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Bar Preparation

About the Bar Exam

The Bar Exam is administered twice per year, once in February and once in July. The West Virginia Bar Exam—like many other jurisdictions—consists of 2 performance test, 6 essay questions, and 200 multiple choice questions. In addition to passing the bar exam, applicants must also obtain a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam and pass a character and fitness evaluation before they will be admitted to practice law. More information about each section of the bar exam can be found below.

Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The Performance Tests section, administered on Tuesday morning, consists of two 90-minute “closed universe” writing assignments. The materials for each MPT include a file containing the facts and a library containing the relevant law. The MPT measures an applicant’s ability to analyze a legal problem, using the facts and law provided, by asking the examinee to perform a task, like writing an office memorandum or client letter. The MPT is not a test of substantive law.

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE)

The Essay portion, administered on Tuesday afternoon, consists of six 30-minute questions. Areas of law that may be covered on the MEE include the following: Business Associations (Agency and Partnership, Corporations, and Limited Liability Companies); Civil Procedure; Conflict of Laws; Constitutional Law; Contracts; Criminal Law and Procedure; Evidence; Family Law; Real Property; Torts; Trusts and Estates (Descendants' Estates, Trusts, and Future Interests); and Uniform Commercial Code (Secured Transactions).

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

The MBE, administered on Wednesday, consists of 200 multiple-choice questions: 190 scored questions and 10 unscored pretest questions. The 190 scored questions on theMBE are distributed as follows: Civil Procedure (27), Constitutional Law (27), Contracts (28), Criminal Law and Procedure (27), Evidence (27), Real Property (27), and Torts (27). The exam is divided into morning and afternoon testing sessions of three hours each, with 100 questions in each session.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE)

Examinees have two hours to answer 60 multiple-choice questions: 50 scored questions and 10 unscored pretest questions. “The MPRE is based on the law governing the conduct of lawyers, including the disciplinary rules of professional conduct currently articulated in the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, and controlling constitutional decisions and generally accepted principles established in leading federal and state cases and in procedural and evidentiary rules.” The MPRE is administered three times per year, in March, August, and November. Scores are reported on a scale ranging from 50 (low) to 150 (high). West Virginia requires a minimum score of 80. Students may sit for the MPRE prior to graduation.

For additional information on the bar exam, students should consult the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ website, the West Virginia Board of Law Examiners’ website, or schedule an appointment with Professor Trychta.


The faculty and staff of the College of Law work diligently to ensure that every student is adequately prepared to sit for the bar exam in any United States jurisdiction. The College of Law offers courses in every subject tested on the bar exam. (Students can log on to TWEN to download a bar preparation course planning checklist.) In addition, the school invites guest speakers to discuss the bar exam application process, character and fitness requirements, and effective bar preparation strategies. With that said, every jurisdiction’s requirements are different. Thus, students are encouraged to schedule an individual meeting with Professor Trychta to ensure that they are adequately prepared for whichever jurisdiction they choose.


The College of Law encourages every graduating student to enroll in a comprehensive bar preparation course but does not endorse any particular vendor. Every student is encouraged to do their research before selecting a bar exam preparation provider. If a student has questions about which bar preparation course is right for them, they are encouraged to meet with Professor Trychta to discuss their options.


The West Virginia University College of Law offers financial need-based Bar Exam Preparation Scholarships to graduates. The College of Law’s goal with this Scholarship program is to ensure that every West Virginia University College of Law graduate participates in a complete bar review preparation program, regardless of their financial status. The deadline to apply for a Bar Exam Preparation Scholarship is typically mid-October of a student’s third-year of law school. Students should check the application form—which is available onTWEN—for more specific details.

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