Even after you’ve graduated from three long years of law school, there is still more to be done before you can practice law. Specifically, the state that would license you to become a lawyer wants to ensure that you have all the analytical and legal reasoning skills of a professional lawyer.
If you’re a prospective lawyer preparing to take the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE), you’re probably in need of sample questions and answers for the multiple choice section, known as the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). We have provided some helpful practice bar exam questions below so that you can get an idea of what to expect on the real thing. But first, we’d like to go over more about the bar exam, including the format and how it is scored.
The Format of the Bar Exam
The UBE is administered over the course of two days, the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) are administered on Tuesday, while the MBE is administered on Wednesday.
The MEE consists of essay questions designed to test the participant’s legal reasoning skills when presented with various legal issues. The MPT assesses a student’s practical skills by requiring the student to perform a variety of lawyering tasks, such as drafting a client letter or memorandum. The MBE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering seven areas of the law: constitutional law, contracts, torts, criminal law and procedure, real property, civil procedure, and evidence. The exam is divided into two, three hour blocks that consist of 100 questions each.
How Is the MBE Score Calculated?
Out of the 200 questions on the MBE, there are 175 scored questions. The 25 questions that are unscored are considered “test” questions. Your raw score total is one point for every correct answer. The NCBE scales this score between 1-200 using a complex formula based on the difficulty of past exams. That means it’s impossible to know exactly how many questions you need to answer correctly in order to pass. However, in general, you’ll want to at least get a 140 on the scaled score, but 150 or higher is ideal to pass the bar exam.
While you can approximate your scaled MBE score to some degree as you take your practice exams by adding 10-15 points to the number of correct answers, any formula will not take into account your scored and unscored questions and how exactly the NCBE will scale your official exam.
Also, keep in mind that the total weight of the MBE score will differ depending on whether you live in a UBE jurisdiction, but it still comprises a significant portion of your overall score—typically between 40 and 50%.
Here are a few sample questions:
Subject – Real Property
By deed, a landowner conveyed land to a charity “on the condition that the land be used as a wildlife refuge, and if not, the landowner and his heirs may enter and terminate the estate hereby created.” The following year the landowner died. His sister was his sole heir. By will, the landowner devised “all of my real property interests to my friend.” One year after the landowner’s death, the sister, by quitclaim deed, conveyed any interest she had in the land to a developer. Two years after the landowner’s death, the landowner’s sister died. Her sole heir was her husband. Recently, three years after the landowner’s death, the charity ceased to use the land as a wildlife refuge.
Who may properly bring an action against the charity to recover fee simple ownership of the land?
- The developer.
- The landowner’s friend.
- The sister’s husband.
- No one.
Subject – Torts
A movie theater brought an action against a manufacturer and a retailer based solely on strict products liability for damages suffered when the theater’s $20,000 movie projector caught on fire. While the fire destroyed the projector, it did minimal property damage to its surroundings because the projectionist put out the fire before it could spread. The movie theater sought damages based on the cost of the projector, as well as lost profits for the week the theater was closed until a replacement projector could be obtained.
At trial, the court ruled that because the projector had been destroyed, the theater was entitled to an inference that it was defective, which the defendants were free to rebut. The manufacturer presented evidence that, to its knowledge, none of its other projectors had ever caught on fire. The defendants have filed a motion for a directed verdict.
Should the court grant the motion?
- No as to both defendants, because the inference that the projector was defective was proper.
- No as to both defendants, because the theater is entitled to economic losses as a commercial entity.
- Yes as to both defendants, because the theater has not suffered adequate damages.
- Yes as to the retailer only, because the retailer was not involved in the manufacture of the projector.
Subjects – Evidence
At a defendant’s trial for robbery, the defendant called a witness who testified that he and the defendant were camping in a state park on the night in question. On cross-examination, the prosecutor asked the witness if it is true that the witness forged his former manager’s signature to gain access to a company expense account. The witness denied forging the signature. The prosecutor now seeks to question the witness about the 30-day suspension that he received after company officials determined that he had forged the manager’s signature.
Is the prosecutor’s proposed question proper?
- No, because a party may not reference the consequences of a bad act denied by a witness.
- No, because the question exceeds the proper scope of cross-examination.
- Yes, to impeach the witness on a collateral issue.
- Yes, to rebut the witness’s denial of the forgery.
Why Choose UWorld for MBE Practice Questions
The way you study can be the difference between passing and failing the bar exam. Finding the right help for your study style is the key. If you found our sample questions helpful, the full version of UWorld MBE prep provides you with 1,900+ MBE practice questions—many of which are written by the NCBE and have appeared on previous bar exams.
Each question covers the most common legal principles and analytical reasoning skills tested on the MBE. Plus, you can track your performance, identify your areas of strength and weakness, and even take a full-length practice exam when you feel you’re ready.
At UWorld, we are legal experts in the subjects found in the MBE. We write detailed explanations for both correct and incorrect answers so you have the context behind each legal concept. And if you don’t believe us, just ask over 2 million bar examinees who have passed through our active learning approach.