The Professional Responsibility Examination is developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners. This examination was introduced in 1980. The duration of the Professional Responsibility Examination is 125 minutes. This is a multiple choice examination intended to evaluate the knowledge and understanding of recognized standards associated to a lawyer’s professional conduct.
Professional Responsibility Examination is considered as a prerequisite or corequisite to the bar examination for admittance as an attorney at law in the U.S. This examination is valid in 47 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Republic of Palau. The jurisdictions of Maryland, Puerto Rico, Washington, and Wisconsin do not conduct the Professional Responsibility Examination separately. These jurisdictions incorporate local ethics rules to their respective bar examinations.
Generally the Professional Responsibility Examination consists of 60 substantive questions. 50 questions are recognized for the score and the remaining 10 questions are randomly scattered for experimental purposes. There is some survey questions used to assess the state of affairs of the testing center. The evaluation is based on the raw score which is converted to a “scaled score” on the basis of the difficulty in the test. The scaled score is the determining factor to decide the passing scores. Generally the range of scaled scores is 50 to 150 with a median value close to 100. The passing score of the Professional Responsibility Examination varies between jurisdictions. The lowest score accepted by any jurisdiction is 75.
The questions of the Professional Responsibility Examination are based on the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the American Bar Association Model Code of Judicial Conduct, and the controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles recognized in important federal and state cases.