Ultimate Guide to Wisconsin State Bar Exam

Your complete guide to Wisconsin 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 July 2022

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Wisconsin State Bar Exam | Basic Information

The State Bar of Wisconsin was started in 1900. It includes more than 25,000 legal professionals.

Wisconsin is not a Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) state, because part of the Wisconsin Bar Exam is jurisdiction specific. However, the Wisconsin Bar Exam includes each component of the UBE: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

Wisconsin State Bar Exam Pass Rates

February 2022

Overall Pass Rate: 41%
First-Time Pass Rate: 56%
Repeat Pass Rate: 18%

February 2021 (72 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 54%
First-Time Pass Rate: unknown
Repeat Pass Rate: unknown

July 2021 (134 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 63%
First-Time Pass Rate: 73%
Repeat Pass Rate: 33%

July 2020 (132 takers)

Overall Pass Rate: 69%
First-Time Pass Rate: 81%
Repeat Pass Rate: 29%

Wisconsin Bar Review Courses

Compare top Wisconsin bar exam prep courses from CrushendoBarbriThemisKaplanAmeriBar, and BarMax.

Crushendo Barbri Themis Kaplan AmeriBar BarMax
*Cost $970 $1,999-4,199 $2,695 $2,199-3,999 $1,299-2,599 $1,895
Facebook Rating 5.0 Disabled 4.8 Disabled Disabled 4.3
Google Rating 5.0 N/A 2.8 3.2 N/A N/A
NCBE Questions 1,750+ 100+ 1,350+ 1,200+ 1,400+ 1,700+
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: 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.

Wisconsin Bar Exam Format

What’s the format of the Wisconsin Bar?

The Wisconsin bar is administered twice each year in Wisconsin (in February and July). The examination is administered over two days in four, three-hour sessions. The Wisconsin bar has two parts: the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) and the Wisconsin essays.


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 score.

Wisconsin Essays

The essay questions consist of several legal essays. These essays make up 50% of your score. The essays vary by exam and may include questions from the MEE, the MPT, and from the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners.

Essay topics include:

• Agency and Partnership
• Business Organizations (corporations, partnerships, associations, and sole proprietorships)
• Civil Procedure (pleading and practice, and jurisdiction of courts)
• Commercial Law (including sales, secured transactions, and negotiable instruments)
• Conflicts of Laws
• Constitutional Law (federal)
• Contracts
• Criminal Law & Procedure
• Evidence
• Family Law (domestic relations)
• Limited Liability Companies
• Professional Responsibility (ethics and legal responsibilities of the profession)
• Property (includes real estate)
• Taxation (federal)
• Torts
• Trusts & Estates

You can order past Wisconsin bar essays for a fee of $25.

Upcoming Bar Exam Schedule, Dates, Location


Morning Afternoon
Day 1 Wisconsin Essays Wisconsin Essays


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


Wisconsin Bar Exam Application

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

The Wisconsin Bar application fee for most takers is $450. There is a $200 late fee.

*Visit the Wisconsin State Bar’s website for more information.

If you desire to take the bar exam in February, you should submit your application by December 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between December 2 and January 1, there is a $200 late fee. January 1 is the final deadline.

If you desire to take the bar exam in July, you should submit your application by May 1 to avoid late fees. If you file between May 2 and June 1, there is a $200 late fee. June 1 is the final deadline.

In addition to passing the Wisconsin bar exam with a score of at least 258, there are several requirements that must be met in order to be admitted as an attorney in Wisconsin, including:

  1. Certificate from Committee of Character and Fitness
  2. Be a graduate of an ABA approved law school

Wisconsin State Bar Admissions Office

Physical address:

Board Of Bar Examiners
110 East Main Street, Suite 715
P.O. Box 2748
Madison, WI 53701-2748


Phone number: (608) 266-9760

Wisconsin Bar Exam: What to Bring

Allowed Items

  • Wallet and keys
  • Photo ID
  • Pencil for MBE

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
  • Purses
  • Radios
  • Rulers
  • Scratch papers
  • Study materials

Find more information on allowed items here.

Wisconsin Bar Exam Scores and Grading

A passing score for the bar in Wisconsin is 258. Scores of the three tests comprising the bar are weighted as follows:

  • MBE = 50% of your total score
  • Wisconsin Essays = 50% of your total score

*MPRE is not required


Wisconsin Bar Review Course

Crushendo’s comprehensive UBE Suite comes with everything you need to crush the MBE, MEE, and MPT on the Wisconsin Bar Exam.

  • 1350+ Licensed NCBE MBE Practice Questions
  • Audio Attack Outlines
  • Flashcards
  • Lifetime Access

Wisconsin Bar Exam Results

Frequently Asked Questions

When are my Wisconsin bar exam results released?

Wisconsin bar exam results are usually posted six to nine weeks after the exam date.

Can I see my Wisconsin bar exam score?

If you passed the exam, you can not see your score. You may be able to see your score if you failed.

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


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

You can take the Wisconsin bar without limit.

Wisconsin Bar Exam Reciprocity

Wisconsin has reciprocity with all states and territories if reciprocity requirements are met:

  • Actively practice law for three of the last five years
  • Meet Character and Fitness requirements

Law Schools in Wisconsin

Here’s a list of law schools in Wisconsin.

University of Wisconsin-Madison Law School

  • Founded: 1868
  • Located: Madison, WI
  • Enrollment: about 650
  • Tuition Cost: $44,383 View tuition breakdown
  • Bar Passage Rate: 100%
  • ABA Accredited: Yes
  • Website: law.wisc.edu

Marquette University Law School