The Texas Bar Exam

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

The Texas Bar Exam is one of the most important exams you will ever take, and if you pass, it will open the door to your future as a legal professional. In February 2021, Texas adopted the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE®). The UBE has been adopted by 41 states or jurisdictions, making it easier to transfer to participating UBE jurisdictions. This article will offer insights into Texas Bar Exam results, important dates, pass rates, subjects, cost, format, scoring, and more.

Texas Bar Exam Structure

The minimum UBE total score required to be licensed in Texas is 270, reported on a 400-point scale. The Texas Bar Examination has three parts, weighted as follows to calculate a UBE total score:

  • Multistate Bar Exam (MBE®) = 50%
  • Multistate Essay Examination (MEE®) = 30%
  • Multistate Performance Test (MPT®) = 20%

The UBE evaluates a candidate's readiness to practice law in any jurisdiction by assessing their competencies in general law principles, factual analysis, legal analysis and reasoning, and communication skills in these areas.

Exam Sessions Exam Component Format & Hours
Tuesday Morning MPT 2 Task Items, 3 Hours
Tuesday Afternoon MEE 6 Essays, 3 Hours
Wednesday Morning MBE 100 Questions, 3 Hours
Wednesday Afternoon MBE 100 Questions, 3 hours

The MBE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions administered in two three-hour sessions on day two of the exam. However, 25 of these questions are unscored pretest questions that the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) experiments with for future exams. There are seven subject areas:

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

Examinees must select the best of four possible answers. Final scores are based on correct answers only.

The MEE consists of six 30-minute essay questions administered in a three-hour session in the afternoon of the first day of the exam. Each essay is assessed on a 6-point scale, with a 6 being the highest possible score and a 0 the lowest.

The MEE is designed to test an examinee's written communication proficiency, application of the law to various scenarios, and reasoning ability. According to the NCBE, the official purpose of the MEE is to test an examinee's ability to:

  • Identify legal issues raised by a hypothetical factual situation.
  • Separate material which is relevant from that which is not
  • Present a reasoned analysis of the relevant issues in a clear, concise, and well-organized composition
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental legal principles irrelevant to the probable solution of the issues raised by the factual situation

The MPT consists of practical questions using 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. 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.

For details on the UBE, check out our in-depth article, About the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).

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Texas Bar Exam Requirements, Dates, and Scheduling

The timely filing date is perhaps the most important date to mark in your calendar when preparing your application for the Texas Bar Exam. This deadline falls on September 1, 2023, for the February exam and February 1, 2024, for the July Exam. Failure to submit by these deadlines will result in extra fees. Below are details concerning important dates and requirements.


Thousands of hopeful examinees take the Texas Bar Exam every year. To sit for the exam, individuals must meet either of the following requirements:

  • Have a JD from an ABA-approved law school
  • Have a JD from a state-accredited law school

Exam Dates

The UBE is administered, graded, and scored across all UBE member jurisdictions, allowing candidates to take and pass one UBE exam and conveniently transfer their scores to other (member) jurisdictions where they intend to practice law. Each year, the UBE is scheduled on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Please take note of the following relevant exam dates and filing fees:

Exam Date February 27-28, 2024 July 30-31, 2024
Fee $300 $300
Registration Opens (10 am CT) June 30, 2023 December 4, 2023
Timely Deadline September 1, 2023 February 1, 2024
$150 Late Filing Fee Deadline November 1, 2023 April 1, 2024
$300 Final Filing Fee Deadline  December 1, 2023 May 1, 2024

The February 2024 Texas Bar Exam site is at the Austin Convention Center. However, the July 2024 exam has multiple sites. See table below:

July 2023 Texas Bar Exam Sites
City Address 

NRG Center - Hall D

One NRG Park

Houston, Texas 77054

DFW Area

Esports Stadium Arlington 

1200 Ballpark Way

Arlington, Texas 76011


Palmer Events Center

900 Barton Springs Road

Austin, Texas 78704

San Antonio

San Antonio Shrine Auditorium

901 North Loop 1604

San Antonio, Texas 78232


Texas Tech University School of Law 

1802 Hartford

Lubbock, Texas 79409


Baylor University School of Law 

1114 S. University Parks Dr.

Waco, Texas 76798


To schedule your Texas Bar Exam, you must create an ATLAS account through the Texas Board of Law Examiners website. Once registered, complete the Bar Exam Application and submit it electronically with the fee. Next, you will upload all the required documents and arrange for any third party to send the provided documents.

Texas Bar Exam Cost and Fees

Fees and costs associated with registering for the Texas Bar Exam vary depending on the examinee's status (in-state law student, out-of-state law student, attorney, etc.) and the date they file. Below is a detailed and up-to-date list of exam related fees.

  • Declaration of Intention to Study Law: $190
  • Bar Exam Registration:
    • Texas Law Student: $300
    • Out of State Law Student: $490
    • U.S. Attorneys Licensed in Another State: $1,040
    • Foreign-Trained Applicants: $1,140
    • Reapplicants: $320
    • Courtesy Seat: $300
  • Texas Law Student: $300
  • Out-of-State Law Student: $490
  • US-Trained Attorneys: $1,040
  • Foreign-Trained Applicants: $1,140
  • Admission Without Examination: $890
  • Foreign Legal Consultant: $990
  • Foreign Legal Consultant Renewal: $150
  • Military Attorney: $25
  • Military Attorney Renewal: $25
  • Temporary License for Military Spouse: $0
  • Determination of Character and Fitness: $25
  • February Exam App. filed by November 1: $150
  • February Exam App filed by December 1: $300
  • July Exam App. filed by April 1: $150
  • July Exam App. filed by May 1: $300
  • Laptop Application Fee: $50
  • Incomplete Fee: $75
  • Transfer Texas MBE score to another jurisdiction: $25
  • Check Return Fee: $25

Source: Texas Board of Law Examiners - Deadlines

All Texas Bar Exam application payments are made online through your ATLAS account. There are no refunds or transferring of fees to future bar exams for those that end up not taking the exam. Any issues with processing should be forwarded to

Cost-Saving Options

Bar exam costs can be prohibitive for most law school students and graduates. That’s why we recommend the following cost-savings options for your consideration to help you register and prepare for the Texas Bar Exam:

  1. State Bar of Texas Law Student Division Scholarships: Each year, the Law Student Division of the State Bar of Texas offers its members an exclusive $1,000 scholarship: 
    1. Legal Professionalism Award (in the Fall)
    2. Essay Contest Award (in the Spring) 

    Two scholarship recipients will be selected from the Law Student Division applicant, and the application is open to both Texas law school and out-of-state law student members. Learn more.

  2. The Bar Exam Study Support Scholarship: This scholarship is offered to diverse Texas law school students by the State Bar of Texas Diversity in the Profession Committee to help members of minority populations attending law school enter the legal profession and further diversify the State Bar. Learn more. For more diversity scholarships and awards available to Texas law students, visit Diversity Scholarships & Awards | Diversity | About Texas Tech School of Law | School of Law | TTU.

Don’t Leave Your Legal Career Up to Chance!

Pass the MBE Your First Time.

Illustration of partial performance in a contract.

Texas Bar Exam Subjects and Topics

The Texas Bar Exam consists of a written section on day one (MEE/MPT) and a 200 multiple choice exam (MBE) on day two. The MBE is the most heavily weighted portion of the test at 50%, followed by the MEE (30%) and the MPT (20%).

The written section of the exam is an examinee's chance to prove their ability to apply their legal knowledge and reasoning to legal scenarios. In contrast, the MBE tests fundamental legal principles regarding Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

Testable Subjects on the MEE

To allow for score portability, the MEE portion of the Uniform Bar Exam has always consisted of the same six questions for all UBE jurisdictions. Similarly, the MEE Subject Matter Outline applies to all UBE jurisdictions. The following represent Texas Bar Exam subjects for the essay portion:

  • 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

MEE subjects vary by exam version. For example, subjects may be paired or omitted altogether. Historically, some subjects (e.g., Civil Procedure) have appeared frequently, while others (e.g., Criminal Law) are rarely tested. Additional information on the list of subjects and subtopics can be found at MEE Subject Matter Outline.

Testable Subjects on the MBE

Only 175 of the 200 MBE multiple-choice questions are actually graded. The remaining 25 are pretest questions for future exams. Examinees will spend two three-hour sessions on day two answering questions on the following subjects:

  1. Contracts
  2. Constitutional Law
  3. Criminal Law and Procedure
  4. Civil Procedure 
  5. Evidence
  6. Real Property
  7. Torts

Texas Bar Exam Scoring/Grading

The passing UBE score in Texas is 270 out of 400. The total score is split 50-50% between the written section of the test administered on day one (MEE/MPT) and the 200 multiple-choice MBE administered on day two. Details of how each section is graded are as follows:

  • MEE (30%) : 6 essay questions assessed on a 6-point scale, with 6 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.
  • MPT (20%) : Tests examinees on realistic legal situations across two tasks. Each task is assessed on a 6-point scale, with 6 being the highest and 0 being the lowest.
  • MBE (50%) : 200 multiple-choice questions. Only 175 of these questions are actually scored, each is worth 1 point. Scaled scores range from 40 to 200.

The UBE employs scaled scoring on the MEE, MBE, and MPT using a statistical method known as equating. Basically, this method transforms raw scores into scaled scores in order to ensure fairness across test versions. For example, if Jack takes his exam in February and Jill takes hers in July, they will not be taking the exact same exam. A team of experts reviews each exam and determines their relative difficulty.

Therefore, if Jack’s exam version is deemed more difficult than Jill’s, Jack and his cohort will receive a bonus to their score via scaled scoring. Unfortunately, the NCBE does not release data on how they calculate your scaled score, so when you get your results, you will not receive your raw score.

The MEE and MPT are combined into a scaled score out of 200. The three test sections combined produce a scaled score out of 400. This means that should you do poorly on the written section, you can make up for it on the MBE and vice versa.

What is the most effective way to pass the MBE?

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

Texas MPRE Minimum Passing Score

Before you can be licensed to practice law in Texas, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) with a scaled score of 85 or higher. The MPRE features 60 multiple-choice questions administered over two hours.

Texas Bar Exam Results and Pass Rates

As is common with bar exams across the United States, the Texas Bar Exam's pass rate for repeaters is considerably lower than for those taking it for the first time. This is likely because many repeat takers don't substantially modify their study habits.

Exam Overall Pass Rate First-Timer Pass Rate Repeater Pass Rate Results Release Date
July 2024 71% 81% 31% October 13
Feb. 2024 45% 59% 34% April 20

The Texas Bar Exam passing rates have fluctuated significantly from year to year. Below are the pass rates for the Texas Bar Exam over the past three years:

Texas Bar Exam Results

The Board of Governors generally announces the Texas Bar Exam results 6-9 weeks after the administration of the bar examination. The July exam results are typically released in mid-October, and the February results in April, and the Board will post a list of passing applicants on its website.

Texas Bar Exam for Foreigners

To become a licensed attorney in Texas, you don't have to be a US citizen. Foreigners are eligible to take the Texas Bar Exam if they meet specific educational or professional requirements or a combination of both.

Foreign law students with a first degree in law can sit for the Texas Bar Exam via one of the following pathways if they meet the subsequent conditions tabulated below.

What Makes the Texas Bar Exam Unique?

The Texas Bar Exam was once a 15-hour exam administered over three days. It included one MPT section rather than two, had a whopping 12 essays, and a 40-item Procedure and Evidence section. However, as stated previously, in February 2021, Texas became one of the many jurisdictions to adopt the UBE, which is probably great news for anyone endeavoring to pass the exam following these changes.

Final Takeaways

The Themis + UWorld full bar review bundle offers 4000+ MBE practice questions, including recent National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) licensed questions. Each question has been carefully crafted by our in-house team of legal professionals or is licensed by the NCBE.

Access 100+ MEE practice essays and dozens of MPT practice questions from past bar exams. In addition, our platform offers customizable flashcards, performance tracking, answer explanations filled with vivid illustrations and charts, readings paired with easily digestible 10-15 video lectures, and thorough explanations for every answer choice.

UWorld wide range of study tools for bar exam

The TX State Bar Exam will be a challenging experience. But we are confident that if you prepare with the right bar prep review, you can perform well on the MBE and pass the bar exam.

Contact Details of the Texas State Bar

The Texas Board of Law Examiners is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For contact information, see the table below.

Method Contact 
Mailing Address

Board of Law Examiners
PO Box 13486
Austin TX 78711-3486

Delivery Address

Board of Law Examiners
205 West 14th Street, Suite 500
Austin TX 78701

Fax (512) 463-5300
Phone (512) 463-1621
General Public Inquiry [email protected] 
Technical Assistance with
your ATLAS account 

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Texas Bar Exam FAQs

The Texas Bar Exam is a two-day exam with six hours per day, broken up into two 3-hour sessions per day.

To sit for the Texas Bar Exam, examinees must have a JD from an ABA-approved or state-accredited law school. Foreign law students with a first degree in law may sit for the bar exam if they have met particular educational or professional standards.

The Texas Bar Exam is not considered one of the harder bar exams in the country. The Lone Star State began administering the Uniform Bar Exam in February 2021. This is more or less the same exam used by 41 jurisdictions around the country.
The timely deadline to file for the Texas Bar Exam is September 1, 2023, and February 1, 2024, for the February and July 2024 exams, respectively. Texas law students must pay a $300 fee ($490 for out of state law students). Failure to submit your application will result in additional fees. The final filing deadline for the February 2024 exam is December 1, 2023, and May 1, 2024, for the July 2024 exam.
Texas imposes a limit on the number of attempts to take the UBE. You may only retake the UBE in Texas up to five times.
The re-application fee for students and attorneys wanting to retake the bar exam is $75.
The minimum passing UBE score for Texas is 270.
Texas only offers reciprocity with other UBE jurisdictions. While Texas does not have bar reciprocity with non-UBE jurisdictions, attorneys licensed in other states can practice by obtaining permission from the Bar of Texas. This process is called “Texas Admission Without Examination”.
No, Texas does not accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.
Being part of the UBE jurisdictions, the students who appear for the Texas bar exam can transfer their scores to other UBE jurisdictions. Passing scores in different jurisdictions range from 260-280. Applicants who wish to transfer their scores to Texas will need a minimum score of 270, transfer within the 2- or 5-year limit, and complete the Texas Bar Course through the State Bar of Texas. Also, other students who want to practice in Texas can transfer their scores from other jurisdictions, provided they meet the passing score.

You may transfer your earned UBE score from another jurisdiction to Texas for bar admission as long as you do so:

  • Within two years immediately preceding the date an applicant submits a transfer application to us, or
  • Within five years immediately preceding the date you submit a transfer application to the Texas Board of Law Examiners if you have been actively and substantially engaged in the lawful practice of law as your principal business or occupation for at least two of the last three years immediately preceding the date you submit your transfer application.

Texas will accept admission on motion if the applicant:

  • Has been actively engaged in legal practice for at least five of seven years immediately preceding the application
  • Has a Juris Doctorate (JD) from an ABA-accredited law school has a valid, active license
  • Has been a member of the bar in good standing at all times

It takes 400 hours to study for the Texas Bar Exam. Most students cram these hours in 8-10 weeks before their exam, but if you’re looking for a more moderate schedule, start 4 months out (about 20 hours a week).

This time should be divided evenly between law study and outline memorization. The amount of time you will actually spend studying depends on your educational background and study techniques. Optimizing your bar exam study schedule is the best way to reduce the time you need.

No, you cannot practice law without a law degree in Texas. You must be a licensed attorney with the Bar of Texas.

To become a licensed attorney in Texas, you must take the LSAT, graduate with a JD from an ABA-approved or state-accredited law school, pass the UBE and the MPRE, take an Oath, and be certified by the Texas Board of Law Examiners as having present good moral character and fitness.
To request special accommodations for the Texas Bar Exam, you must apply through your ATLAS account containing a diagnosis from a Qualified Professional and a rationale for why it would require accommodations.
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