California Bar Examination

A guide to give students resources to prepare for the California State Bar Examination. Included in this guide are materials on admission, essays, performance tests, MBE (multi-state exam), and MPRE (multi-state professional responsibilities exam), etc.

General Information

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.

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.

International Bar Admissions

The materials listed below provide information on international bar admissions

Heafey Law Library Research Team