California Bar Exam Information

The California Bar Exam is a two-day test held on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in July (July 28-29, 2020). On the first day, the exam involves three long-form essay questions in the morning, which are designed to take one hour each, and then an intensive 90-minute test in the afternoon. On day two, you’ll do the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), which consists of 200 multiple choice questions—100 in the morning and 100 in the afternoon.

Exam Dates:July 28-29, 2020*
Exam Type:2-day exam
Location:Los Angeles, Palms Springs, San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area, Sacramento
Application Fee:Exam fee: $677

Attorney exam fee: $983

On-Motion Application Fee:On-Motion admissions are not permitted
Filing Deadline:April 1, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:June 1, 2020
Late Fee:$50 April 2, 2020–April 30, 2020

$250 May 1, 2020–June 1, 2020

When is the 2020 California Bar Exam?

The 2020 California State Bar Exam will take place over two days on Tuesday and Wednesday the 28 and 29th of July. The COVID-19 pandemic may affect the schedule, so we recommend you visit the State Bar of California website for the latest updates.

Applicants using a laptop must be seated by 08:20 and those without by 08:30. Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to allow sufficient time to locate your section and room. The exam is scheduled to conclude at 17:00 on Tuesday (28 July) and 17:30 on Wednesday (29 July).

The Attorneys’ Examination will be administered on Tuesday, 28 July, only.

Where is the California Bar Exam Located?

The California Bar Exam takes place simultaneously in numerous locations throughout the state.

Los Angeles

  • Ontario Convention Center
    • 2000 Convention Center Way, Ontario
  • Pasadena Convention Center
    • 300 East Green Street, Pasadena
  • Anaheim Convention Center
    • 800 W. Katella Avenue, Anaheim
  • Doubletree Hotel – Orange
    • 100 The City Drive, Orange
  • Doubletree Hotel – Westside
    • 6161 W. Centinela Avenue, Culver City
  • Sheraton Gateway
    • 6101 W. Century Boulevard, Los Angeles

Palm Springs

  • Palm Springs Convention Center
    • 277 N Avenida Caballeros, Palm Springs

San Diego

  • Sheraton Mission Valley
    • 1433 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego

San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area

  • Oakland Convention Center
    • 550 10th Street, Oakland
  • Santa Clara Convention Center
    • 5001 Great America Parkway, Santa Clara
  • Crowne Plaza Hotel
    • 1177 Airport Boulevard, Burlingame

Sacramento

  • Placer Valley Sports Complex @ The Grounds
    • 700 Event Center Drive, Roseville
  • Hilton Sacramento Arden West
    • 2200 Harvard Street, Sacramento

How much does the California Bar Exam cost?

The California Bar Exam costs $677, and the Attorney Examination costs $983.

Late filing fees apply, with the exact amount depending on the date of the application.

April 2, 2020 to April 30, 2020 = $50.00

May 1, 2020 to June 1, 2020 = $250.00

Online applications must be submitted by 23:59, while hardcopy applications must be submitted in person by 17:00.

What subjects are tested on the California Bar Exam?

The California Bar Exam will test on the following subjects:

  • CA Civil Procedure
  • Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
  • Partnership
  • CA Community Property
  • Corporations
  • CA Evidence
  • CA Professional Responsibility
  • CA Wills & Succession
  • Remedies
  • Criminal Law and Procedure
  • Contracts
  • Agency
  • Constitutional Law
  • Real Property
  • Torts
  • Evidence
  • Trusts

What is the format of the California Bar Exam?

The California Bar Exam follows a two-day format:

Day one:

  • Morning: 3 sessions of one-hour-long essay questions
  • Afternoon: one 90-minute test

Day two:

  • Morning: 100 Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions
  • Afternoon: 100 Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) questions

What is the minimum MPRE score needed to take the California Bar exam?

The California State Bar Exam requires a scaled MPRE score of 86 for admission.

How is the California Bar Exam Graded?

The Multistate Bar Exam is weighted at 35%, while the written essays and performance test equate to 65% of the total score. Applicants will require a total score of 1,440 out of 2,000 points to pass the test, which comes from the combination of these three sections.

When are the California Bar scores released?

Results for the July exam are released in the middle of November, while February’s results are released in the middle of May.

Applicants can check their results through the State Bar of California webpage.

Can I transfer my MBE scores from another jurisdiction?

The California Bar Exam doesn’t accept MBE scores from other jurisdictions.

What is the California Bar Exam Reciprocity Agreement like?

All applicants must take the bar examination, because California doesn’t accept admission on motion. Attorneys licensed in a foreign jurisdiction for a period of four years may be able to take the attorney exam, which is a written exam only, while skipping the remainder of the bar exam.

How can I contact the State Bar of California?

The State Bar of California can be contacted via the relevant telephone numbers and email addresses listed on the Contact Us section of their webpage.

Useful Links