The Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has produced the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) since 1980.

The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions whose scope of coverage includes the following: regulation of the legal profession; the client-lawyer relationship; client confidentiality; conflicts of interest; competence, legal malpractice, and other civil liability; litigation and other forms of advocacy; transactions and communications with persons other than clients; different roles of the lawyer; safekeeping funds and other property; communications about legal services; lawyers’ duties to the public and the legal system; and judicial conduct. The purpose of the MPRE is to measure examinees’ knowledge and understanding of established standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers.

The MPRE scaled score is a standard score. Standard scaled scores range from 50 (low) to 150 (high). The mean (average) scaled score was established at 100, based upon the performance of the examinees who took the MPRE in March 1999. The conversion of raw scores to scaled scores involves a statistical process that adjusts for variations in the difficulty of different forms of the examination so that any particular scaled score will represent the same level of knowledge from test to test. For instance, if a test is more difficult than previous tests, then the scaled scores on that test will be adjusted upward to account for this difference. If a test is easier than previous tests, then the scaled scores on the test will be adjusted downward to account for this difference. The purpose of these adjustments is to help ensure that no examinee is unfairly penalized or rewarded for taking a more or less difficult form of the test. Passing scores are established by each jurisdiction.

Jurisdictions Using the MPRE in 2020

This map shows the 54 jurisdictions that used the MPRE in 2020. All jurisdictions used the MPRE in 2020 except Wisconsin and Puerto Rico.

 

Minimum Passing MPRE Score by Jurisdiction in 2020

This map shows the minimum passing MPRE score in each of the 54 jurisdictions that used the MPRE in 2020. A minimum score of 75 was required in Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Palau, and the US Virgin Islands. South Carolina required a minimum score of 77, and New Hampshire required a minimum score of 79. A minimum score of 80 was required in Alaska, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Tennessee required a minimum score of 82. A minimum score of 85 was required by Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. California and Utah require a minimum score of 86.

Minimum Passing MPRE Score by Jurisdiction in 2020

* Kentucky’s minimum passing MPRE score of 80 became effective for applicants taking the exam after July 1, 2017; for scores earned before that date, the previous minimum passing score of 75 will continue to be honored.† Tennessee’s minimum passing MPRE score changed to 82 effective for examination applicants with the July 2018 bar examination, replacing a score of 75. Re-examination applicants not licensed in another jurisdiction may continue to use a score of 75 until they are successful on the bar exam or the MPRE score expires, whichever is earlier. For examination applicants licensed in another jurisdiction and with an otherwise expired score, the minimum MPRE score effective with the July 2018 bar examination was 82, regardless of whether they were first-time or re-examination applicants. Applicants successful on a bar examination prior to July 2018 and not yet admitted will be eligible for admission with an MPRE score of 75 or higher as long as they are admitted prior to expiration of their bar examination scores.

 

2020 MPRE National Summary Statistics (Based on Scaled Scores)

Note: The values in this chart reflect valid scores available electronically as of 3/15/2021.

March August October 2020 Total
Number of Examinees 17,000 12,688 16,607 46,295
Mean Scaled Score 95.8 98.6 98.8 97.6
Standard Deviation 18.5 18.3 18.8 18.6
Maximum 146.0 146.0 146.0 146.0
Minimum 55.0 55.0 55.0 55.0
Median 94.0 97.0 98.0 97.0

2020 MPRE National Score Distributions

Note: The values in this chart reflect valid scores available electronically as of 3/15/2021.These data represent scaled scores in increments of 10. For example, the percentage reported for 70 includes examinees whose MPRE scaled scores were between 70 and 79. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding.

Jurisdictions’ minimum passing MPRE scores in 2020: 75 (9 jurisdictions), 77 (1 jurisdiction), 79 (1 jurisdiction), 80 (19 jurisdictions), 82 (1 jurisdiction), 85 (21 jurisdictions), 86 (2 jurisdictions).

MPRE National Examinee Counts, 2011–2020

Note: The values in this chart reflect valid scores available electronically as of 3/15/2021.

MPRE National Mean Scaled Scores, 2011–2020

Note: The values in this chart reflect valid scores available electronically as of 3/15/2021.

MPRE National Mean Scaled Scores, 2011–2020

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