Ultimate Guide to Uniform Bar Exam

Your complete guide to UBE prep.

Jurisdictions · Pass Rates · Bar Review Courses · Format · Essay Topics · Schedule · Dates · What to Bring · Scores & Grading · FAQ

*Updated October 2019

ube-uniform-bar-exam

Basic Information

The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is a standardized exam that has been adopted in 33 (and counting) jurisdictions. The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) administers the exam. It has three parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The Uniform Bar Exam allows you to transfer scores within a certain amount of time from one UBE jurisdiction to another.

Which jurisdictions use the UBE?

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio (starting July 2020), Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas (starting February 2021), Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, Virgin Islands.

For the most updated information regarding which jurisdictions have adopted the UBE, check the NCBE’s official map.

Uniform Bar Exam Pass Rates

July 2018 (46,376 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 60%
First-Time Pass Rate: 71%
Repeat Pass Rate: 22%

February 2018 (21,822 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 41%
First-Time Pass Rate: 58%
Repeat Pass Rate: 29%

July 2017 (47,806 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 65%
First-Time Pass Rate: 75%
Repeat Pass Rate: 33%

February 2017 (23,051 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 46%
First-Time Pass Rate: 60%
Repeat Pass Rate: 36%

Uniform Bar Review Courses

Compare top UBE courses from Crushendo, Barbri, Themis, Kaplan, AmeriBar, BarMax, AdaptiBar, and Quimbee.

CrushendoBarbriThemisKaplanAmeriBarBarMaxAdaptiBarQuimbee
Cost$240-790$2,495-4,095$1,595-2,695$2,299-3,999$895-2,545$699-1,499$395-1,065$499-1,499
MBE
MEE
MPT
MPRE
NCBE Questions2,000+100+Unknown1,200+1,400+1,905+1,700+200+
Audio Flashcards
250+ Mnemonics
Facebook Rating5/5Disabled4.8/5DisabledDisabled4.4/54.4/5Disabled
Access PeriodLifetime3 months4 months4 monthsUp to 3 yearsLifetime5-7 months3 years
Financing3 payments$250 registration
Founded20171974200819381999201020032007
Phone(385) 482-1776(888) 322-7274(888) 843-6476(626) 390-7170(877) 942-2763(800) 529-2651(877) 466-1250N/A

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 UBE Suite costs $790 and includes 2,000+ official questions from the NCBE.

Crushendo offers lifetime access to 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 bar prep programs cost $2,495-4,095 and include 100+ official NCBE questions from past bar exams.

Barbri offers access to its online products for three months.

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

Themis publishes is pass rates publicly on its website.

Themis bar prep programs cost $1,595-2,695 and include an unknown amount of 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 it bar review offerings.

Kaplan’s bar prep programs cost $2,299-3,999 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 $895-2,545 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 exam prep programs cost $699-1,499 and include 1,905+ NCBE questions.

BarMax offers lifetime access to its online products.

Tarek Fadel founded AdaptiBar in 2003.

AdaptiBar’s bar exam prep programs cost $395-1,065 and include up to 1,700+ NCBE questions.

AdaptiBar offers access to its online products for 5-7 months.

Matt Sellers founded Quimbee in 2007.

Quimbee’s bar prep programs cost $499-1,499 and include up to 200+ NCBE questions.

Quimbee offers access to its online products for 3 years.

UBE Format

What’s the format of the UBE?

The UBE is administered twice each year (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. Your MEE score comprises 30% of your UBE 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.

MPT

The MPT consists of two 90-minute tasks where you analyze and apply laws to specific scenarios. Your MPT score comprises 20% of your UBE score. Crushendo offers the most recent MPT questions and includes the point sheets that the graders used.

Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates

Schedule

MorningAfternoon
Day 1MEE (3 hours) (normally)MPT (3 hours) (normally)
Day 2MBE (3 hours)MBE (3 hours)

Dates

  • February 25-26, 2020
  • July 28-29, 2020
  • February 23-24, 2021
  • July 27-28, 2021
  • February 22-23, 2022
  • July 26-27, 2022
  • February 21-22, 2023
  • July 25-26, 2023

Uniform 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.

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
  • Backpacks
  • Books
  • Briefcases
  • Calculators
  • Cameras
  • Notes
  • Phones
  • Food or drink
  • Purses
  • Radios
  • Rulers
  • Scratch papers
  • Study materials

Uniform Bar Exam Scores and Grading

Scores of the three tests comprising the UBE are weighted as follows:

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

Individual jurisdictions determine their own passing score. Alaska requires the highest passing score (280). Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, and North Dakota require the lowest passing scores (260).

260266270272273274276280
ALCTMAIDAZORCOAK
MNDCNEME
MOILNHRI
NMIANC
NDKSTN
MDUT
MTVT
NJWA
NYWV
SCWY
VI

*OH and TX have yet to announce their minimum passing UBE scores.
**We recommend checking your state bar examiners’ website well before taking your exam for information regarding the grading of the MEE and MPT.

Uniform Bar Review Course

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

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

FAQ

Do you have to go to law school to take the UBE?

Almost always. Vermont and Washington are the only jurisdictions that allow the UBE to be taken without attending law school. Aspiring lawyers within these jurisdictions are given the option to apprentice with a practicing attorney or judge for a specified amount of time rather than enrolling in law school. Unsurprisingly, your odds at passing are higher if you attend law school.

How much does it cost to take the UBE?

You can expect to pay between $100 to $1400 to register depending on your jurisdiction.

How do you register for the UBE?

First, create an NCBE account, which will create a unique NCBE Number allowing you to then register with the state board of bar examiners. Applicants with qualifying disabilities can apply for accommodations. Each jurisdiction sets its own registrations deadlines, so make sure to check your state board’s website for deadlines.

How do you transfer your UBE score to another jurisdiction?

To transfer UBE scores, you must first submit application forms and pay the required fees by that jurisdiction. Then, you should contact the NCBE to request that your official UBE transcript be sent to that jurisdiction. Finally, you should fulfill any additional jurisdiction-specific requirements.

UBE scores are only transferable from one UBE jurisdiction to another. If a jurisdiction administers the MBE, MEE, and MPT but has not adopted the UBE, your UBE score is not transferable to that jurisdiction. Your score must meet or exceed the minimum passing score of the jurisdiction to which you are applying. Just because you pass in your jurisdiction doesn’t mean you’ll be admitted in another. This also means that if you fail in a state with a high minimum score, you can still apply to transfer your score to a jurisdiction where your score would be considered passing.

When do UBE scores expire? What’s the time limit for transferring your UBE score to another UBE jurisdiction?

2yr25m3yr37m40m4yr5yr
IA*ALCO*IDWAILAK
MOCTAZ
NDKSDC
RIMEOH
UT*MD
MNMA
MN
MT
NE
NC
NH*
NJ
NM
NY
OR
SC
TN*
VI
VT*
WV
WY

*UBE scores are accepted if earned within the first period (2 or 3 years). If submitting scores older than that, UBE scores earned within the second period (5 years) are accepted if accompanied by proof of actively practicing law. Check with the applicable bar admission agency for jurisdiction-specific rules.
**TX has not yet announced its time limit for accepting transferred UBE scores.

How many times can you take the bar exam without receiving special permission to retake?

2x3x4x5x6x
IAAZDCKYID
MDKSLAND
MTNH*RI*UT
SCVTTXPR
SD*†WV*VA

*Includes attempts in other jurisdictions.
†Exception if special permission from South Dakota Supreme Court.

All other jurisdictions have no published limit on the number of times the bar exam can be taken.

How long do you have to wait to get your UBE score back?

Anywhere from 5 to 16 weeks, depending on your jurisdiction and whether you take the exam in July or February.

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