since it was invented in 2011 and now even major jurisdictions, such as New York, have adopted the Uniform Bar Exam, also called the “UBE.”
The UBE is a two-day exam. Each day consists of 6 hours of testing. We will describe each component of it below.
What is the Uniform Bar Exam Like?
First, the basics: what score do I need to pass the UBE?
Passing UBE scores range from a 260 to a 280 out of 400. You can see what score your state requires you to receive by checking out this post. We tell you how much each portion of the exam is worth, below.
Day #1: The Written Portion
The first of the Uniform Bar Exam is the written portion of the exam. It is composed of the multistate essay exam (MEE) and the multistate performance test (MPT). Sometimes the MEE is administered first. But other administrations, the MPT is administered first. We will describe each of these sections below.
The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)
- Questions: 6 questions
- Time: 3 hours (30 minutes per question)
- Breakdown: 30% of your score!
The MEE will pose six questions to you and give you three hours to answer them. Thus, you should plan on answering each question in about 30 minutes so you do not run out of time. The MEE can test on any of the following subjects: Civil Procedure, Contracts & Sales, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, Torts, Agency & Partnership, Corporations & LLCs, Decedents’ Estates, Trusts & Future Interests, Conflicts of Law, Family Law, and Domestic Relations.
Note that not all MEE subjects are tested equally! Some are tested more than others. You can see a chart of the highly tested MEE subjects here.
Also, note that the MEE does not necessarily test one subject per question. Occasionally, a question will combine more than one subject. For example, it is popular to combine Evidence and Criminal Procedure. Or Torts and Agency. Read more about common MEE crossover essays here.
To pass the MEE, you should score, on average, between a 3.9 and 4.2.
The Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
- Questions: 2 questions
- Time: 3 hours (90 minutes per question)
- Breakdown: 20% of your score!
After a lunch break, you will then take the MPT. (Note, sometimes the bar examiners’ switch this and you will take the MPT in the morning. Just check your instructions to verify which one you take first!)
The MPT is composed of two 90-minute lawyerly tasks. You will be given a file (the facts of the case) and a library (the law) and be expected to do something such as write an objective memorandum, a persuasive brief, or a letter. The good news is: you do not need to know any law going into the MPT! Everything is available for you.
Make sure you take the MPT seriously. It is worth 20% of your bar exam score, which is the equivalent of 70 MBE questions! If you score between a 3.9 and 4.2 out of 6 on average, you should pass the MPT portion.
Day #2: The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)
- Questions: 200 questions
- Time: 6 hours (broken up into 2 3-hour sections. Allocate about 1.8 minutes per question)
- Breakdown: 50% of your score!
The MBE is day #2 of the Uniform Bar Exam. You will have two three-hour time slots where you will answer 100 MBE questions. So, you will answer 200 MBE questions total on this day. The MBE tests each of the following subjects equally so you will see 25 questions on each of these subjects: Civil Procedure, Contracts & Sales, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, Torts.
There are 175 scored questions on the MBE and 25 unscored questions. You should allocate about 1.8 minutes per question if you want to get through the MBE in time!
If you are answering about 65% of the questions correctly, you are on track to pass the MBE. (Read this post which goes over the math and to see what score you need in your state!)
Looking for more MBE tips? Check out our ten best MBE tips and tricks here.
We hope this post gives you a good overview of what the Uniform bar exam is like. Good luck studying!
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