The July 2017 bar exam will be administered over a 2-day period rather than the current 3-day period. The proposal to shorten the California bar exam from three days to two won unanimous approval from the State Bar Board of Trustees in July 2016. This is the first format change in more than 25 years, and it will bring California in line with a majority of states that offer a two-day bar exam. Budgetary constraints motivated the change and will save the California State Bar $1.1 million a year.
The current bar exam includes six one-hour essay questions and two three-hour Performance tests. Starting in July 2017, the test will be trimmed to five one-hour essay questions and one 90-minute Performance test. There will be no change to the Multistate Bar Examination, a 200-question multiple-choice test given over the course of one day.
Stamina will be a central concern for bar candidates taking the exam over two days. The first day of the exam, bar candidates will take 3 essays in the morning session. In the afternoon, they will come back and take 2 more essays plus a 90-minute Performance exam. Total actual testing time will be 6 ½ hours.
The second day, bar candidates will come back and take 100 MBEs in the morning session. In the afternoon, they will take another 100 more MBEs. Total actual testing time will be 6 hours.
To build stamina and develop proper test-taking timing, Fleming’s recommends that all bar candidates consistently take simulated bar exams under timed conditions and enroll is bar review courses. Knowing the law is the first requirement to pass the bar exam. Test-taking skill is the second requirement. Both are necessary for success on the bar examination, you can find opportunities for bar reviews here:.