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What You Should Know About the Georgia Bar Exam

The Georgia Bar Exam assesses law graduates and prospective Georgia bar applicants' understanding of legal concepts governing the laws and statutes of the state of Georgia. This article will cover the Georgia Bar Exam in detail to help you know what to expect and prepare for the exam confidently.

Eligibility & Registration

Candidates seeking admission to practice law in Georgia must complete a two-step process, submitting two applications with separate filing deadlines and registration fees.

Candidates should read all the rules and policies governing admission to the practice of law in Georgia to ensure proper and timely applications.

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Exam Dates & Schedule

The Georgia Bar Exam follows a two-day schedule.

  • Day 1 features two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions in the morning and four 45-minute essay questions in the afternoon.
  • Day 2 features the 200-question, multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), with 100 questions offered in the morning and the remaining 100 in the afternoon.
Bar Exam Dates Regular Filing Period Final Filing Period($200 late fee applies) Transcript Deadline Accommodations Deadline
July 26–27, 2022 April 8, 2022, through June 1, 2022 June 1, 2022 through July 1, 2022 June 30, 2022 June 30, 2022
February 21–22, 2023 November 9, 2022, through January 4, 2023 January 4, 2023, Through TBA January 31, 2023 December 1, 2022

Structure & Subjects

  1. MBE

The following MBE subjects are tested on the Georgia Bar Exam:

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts/Sales
  • Criminal Law/Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Torts

You may find a complete list of subjects and subtopics here: MBE Subject Matter Outline.

  1. Georgia-Specific Essays

In addition to the above MBE topics, the GA Bar Exam essay questions will test applicants on these subjects:

  • Business Organizations
  • Family Law
  • Federal Practice and Procedure
  • Georgia Practice and Procedure
  • Non-Monetary Remedies
  • Professional Ethics
  • Trusts
  • Wills and Estates
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Articles 2, 3, & 9)
  1. Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The GA Bar Exam features two 90-minute performance test questions presenting a legal scenario that challenges you to determine how a lawyer would approach a resolution in response to the given scenario. The questions will include detailed documents with relevant and irrelevant information and facts, assessing your lawyering skills in filtering through the data to determine what is material to the case and arrive at a logical conclusion.

Note: Before you can practice law in Georgia, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). The MPRE features 60 multiple-choice questions administered over two hours, and candidates must earn a scaled score of 75 or higher to be admitted into the Georgia Bar.

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Scoring and Pass rates

GA Bar Exam Scoring

Admission into the Georgia Bar requires applicants to pass with a scaled score of 270.

  • The MPT and essays scale to the MBE and applicants must earn a score of 115 on the MBE for the MPT and essays to be graded.
  • Applicants with a combined score between 265 and 269 will have the opportunity to have their MPT questions and essays re-graded.

The Georgia Bar Exam requires applicants to achieve a minimum score of 115, so it is wise to prepare to ace the MBE.

GA Bar Exam Pass Rates

Georgia Bar Exam Results Overall Pass Rate First-Timer Pass Rate Repeater Pass Rate Results Release Date
February 2022 TBA TBA TBA TBA
July 2021 64.4% 79.9% 14.1% October 12, 2021
February 2021 45.9% 69.4% N/A May 21, 2021

Source: Bar Exam Results by Jurisdiction - NCBE

Georgia Bar Exam Reciprocity

Applicants from other jurisdictions can be admitted into the Georgia Bar without taking the GA Bar Exam if they meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • Must be a member of a reciprocating state bar (for a list of Georgia's reciprocal jurisdictions, visit Georgia Bar Admission on Motion without Examination)
  • Must have actively been practicing law for 5 of the 7 years immediately preceding the application
  • Must also meet education requirements

What Makes the Georgia Bar Exam Unique?

Georgia has not adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE); instead of the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the Georgia Bar Exam offers Georgia-focused essays along with the MBE and MPT components.

Costs & Fees and Filing Deadlines

Registration fees for the Georgia Bar Exam vary by application type and filing deadline.

The first step to admission into the Georgia Bar is to file the Fitness Application and receive a valid Certification of Fitness to Practice Law. The Character and Fitness fee schedule is as follows:

Type of Application Fee
Fitness Application for the two-day exam if filed prior to the award of the first professional degree in law $400
Fitness Application for the two-day exam if filed between the award of the first professional degree in law and within one year thereof $600
Fitness Application for the two-day exam if filed more than one year after the award of the first professional degree in law $700
Fitness Application for the one-day Attorneys' Examination $900

Once you receive notification that you've been issued a Certification of Fitness to practice law in Georgia, you may apply to sit for the GA Bar Exam. The Georgia Bar Exam application fee schedule is as follows:

Type of Bar Exam Application Regular Application Period Filing Fee Final Application Period Filing Fee (After June 3rd)
Two-Day Bar Exam Application $442 $642
One-Day Attorneys' Exam Application $378 $578

Source: Deadlines and Fees for Fitness Application and Bar Exam Application

Cost-Saving Options

The journey to the bar can get expensive. The good news is that scholarships are available to law students and graduates to help with the costs associated with bar exam preparation and application.

  • The University of Georgia School of Law offers several prestigious awards valued at or above full tuition to admitted students. Learn more at Authentic Scholarships | University of Georgia School of Law.
  • The Gate City Bar Association offers annual scholarships for minority students enrolled in a law school in Georgia or Georgia residents enrolled in a law school outside the state. Learn more at Gate City Bar Association.
  • The Georgia Association For Women Lawyers (GAWL) offers an annual scholarship to deserving women law students in Georgia. Learn more at GAWL Foundation Scholarships.
  • The Law School Admission Council (LSAC) has compiled a list of available scholarships for various groups of law students. Check out the complete list here: Law School Scholarships and Grants | LSAC.

As a Georgia Bar Exam applicant, it would behoove you to research these and other resources and apply to as many scholarships as possible to offset your bar exam registration and/or bar prep costs.

Final Takeaways

The Georgia Bar Exam will challenge your ability to think like a lawyer and your mastery of Georgia law and statutes. But, as with all high-stakes exams, preparing with the bar prep review will help you perform well on the MBE and Georgia essays, improving your chances of passing the GA Bar Exam. And, with unlimited reattempts, if you don't succeed at first, try again until you achieve the minimum passing score of 270. Good luck!

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Georgia Bar Exam FAQs

The Georgia Bar Exam is administered twice a year—on the first Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. 

With overall pass rates of 64.4% and 45.9% for all July 2021 and February 2021 test-takers, respectively, the GA Bar Exam is a challenge that requires your diligent preparation to pass.
For the most recently released results (July 2021), the overall pass rate was 64.4% for all test-takers and 79.9% for first-time test-takers.
The GA Bar Exam lasts two days. Day 1’s two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions last 3 hours (90 minutes each), and the four Georgia-specific essay questions last 3 hours (45 minutes each). Day 2’s MBE lasts 6 hours (3 hours per session).
Georgia has no limits on the number of times you can take the bar exam, meaning if you fail the bar exam on your first try, you can keep trying until you pass.
Your MBE and essay scores are scaled and combined to determine if you achieved a minimum passing score of 270. You must earn a minimum MBE score of 115.
The Supreme Court of Georgia Office of Bar Admissions releases February exam results in late May and the July exam results in October.
No. Georgia does not currently accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.

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