While the Uniform Bar Exam, or UBE, is uniformly administered, UBE passing scores by state do vary. So, if you’ve recently learned that the UBE is part of the process for you to become a licensed attorney in your state, you’re no doubt very curious about what score you need to get on the UBE to pass.
Since you’re going to need as much time as possible to study for the UBE—about two to three months!—we’ve rounded up all the UBE passing scores by state for you here for quick reference. (To see which states are considering the UBE or are administering the UBE, review the National Conference of Bar Examiner’s list of UBE jurisdictions.)
To kick things off, let’s take a quick look at the what makes up your UBE score.
What makes up a UBE Score?
Your UBE score will be out of a possible score of 400. Those 400 points are made up of your score on each of the three components of the UBE—the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). The MEE and the MPT together are worth half of the points on the UBE, and those scores are determined by your jurisdiction.
The MBE, on the other hand, is scored by the NCBE and is out of a possible 200 points. This is based on the 200 multiple choice questions you have to answer. While 200 questions seem almost impossible, it’s important to note that you don’t have to get all or even close to all the questions right. In fact, of the 200 questions, only 175 are scored. The other 25 questions are considered “pretest” questions and do not count towards your score.
As a quick reference, the average MBE score on the February 2016 exam was a 135 and the average on the July 2016 exam was a 140. Of course, you’ll want to get as many points as possible on the MBE since it’s half of your UBE score, so be sure to spend lots of time reviewing the MBE subjects. Also, be sure to check out some of the sample questions and answers released by the NCBE. They contain helpful explanations for why a particular answer is correct.
UBE passing scores by state
So, let’s look at a quick rundown of the states with the three highest UBE required scores. Number one is Alaska, which requires a score of 280 to pass. Colorado and Maine come in second with a score requirement of 276, and in third place with a required score of 274 is Oregon.
If you’re in one of those states, you can just stop reading now and get to studying! You’ve got the hardest—but not impossible—studying ahead of you. For everyone else, let’s take a look at how UBE passing scores compare by state.
|State||UBE Passing Score|
|District of Columbia||266|
|Massachusetts||TBD – First administration of UBE will be July 2018|
You can see that the UBE scores range from a low of 266 to a high of 280. While these differences may not seem like a lot, just a few missed questions can mean the difference between getting your law license and having to take the bar exam again. You’ll want to prepare as thoroughly as possible no matter what UBE score you need to pass—I promise, you won’t begrudge any points you get above the minimum passing score.
Quick note: the scores listed in the chart above are the minimum passing scores for each jurisdiction. The minimum score for a UBE transfer score—when you take the UBE in another state—may be higher. Be sure to review the NCBE’s Score Portability information if you’re planning to transfer your score to another state.
You don’t have to get a perfect score, or even close, to pass the UBE. While this doesn’t mean the UBE will be easy, it’s comforting to know you can miss points on the MBE, MEE, and MPT and still pass the UBE.
The score you’ll need to get depends on which jurisdiction you’re in, but no matter what you’ll need to at least get a score of 260. So, what are you waiting for? Start studying so you can crush the UBE.
Not sure where to start? Check out How to Write Bar Exam Essays Fast and Well and you’ll be on your way to passing the UBE!
Sign up for early access to Magoosh UBE Prep!