The Smart Guide to the California Bar Exam

A Guide to Mastering the CA Bar Exam

CA Bar Exam Format

CA Bar Exam Sections - MBE 200 Multiple Choice, CA Essays - 5 Essays, CA Performance Test - 1 Writing Assignment
The California Bar Exam contains 3 sections:
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Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

200 multiple choice
^

California Essays

5 essays
^

California Performance Test

1 writing assignment

CA Bar Exam Dates

Feb. 2023 exam: February 21-22, 2023
July 2023 exam: July 25-26, 2023

*The California Bar Exam takes place on the last Tuesday & Wednesday of February and July.

Frequency Charts

(FREE Charts & Statistics)

Click the links above for FREE Frequency Charts covering each section of the California bar exam.

Contact Info

State Bar of California
Office of Admissions
180 Howard Street
254 Washington Avenue Extension
San Francisco, CA 94105

Website:      https://www.calbar.ca.gov/Admissions
Phone:         (415) 538-2376
Fax:              (415) 538-2304

How to Prepare for
the California Bar Exam

(FREE Study Guides)

Part 2: Smart Guide to CA Essays
(coming Feb. 2023)

Part 3: Smart Guide to CA Performance Test (coming Feb. 2023)

Click the links above for FREE study guides covering each section of the California bar exam.

Subjects Tested on CA Bar Exam

California Essay Subjects

  1. Business Associations (Agency, Partnerships, Corporations, LLC’s, Sole Proprietorships, Joint Ventures)
  2. Civil Procedure
  3. Community Property
  4. Constitutional Law
  5. Contracts
  6. Criminal Law & Procedure
  7. Evidence
  8. Professional Responsibility
  9. Real Property
  10. Remedies
  11. Torts
  12. Trusts
  13. Wills & Succession

MBE Subjects

  1. Civil Procedure
  2. Constitutional Law
  3. Contracts
  4. Criminal Law & Procedure
  5. Evidence
  6. Real property
  7. Torts

Minimum Passing Score

For the California Bar Exam, the minimum passing scaled score is 1390.

Jurisdiction-Drafted Exam

YES
The California Bar Exam includes 5 locally developed Essay Questions and 1 locally developed Performance Test.

CA Bar Exam Schedule

(for February 2023 In-Person Exam)

SessionTuesdayWednesday
AMCA Essays # 1, 2, 3 (3 hours)100 MBE Questions (3 hours)
PMCA Essays # 4, 5 & CA Performance Test (3.5 hours)100 MBE Questions (3 hours)

California administers its 2-day bar exam twice per year on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. 

On Tuesday, the California written components are administered, which includes 5 essays and 1 performance test. 

On Wednesday, the MBE multiple choice questions are administered. 

Pass Rate – CA Bar Exam

 Date of Examination 

Total Number Completing Exam

Total Number Passed

Total % Passed Results Release Date
2022 February3,1131,05633.9%May 6, 2022
2021 July7,5363,99553.0%November 12, 2021
2021 February3,0981,15137.2%May 7, 2021
2020 October8,7235,29660.7%January 8, 2021
2020 February4,2051,12726.8%May 8, 2020
2019 July7,7643,88650.1%November 15, 2019
2019 February4,6401,45831.4%May 17, 2019
2018 July8,0713,28440.7%November 16, 2018
2018 February4,7011,28227.3%May 18, 2018
2017 July8,5464,23649.6%November 19, 2017
2017 February4,4391,53234.5%May 15, 2017
2016 July7,7373,33243.0%November 18, 2016
2016 February4,7581,70035.7%May 13, 2016
2015 July8,3233,88246.6%November 20, 2015
2015 February4,7631,88239.5%May 15, 2015
2014 July8,5044,13548.6%November 21, 2014
 

*Results for the February California bar exam are usually released in mid-May, and results for the July exam are released in mid-November.