Ohio Bar Exam

Overview

The Ohio Bar Exam is held at the Columbus Convention Center every February and July. It is a 2 ½ day test that begins on Tuesday morning and ends at noon on Thursday. It is composed of three different parts:

(1)   12 essay questions
(2)   Multistate Bar Exam- 200 multiple choice questions, and
(3)   Multistate Performance Test- 2 closed-universe writing problems.

You must score a minimum of 405 points to pass. The MBE counts for 1/3 of the score and the written portion (MPT and essays) counts for 2/3 of the score.

Note: In addition to passing the bar exam, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE). Go to the Character & Fitness page for more information on the MPRE.

Application Process:

Ohio has a two-step process:
  1. Application to Register as a Candidate for Admission (aka: Character & Fitness): November 17th of your 2L year.
    • Preliminary application that includes a character questionnaire providing background information regarding the applicant. Triggers an investigation of the applicant’s character, fitness, and moral qualifications to practice.
    • For more information, go to the Ohio Character & Fitness page.
  2. Bar Exam Application: April 1st of your 3L year (Nov 2nd for Feb exam).
    • Signals intent to sit for a particular bar exam.
    • Update C&F application.

Bar Exam Components:

Essay Questions
There are 6 essay questions on Tuesday afternoon and 6 on Thursday morning.
You will receive at least one essay, on each subject area listed below:
  • Business Associations (Agency, Partnership, Corporations)
  • Ohio Civil Procedure*
  • Commercial Transactions (Secured Transactions, Commercial Paper)
  • Constitutional Law*
  • Contracts*
  • Criminal Law* (also includes Criminal Procedure)
  • Evidence*
  • Legal Ethics
  • Property* (Real and Personal)
  • Torts*
  • Wills
*also tested on MBE
You will receive two questions at a time and will have 60 minutes to answer both.
  • Laptop: essay response limited to 3900 characters.
  • Handwrite: essay response limited to the front and back of one sheet of lined paper.
The Ohio Supreme Court posts past Ohio Bar Exam essay questions online.
Multistate Performance Test
The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is given on Tuesday morning. It is composed of two closed universe writing problems. It is not a test of substantive knowledge but is representative of an assignment that might be given to a new attorney.
Each MPT is a 90 minute problem and all the materials necessary to complete the assignment are provided in the MPT (ex: task memorandum, case file, library of cases, regulations, rules, etc.).
Sample questions and answer explanations are available from the National Council of Bar Examiners (NCBE) website.
Multistate Bar Examination
The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) is composed of 200 multiple choice questions. It is given on Wednesday: 100 questions in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.
There are 190 scored questions and 10 “pretest” questions (indistinguishable from the scored questions but not scored).
The following subjects are tested on the MBE:
  • Constitutional Law (27 questions)
  • Contracts (28 questions)
  • Criminal Law & Procedure (27 questions)
  • Evidence (27 questions)
  • Federal Civil Procedure (27 questions)
  • Property (27 questions)
  • Torts (27 questions)
Sample questions and answer explanations are available from the NCBE website.  There are currently four Online Practice Exams (MBE OPE) which reflect the most recent question structure and format. Older questions are available from the NCBE website but those questions do not reflect the current MBE style and format and should not be used for substantive preparation.