The Multistate Bar Exam is composed of 200 questions. 190 of the 200 questions are currently scored. And currently, 10 of those questions are unscored “test questions” that are indistinguishable from the “real” questions. Thus, there are 27 questions in six of the MBE subjects (Civil Procedure, Evidence, Constitutional Law, Criminal Law & Procedure, Real Property, and Torts) that are scored, and 28 questions in Contracts and Sales that are scored.
However, the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) has recently changed this and stated that only 25 questions from each of the seven categories above would be scored beginning in February 2017. And 25 of the 200 questions would be “test questions.” So, instead of 190 out of 200 questions being scored, there will be 175 out of 200 questions that are scored. Oddly enough, the NCBE did not even make an announcement about this change. They simply changed the description of the MBE on the “Preparing for the MBE” portion of their website.
What does this change to the multistate bar exam mean for you?
This means that each question that is scored is, essentially, worth more. Test takers don’t have 190 chances to get the points that they need — they have 175! However, this also means that if you get a question right, it will count for even more.
Does the change to the multistate bar exam change how you study?
To be honest, it should not significantly change the way that any test taker approaches the MBE. You still need to know the law. And you still need to develop good test-taking skills. The combination of both give you the best shot of capturing as many of those 175 points as possible!
So, nothing drastic about your preparation for the MBE should change.
However, perhaps what it does mean is that you don’t have to freak out if you see some weird questions on test day. You can comfort yourself knowing that they may be one of the 25 unscored test questions.
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