Academic Achievement

Overview of Illinois Bar Exam

Passing Score: Applicants need a minimum scaled score of 266 to pass the Illinois Bar Exam.

Day One (Tuesday): Essay/Performance Test


The first day of the exam is composed of two 3-hour sessions. One session will be the 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and three essay questions (IEE) written by the Illinois Bar Examiners. The other session will be the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), six essay questions written by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

Essay Topics

The IEE/MEE can cover any of the following topics, sometimes asking about more than one topic per question, but you will not see all of these topics on any one exam:

  • Administrative Law*
  • Agency
  • Commercial Paper*
  • Conflicts of Laws
  • Corporations
  • Equity
  • Family Law
  • Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure
  • Federal Taxation*
  • Illinois Civil Procedure*
  • Partnership
  • Personal Property*
  • Sales
  • Secured Transaction
  • Suretyship*
  • Trusts & Future Interests
  • Wills (Decedents Estates)
  • plus all MBE subjects

*These subjects will NOT be tested on the MEEs.

Multistate Performance Test

The MPT presents a written assignment based on a realistic situation a lawyer may encounter. It does not test your knowledge of substantive areas of law. It is a “closed-universe” exam (i.e., all the information needed to complete the assignment is provided in the MPT file and library).

Day Two (Wednesday): Multistate Bar Examination


The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) also is composed of two 3-hour sessions, each including 100 multiple-choice questions (200 total).


The MBE topics and the number of questions for each are as follows:

  • Constitutional Law (27)
  • Contract/Sales (28)
  • Criminal Law & Procedure (27)
  • Federal Civil Procedure (27)
  • Evidence (27)
  • Real Property (27)
  • Torts (27)