NCBE Announces MBE Scoring Changes for the February, 2017 Bar Exam


Examinees will not know when they take the February, 2017 bar exam and all future bar exams which of the 200 total MBE questions (items) will be scored and which ones will not. Thus, examinees must answer each and every MBE question (item) as if all will be scored.

Of the 175 scored questions, there will be 25 questions for each of the 7 testable subjects. The remaining 25 “pretest questions” that will not be scored will be used for control purposes.

As stated in the NCBE notification, “MBE scores will continue to be expressed on a 200-point scale. Because MBE scores are equated and scaled, scores will still be comparable to those earned when there were more scored questions. The change was made in consultation with our testing and measurement staff with the goal [of] further strengthening of the MBE. The change should require nothing different in terms of preparation for the test.”

The subjects currently tested on the MBE are Contracts, Federal Civil Procedure, Criminal Law/Procedure, Constitutional Law, Evidence, Property, and Torts. Federal Civil Procedure was added to the MBE testable subject matter in February, 2015. All of these same subjects are also tested on the essay and Performance portions of the bar exam, in addition to Agency and Partnership, Community Property, Corporations, Remedies, Trusts, and Wills.