The California Bar Examination consists of the General Bar Examination and the Attorneys’ Examination. The General Bar Examination has three parts such as six essay questions, the Multi state Bar Examination (MBE), and two performance tests (PT’S). The examination is administered in February and July each year during the last week of the month that includes a Wednesday. On Tuesday and Thursday, applicants will have three hours to answer each set of three essay questions, which are administered during the morning sessions, and three hours for each PT, which are administered during the afternoon sessions. The MBE will be administered on Wednesday. The examination for those applicants who have applied for and are eligible to take the Attorneys’ Examination will be administered on Tuesday and Thursday. It will consist of the six essay questions and two PT’s from the General Bar Examination. However, applicants admitted to the Attorneys’ Examination are not permitted to take the MBE.
Each three-hour essay session consists of three essay questions designed to measure an applicant’s ability to analyze legal issues arising from fact situations. Performance test questions are designed to test an applicant’s ability to understand and apply a select number of legal authorities in the context of a factual problem. Performance test answers are graded on the applicant’s responsiveness to instructions and on the content, thoroughness, organization and persuasiveness of written tasks.
The MBE, which is administered on Wednesday, is developed and graded by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). This portion of the examination is an objective six-hour examination containing 200 questions, which is divided into two three-hour sessions during which 100 questions are administered. The applicant will need to have graduated with a Juris Doctorate from an American Bar Association approved law school.