Ultimate Guide to Pennsylvania State Bar Exam

Your complete guide to Pennsylvania bar exam prep.

Pass Rates · Bar Review Courses · Format · Essay Topics · Schedule · Dates · Location · Application Fees & Deadlines · What to Bring · Scores & Grading · Results · Reciprocity · Law Schools · Groups · Other Resources

*Updated February 2022

pennsylvania bar

Pennsylvania State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The Pennsylvania Bar Association was formed in 1845.

Pennsylvania is one of 40+ jurisdictions that have adopted the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE). Pennsylvania will first administer the UBE in July 2022. Pennsylvania also requires the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE).

Pennsylvania State Bar Exam Pass Rates

July 2021 (1,243 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 70%
First-Time Pass Rate: 77%
Repeat Pass Rate: 25%

October 2020 (1,252 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 76%
First-Time Pass Rate: 82%
Repeat Pass Rate: 39%

February 2021 (485 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 51%
First-Time Pass Rate: 64%
Repeat Pass Rate: 39%

February 2020 (506 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 52%
First-Time Pass Rate: 69%
Repeat Pass Rate: 38%

 Pennsylvania Bar Review Courses

Compare top Pennsylvania bar exam prep courses from Crushendo, Barbri, Themis, Kaplan, AmeriBar, and BarMax.

Crushendo Barbri Themis Kaplan AmeriBar BarMax
*Cost $890 $1,999-3,999 $2,595 $2,199-3,999 $1,295-2,295 $2,495
Facebook Rating 5.0 Disabled 4.8 Disabled Disabled 4.2
Google Rating 5.0 N/A 2.8 3.1 N/A N/A
MBE
MEE
MPT
NCBE Questions 2,200+ 100+ 1,350+ 1,200+ 1,400+ 1,995+
Audio Flashcards
250+ Mnemonics
Access Period Lifetime 8-10 weeks 4 months 4 months Up to 3 years Lifetime
Financing 3 payments $250 registration
Founded 2017 1974 2008 1938 1999 2010
Phone (385) 482-1776 (888) 322-7274 (888) 843-6476 (626) 390-7170 (877) 942-2763 (800) 529-2651

Last updated: 12/29/21

*Cost ignores promotions and live tutoring.

Crushendo’s written and audio outlines utilize 250+ proprietary mnemonics to help you memorize everything you need to know to pass the bar exam on your first try.

Crushendo’s complete bar prep course, the UBE Suite, costs $890 and includes 2,200+ official practice questions from the NCBE.

Crushendo offers lifetime access for all of its bar exam prep products.

Adam Balinski founded Crushendo Bar Review in 2017 (read the founding story here).

The Harcourt publishing company founded Barbri in 1974 when it acquired two bar review programs. Since its founding, Barbri has been owned by large firms including Thomson Reuters and Leeds Equity Partners.

Barbri products have been used by more than a million law school students. In the last 20 years Barbri has settled multiple antitrust lawsuits.

Barbri’s traditional bar prep programs cost $1,999-3,999 and some include 100+ official NCBE questions from past bar exams.

Barbri offers access to its traditional, full-time bar prep course for 8-10 weeks, but early access can be purchased.

Themis Bar Review is based in Chicago and was founded in 2008.

Themis’s bar prep program costs $2,595 and includes 1,350+ NCBE questions.

Themis offers access to its online products for four months.

Stanley Kaplan founded Kaplan, Inc. in 1938.

Kaplan jumped into the bar review space in 2006 when it acquired PMBR, a company that provides test prep for the MBE. In 2008 Kaplan expanded its bar review offerings.

Kaplan’s bar prep programs cost $2,199-3,999 and include 1,200+ NCBE questions.

Kaplan offers access to its online products for four months.

Alexander Nakis founded AmeriBar in 1999. It’s headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida.

AmeriBar’s bar exam prep programs cost $1,295-2,295 and include 1,400+ NCBE questions.

AmeriBar offers access to its online products for up to three years.

Michael Ghaffary and Mehran Ebadolahi founded BarMax in 2010.

BarMax’s bar prep course costs $2,495 and includes 1,995+ NCBE questions.

BarMax offers lifetime access to its online products.

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the UBE?

The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is administered twice each year in Pennsylvania (in February and July). The examination is administered over two days in four, three-hour sessions. The UBE has three parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

MBE

The MBE is a six-hour test and consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that test your understanding across seven subjects. Your MBE score comprises 50% of your overall UBE score.

MEE

The MEE consists of six 30-minute legal essays. The MEE makes up 30% of your score.

Essay topics may include the following: Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Conflict of Laws, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Family Law, Property, Secured Transactions, Torts, Trusts, Unincorporated Business Entities, Wills and Estates, etc.

Crushendo offers the most recent MEE questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used. Watch Crushendo’s free MEE tips video.

MPT

The MPT consists of two 90-minute tasks where you analyze and apply laws to specific scenarios. The MPT makes up 20% of your score. Crushendo offers the most recent MPT questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used. Watch Crushendo’s free MPT tips video.

What’s the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination?

The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) tests your understanding of established standards of conduct for lawyers. The MPRE is administered three times each year (in March, August, and November). The test consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and is two hours long. Check out this MPRE Tips video!

Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates, Location

Schedule

Morning Afternoon
Day 1 MEE MPT
Day 2 MBE MBE

Dates

  • July 26-27, 2022
  • February 21-22, 2023
  • July 25-26, 2023

Locations

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Application

Are you interested in taking the Pennsylvania State bar exam? Here’s some basic information on applying to take the Pennsylvania bar exam.

The Pennsylvania Bar application fee for most takers is $650. There are late fees.

*Visit the Pennsylvania Bar website for more information.

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, the filing deadline is October 30. If you file between October 30 and November 15, you will pay a $150 late fee. If you file between November 15 and November 30, you will pay a $300 late fee. If you file between November 30 and December 15, you will pay a $400 late fee. December 15 is the final deadline.

If you desire to take the bar exam in July, the filing deadline is April 15. If you file between April 15 and April 30, you will pay a $150 late fee. If you file between April 30 and May 15, you will pay a $300 late fee. If you file between May 15 and May 15, you will pay a $400 late fee. May 15 is the final deadline.

In addition to passing the Pennsylvania bar exam with a score of at least 272, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Pennsylvania, including:

  1. Score 85 or higher on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) within the accepted time frame.
  2. Character and Fitness Review
  3. Graduate from an ABA-approved law school
  4. Get fingerprinted

Pennsylvania State Bar Admissions Office

Physical address:

Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners
601 Commonwealth Ave., Suite 3600
P.O Box 62535
Harrisburg, PA 17106-2535

Phone: (717) 231-3350
Fax: (717) 231-3351
Email (technical issues only): webmaster@pabarexam.org

Pennsylvania Bar Exam: What to Bring

What to bring

  • Your current driver’s license
  • Your Bar Examination Identification & Certification Card that has your photo, NCBE number, and examinee number

What is Provided

  • Earplugs
  • Tissues and cough drops
  • Pens or pencils
  • Feminine hygiene products

Important notes

  • You need to have these items with you for each of the four testing sessions.
  • Pens and pencils are provided to examinees.
  • Laptop testers should not bring their laptop in a case or bag.

Prohibited items

  • Any item that can connect to the internet
  • Any item that can record audio or video
  • Fitness trackers
  • Backpacks
  • Books
  • Briefcases
  • Calculators
  • Cameras
  • Notes
  • Phones
  • Food or drink
  • Purses
  • Radios
  • Rulers
  • Scratch papers
  • Study materials

More information here.

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the Pennsylvania bar is a 272. Scores of the three tests comprising the bar are weighted as follows:

  • MBE = 50% of total score
  • MEE = 30% of total score
  • MPT = 20% of total score

*A passing score for the MPRE in Pennsylvania is 75/150.

Pennsylvania Bar Review Course

Crushendo’s comprehensive UBE Suite comes with everything you need to crush the Pennsylvania Bar Exam.

  • MBE, MEE, and MPT Prep
  • 250+ Proprietary Mnemonics
  • 2,000+ Licensed NCBE Questions
  • Audio Flashcards
  • Lifetime Access

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Results

View lists of those who passed the Pennsylvania State bar exam, posted on the Pennsylvania State Bar Association’s website:

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Pennsylvania bar exam results released?

Pennsylvania bar exam results are usually released mid-April or mid-October.

Can I see my Pennsylvania bar exam score?

If you passed the Pennsylvania bar exam, you won’t be able to see your score.

Can I appeal to have my Pennsylvania bar exam re-graded?

No, but depending on the score you get, your bar exam might be automatically re-graded. The Pennsylvania Board of Law examiners has shared that, “All applicants receiving a combined scaled score of 263-271 will be included in a re-read process and have their written answers re-read and re-graded by a different grader.”

How many times can I take the bar exam in Pennsylvania?

You can retake the Pennsylvania bar without any limit.

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Reciprocity

The following states have reciprocity with Pennsylvania:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
In order to be admitted, you must follow the reciprocity requirements according to Rule 204:
  • Graduate from an ABA-approved law school
  • Active practice of law for five of the last seven years
  • Received Certificate of Good Standing from last state or jurisdiction
  • Have not failed the Pennsylvania bar in the past

Law Schools in Pennsylvania

Here’s a list of law schools in Pennsylvania.

Thomas R. Kline School of Law (Drexel University)

Duquesne University School of Law

Penn State Dickinson Law

Penn State Law

Carey Law School (University of Pennsylvania)

  • Founded: 1923
  • Located: Philadelphia, PA
  • Enrollment: about 775
  • Tuition Cost: $67,998 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 97%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.upenn.edu

University of Pittsburgh School of Law

  • Founded: 1895
  • Located: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Enrollment: about 400
  • Tuition Cost: $46,874 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 91%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.pitt.edu

Beasley School of Law (Temple University)

Charles Widger School of Law (Villanova University)

Widener University Commonwealth Law School

Helpful Groups

Here are some Facebook groups you may find helpful before, and after, passing the bar exam:

Thomas R. Kline School of Law (Drexel University)

Duquesne University School of Law

Penn State Dickinson Law

Penn State Law

Carey Law School (University of Pennsylvania)

University of Pittsburgh School of Law

Beasley School of Law (Temple University)

Charles Widger School of Law (Villanova University)

Widener University Commonwealth Law School