California Bar Exam

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California Board of Law Examiners

180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA  94105-1639

San Francisco Telephone: (415) 538-2300
Los Angeles Telephone: (213) 765-1500

Fax:  (415) 538-2304



The California Bar Exam is administered on the last Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in February and July.

2016 Winter:  February 23, 24, and 25

2016 Summer: July 26, 27, and 28


The California Bar Exam is a 3-day exam.

Day 1: Three 1-hour essays and one 3-hour Performance Test.
Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 200 question, multiple-choice exam.
Day 3Three 1-hour essays and one 3-hour Performance Test.


MBE Subjects: 

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts/Sales
  • Criminal Law/Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Torts

California Essay Subjects:

  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • CA Civil Procedure
  • Business Associations (Corporations, Agency & Partnership, and LLC)
  • California Professional Responsibility
  • California Community Property
  • California Wills & Succession
  • California Evidence
  • Remedies
  • Trusts
  • plus all MBE subjects

Performance Test: 

“Closed universe” practical problem using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and other reference material supplied by examiners.

MPRE (Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam)

A scaled score of 86 on the MPRE is required for admission.


Applications must be filed by November 3rd for the February exam and April 1st for the July exam.  Late applications are accepted with $50 additional fee until November 30th, $250 additional fee until January 15th for the February exam and June 15th for the July exam.

Exam fee: $645 for general applicants
Attorney Exam fee: $937 for attorney applicants

Late filing exam fee: 
After initial deadline: $50
After first late fee period expires: $250


The MBE score is 35% of the total score and the essay questions and Performance Tests combine to account for 65% of the total score. A passing score of 1,440 on a 2,000 point scale is required, based on the combined scaled scores of the California Performance Test, the essay questions and the MBE.

Results from the February exam are released in mid-to-late May and from the July exam, the Friday before Thanksgiving.

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