New York Bar Exam Information

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the New York Bar Exam to be postponed from July 28-29 until September 9-10, 2020.

The filing period has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications can now be made from May 5, 2020, until May 15, 2020. The New York State Board of Law Examiners expects seating to be limited and will allocate space on a priority basis.

The two-day exam follows the UBE format and includes essays and multiple-choice questions. The exam is comprised of three components: a Multistate Performance Test (MPT), a Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), and a Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).

Exam Dates:Wednesday and Thursday, September 9-10, 2020*
Postponed from July 28-29, 2020
Exam Type:Two-day UBE with multiple choice and long-form questions
Location:Albany, New York City, White Plains, Buffalo, and Saratoga Springs
Application Fee:$250
On-Motion Application Fee:$400
Filing Deadline:May 5 to May 15, 2020
Late Filing Deadline:No late filing permitted
Late Fee:No late filing permitted

When is the 2020 New York Bar Exam?

The New York Bar Exam usually takes place on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. However, the July 2020 exam has been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will now occur on Wednesday and Thursday, September 9-10, 2020.

Where is the New York Bar Exam Located?

The September 2020 New York Bar Exam will be held concurrently in the following areas throughout the state: Albany, New York City, White Plains, Buffalo, and Saratoga Springs.

Once the precise location has been confirmed for each exam, the New York State Board of Law Examiners will post this information on the Test Sites section of their website.

Social distancing laws resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will effect seating availability, and the Board has advised it will likely not be able to sit all potential applicants. Priority will be given to J.D. or LL.M. candidates who are taking the exam for the first time and have graduated from one of 15 approved law schools. See the New York State Board of Law Examiners’ website for more information.

How much does the New York Bar Exam cost?

The application fee for the New York Bar Exam is $250. Under Section 520.6, the fee for an exam-taker who studied law in a foreign country fee is $750. No late filing is allowed.

All applications must be made online and paid via credit card. Other fees may apply and must be paid via check or money order.

What subjects are tested on the New York Bar Exam?

MBE Subjects:

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

New York Essay Subjects:

  • Agency
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Corporations
  • Domestic Relations
  • Equity
  • Federal Jurisdiction
  • Future Interests
  • Insurance (No-Fault)
  • Mortgages
  • New York Practice
  • New York Professional Responsibility
  • Partnership
  • Personal Property
  • Secured Transactions
  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Workers’ Compensation
  • Plus New York distinctions for all MBE subjects

Multistate Performance Test:

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

What is the format of the New York Bar Exam like?

The New York Bar Exam follows a two-day UBE format:

Day 1:

  • Morning: two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions
  • Afternoon: six 30-minute Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions

Day 2:

  • Morning: one hundred multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)
  • Afternoon: one hundred multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

More important exam day information can be found at the New York State Board of Law Examiners’ website.

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

Applicants must pass the MPRE within three years before or after passing the New York Bar Exam, measured from the date the applicant sat each examination. A minimum scaled score of 85 is required.

Visit for information on MPRE dates, filing deadlines, and application fees.

How is the New York Bar Exam Graded?

The MEE and MPT essay scores are scaled to the MBE multiple-choice questions with the following weighting:

  • MBE 50%
  • MPT 20%
  • MEE 30%

Scores from all sections are combined, and a grade of 266 or higher is required to pass the exam. No minimum passing score is required for any specific section of the New York Bar Exam.

When are the New York Bar scores released?

Results are generally released in early May for the February exam and mid-November for the July exam. However, as the July exam has been postponed until September, the release of the results will likely be delayed. New York usually releases its results approximately three months after the exam.

Can I transfer my MBE scores from another jurisdiction?

Applicants may only transfer an MBE score from a concurrent exam.

What is the New York Reciprocity Agreement like?

New York may admit applicants without an examination from reciprocal states. Applicants must have been practicing law for 5 of the last 7 years and be a graduate of an ABA-accredited law school.

How can I contact the New York State Bar?

New York Board of Law Examiners

Corporate Building-Plaza 3
254 Washington Avenue Extension
Albany, NY 11203-5195
office (518) 453-5990
fax (518) 452-5729

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