The California Bar Exam is administered twice a year (once in February, again in July). It is a two-day test that is comprised of three components:
- The Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE)
- The MBE is a six-hour test made up of 200 multiple-choice questions. The topics covered by these questions include subjects typically taught in Constitutional Law, Contracts, Torts, Property, Criminal Law/Procedure, and Evidence. As of February 2015, Civil Procedure will now be included in the MBE exam.
- One Performance Test
- The performance test question is designed to test an applicant's ability to understand and apply a select number of legal authorities in the context of a factual problem. Applicants will be given a file and library with instructions on what tasks is expected.
- And Five Essay Questions
- There are two sessions: a morning session with three 60-minute essay questions and an afternoon session with two 60-minute essay questions and a 90-minute performance test. Answers are expected to demonstrate ability to analyze the facts of the question, to distinguish between material/immaterial facts, and to discern the points of law and fact upon which the question turns. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in applying and using legal principles.
Essential Online Resources
General Bar Preparation and Strategy - Library Resources
The materials listed below provide general resources on studying for the bar: including resources on how to develop effective study methodes, stress reduction, and life balance. Unless otherwise indicated materials listed here are located in either the Open Law Reserve Room or Closed Law Reserve Room.
The Academic and Bar Success office maintain their own collection of print bar prep material for your use - go to the office to access and sign out material.
Call Number: KF303.A332 2011
Publication Date: 2011
Scoring High on Bar Exam Essays
Call Number: KF303.G35 2006
Publication Date: 2005-10-01
The first half of the book is tips on how to write better essays, and the second half is 80 full-length essay exams with model answers, from states across the country. The tips section is built on Gallagher's essay writing system which is based on the well-known IRAC system, that she has modified into "CRAC" (Conclusion, Rule, Application, Conclusion).
The bar exam in a nutshell
Call Number: KF303 D37 2009
General background information about taking the bar exam. It walks you through the entire bar preparation process from getting a head start during your last year of law school to taking the exam. It provides guidelines for selecting a bar review course, bar planner checklists, advice on how to manage the material you cover in bar review courses, and how to learn the law so you can remember it and use it to answer exam questions. It identifies the basic skills the exam tests and the precise manner in which these skills are tested, showing you how to target your study efforts to maximize results. Each component of the bar exam is examined through examples and detailed analysis of sample answers.
The bar exam survival guide : the insider's handbook for passing the bar exam.
Call Number: KF303 N26 2008
This book doesn't teach you the law it explains how to properly prepare for the exam. The chapters in this book break down the process into an effective study method that can be easily and quickly implemented. The authors' goal is to make everything surrounding the bar exam less foreign and scary, all the while maximizing your chances of passing. The process will help you pass by teaching you to plan ahead, keep your cool while studying, remain organized and follow detailed schedules.
Don't stress the bar exam
Call Number: KF303 M64 2001
40 helpful tips to find balance with the bar exam. You are introduced to a comprehensive approach to your preparation and organization that challenges you to consider all aspects of the bar exam experience. Learn how to balance your needs with the needs of the bar exam.
Pass the bar!
Call Number: KF303 R54 2004
This book provides a comprehensive overview of the pre-bar review, bar review, and bar exam process. The authors demystify the bar exam process and take readers through the steps they need to follow to succeed.
You can pass any bar exam
Call Number: KF303 H36 1997
Included in this unique resource are sample bar exam questions, examples of daily and monthly schedules, listings of bar admission information for the states and territories, helpful bibliographies, an evaluation of selected bar review courses and much more.
International Bar Admissions
The materials listed below provide information on international bar admissions
Heafey Law Library Research Team