Chapter
07

What MBE Practice Questions to Use & Where to Find Them

(including Free MBE Question Sets)

We are often asked what practice questions to use when preparing for the MBE?

Our answer is always the same… take practice questions from as many different sources as possible. If you can afford it, you should take a mix of NCBE, BarBri, and Kaplan questions.  You can also use Adaptibar, as their software contains all of the released NCBE questions.  This will get you acclimated to different styles and difficulty of questions, so you’ll be more prepared on exam day.

Here are some sources of practice questions, and where to find them.

NCBE Official Released Questions

Recently Released MBE Questions (2014-2019)

The NCBE has released 610 real MBE Questions in the last few years.  Here’s a breakdown of each set:

  • 400 MBE Questions & Explanations (released in 2014 & 2017):  These questions were formerly referred to as “Online Practice Exams (OPE’s).”  The OPE’s contain questions from six MBE subject areas:  Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law and Procedure, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.   NOTE: The OPE’s do not include Civil Procedure, which was added to the MBE in February 2015.
  • 210 MBE Questions (released in Dec. 2017, updated in 2019):  These questions were formerly referred to as the “MBE Study Aid.”  The MBE Study Aid contains 210 questions drawn from previous MBE’s, with 30 questions for each of the seven MBE subject areas (including Civil Procedure).  The questions are grouped by subject.  An answer key is included, but not explanations.
  • Civil Procedure Explanations (released in 2019):  In 2019, the NCBE released official answer explanations to the 30 Civil Procedure questions released in the MBE Study Aid (discussed above).

These recent MBE questions can be found on the NCBE’s new mobile-friendly eLearning platform here (just note that the NCBE no longer refers to the questions as “OPE’s” or the “MBE Study Aid”).

SmartBarPrep has also licensed all of these MBE questions & explanations.  You can find them in our practice materials!

Sample MBE Questions (FREE)

  • The NCBE has released 10 MBE Civil Procedure Sample Test Questions. These include an answer key and explanations. These can be downloaded for free here.
  • The NCBE has also released 21 MBE Sample Test Questions. An answer key is provided, but not explanations. These can be downloaded for free here.

Older Released MBE Questions (FREE)

  • 1,181 past MBE questions have been released from very old exams (1972-1998), and can be downloaded for free via the links below.
MBE administered in Feb. 1991 Sample MBE (200 Questions)
MBE administered in July 1991 Sample MBE II (200 Questions)
MBE administered in July 1998 Sample MBE III (200 Questions)
MBE’s administered between 1972-1991 581 Sample MBE Questions
  • We recommend that you DO NOT use these questions for three reasons. First, no explanations are provided. Second, the question format and law tested is now outdated. Third, even the NCBE does not recommend their use on their website.5  The only time these questions should be used is when the bar review company has updated the questions to the current format and law tested.  For example, Adaptibar has updated all of the older MBE questions in their platform.

Other Sources of MBE Practice Questions

Besides the official released NCBE questions, you should also use practice MBE questions from commercial bar review courses, such as BarBri or Kaplan.

If you can afford it, you should use both BarBri and Kaplan questions as part of your bar preparation. Each company’s questions are drafted slightly differently, which will acclimate you to different types of question styles. We believe these questions are usually more difficult than the actual questions on the MBE. Because of this, these questions are extremely helpful because it really trains you to spot the nuances in the law, and if you’re scoring well on these “harder” questions then it’s likely you’ll do well on the actual MBE.

Even if you aren’t enrolled in their bar review course, MBE Question books from BarBri and Kaplan can generally be found on eBay from past examinees (just make sure to buy a book without any markings).

5See, http://www.ncbex.org/exams/mbe/preparing/ (“Because these questions are outdated, NCBE does not recommend their use but nevertheless makes them available because the questions may still be in use by commercial bar review courses under a licensing agreement with NCBE.”).