Texas Bar Examination--General
DAILY TESTING SCHEDULE
You are to be in your assigned seat at 8:30 a.m. for each morning session and
1:30 p.m. for each afternoon session. The actual timed testing session will
begin immediately after the conclusion of the instructions. Therefore, we
strongly recommend you arrive at the exam site early enough to take care of any
preliminary needs you have, so you can enter the testing room and be present
when instructions and testing actually begin. Once
instructions begin, you are expected to remain
seated and quiet. No additional time will be granted to anyone arriving late. No exceptions
will be made under any circumstances.
MPT and P&E
||Two 90-minute exams
(No break between these exams)
|3 hours of testing
||3 hours of testing
||approximately 12:30 - 1:30
||approximately 12:30 - 1:30
||3 hours of testing
||3 hours of testing
Medical Conditions: If you have any non-disabling medical conditions
that may require special attention during the exam (or if you need to have
medication in the testing room), contact your Analyst as early as possible
before the exam to discuss these matters. This paragraph does not apply to
Applicants seeking disability accommodations who must have completed a detailed
process at the time of applying for this examination.
Procedures For Officially Withdrawing from the Exam: If you decide not
to take this exam or any part of it, then as soon as you make this decision,
write “withdrawing” directly on the admission ticket issued to you, and return
the ticket to this office. Exam fees are not refunded or transferred to a future
exam. You may download a re-application form at www.ble.state.tx.us. You must
submit your properly completed re-application form and re-application fee
to apply for the next exam. Persons who withdraw from or do not take all parts
of the exam are not eligible for the special re-application deadline for failers.
Only applicants who receive a failing grade on the exam will be allowed to file
a re-application form after grade release.
Starting the Exam, but not completing it: An applicant may take the
Texas Bar Exam a maximum of five (5) times. If you take ANY portion of this
exam, our records will show this exam as one of your five attempts. However, we
will not grade ANY portion of your exam unless you turn in answers for all
scheduled portions. Also, you are not eligible for the special re-application
deadline for failers.
General Advisory: The Board of Law Examiners will do its best to provide
appropriate testing conditions. The Board cannot, however, guarantee perfection
in all circumstances. It is sometimes impossible to regulate the temperature of
the exam room so persons sitting in all sections are comfortable. Plan to dress
in layers to adjust to the temperature in the exam room. Sometimes there are
also unexpected noise distractions associated with lighting or heating and
cooling systems, for example. Bring earplugs to use in the event of such
distracting noises. Be prepared to be flexible.
GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS APPLICABLE TO THE ENTIRE EXAMINATION
IMPORTANT: Please do not bring study materials or communication
devices such as cellular phones or pagers to the exam site. NO study materials
or communication devices are allowed inside the exam room for any reason. All
papers for all exam sessions must be turned in before or at the end of each
session or they will not be graded. NO late papers will be accepted. Once you
have turned in your exam, you may not retrieve it for any reason. NO overtime is
allowed. Violation of any instruction related to exam security may result in the
nonrelease of your grades and/or the loss of credit.
1. EXAMINEE NUMBER: The exam is processed and graded entirely by randomly
assigned 5-digit examinee numbers. Your admission ticket, that shows your
examinee number, must be presented at the beginning of each exam session to gain
entrance to the exam room.
2. PHOTO IDENTIFICATION: In addition to the admission ticket, you must
present a driver’s license or similar official photo identification card. Your
photo ID card must be removed from any billfold or cardholder. Please note that
purses or cardholders are NOT allowed in the exam room.
3. ITEMS ALLOWED IN EXAM ROOM: Bring only what you are allowed to use during
the exam (admission ticket, photo ID, pens, pencils, highlighters, silent
timers, ear plugs). If you need a container for the items you bring into the
exam room, it must be completely transparent, such as a “ziplock” plastic bag.
No correction fluid, correction pens, boxes, pencil cases, eyeglass cases, or
other opaque containers will be allowed in the exam room!
4. OTHER PROHIBITED ITEMS: NO CELLULAR PHONES, RADIOS, PAGERS
OR OTHER ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES ARE ALLOWED
IN THE EXAM ROOM. Briefcases, backpacks, purses, hats (for males or females),
calculators, erasable pens, beepers, correction fluid, correction pens and study/review
materials are prohibited in the exam room and must be left outside the exam
site. Therefore, we urge you to leave these items either where you are staying
or locked in the trunk of your vehicle. The Board is not responsible for the
security of these items. Be prepared to demonstrate that your pockets do not
hold prohibited items.
5. NO WEAPONS: Weapons and guns are prohibited at any exam site, whether or
not you have a permit to carry a concealed handgun.
6. NO SMOKING, FOOD, and BEVERAGES: Smoking materials, food, and beverages
(including bottled water) are prohibited in the exam room. Smoking is prohibited
in the designated secure areas at all sites. You will not be able to take
smoking breaks, or access food or beverages (other than water from the water
fountain) during the exam. Do NOT leave and do not ask to leave the designated
secure area to smoke or to consume food or beverages.
7. ASSIGNED SEATING: The examinee number on your admission ticket also
identifies your seat assignment. Proctors will be available to assist you in
locating your seat. Seating cards showing the examinee number are placed in
sequential order on the exam tables. DO NOT change your seat without permission
from the site administrator.
8. SECURE AREA: Each exam site will have a designated secure area you are not
permitted to leave during any testing session unless you have completed that
session’s exam. If you leave this secure area, you will NOT be permitted to
re-enter the exam room.
9. COMMUNICATIONS: Do not bring cellular telephones or communication device
of any kind to the exam site. You are not allowed to use the telephone during an
exam session, nor communicate with anyone other than Board personnel during an
exam session. This prohibition includes even casual comments to other examinees
in the restroom or in the lobby while on a break.
10. LEAVING YOUR ASSIGNED SEAT: The allotted time for the exam will NOT be
extended. No one will be permitted to leave his or her
assigned seat during the first
minutes or during the last 15 minutes of any exam session, except as permitted
by the site administrator in response to an emergency.
If you need to leave your seat during an allowable period for any reason,
follow this procedure: take your test materials (all question books, answer
books, and/or grids), your admission ticket, and your photo ID to the designated
proctor table. Leave your test materials FACE DOWN, with your photo ID on top,
on the proctor table. Take your admission ticket with you. When you return, show
your ticket to the proctor, who will confirm your identification and return to
you your test materials and photo ID.
11. TIMING: One (1) warning will be given 15 minutes before the end of each
exam session and serves as a reminder to remain seated for the duration of the
exam. In addition, we will attempt to assist you in exam time management on both
tests on Tuesday by issuing a 45-minute warning. The one-minute warning has been
officially discontinued. Any writing after the “STOP” command is called will
result in a written report that will be investigated as a cheating incident and
could result in a character and fitness hearing and the imposition of penalties,
including but not limited to a decision not to grade your exam answers and/or
release your exam scores.
12. PERSONAL TIMING DEVICES: Watches or other timing devices should be
brought to the exam to assist you in time management. However, they must remain
absolutely silent. Devices emitting any sound will be taken up by staff/proctors
and will not be returned until the end of the last testing session on the last
day of the exam.
13. SOUND SUPPRESSION DEVICES: Standard in-the-ear
earplugs are encouraged. The use of headphones or other suppression
devices, other than in-the-ear earplugs, is prohibited.
14. MARKING IN TEST BOOKLETS and USING SCRATCH PAPER: You may underline,
mark, diagram or make notes on all question booklets (except the P&E questions),
but such markings will not be graded. Scratch paper will be provided with your
MPT answer book only. Scratch paper is NOT allowed for any other portion of the
15. HONOR SYSTEM: All examinees will be required to write the pledge in their
usual handwriting. If you cannot honestly write the pledge, you must contact the
site administrator immediately.
16. COURTESY: Your cooperation in keeping noise and distraction to a minimum
is essential to the maintenance of appropriate exam conditions. Similarly,
examinees who leave for breaks or complete the exam early should display
consideration for others who continue to take the exam. If you finish early, DO
NOT gather and talk with other examinees outside the exam room.
17. LAPTOP: If you applied to use a laptop computer, this packet will
include separate instructions. It is IMPERATIVE for you to carefully read and
follow those laptop instructions.
18. DELAYS FOR EXAM SECURITY: We must account for all MPT and MBE test
booklets and materials before examinees are dismissed. Therefore, if you are
present when time is called at the end of each of these testing sessions
(Tuesday and Wednesday mornings and Wednesday afternoon), you will be required
to remain quietly in your seat until we collect and account for every test
booklet and answer grid distributed. Please take this delay into account as you
make plans for meeting any responsibilities you may have at the end of these
test sessions. As always, we appreciate your cooperation.
DAY 1: MULTISTATE PERFORMANCE TEST (MPT)
and PROCEDURE & EVIDENCE QUESTIONS (P&E)
(Morning Session Only)
Except during allowable periods (after the first 15 minutes and before the
last 15 minutes of each test), you will be required to remain in the testing
room for the entire morning session of the exam.
Exam Segment I: Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The MPT is a 90-minute
exam designed to test your ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a
realistic situation and will evaluate your ability to complete a task a
beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish. The exam materials to be provided
to you will include a File and a Library. The MPT requires you to: a) sort
detailed factual materials and separate relevant from irrelevant facts; b)
analyze statutes, cases, and administrative materials for relevant principles of
law; c) apply the relevant law to the relevant facts to resolve a client’s
problem; d) identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, when present; e) communicate
effectively in writing; and f) complete the required task within 90 minutes.
1. Write this portion in blue or black ink only.
Erasable pens cannot be used. If you have elected to use laptop,
refer to the laptop instructions in this packet.
2. You will receive one answer book with one colored sheet of scratch paper. You
are to write only on the lined (front) side of each page of the answer book. DO
NOT skip lines. At the end of your answer, write "End
3. We have provided enough pages in the answer book for you to write a complete
and thorough answer. However, if you need more answer space, you may continue
your answer on the back of the first page of the answer book, being sure to
number the additional pages consecutively (i.e., page 11, page 12) and state
that the answer continues to alert the grader to this fact.
4. We must account for all MPT test booklets and materials before starting the
Procedure and Evidence exam session. Therefore, you will be required to remain
quietly in your seat until we collect and account for all distributed testing
materials, including scratch paper. You will not be allowed to leave your seat
between the MPT and the Procedure and Evidence exam sessions.
Exam Segment II: Procedure and Evidence (P&E). The P&E exam is a 90-minute test
covering both civil and criminal procedure and evidence. It is printed in two
exam booklets, and it is up to you to decide how much time to spend on each
booklet. When you finish the first booklet, go immediately to the second
booklet. Both booklets must be completed during the 90-minute exam segment.
1. Write this portion in blue or black ink only. Erasable
pens cannot be used.
2. You must limit your answer to the five (5) lines provided after each
question. Graders will not grade any portion of the answer going outside the
3. Each section is worth 50 raw points each, for a total of 100 raw points. If a
question has sub-parts, do not assume that each sub-part is of equal value.
4. Each whole question is of equal value.
5. If you complete the exam early, make certain you have completed both
booklets, and remain in your seat. However, if you complete both exam booklets
before the 15-minute warning is given, you may turn in your exam booklets and
exit the exam site.
6. You will be instructed to write your Examinee Number
in the space designated in the lower right corner of each page of the
civil and criminal P&E booklet.
DAY 2: MULTISTATE BAR EXAMINATION (MBE)
(Morning and Afternoon Sessions)
The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) is a test consisting of 200 multiple-choice
questions, divided equally into two 3-hour testing sessions with a lunch break
between sessions. The MBE covers the following subjects: contracts,
constitutional law, real property, criminal law, evidence and torts. All
subjects are covered in both the morning and the afternoon sessions.
1. The MBE is machine graded and must be taken with a No. 2 pencil.
2. Bring enough SHARPENED No. 2 pencils (with good erasers) to allow for dulling
and breakage. Sharpeners will not be provided.
3. You must enter your answers on the scantron answer grid. Answers circled in
the question booklet will NOT be graded!
4. We must account for all MBE test booklets and materials before examinees are
dismissed. Therefore, if you are present when time is called at the end of each
of the MBE testing sessions, you will be required to remain quietly in your seat
until we collect and account for all distributed testing materials. Take this
delay into account as you make plans for meeting any responsibilities you may
have at the end of Wednesday’s testing sessions.
DAY 3: TEXAS ESSAY EXAMINATION
(Morning and Afternoon Sessions)
The Texas Essays include two (2) essay questions on each of the following
subjects: 1) Uniform Commercial Code; 2) business associations (including
corporations, agency and partnerships); 3) family law; 4) wills &
administration; 5) real property, and one (1) essay question on each of the
following subjects: 1) trust & guardianship; 2) consumer law. Essay questions
are not identified by subject matter.
While subjects covered by the MBE are not emphasized in the Texas Essays, essay
subjects may involve some issues covered on the MBE. For example, the UCC essay
questions may involve the chapter on sales that may be applicable in some
questions concerning contracts on the MBE, and the family law (and real
property) essay questions frequently involve issues concerning real property,
also covered on the MBE. You will be expected to recognize and discuss all
issues raised by the facts, regardless of possible overlap among subjects.
1. Each 3-hour session consists of six (6) questions of equal value worth 25 raw
points each. Some of the questions have sub-parts. If a question contains
several sub-parts, number the answers to correspond to the parts of the
questions (i.e., 2a, 2b, 2c) and answer them in the order asked. Failure to
answer all parts of each question will result in a loss of points.
2. You must use only the 12 answer books to be provided to you. We will issue 6
answer books per testing session simultaneously with the essay questions.
Scratch paper is not allowed.
3. Only one question must be answered in each answer book, (i.e., write the
answer to question 1 in answer book #1, and write the answer to question 2 in
answer book #2, and so on). It is your responsibility to write your answers in
the proper answer booklet. Failure to observe these instructions may result in
the loss of credit.
4. Use only blue or black ink. Erasable pens cannot be
used. Write only on the lined (front) side of each
page. DO NOT skip lines. If you have elected to use a
laptop, refer to the laptop instructions in this packet.
5. You will be instructed to write your Examinee Number
on the lower right corner of each page of your answer booklets.
6. Read each question carefully and analyze it fully. Serious errors may result
from failure to read or understand the facts or from failure to organize the
answer. Do not copy the question or restate the facts except for emphasis or to
make a particular application of law to the facts.
7. Write concisely and clearly. Confine your answer to a discussion of the
particular issues raised by the question, but give a complete answer to those
issues. Do not waste time by volunteering irrelevant information or by repeating
points. If a direct question is asked, answer it directly. If you present
arguments for different possible views, be certain you decide the issue. Use
complete sentences in framing your answer. Do not use slang or abbreviations
other than for names of parties (i.e., D for defendant; or H for husband).
8. Each answer should show an understanding of the facts, a recognition of the
issue or issues involved, the principles of law applicable, and the reasoning
employed to reach your conclusion. Questions are intended to be inquiries on
fundamental points of law on each subject. Do not search for hidden meanings,
“catches,” or remote exceptions, since none are intended. Use your best judgment
to determine the plain meaning of the question.
9. Unless otherwise indicated in the question, you may assume that in each
question: all parties are domiciled in Texas; all actions and transactions occur
in Texas; all court proceedings are brought in the state courts of Texas; and
all property, real and personal, is situated in Texas. Assume that H means
husband and W means wife.
PROCEDURE FOR WRITING THE DAILY PLEDGES
After the completion of each day’s exam, you will be given time to write the
pledge, in your usual handwriting, affirming that you have not cheated or
observed anyone else cheating on the exam. If you cannot honestly write the
pledge on any given day, you are required to contact the site administrator
immediately and explain the circumstances that prevent you from writing the
pledge. Your examinee number identifies your exams. Do not sign your name to any
portion of the pledge. Read the Texas Bar Exam Misconduct Policy Statement and
I am not in possession of a cell phone, iPod, Blackberry, other electronic
device, notes, study materials, or any other prohibited item. I understand that
possession or use of these or similar items during any portion of the exam is
misconduct that may result in confiscation of such items and lead to a hearing
before the board, the outcome of which could include nullification of my exam
scores or a finding that I lack the present good moral character required for
I understand that the following acts also constitute misconduct: copying or
receiving any information from any examinee, giving or transmitting information
to any examinee, discussing questions with anyone before the conclusion of the
exam, leaving the secured area during any portion of the exam, writing after
time is called, taking any exam answers outside of the exam room, and any other
act that might compromise the security or integrity of the exam. I understand
that any such misconduct may result in a hearing before the Board, the outcome
of which could include nullification of my exam scores or a finding that I lack
the present good moral character required for admission.
If you finish the day’s last session of the exam before the 15 minute
warning, write the pledge on the answer materials, as indicated on the back of
your admission ticket and as set out below before you leave your seat:
“I have read and understand the Texas Bar Exam Misconduct Policy and have not
violated it, nor am I aware of anyone else having done so. I have not given or
received aid on the Texas Bar Exam, nor am I aware of anyone else having done
RELEASE OF RESULTS
CHANGE OF ADDRESS: Mail or fax any change of address to the Board of Law
Examiners as soon as possible. ADDRESS CHANGES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED OVER THE
TELEPHONE OR VIA ELECTRONIC MAIL. Address changes must be received at least ten
(10) days prior to the anticipated date of Grade Release. Applicants are
notified of the anticipated date of Grade Release in the General Instructions
included with the examination admit ticket. Results are sent by first class
mail. Board Staff will not mail duplicate result packets until
weeks after the release of results.
OFFICIAL RELEASE: Grades are officially released only when result letters to all
applicants are placed in the mail. At that point, results are released to the
Supreme Court and then pass lists are made available via the Internet, by
telephonic release, and by lists provided to other judicial entities and law
schools located in Texas. We cannot provide specific grades except by the grade
result letters to individual applicants.
The names of examinees who pass but have yet to fulfill all licensing
requirements will appear on the official pass list with an asterisk beside their
names. Any examinee who fulfills the remaining licensing requirement(s) between
the date of grade release and the date of the swearing-in ceremony will be
allowed to participate in the ceremony. However, due to printing deadlines, such
an individual’s name will not appear on the swearing-in ceremony program, nor
will there be law license materials available on the day of the swearing-in
ceremony. The Board must receive original documentation verifying proof of
fulfilling the remaining licensing requirement(s) five (5) days before the
INTERNET RELEASE: Although we will continue to release the results over the
telephone, a list of the names and examinee numbers of successful examinees will
be posted on the Board’s website, www.ble.state.tx.us. Keep your examinee
number, especially if you have a common name, so you can refer to it when
reviewing the pass list on the Internet or communicating with the Board about
the pass list. (This website also includes information about deadlines,
frequently asked questions, the Rules, and other helpful information.) Please do
not call the Board’s office to ask if grades will be released early.
SWEARING-IN CEREMONY: Applicants are notified of the exact date of the
Swearing-In ceremony in the General Instructions included with the examination
admit ticket. More detailed instructions and directions will be provided with
the result packages.
SECTION 82.024 OF THE TEXAS GOVERNMENT CODE: Any person who has completed the
prescribed law study requirements is eligible to take the bar exam. However,
admission to the Texas Bar is based upon the fulfillment of ALL requirements as
stated in Rule II of the Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas.
TEXAS BAR EXAMINATION SCORING AND WEIGHTING
I. TEXAS BAR EXAMINATION COMPONENTS
The Texas Bar Examination (TBE) has four parts. The highest possible total
scaled score across these parts is 1000 points. A
total scaled score of 675 or higher is required for passing. The relative
weights of the parts are as follows:
Multistate Performance Test (MPT) = 10% (scaled score divided by 2)
Procedure & Evidence (P&E) = 10% (scaled score divided by 2)
Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) = 40% (scaled score x 2)
Texas Essays (Essays) = 40% (scaled score x 2)
A. MULTISTATE PERFORMANCE TEST
The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) tests an applicant’s ability to use
fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation
by completing a task that a beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish. The
MPT consists of one 90-minute question, in which the examinee is furnished with
a file of source documents and a library of research materials to be used in
accomplishing the task. The MPT requires examinees to:
- sort detailed factual materials and separate relevant from irrelevant
- analyze statutes, cases, and administrative materials for principles of
- apply the law to the relevant facts in a manner likely to resolve a
- identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, when present;
- communicate effectively in writing; and
- complete a lawyering task within time constraints.
The MPT is graded on a scale where a 6 is the highest possible score and 0 is
the lowest possible score. These grades are converted to the same scale of
measurement as that used for the MBE.
B. PROCEDURE AND EVIDENCE QUESTIONS
The Procedure & Evidence (P&E) portion contains forty (40) short answer
questions on Texas and federal procedure and evidence: twenty (20) questions on
civil procedure and evidence and twenty (20) questions on criminal procedure and
evidence. The answers to each question are graded on a 0 to 5 point scale. Thus,
the maximum possible raw score on each section is 100 points. The raw scores on
the Civil and Criminal sections are then converted to a common score
distribution that weights the sections equally and allows for direct comparison
of scores between these two sections.
C. MULTISTATE BAR EXAMINATION
The MBE is a multiple-choice test. It contains approximately 190 questions
that are used to calculate an applicant’s score and another 10 questions that
are being pretested for future exams. The pretest questions are not used to
calculate an applicant’s MBE score. Raw MBE scores (the number of questions
answered correctly) are equated (“scaled”) to adjust for possible differences in
average question difficulty across administrations of the exam. As a result of
this procedure, a given MBE scaled score indicates about the same level of
performance regardless of the particular administration of the examination on
which it is earned. The maximum scaled score on the MBE is 200 points. Further
information regarding the MBE can be found at www.ncbex.org
D. TEXAS ESSAY QUESTIONS
The TBE also includes twelve (12) Texas Essay questions. Each essay question
is graded on a scale where 25 is the highest possible score and 0 is the lowest
possible score. The raw scores on each essay question are then converted to a
common score distribution that weights the questions equally and allows for
direct comparison of scores across the twelve questions.
II. METHOD OF SCALING SCORES
MPT raw scores (on the 6-point scale) are converted to a score distribution
that has the same mean and standard deviation as the MBE scaled scores.
The sum of the converted Civil and Criminal P&E scores is scaled to a score
distribution that has the same mean and standard deviation as the MBE scaled
The sum of the converted ESSAY scores is scaled to a score distribution that has
the same mean and standard deviation as the MBE scaled scores.
The formula below is used to compute the total scaled score, rounded to the
nearest whole number:
MPT (scaled score divided by 2) + P&E (scaled score divided by 2) + MBE (scaled
score x 2) + Texas Essays (scaled score x 2) = Final Score
Scaling is done to insure fairness between exams from one administration to
another and between questions within any given exam.
III. THE EXAMINATION REVIEW PROCESS
Rule XI, Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas, provides for two kinds
of exam reviews -- a formal review and an informal review. You cannot request
both a formal and an informal review of the same exam. The purpose of these
reviews is to assist you in improving your performance on future exams. Such a
review is neither an appeal nor a re-grade of your performance on the exam.
A. FORMAL REVIEWS
Rule XI(g) provides for a one-time formal review, which is an individual, oral
review of your performance on the exam (excluding the MBE). You are entitled to
a formal review if you have failed the TBE at least twice and have not
previously had a formal review. Regardless of the number of exams taken, you are
entitled to only one formal review. We must RECEIVE your written request for a
formal review within two weeks of the date of grade release. You may fax your
request to 512-463-5300. We will notify you of the exact date and appropriate
procedures after we receive and process all requests.
B. INFORMAL REVIEWS
Rule XI(h) provides for an informal review of your performance on the failed
portions of the exam. The examining Board member has the discretion to decide
whether the review will be an oral, telephonic, or written review. You are
entitled to an informal review each time you fail the TBE. We must RECEIVE your
written request for an informal review within two weeks of the date of grade
release. You may fax your request to 512-463-5300. We will notify you of the
appropriate procedures after we receive and process all requests.
since February 6, 2006
March 21, 2013 02:20 PM