Skip to content

California Bar Exam

The California Bar exam is a 3-day exam, consisting of:

  • the six-hour Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), weighted 35%
  • two 3-hour California Performance Tests, weighted 26%
  • six 60-minute California essay questions, weighted 39%
February or July Morning Afternoon
Day One Tuesday Essays (3)
3 Hours
Performance Test
3 Hours
Day Two Wednesday Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE)
Multiple Choice Questions (100)
3 Hours
Multi-State Bar Exam (MBE)
Multiple Choice Questions (100)
3 Hours
Day Three Thursday Essays (3)
3 Hours
Performance Test
3 Hours

According to the California State Bar, the essay questions are "designed to measure an applicant's ability to analyze legal issues arising from fact situations. Answers are expected to demonstrate the applicant's ability to analyze the facts of the question, to tell the difference between material facts and immaterial facts, and to discern the points of law and fact upon which the question turns... The answer should evidence the applicant's ability to apply the law to the given facts and to reason in a logical, lawyer-like manner from the premises adopted to a sound conclusion. An applicant should not merely show that he/she remembers the legal principles, but should demonstrate his/her proficiency in using and applying them."

The following subjects may be tested on the California bar exam:

  • Business associations
  • Civil Procedure (Federal and California)
  • Community Property
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure
  • Evidence (federal and California)
  • Professional Responsibility
  • Real Property
  • Remedies
  • Torts
  • Trusts
  • Wills