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Your Guide to the Distribution of Questions on the Bar Exam

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The MBE consists of 200 multiple choice questions. Of these 200, only 175 are scored. The 25 questions that are not scored are known as “test” questions, and do not count towards your final scaled score. Test questions can be on any MBE subject and subtopic. The MBE covers seven subjects: Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts. There are 25 scored questions per MBE subject, but the breakdown of how many questions allotted per subtopic is not equal.

You can find the breakdown of how each subtopic is tested in the MBE Subject Matter Outline, which is prepared and released by the NCBE. This outline tells you what ratio of questions per subtopic will appear on the MBE. These ratios can often be hard to decipher, so we’ve done the math for you! See the handy charts below for the breakdown of percentage and number of questions per subtopic.

As you can see, not all subtopics are created equal. While every MBE subject has 25 questions on the exam, the distribution of questions per subtopic varies, with more weight given to some over others. This is useful to keep in mind while studying; don’t spend all your time focusing on one specific area of law that will likely only appear in two or three questions on the exam. While it’s tempting to want to be an expert on every subject and subtopic, your goal should be to study efficiently. Use these breakdowns to help yourself prioritize and pass the bar!

The good news for AdaptiBar users is that our patented technology is already programmed to take this into consideration! Our MBE Study Aid Exams under the Practice Exams section also have two 100 question exams already made for you, in perfect exam proportions. Check these out if you are planning to do a “mock MBE” at any time before the exam. It’s a great way to simulate an actual exam and gauge where you are before the exam!

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