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 November 2022
The Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) is a standardized exam that has been adopted in 40 (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, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming, and the Virgin Islands.
For the most updated information regarding which jurisdictions have adopted the UBE, check the NCBE’s official map.
The following are not UBE jurisdictions:
California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, *Hawaii, *Mississippi, Nevada, *South Dakota, Virginia, *Wisconsin, *Guam, *Northern Mariana Islands, *Palau, Louisiana, and Puerto Rico.
*These jurisdictions are not considered UBE jurisdictions, because part of their bar exam is jurisdiction specific. However, they do test all parts of the UBE (the MBE, MEE, and MPT) on their bar exam.
July 2021 (46,866 takers)
July 2020 (41,375 takers)
February 2021 (17,967 takers)
February 2020 (19,409 takers)
|Access Period||Lifetime||8-10 weeks||4 months||4 months||Up to 3 years||Lifetime|
|Financing||3 payments||$250 registration|
|Phone||(385) 482-1776||(888) 322-7274||(888) 843-6476||(626) 390-7170||(877) 942-2763||(800) 529-2651|
Last updated: 1/7/23
*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 $970 and includes 1,750+ 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 $1,999-4,199 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 $2,695 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 $1,299-2,599 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 $1,895 and includes 1,700+ NCBE questions.
BarMax offers lifetime access to its online products.
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).
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.
Crushendo offers affordable, comprehensive written and audio outlines for MBE subjects (in addition to MEE and MPRE subjects).
Watch Crushendo’s free MBE tips video.
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.
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.
Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates
What to bring
- Your current driver’s license.
- Your Bar Examination Identification & Certification Card that has your photo, NCBE number, and examinee number.
- 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.
- Any item that can connect to the internet
- Any item that can record audio or video
- Food or drink
- Scratch papers
- Study materials
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).
*We recommend checking your state bar examiners’ website well before taking your exam for information regarding the grading of the MEE and MPT.
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?
*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?
*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.