The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE)

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), coordinated by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, is composed of the MEE, two MPT tasks, and the MBE. Its first administration was in February 2011. It is uniformly administered, graded, and scored and results in a portable score that can be used to apply for admission in other UBE jurisdictions.

The UBE is designed to test knowledge and skills that every lawyer should be able to demonstrate prior to becoming licensed to practice law.

NCBE scores the MBE component of the UBE. Jurisdictions grade the MEE and MPT components. The MEE and MPT scores are scaled to the MBE, and UBE total scores are calculated by NCBE. The MBE is weighted 50%, the MEE 30%, and the MPT 20%. UBE total scores are reported on a 400-point scale.

UBE jurisdictions agree to certain administrative policies in order to generate scores that qualify to be certified by NCBE as UBE scores. UBE jurisdictions independently set other policies, such as establishing their own passing scores, determining how long incoming UBE scores will be accepted, and whether or not to require applicants to complete a jurisdiction-specific component, such as a course or test on jurisdiction-specific law, either pre- or post-admission.

Jurisdictions Administering the UBE in 2019

Map of the United States shows the 33 jurisdictions that administered the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in 2019 and the year in which each jurisdiction first administered the UBE. These jurisdictions are Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, and North Dakota (2011); Arizona, Colorado, and Idaho (2012); Montana, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming (2013); Alaska, Minnesota, and New Hampshire (2014); the District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, New Mexico, New York, and Vermont (2016); Connecticut, Maine, New Jersey, Oregon, South Carolina, West Virginia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands (2017); Massachusetts (2018); Maryland, Illinois and North Carolina (2019).  The map also shows 3 additional jurisdictions that will begin administering the UBE in 2020, they are Arkansas. Ohio and Texas.

NOTE: Arkansas began administering the UBE in February 2020. Ohio will begin administering the UBE in July 2020; Texas will begin administering the UBE in February 2021.

Minimum Passing UBE Score by Jurisdiction in 2019

Map of the United States showing UBE jurisdictions and their minimum passing UBE score in 2017. See table below for detailed data.

Minimum Passing UBE Score by Jurisdiction in 2019

* Maine’s minimum passing score changed to 270 effective starting with the February 2020 bar examination. NOTE: Arkansas began administering the UBE in February 2020 with a minimum passing score of 270. Ohio will begin administering the UBE in July 2020 with a minimum passing score of 270; Texas will begin administering the UBE in February 2021 with a minimum passing score of 270. Bar graph of the number of UBE jurisdictions that use a particular minimum passing score. 5 jurisdictions use a score of 260; 11 use a score of 266; 10 use a score of 270; 3 use a score of 276 and 1 jurisdiction uses 272, 273, 274, and 280.

UBE Scores Earned and Transferred by Jurisdiction in 2019

Note: To earn UBE scores, applicants take all portions of the examination (MEE, MPT, and MBE) in the same UBE jurisdiction and in the same administration. Use of a banked, transferred, or concurrent MBE or written scaled score earned in a prior examination or concurrently in another jurisdiction does not result in a UBE score.

* Arkansas began accepting UBE scores in October 2019 but did not yet administer the UBE. Its first UBE administration was in February 2020.
† Texas began accepting UBE scores in December 2019 but did not yet administer the UBE. Its first UBE administration will be in February 2021.

 

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