About the MPRE®

A Comprehensive Guide to the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination

In 1980, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) first administered the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). To practice law in the United States, except in Wisconsin and Puerto Rico, all applicants who pass the bar exam must also pass the MPRE. Before registering for the MPRE, you should consult with the bar admission agency in the jurisdiction where you are applying for admission. Each jurisdiction sets its own minimum passing score. The MPRE determines your professional ability, sincerity, and readiness to take the moral high ground as an attorney! Let's study this in detail!

When is the MPRE administered?

The MPRE is administered three times per year, in March, August, and November. There is a $150 registration fee that must be paid by 11:59 p.m CT on the registration deadline. Usually, MPRE examinees can sign up for the exam for the next year beginning in December. However, the registration for the March 2023 MPRE opened on August 31, 2022. Registration for the August and November exams is scheduled to open later this year. The 2023 MPRE dates and deadlines are listed below.

Test Administration Recommended Submission Date to Apply for Accommodations Registration Deadline
March 28 or 29, 2023 December 5, 2022 January 26, 2023
August 9 or 10, 2023 April 25, 2023 June 8, 2023
November 2 or 3, 2023 July 24, 2023 September 12, 2023

Note: Please stay in contact with your respective State Board of Examiners to stay up to date about MPRE registration deadlines.

What is the purpose of the MPRE test?

The MPRE is the disciplinary exam administered by the American Bar Association (ABA) to assess a candidate’s professional conduct as outlined in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Model Code of Judicial Conduct.

The MPRE evaluates an applicant's knowledge of the rules governing a lawyer's ethical behavior. The MPRE does not gauge a candidate's personal moral character.

Lawyers perform a wide range of responsibilities, including those of an advocate, counselor, and even judge. Lawsuits seeking to establish liability for malpractice and other civil or criminal wrongs committed by a lawyer while acting in a professional capacity, as well as disciplinary and bar admission procedures, all include the application of the law governing the conduct of lawyers in these roles.

MPRE Exam Format, Structure and Exam Duration

Pearson VUE provides the computers utilized to administer the MPRE at the testing sites. There are a total of 60 multiple-choice questions on the MPRE; 50 are scored and 10 are pretest questions. There is no way to tell which questions will be scored and which questions will not. Therefore, it's in your best interest to answer them all.

There are four possible answers to each question on the MPRE. From the four options provided, select the one that best fits the context. The number of correct answers counts as your total score. Getting an answer wrong will not result in a loss of points (no negative marking). The MPRE is a two-hour exam. and it will end immediately when the allotted two hours are up.

Each question includes a scenario, a question prompt, and four possible choices. All the answer options will start with a yes or a no and then ask you to explain your answer. Few examples of the tested topics are

  • Is the attorney subject to discipline?
  • May the legal counsel withdraw? and
  • Do you think the lawyer acted in good faith?

MPRE Exam Day

The exam typically begins at 8:30 AM, though this timing may be adjusted depending on the number of candidates enrolled. Therefore, if you come to the testing location a little early, you may anticipate spending three to four hours there. (Please note you will not be allowed to take the exam if you are late.)

The NCBE website has the most up-to-date list of what you can and cannot bring with you to the test center. Please make sure to refer to the aforementioned list to view items you can and cannot bring into the MPRE.

What exactly are the MPRE Test Accommodations?

If you have a disability that requires special exam arrangements, you must submit a request for accommodations (such as extended testing time). The MPRE Test Day Policies document explains how the test is administered and what you may and may not bring with you on test day. To apply for MPRE Test Accommodations, visit the NCBE official website for MPRE Test Accommodations and refer to the chart above about recommended submission dates to apply for them.

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Stack of Themis MPRE Complete Online Preparation books.

What are the Subjects/Topics Tested on the MPRE?

The NCBE MPRE Subject Matter Outline provides a general estimate of how frequently each topic may be tested on the exam. Please find a summary of the MPRE subjects covered on the MPRE below with their individual distribution percentages:

Conflicts of interest
12 - 18%
Client-lawyer relationship
10 - 16%
Litigation and other forms of advocacy
10 - 16%
Competence, legal malpractice, and other civil liability
6 - 12%
Client confidentiality
6 - 12%
Regulation of the legal profession
6 - 12%
Different roles of the lawyer
4 - 10%
Judicial conduct
2 - 8%
Communications about legal services
4 - 8%
Transactions and communications with individuals other than clients
2 - 8%
Safekeeping funds and other property
2 - 8%
Lawyers’ duties to the public and the legal system
2 - 4%

When Should You Take the MPRE, and Why Is It Important?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. Law students typically take the MPRE in August between their second and third years of law school or a few months after their final professional responsibilities class. You shouldn't take the MPRE before you've had a chance to prepare for it. You should take the MPRE when it is most convenient for you, but you should be strategic with your timing. For instance, you probably shouldn't take the MPRE right after you take the bar exam because you will most likely be too exhausted to perform well.

Students prefer the August MPRE over exam dates during the school year because there is less of a need to balance MPRE preparation with coursework. If you fail on your first attempt, it's essential to set aside some time in your schedule for retrying. You must pass the MPRE to become an attorney in the United States (with the exception of Wisconsin and Puerto Rico).

MPRE Computerization

As opposed to the previous handwritten MPRE, the MPRE is now a computerized exam, meaning that you will take your exam on an electronic device provided by Pearson VUE, which now administers the MPRE. During the test, the Pearson VUE Test Administrator(TA) will provide you with an erasable whiteboard and a pen. These materials are to remain in the testing room during the exam and be returned to the TA immediately following the exam. It is against the rules to use the whiteboard until the exam has begun.

Please note the following:

  • Confirm that you will be taking the MPRE.
  • Raise your hand if you run out of note paper or markers during the test, and the TA will bring you more.
  • The TA will grant you access to the designated computer.
  • The MPRE Certification and Instructions screen will remain open for up to five minutes.
  • After five minutes, or when you click Next, the MPRE will begin.
  • You must stay in your seat until a TA shows you out of the testing room unless otherwise ordered.
  • You are not allowed to talk to any of the other candidates at any time during the exam, including any breaks.
  • The two-hour MPRE does not include any scheduled breaks.
  • Raise your hand and wait for the TA's instructions if you need to take an unscheduled break (e.g., to stand and stretch or to use the restroom).
  • When you leave the exam room, you must take your ID with you.
  • The testing facility prohibits you from leaving the premises or retrieving any goods you may have brought with you.

How Should You Prepare for the MPRE?

As the saying goes, "practice makes perfect." The more you practice, the more likely you are to pass the MPRE. In terms of difficulty, the MPRE is less demanding than the bar exam. A crucial part of preparing for the MPRE is the ability to devote a sufficient number of hours studying for the MPRE and not worry about other exams. We have formulated the ideal strategy to help you focus your time and energy on studying for the MPRE:

  • One month after your bar exam: Schedule your MPRE in the NCBE portal, and ensure that you read through all policies and guidelines.
  • Three–Four months after your bar exam: Start researching MPRE subjects, mock papers, and the scoring system.
  • One month before your MPRE: Make the ABA outlined code of conduct your tool for success!
Study smarter, not harder, with Themis MPRE Review!
Law student using Themis’s MPRE Complete Outline Preparation to study for the MPRe.


All but two US jurisdictions (Wisconsin and Puerto Rico) require passing MPRE for entrance to the bar.

Yes, the MPRE is a multiple-choice exam. It consists of 60 questions, of which 50 are scored and 10 are pretest questions.

Ensure your jurisdiction permits you to take the MPRE after passing the bar exam. Even among jurisdictions that administer the UBE, the regulations can differ. For example, the requirements for obtaining a passing score on the MPRE can be accomplished in a much longer time frame in some UBE jurisdictions than in others. Candidates in Arizona have the option of taking the MPRE either two years before the bar exam or five years after.

The MPRE is not considered an extremely tough exam, though some subtleties are involved. However, the difficulty level differs from candidate to candidate. So, it’s always good to make that judgment for yourself.

The MPRE is administered three times per year; in March, August, and November.

Several law students take the MPRE in August between their 2L and 3L years, or a few months after the completion of their professional responsibilities course. We would advise against taking the MPRE before studying professional responsibilities in law school.

There is no limit to how many times you can take the MPRE. One successful attempt is all it takes!

The MPRE consists of 60 MCQs, of which 10 are pretest unscored questions.

Read more about the MPRE

What are the eligibility requirements for the MPRE? How much would it cost me? Discover the answers to all your MPRE questions here!

Cracked the bar exam? It’s time to schedule one last exam before you become a licensed attorney! Learn the latest MPRE dates and schedule your MPRE today!

Wondering what to study for your MPRE? Well, we’ve got you covered! Learn the MPRE Subject Outline here! And get access to some expert MPRE tips!

What is the MPRE Passing Score in Alaska? Discover the world of MPRE numbers, the grading system, and the latest pass rates here!

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