Which subjects are tested on the Uniform Bar Exam?
This Uniform Bar Exam frequency chart has been updated with the July 2023 exam. Please click on the image to make it larger and open it in a new tab! If your state offers the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), you may wonder which subjects are tested on the Uniform Bar Exam. To be the most efficient when you study, you will want to study the subjects that are the most highly tested. Below we reveal the highly tested subjects on both the multiple-choice portion and essay portion of the Uniform Bar Exam. (You can also click on the picture to make it larger!)
Which subjects are tested on the Uniform Bar Exam?
The Uniform Bar Exam is composed of the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), the Multistate Performance Tests (MPT) do not cover a specific area of law; they test lawyerly skills), and an essay portion. Below are the subjects tested on the MBE and the essay portion of the Uniform Bar Exam:
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”]
Subjects tested on the Essay Portion of the Uniform Bar Exam—Multistate Essay Exam
For the essay portion, you will have six questions to answer in three hours (30 minutes/question). the Uniform Bar Exam tests the same subjects that the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) tests. (The MEE 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,
- Criminal Law and Procedure,
- Family Law,
- Real Property,
- Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates; Trusts and Future Interests), and
- Uniform Commercial Code (Secured Transactions).
Note that there are six essays that appear on the Uniform Bar Exam and they are chosen by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). (Thus, while in the past, the NCBE has released seven to nine questions for jurisdictions that use the Multistate Essay Exam to choose from, the subjects that appear on the UBE have always been the same. Further, beginning in February 2014, the NCBE only wrote six questions for the MEE, thus eliminating the choice by the jurisdiction about which topic to choose.) If you are in an MEE jurisdiction that has not adopted the UBE, you can see this post about the subjects that are tested on the Multistate Essay Exam.
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.
[Note: the data below comes from the February 2011 bar exam to the last administered bar exam.]
Tier One: Highly Tested Subjects on the Uniform Bar Exam (In Order of Most-to-Least Tested)
- Civil Procedure (20 full essays plus 1 combined with another subject)
- Agency and Partnership (12 full essays plus 5 combined with another subject)
- Contracts (15 full essays)
- Secured Transactions (14 full essays)
- Real Property (13 full essays)
- Corporations and LLCs (10 full essays plus 5 combined with another subject)
- Evidence (10 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
- Trusts and Future Interests (10 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
- Decedents’ Estates (Wills) (9 full essays plus 4 combined with another subject)
- Constitutional Law (8 full essays plus 2 combined with another subject)
- Torts (8 full essays plus 3 combined with another subject)
- Family Law (9 full essays)
Tier Two: Lesser-Tested Subjects on the Uniform Bar Exam (In Order of Most-to-Least Tested)
- Criminal Procedure (7 full essays plus 2 combined with another subject)
- Criminal Law (6 full essays plus 1 combined with another subject)
- Conflict of Laws (This is usually combined with Decedents’ Estates, Family Law, Civil Procedure, or Corporations/LLCs. 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 being tested. We listed the true amount of times those subjects were tested above.
- We started collecting data from 2011 on because that is when the first Uniform Bar Exam was administered.
Feel free to download the UBE chart (or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having 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. If you are looking for a free overview of highly tested MEE topics, please review our free MEE Guide!
For a more detailed 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.
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