Will the Uniform Bar Exam Change?
The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) started a “task force” about two years ago. The purpose of the task force is to get feedback about the bar exam and recommend any changes that need to be made to the current bar exam.
There have been a lot of suggestions.
A few things we have noticed:
- The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) seems to be the most favored portion of the bar exam.
- The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) (i.e., the multiple-choice portion) is the least favored. Many of those surveyed called it too nuanced but also admitted it was the most objective.
- Some complained that the Multistate Essay Exam portion tests too many subjects.
- Others thought there should be more bar exams administered each year (though this would increase cost)
- Some suggested that the bar exam contain live components (though this is more subjective, and would increase cost)
We have no inside information on the task force, but we suspect the following changes will be made to the Uniform Bar Exam:
- We suspect the MPT portion will be worth more than 20%. Perhaps the MPT portion will increase to 30% and the MEE or MBE portion will be worth less.
- We do not think that the NCBE will significantly change the MBE portion of the exam. The NCBE believes an objective test is important.
- We think the NCBE will provide more guidance on what is tested on the MBE. Some complaints are that the NCBE’s subject matter outline does not provide enough detail on what to study. For example, one portion of the outline in torts says “Other torts” could be tested but does not list what these torts are.
- We are unsure if the MEE will change. Perhaps the NCBE would remove subjects like Conflict of Laws or Secured Transactions. We doubt it though. We do not see this portion changing dramatically.
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