The Georgia Bar Exam
Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility
The Georgia Bar Exam is developed and administered by the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners and the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®). The only component of the exam that is not part of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) is the essay component, which tests an examinee's knowledge and understanding of the rules of law of Georgia.
This article provides detailed information about the Georgia Bar Exam, including essay topics, results, pass rates, requirements, important dates and deadlines, subjects, costs and fees, format, and scoring.
Georgia Bar Exam Structure
The GA Bar Exam is administered over two days. Each day is divided into two three-hour sessions.
|Georgia Bar Exam Structure|
|Day One||MPT items 1 and 2||4 essay questions|
|Day Two||100 MBE multiple-choice questions||100 MBE multiple-choice questions|
You'll have three hours on the morning of the first day to complete both Multistate Performance Test (MPT®) items, and there are no breaks between items. After a lunch break of about an hour, you'll have another three hours to answer four essay questions. Day two of the Georgia Bar Exam follows the same general schedule but is entirely dedicated to the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®).
Half of your total bar exam score rests on your scaled MBE score. The MBE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that examinees must answer within six hours. It tests one's ability to apply fundamental legal principles and reasoning to various fact patterns.
Note that 25 of the 200 MBE questions are pilot questions for future exams and are not scored. Nevertheless, be sure to answer each question as though it will be scored, as there is no way of knowing which questions are pilot questions.
The Georgia-specific essay component of the exam consists of four essay questions that examinees have three hours to answer. The fact patterns of these questions may be pulled from a pool of eight Georgia-specific subjects (see below) and the seven MBE subjects. You will not know which subjects are being tested until you sit for the exam.
The MPT consists of two tasks that simulate real-world lawyering assignments. Examinees are provided a "library" of laws and a "file" of facts and are given 90 minutes to complete an assignment from a "supervising attorney." Understand that these laws and facts are set in the fictitious jurisdiction of "Franklin." You cannot study them beforehand.
Georgia Bar Exam Dates, Requirements and Scheduling
The Georgia Bar Exam is administered twice a year. Once in February and again in July. Preparing your application and submitting it before the deadline is of ultimate importance. Applications submitted during the final filing period require a $500 late fee.
The table below breaks down the schedule for the upcoming GA Bar Exam administrations:
|Bar Exam Dates||July Bar Exam
(July 25-26, 2023)
|February Bar Exam*
(Feb. 27–28, 2024)
|Regular Filing Period||March 1, 2023 to June 1, 2023||October 3, 2023 to January 1, 2024|
|Final Filing Period||June 1, 2023 to June 15, 2023||Jan. 2, 2024 to Jan. 15, 2024|
|Transcript Deadline||June 30, 2023||Jan. 31, 2024|
|Accommodations Deadline||May 1, 2023||December 1, 2023|
|Laptop Registration Period||TBA||Jan. 10, 2024 to Feb. 2, 2024|
*These were the filing deadlines for the July 2023 exam. The deadline for the July 2024 exam is TBD. While we cannot guarantee that the deadlines will be the same, they will likely be around the same time. We will update this with official information as soon as it becomes available.
To sit for the Georgia Bar Exam, you must have graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) or LL.B from a law school approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) or the Georgia Board of Bar Examiners and be of sound character and fitness as defined by the Supreme Court of Georgia.
Candidates seeking admission to practice law in Georgia must complete a two-step process, submitting two applications with separate filing deadlines and registration fees.
- Step 1: Create a personal account on the Supreme Court of Georgia Office of Bar Admissions' website and then submit an Application for Certification of Fitness.
- Step 2: Once the Fitness Board has issued you a Certification of Fitness to practice law, file a Bar Exam Application to gain eligibility to sit for a bar exam.
Candidates should read all the rules and policies governing admission to the practice of law in Georgia to ensure proper and timely applications.
Georgia Bar Exam Costs and Fees
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||$450|
|Fitness Application for the two-day exam if filed between the award of the first professional degree in law and within one year thereof||$750|
|Fitness Application for applicants who wish to sit for the one-day Attorneys' Examination||$1,200|
|Petition for Admission of Foreign-Educated Applicant (which includes a Fitness Application)||$1,000|
|Petition to determine eligibility for Admission on Motion without Exam (which includes a Fitness Application)||$2,500|
|Fitness Application for Foreign Law Consultant||$1,500|
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
|Filing Fee Charged
|Two-day bar exam application filed by current law student||$400||$96|
|Two-day bar exam application filed by law school graduate||$550||$96|
|One-Day Attorneys' Exam Application||$550||$30|
Fitness Application fees must be paid by credit card (Visa/Mastercard) in addition to a $10 convenience fee. You may also deliver a money order or cashier's check payable to the Board of Bar Examiners to the Office of Bar Admissions.
After your Fitness Application has been approved, you can apply for the Georgia Bar Exam. The Office of Bar Admissions will review your request, and you will receive instructions within two days detailing how to pay the filing fee.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Georgia Bar Exam Subjects and Topics
The GA Bar Exam tests an examinee's knowledge and understanding of foundational legal principles and the unique rules of law of the state of Georgia. Furthermore, Georgia has adopted the MBE component of the UBE, which covers federal law across seven subjects.
The following MBE subjects are tested on the Georgia Bar Exam:
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law/Procedure
- Federal Civil Procedure
- Real Property
You may find a complete list of subjects and subtopics here: MBE Subject Matter Outline.
In addition to the above MBE topics, the GA Bar Exam essay questions will test applicants on these subjects:
Brush up on the formation of business organizations and their structures (i.e., limited liability companies), and corporate law.
Deals with rules of law that regulate matters relating to the family, such as divorce, alimony, child custody, etc.
You should be familiar with federal civil, criminal, and appellate procedures. Study rules of evidence, the jurisdiction of federal courts, venue, the relation of state and federal courts, res judicata, and the interpretation and application of rules of law by federal courts.
Dive into Civil Procedure as it relates to Georgia. Study trial courts, venue, validity of judgments, and constitutional and statutory provisions allocating jurisdictions.
Covers issues regarding protected activity for employees. Understand what constitutes an illegal firing and how the General Counsel seeks back pay.
Study standards of conduct and rules of law that regulate the relationship between client and lawyer, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and rules of arbitration professional standards of conduct.
Brush up on decedents’ estates, family protection, living wills, and trusts.
The Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) was designed to harmonize commercial transactions and sales laws across the US.
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.
Georgia MPRE Requirements
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) is a 2-hour, 60-multiple-choice question exam that assesses an examinee's knowledge of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. You must register throught the NCBE for 1 of 3 annual administrations (April, August, November). You can take the Georgia Bar Exam even if you haven’t taken the MPRE but Georgia requires a passing MPRE score to receive a Certifcatte of Eligibility to Practice Law.
Georgia Bar Exam Minimum Passing MPRE Score
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.
Georgia Bar Exam Scoring, Results and Pass Rates
The Georgia Bar Exam employs scaled scoring to ensure fairness across exam versions. Scaled scoring accounts for the fact that one exam administration may be more or less difficult than another administration. For example, February's exam may be more difficult than July's. It wouldn't be fair if you failed because you just happened to receive a harder exam version. To solve this, your raw scores are transformed into scaled scores through a statistical method called equating.
Georgia bar exam scoring/grading
Admission into the Georgia Bar requires applicants to pass with a scaled score of 270.Each section of the exam is weighted as follows:
- MPT — 21.4%
- Essay— 28.6%
- MBE — 50%
Raw scores on the MPT will be multiplied by 1.5 and added to raw scores on the essay section. The sum of the raw scores on the written section (MPT/Essay) will then be converted to the 200-point MBE scale. The sum of your scaled MBE and written scores must be 270 or more. Applicants with a combined score between 265 and 269 will have their MPT questions and essays automatically re-graded.
GA Bar Exam results and pass rates
The Supreme Court of Georgia Office of Bar Admissions releases February exam results in late May and the July exam results in October.
65% of examinees passed the July 2022 Georgia Bar Exam, and 50% passed the February 2022 exam. You'll notice in the table below that pass rates are markedly lower for repeat takers. This phenomenon likely occurs when examinees fail to change their study habits.
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.
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
Georgia bar exam for foreigners
Foreigners may sit for the Georgia Bar Exam if they have graduated from a law school sanctioned by the foreign country's government and regulated by the state that is approved by an evaluation body or is authorized to practice law in a foreign jurisdiction. Foreigners who have been awarded an LL.M degree from an ABA-approved law school may also sit for the bar exam.
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!
Contact details of Georgia state bar
The Georgia Board of Bar Examiners' phone lines are open from Monday to Thursday from 8:30 am and 4:30 pm EST and on Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm EST. However, the best way to contact the Board is via email.
|Georgia Board of Bar Examiners Contact Information|
Supreme Court of Georgia
Office of Bar Admissions
Nathan Deal Judicial Center
330 Capitol Avenue, SE
Atlanta, GA 30334
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 65% and 50% for all July 2022 and February 2022 test-takers, respectively. The GA Bar Exam is a challenge that requires diligent preparation to pass.
The GA Bar Exam lasts two days. Day one consists of the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), which lasts 3 hours (90 minutes for each task), followed by the four Georgia-specific essay questions lasting 3 hours (45 minutes each). Day two consists of the MBE, which lasts 6 hours (3 hours per session).
There is a $400 base fee to apply for both days of the Georgia Bar Exam and a $96 NCBE filing fee. Final filing deadlines are January 15, 2023, and June 15, 2023, for the February and July exams, respectively.
To take the bar exam in Georgia, you must have a JD or LL.M. degree from an approved law school.
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.
Students typically take about 8-10 weeks of full-time study leading up to the Georgia Bar Exam.
For a list of Georgia’s reciprocal jurisdictions, visit Georgia Bar Admission on Motion without Examination.
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.
For the most recently released results (July 2022), the overall pass rate was 65% for all test-takers and 77% for first-time test-takers.
No. Georgia does not currently accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.
To become a licensed attorney in Georgia, you must graduate with a JD from an ABA-approved law school, pass the bar exam, and be admitted to the Georgia bar by The Georgia Office of Bar Admissions.
You must have a law degree (JD) from an ABA-approved law school to practice law in Georgia.
To request non-standard testing accommodations, you must complete an application and submit it.