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Pennsylvania Bar Exam Information

Pennsylvania Board of Law Examiners
5070 A Ritter Road, Suite 300
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
Telephone: (717) 795-7270

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Dates

2013: February 26-27; July 30-31

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Format


The Pennsylvania bar exam is administered two times each year -- on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July.  


The first day of the exam consists of six essay questions that are prepared by the state examiners and one Performance Test question.  Applicants are expected to demonstrate their knowledge of Pennsylvania law, where applicable, when answering the essay portion of the bar examination.   AmeriBar provides one-on-one tutoring for the Pennsylvania Bar Exam.


On the second day of the exam, the Multistate Bar Examination is administered.  The MBE consists of 200 multiple choice questions on the following six subjects:   contracts, criminal law, constitutional law, real property, evidence and torts.  The MBE does not contain specific state law questions.  Click here for more information about AmeriBar's Multistate Bar Review Course.

Pennsylvania Bar Exam State Essay Subjects

The essay examination for the Pennsylvania Bar Exam consists of six essay questions that cover one or more of the following subjects:

Bank Deposits and Collections Decedents' Estates
Civil Procedure (State and Federal) Evidence (State and federal)
Commercial paper Family Law
Conflict of Laws Federal Income Tax
Constitutional Law Professional Responsibility
Contracts Real Property
Corporations Sales
Criminal Law  Secured Transactions

The Board seeks applicants who can demonstrate their knowledge of state law (if applicable) when answering the essay portion of the bar exam.  The Board stresses that the value of an essay answer does not completely depend upon the correctness of the conclusion, but rather upon the recognition of issues and the applicant's ability to present a discussion that adequately applies the law to the facts presented.  The applicant must be able to reason in a logical manner in arriving at an answer.  

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Scoring Information

The MBE counts for 45% of the score.  The essays and MPT count for 55% of the score.

A successful candidate for admission to the Pennsylvania bar must attain a scaled score of 272 on the combined scores of the Performance Test, the essay examination and the MBE. 

The six answers to the essay examination, and the Performance Test (valued at 1.5 times an essay question) will be graded, totaled and scaled from 1 to 200 points.  The combined essay and Performance scores will be weighted at 55%, and the MBE score will be weighted at 45% of the MBE scaled score.  The scaled scores will then be combined to determine whether a scaled score of 272 or has been attained.  

MPRE Requirements
In addition to passing the Pennsylvania Bar Exam, an aplicant must attain a score of 75 on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.  Click here for more information about AmeriBar's Free Online MPRE Review Course.
Pennsylvania Bar Exam Pass Percentage

Pennsylvania Bar Exam Statewide Pass Percentage

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Pennsylvania Bar Exam MBE Reciprocity
Pennsylvania Bar Exam Reciprocity
In order to be admitted by motion*:

1. You must be a graduate of an ABA accredited law school; and

2. You must be admitted to the bar of another jurisdiction and have practiced law (or taught law at an ABA accredited law school) for at least five of the prior seven years; and

3. Your prior jurisdiction must have a policy by which Pennsylvania attorneys can be admitted without taking your prior jurisdiction's bar examination (recirocity).

* - An applicant may not be admitted if they have ever taken and failed the Pennsylvania Bar Exam.  Applicants must attain a score of 75 on the MPRE/.


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