The Kentucky Bar Exam
- Constitutional Law
- Criminal Law/Procedure
- Civil Procedure
- Real Property
MPT: Testable items
The MPT consists of closed-universe practical questions with instructions, factual data, cases, statutes, and other reference material supplied by examiners. Candidates will answer two cases presenting simulated real-life scenarios occurring in the fictional jurisdiction of "Franklin." These tasks are designed for examinees to demonstrate their lawyering skills, using only the materials provided by the bar examiners. Each case is assessed on a 6-point scale, with a 6 being the highest possible score and a 0 being the lowest possible score.
Kentucky Bar Exam Scoring/Grading
To be admitted into the Kentucky Bar, applicants must pass the UBE with a minimum scaled score of 266 out of 400. Exam weightage is divided between the three sections as follows:
The MEE and MPT are combined into half the weightage of the test and graded as such. Therefore, the writing section (MEE/MPT) and the multiple-choice section (MBE) each comprise 50%, or 200 points, of your total scaled score. If you do poorly on one section of the exam, you can make up for it on the other, as long as these scores combine to a sum of 266 or more.
Note that getting 133 of 200 MBE questions correct does not necessarily mean you've earned 133 points. Scaled scoring is employed to ensure fairness across exam versions. This scoring model is true for all three sections of the bar exam.
For example, July's exam may be more difficult than February's. It would be unfair to allow someone to pass or fail based on the relative difficulty of their exam version. Therefore, examinees' raw scores are transformed into scaled scores through a statistical method called equating. Unfortunately, the NCBE does not release data on the calculations it uses to determine scaled scores.
Kentucky MPRE Minimum Passing Score
The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) features 60 multiple-choice questions administered over two hours. Before you can practice law in Kentucky, you must pass the MPRE with a minimum score of 80. Applicants must successfully pass the MPRE before they sit for the Kentucky Bar Exam. Check out our article, About the MPRE, to learn more about the mandatory exam.
Kentucky Bar Exam Results and Pass Rates
As is typical with bar exams across the country, the Kentucky Bar Exam's repeater pass rate is markedly lower than the first-timer pass rate. This phenomenon is likely because many examinees who failed the first time haven't changed their study habits significantly.
Below are the annual pass rates for the Kentucky Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:
Kentucky Bar Exam Results
Kentucky Bar Exam results are released approximately nine weeks following the exam. The July 2022 exam results were released on September 30, 2022, and April 1, 2022, for the February 2022 exam.
Kentucky allows admission on motion on the basis that the candidate has been actively engaged in teaching law full-time at an ABA-accredited law school for five of the seven years leading up to their application. Admission on motion candidates must have also graduated from an ABA-accredited law school. Kentucky has reciprocity with the following jurisdictions:
What Makes the Kentucky Bar Exam Unique?
Since Kentucky has adopted the UBE, there is not much that remains unique about its actual bar exam. However, the Supreme Court of Kentucky requires that new lawyers complete the “New Lawyer Program” within one year of being admitted to the bar. This program satisfies Kentucky's Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirement, which requires lawyers to take 12 hours of CLE annually.
Kentucky Bar Exam for foreigners
The Kentucky Board of Bar Examiners requires foreign examinees to have graduated with a JD from an ABA-accredited law school or a foreign law program determined by the Board of Bar Examiners to be a "substantial equivalent of the legal education provided by approved law schools in Kentucky."
Candidates must also prove that they have been engaged in law as a principal occupation for three of the last five years. The burden of proof is on the examinee. Applicants must submit evidence of the court or agency which admitted them to practice in that foreign jurisdiction.
Challenging though it may be, you can ace the Kentucky Bar Examination with the right study plan and the number one recommended full bar review course. Whether you are taking the UBE for the first time or you are a repeater, the best way to be among those who pass the Kentucky Bar Exam is to study with practice questions and mock exams that mimic the actual bar exam.
If practice feels like the real thing, the real thing will feel like practice. The Themis + UWorld full bar review bundle offers 4000+ MBE practice questions. Each question has been curated by our premier team of legal professionals or is licensed by the NCBE.
You'll gain access to 100+ MEE practice essays and 22 MPT practice questions from past exams. In addition, our platform offers customizable flashcards, performance tracking, Qbanks filled with detailed illustrations, readings paired with bite-sized video lectures, and thorough explanations for each question.
Contact Details of the Kentucky State Bar
If you wish to contact the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions office with inquiries regarding the Kentucky Bar Exam, please see the details below.
1510 Newtown Pike, Suite 156
Lexington, KY 40511-1255
To take the bar exam in Kentucky, you must have graduated from an ABA or Kentucky-approved law school or received foreign education of similar quality and duration.
Yes, Kentucky offers reciprocity with these jurisdictions.
Yes, you can transfer your MBE score from another jurisdiction to Kentucky via MBE Score Services.
You can transfer your Kentucky UBE score to another jurisdiction if that jurisdiction allows it. Check with the jurisdiction’s website for details.
What is the time limit for accepting a transferred UBE score in Kentucky (i.e., maximum age of the UBE score)?
Kentucky allows for admission without examination on the basis that the candidate has been actively engaged in teaching law full-time at an ABA-accredited law school for five of the seven years leading up to their application. For details on the process, see the “Reciprocity” section of this article.
To request special accommodation for the Kentucky Bar Exam, you must fill out the Non-Standard Testing Verification Forms and provide all required documentation no later than February 1 for the July exam and October 1 for the February Exam.