The South Carolina Bar Exam

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

The South Carolina Bar Exam switched to the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE®) in February 2017, which consists of three parts: the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE®), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT®), and the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®). Candidates who may want to practice law in other states can use their scores from the UBE, which is accepted by 41 jurisdictions. This article covers all the information needed for the SC Bar Exam, including results, dates, deadlines, fees, and application details.

South Carolina Bar Exam Structure

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

  • Day 1 : MPT/MEE
  • Day 2 : MBE


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


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 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.

South Carolina Bar Exam Dates, Requirements, and Scheduling

You can begin filling out your applications for the South Carolina State Bar Exam as soon as August 1, 2023, for the February 2024 exam and December 1, 2023, for the July 2024 exam.

Exam dates

It's important not to procrastinate as the fee to submit an application to sit for the South Carolina Bar Exam increases by $500 after the timely filing deadline. The 2023 exam filing deadlines are as follows:

Deadlines February Exam July Exam Fee
Timely Filing Aug. 31, 2023 Jan. 10, 2024 $1,000
Late Filing Sept. 30, 2023 Jan. 31, 2024 $1,500


The State Supreme Court of South Carolina stipulates that applicants must have graduated with a Juris Doctorate (JD) or LLB from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association to sit for the SC Bar Exam. Applicants must also undergo a character and fitness interview before they can be admitted to the South Carolina Bar, but it is not required to sit for the exam.


To schedule your appointment to take the South Carolina Bar Exam, you first must create an account with the Supreme Court of South Carolina Office of Bar Admissions and submit your application and all documents before the final filing deadline. Note that you won’t be able to create an account until 15 days before the filing period opens. You'll also need to input your National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) number when you register, so create an NCBE account if you don't already have one.

The application process is divided into two parts:

  • Part A — Completed and submitted online. See sample screenshot.
  • Part B — Word document that must be mailed or delivered to the Office of Bar Admissions with required attachments and fees. See sample document.
Mailing Address Office of Bar Admissions
Supreme Court of South Carolina
P.O. Box 11330 Columbia, SC 29211
Application drop off for Part B Office of Bar Admissions
Supreme Court Building 1231 Gervais Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Your dedicated Themis attorney will personally grade your essays and provide feedback.
A licensed attorney Themis essay grader looking at a Themis student’s MEE answer.

South Carolina Bar Exam Cost and Fees

Costs and fees associated with the South Carolina Bar Exam vary depending on status and filing date. Below is a detailed and up-to-date list of exam-related fees.

Application Fees
Timely Filing $1,000
Late Filing $1,500
For Attorneys (+)$750
Reapplication $1,000
Other Application Fees
Admission on Motion $400
Character and Fitness Application $250
UBE Score Transfer $1000
Miscellaneous Fees
Laptop Use Fee $125
Certificate of Good Standing $25

Fees must be paid by check or money order to The Clerk of the Supreme Court and sent with the application.

Cost-Saving Options

Application fees for the South Carolina Bar Exam are expensive. Fortunately, there are cost-saving options available for some individuals. The University of South Carolina offers merit and non-institutional scholarships on a rolling basis. There is also a databank of scholarships to browse.

South Carolina Bar Exam Subjects and Topics

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

MBE Subjects

The MBE is administered in two 3-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. Remember, there are 25 unscored pilot questions for future exams. The remaining 175 questions are divided evenly among the following seven MBE subjects:

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

MEE Subjects

The MEE consists of six essay questions. Each question involves one or more of the subjects listed below. Some subjects may be paired together. Other subjects may be omitted. While it's impossible to know which subjects the 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.

MPT Tasks

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 being the lowest possible score.

South Carolina Bar Exam Scoring/Grading

A 266 minimum score on the UBE is required for admission to the South Carolina Bar, with the exam weight divided between the MBE (50%), MEE (30%), and MPT (20%) sections. The MEE and MPT sections are combined to form half of the total exam weight and graded accordingly. This means that the writing section (MEE/MPT) and multiple-choice section (MBE) are each responsible for 200 points, or 50%, of the total scaled score. If you perform poorly on one section, you can be compensated by doing well on the other, as long as the combined scores reach 266 or higher.

Getting 133 correct answers out of 200 MPT questions does not directly translate to 133 scaled points on the bar exam. The bar exam uses scaled scoring to maintain fairness across different exam versions and this applies to all three sections. To account for variations in difficulty, raw scores are transformed into scaled scores through a process called equating. However, the exact calculations used by the NCBE to determine scaled scores are not publicly disclosed.

Themis student taking a MPT practice exam.

Make exam day feel like practice with our simulated MPT experience.

South Carolina MPRE Minimum Passing Score

Before you can practice law in South Carolina, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) with a minimum score of 77 within three years following the filing of an application. 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.

South Carolina Bar Exam Results and Pass Rates

As is typical with bar exams across the country, the South Carolina 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
Pass Rate
Pass Rate
Release Date
July 2023 73% 81% 39% October 20
Feb. 2023 47% 66% 29% April 28

Below are the annual pass rates for the South Carolina Bar Exam since 2017 divided into first-time examinees and repeaters:

South Carolina Bar Exam Results

South Carolina Bar Exam results are typically released eight to twelve weeks after the bar exam. In 2023, results were released on October 20 for the July exam and April 28 for the February Exam.

What Makes the South Carolina Bar Exam Unique?

South Carolina does not have formal reciprocity with other jurisdictions but allows legal academics from two South Carolina law schools to apply for admission on motion. Furthermore, South Carolina requires that candidates for the bar take The Course of Study on South Carolina Law before they are admitted.

South Carolina Bar Exam for foreigners

Graduates of foreign law schools are not eligible for admission by examination to the South Carolina Bar. However, they can be licensed as a Foreign Legal Consultant without examination if they have met the following criteria:

  • Admitted to practice law in a foreign country
  • Actively engaged in the practice of law for at least five of the seven years preceding the application for admission
  • Meets character and fitness requirements as stipulated by the Supreme Court of South Carolina
  • In good standing in all jurisdictions where admitted to practice law
  • Intends to practice as a foreign legal consultant and maintain an office in South Carolina
  • Are twenty-six years of age or older


South Carolina does not have formal bar exam reciprocity with any jurisdiction. Instead, admission on motion is only available to a person serving as the Dean or as a tenured professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law or the Charleston School of Law.

Final Takeaways

Challenging though it may be, you can ace the South Carolina Bar Examination with the right study plan and the leading 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 Washington 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 South Carolina State Bar

Refer to the table below to contact The South Carolina Supreme Court.z

South Carolina Board of Bar Examiners Contact Information
Medium Info
Phone Number (803) 734-1080
Fax (803) 734-0394
Address Supreme Court Building
1231 Gervais St. PO Box 11330
Columbia SC 29201

South Carolina Bar Exam FAQs

The SC 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.
To take the bar exam in South Carolina, you must have graduated from an ABA-accredited law school with a JD. See the “Requirements” section of this article for details.
The final filing deadlines for the 2024 February and July South Carolina Bar Exams are September 30, 2023, and January 31, 2024, respectively. The timely filing application fee is $1,000 but increases by $500 if you file late.
The South Carolina Bar Exam uses the UBE format. Therefore the actual material is as hard as any of the 40 other UBE jurisdictions.
You can take the South Carolina Bar Exam three times at which time you must wait one year from your last failed exam to retake it.
The costs to take and retake the South Carolina Bar Exam are the same. The timely filing is $1,000, and the late filing is $1,500.
The minimum passing UBE score for South Carolina is 266.
South Carolina does not offer formal reciprocity with any jurisdiction. They do make exceptions for certain law professors. For details, see the “Reciprocity” section of this article.
You cannot transfer your MBE score from another jurisdiction to South Carolina.
Yes, you can transfer your South Carolina UBE score to another jurisdiction granted that said jurisdiction allows it.
The admission without examination process exists only for law professors from certain South Carolina law schools.
It takes approximately 400 hours to study for the SC 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.
No, you cannot practice law in South Carolina with a law degree.
To become a licensed attorney in South Carolina, you must go to an ABA-accredited law school and earn a JD, pass the bar exam and the MPRE, be of good moral character, and be admitted to the South Carolina Bar.
To request special accommodations for the South Carolina Bar Exam, you must make a written request to the Board no later than November 1 for the February exam and April 1 for the July exam. The Board will reply with the necessary information, procedures, and written forms.
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