The Ohio Bar Exam

Structure, Topics, Dates, Cost, Scores, and Eligibility

The Ohio Bar Exam adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE®) in 2018 and began administering it in July 2020. The UBE is divided into three sections—the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®). To be accepted to the Ohio Bar, candidates must score above 80% on the additional 25-question, multiple-choice Ohio Law Component (OLC).

Bar candidates that may want to eventually practice law in another state benefit from score portability between the 41 jurisdictions that have adopted the UBE. This article provides everything you need regarding OH Bar Exam results, dates, deadlines, fees, applications, and more.

Ohio Bar Exam Structure

The Uniform Bar Exam is administered over two days and consists of a writing section (MPT/MEE) and a multiple-choice question section (MBE).

  • Day 1 : MPT/MEE
  • Day 2 : MBE


The MPT is weighted at 20% of the UBE and is administered on day one. Examinees are provided with faux case files imitating realistic scenarios and a folder with various legal documents, which they must use to respond to assignments.


The MEE is weighted at 30% of the UBE and is administered on day one. Examinees have 3 hours to answer six 30-minute essay questions.


The MBE is weighted at 50% of the UBE, making it the most heavily weighted section of the Ohio Bar Exam. Examinees will have two 3-hour sessions to answer 200 multiple-choice questions.

Ohio Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling

Aside from saving you stress, preparing your application for the Ohio Bar Exam and submitting it before the first filing deadline will also save you hundreds of dollars. See below for important deadlines, dates, and fees.

Exam Dates

Ohio is a two-application state. Therefore, you must submit an Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission before November 15 in your second year of law school. If you miss this date, you'll have to file for an additional fee before the late filing deadline.

Application to Register as a Candidate for the Ohio Bar Exam - 2023/2024
Filing Periods July 25-26 , 2023 February 27-28, 2024 Fee
Deadline November 15 of second
year of law school
November 15 of second
year of law school
Late Filing
January 15, 2023 August 15, 2023 $275

Next, you must submit your application to take the bar examination. In Ohio, you can submit your application immediately following the end of the previous bar exam. For example, applications for the February exam open the day after the second day of the July exam, and vice versa.

Application to take the Ohio Bar Exam - 2023/2024
Filing Periods July 25-26, 2023 February 27-28, 2024 Fee
First Filing
February 23 - April 1, 2023 July 27 - November 1, 2023 $452
Late Filing
April 2 - May 10, 2023 November 2 - December
10, 2023

*July 2024 exam deadlines are TBD. We will release this information when it becomes available. However, we can assume that the filing periods will be at least somewhat similar.


To sit for the Ohio Bar Exam, applicants must be at least 21 years old and have earned a Juris Doctorate degree (JD) or LL.B from an American Bar Association (ABA) approved law school. Ohio is a two-application state meaning that applicants must submit an Application to Register as a Candidate for admission to the Practice of Law in Ohio by November 15 of their second year in law school or by the late filing deadline (for an additional fee). This registration application is in addition to the application to sit for the bar exam.

Ohio also requires that students have at least one CLE hour on substance abuse prior to sitting for the bar exam. (Certificate must be filed 30 days before the exam). This is unique to Ohio. Applicants typically do this through their law school, but if they didn't go to law school in Ohio, they will need to do it through a CLE provider.


You can schedule your Ohio Bar Exam when you apply. The Supreme Court of Ohio requires bar examinees to submit two applications—an Application to Register as a Candidate and an Application to take the bar examination. All applications must be submitted through the Bar Admissions Portal. To apply, you must submit the following:

  • Law School Character Certificate
  • Applicant's Affidavit
  • Applicant's Supplemental Character Questionnaire
  • Non-refundable Bar Application fee
  • Non-refundable UBE Component Item Fee
Do you know the best way to pass the MBE?
It’s not watching a lengthy video lecture or reading a textbook. It’s practicing with real MBE questions!
Pass the MBE by practicing with real MBE questions.

Ohio Bar Exam Costs and Fees

Ohio is a two-application state. Therefore, you are required to submit an Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission during your second year of law school before you can apply to take the bar exam.

The application is due by November 15 in your second year of law school. If you miss this deadline, you have until January 15 preceding the July exam, or August 15 preceding the February exam, to submit with an additional $200 fee. Following your application as a candidate, you must also apply to sit for the exam.

Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission $75
Application to Take the Bar Exam $452
Application for Re-Examination $452
Application for Admission without Examination $1,500
UBE Score Transfer $750
Foreign Education Evaluation $150
February Bar Exam
Registration Filed b/w Nov 16 – Aug 15 $200
Filed b/w Nov 2 – Dec 10 $100
July Bar Exam
Registration Filed b/w Nov 16 – Jan 15 $200
Filed b/w April 2 – May 10 $100
Copy of Previously Filed Application$10
Certification of MBE Scores$10
Booklet of Bar Exam Question and Selected Answers$10
Certified Copy of Previously Filed Application$15
Copies of Applicant’s Exam Answers$10
ExamSoft Registration$50

Payment Policies

All application fees are non-refundable and must be paid online through the Bar Admissions Portal when you submit your applications. Applicants who file late must pay an additional fee.

Cost-Saving Options

No matter the jurisdiction, pursuing a legal education is expensive, including bar exam/application costs. For Ohio students, we recommend the following cost-saving options to help you with the fees associated with the Ohio Bar Exam:

  1. The Ohio State Bar Association (OBSA) offers various awards and scholarships to law students enrolled in an Ohio law school. For a complete list, check out the OSBA’s Awards & Scholarships web page.
  2. Students attending accredited law schools in Ohio should also check with their university’s financial aid department for available scholarships and other resources.
  3. The American Bar Association (ABA) maintains a list of scholarships and financial aid on its website for various student groups worth exploring.

Ohio Bar Exam Subjects and Topics

The OH bar exam tests an examinee's ability to analyze and reason alongside their knowledge and understanding of fundamental legal principles. Furthermore, since Ohio has adopted the UBE, a successful exam score represents one's competency and readiness to practice law in the 40 other participating jurisdictions.


The MBE is administered in two three-hour sessions on Wednesday (Day 2) of the bar exam. It is scored on a 200-point scale and presents candidates with 200 multiple-choice questions spanning the following subjects, broken down into 25 questions per subject:


The MEE consists of six essay questions. Ultimately, these questions test your ability to think like a lawyer, using logical reasoning to arrive at evidence-based conclusions from the details and facts in a case and:

  • analyze the facts of a hypothetical case,
  • distinguish between relevant and irrelevant materials to the case,
  • articulate in writing a rational analysis of the relevant legal issues presented in a well-reasoned essay, and
  • show an understanding of the legal principles pertinent to the resolution of the case based on the facts presented

Each question involves one or more of the subjects listed below. Some subjects may be paired together. Other subjects could be omitted. While it's impossible to know which subjects the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) will choose on any given exam version, some have been tested more frequently than others historically.

For example, Civil Procedure has appeared on nearly every MEE in the past decade, while Criminal Law has only appeared several times. However, subjects that occur less frequently on their own may be paired with others.

  • Business Associations
  • Civil Procedure
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates

Check out our MEE Subject Matter Outline for detailed explanations of MEE subjects and sub-topics.


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 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 the lowest possible score.

Don’t Leave Your Legal Career Up to Chance!

Pass the MBE Your First Time.

Illustration of partial performance in a contract.

Ohio Bar Exam Scoring/Grading

To be admitted to the Ohio Bar, applicants must pass the UBE with a minimum scaled score of 270 out of 400. Exam weightage is divided between the three sections as follows:


The MEE and MPT are combined for 50% of the bar exam and are 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 270 or more.

Note that getting 135 of 200 questions correct on the writing section does not necessarily mean you've earned 135 scaled 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.

Ohio MPRE Minimum Passing Score

Before you can practice law in Ohio, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) with a minimum score of 85. The MPRE features 60 multiple-choice questions administered over two hours. Check out our article, About the MPRE, to learn more about the mandatory exam.

Ohio Bar Exam Pass Rates

As is typical with bar exams across the country, the Ohio 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.

Exam Overall Pass Rate First-Timer Pass Rate Repeater Pass Rate Results Release Date
Feb. 2023 42% 60% 31% April 28, 2023
July 2022 72% 80% 21% October 28, 2022
Feb. 2022 47% 67% 32% April 29, 2022

Below are the annual pass rates for the Ohio Bar Exam since 2016 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:

Ohio Bar Exam Results

In Ohio, Bar Exam results are typically released approximately 2-3 months following the exam. Examinees can find their results posted in their eBar “My Status” pages. The July 2022 exam results were released on October 28, 2022, and April 28, 2023, for the February 2023 exam.

What Makes the Ohio Bar Exam Unique?

In addition to passing all the components of the bar exam, Ohio Bar candidates must also pass the jurisdiction-specific component for Ohio, known as the Ohio Law Component (OLC). This requirement applies to both applicants sitting for the bar exam in Ohio and those transferring a UBE score from another jurisdiction.

The OLC consists of course outlines and an online, open-book multiple-choice exam on relevant Ohio-specific components. Applicants must earn a score of 80 percent or higher on a 25 multiple-choice question exam to be admitted into the Ohio Bar. Should an examinee fail the OLC, they can re-take it the next business day. Here is an OLC course outline.

Character & Fitness

To sit for the Ohio Bar Exam, applicants must have their character and fitness approved. This process involves passing a background check to ensure that bar applicants are morally and ethically fit to be admitted into the bar. A number of factors are considered during this background check, including criminal convictions, academic misconduct, abuse of legal process, and more (see full list and instructions).

Ohio Bar Exam for Foreigners

Foreigners may sit for the Ohio Bar Exam if their post-secondary education is approved by the World Education Services and Educational Credential Evaluators, Inc. Furthermore, foreigners must complete 30 credit hours at an ABA-approved law school in addition to the legal education they received in a foreign jurisdiction.

20 of the 30 credit hours must be chosen from the following:

  • Legal Research/Writing
  • Business Associations
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law/Criminal Procedure
  • Wills, Trusts and Estates
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Civil Procedure
  • Federal Income Taxes
  • Professional Responsibility/Legal Ethics
  • Property (Real & Personal)
  • Torts
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Articles II, III, & IX)

Final Takeaways

Challenging though it might be, you can pass the Ohio Bar Examination with the right study plan and prep provider. However you choose to prepare for it, we wish you the best of luck with the Ohio Bar Exam.

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 Ohio 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 experts 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 MBE QBank offers customizable flashcards, performance tracking, answers filled with detailed illustrations, readings paired with bite-sized video lectures, and thorough explanations for each answer choice.

Contact Details of Ohio State Bar

The Ohio Supreme Court answers calls Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, except for state and federal holidays.

Ohio Board of Bar Examiners Contact Information
Medium Info
Phone Number 614-387-9340
Fax Number 614-387-9349
Email [email protected]
Address Office of Bar Admissions
Supreme Court of Ohio
65 South Front Street, 5th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
What is the most effective way to pass the MBE?

Practice. Practice. Practice. See what the best practice questions truly look like.

Ohio Bar Exam FAQs

The Ohio Bar exam is offered biannually, once in February, and again in July.
To sit for the Ohio Bar Exam, you must be at least 21 years old and have earned a JD or LL.B from an ABA-approved law school.
The OH Bar Exam lasts two days, with the MEE and MPT lasting 3 hours each on day one, and the MBE lasting 6 hours on day two.
Ohio does not limit the number of times you can retake the Ohio Bar Exam.
Applications for the OH February 2023 and July 2023 exams open on July 28, 2022, and February 29, 2023, respectively. The base application fee is $452, but it increases by $100 if you file late.
Judging by the pass rates from the past three administrations, the OH Bar Exam is about as difficult as other state bar exams.
The minimum passing UBE score for Ohio is 270.
It takes approximately 400 hours to study for the OH Bar Exam. Most students begin studying 8-10 weeks out. However, beginning sooner can increase retention and decrease burnout, so we recommend starting as early as 4-6 months out, if possible.

Anyone wishing to retake the Ohio Bar Exam must submit the Re-Examination Application and pay the $452 application fee. If filing late, there is an additional $100 fee. If four bar exams have passed since the last time a retaker attempted the Ohio Bar Exam, that applicant must resubmit all the applications and fees required for a first-time test taker along with the Re-Examination Application.

Please contact the Office of Bar Admissions at the Supreme Court of Ohio with any questions at 614-387-9340.

Ohio’s admission without bar examination (or admission on motion) is not based on bar reciprocity. However, attorneys practicing law in another jurisdiction may be eligible for admission to the Ohio Bar without examination if and only if the Supreme Court approves their applications.

Ohio will accept admission on motion based on score transfer if the applicant:

  • meets the general requirements for admission to practice law in Ohio;
  • has passed a bar exam and been admitted as an attorney in some other state or the District of Columbia;
  • has been practicing law full-time for at least 5 of the past 10 years immediately preceding the application for admission; and has not failed an Ohio bar exam.

All applicants must also have demonstrated that they possess the required character, fitness, and moral qualifications for admission as determined by the Board of Commissioners on Character and Fitness.

Candidates who took the Ohio Bar Exam can transfer their UBE scores to other UBE jurisdictions if they meet that state’s minimum passing score requirement. Those candidates are also subject to the new state’s bar exam requirements, such as C&F procedures, state-specific tests, and applicable fees.
Candidates wanting to practice in Ohio can transfer their UBE scores from other jurisdictions, provided they scored at least 270.

Ohio will accept UBE scores from other UBE states for five years post-examination. After five years, eligible attorneys from another state may apply for admission without taking the Ohio Bar Exam.

No. Ohio does not accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.
Yes. If you wish to transfer an MBE score earned in Ohio to another jurisdiction that allows such transfers, you must complete, sign, and return a Request for MBE Score Transfer to the Ohio Office of Bar Admissions, along with a personal/cashier’s check or money order for $15 payable to the Supreme Court of Ohio.
To become a licensed attorney in OH, you must graduate from an ABA-approved law school, pass the UBE and the MPRE, pass the Ohio Law Component, and apply for the state bar.
No, you cannot practice law in Ohio without a law degree (Juris Doctorate).

To request special accommodations for the Ohio Bar Exam, you must submit a Statement of Applicant, a Certificate of Medical or Psychological Authority, and a Certificate of Accommodations by than April 1 or May 10 (late filing deadline) for the July exam, and November 1 or December 10 (late filing deadline) for the February exam (details here).

Scroll to Top