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The Illinois Bar Exam

Exam TypeUBE
MBE
MEE
MPT
Jurisdiction-specific component
Upcoming Registration DatesSeptember 15, 2018 (February 2019 exam); February 15, 2019 (July 2019 exam)
Recent Pass Rates58% (February 2017); 74% (July 2017)

Introduction

The Illinois bar exam assesses whether an examinee is competent to practice law in the State of Illinois. Passing the bar exam is an essential step in becoming a lawyer in Illinois. The exam consists of three components: an essay component, a multiple-choice component, and a performance component. Examinees are tested on a variety of legal subjects. Bar exam scores are scaled, meaning that scores are adjusted to reflect the relative difficulty of a particular exam. These adjustments ensure that no examinee is unfairly penalized or rewarded for taking a more or less difficult exam.

Studying for the Illinois bar exam is a full-time job that requires discipline, determination, and—for most people—a formal course structure. Quimbee’s Illinois bar review is expertly designed to help you prepare for the Illinois bar examination in the most efficient and effective way possible. Our Illinois bar-prep course includes 7,000+ smart flashcards, real practice questions from past bar exams, answers with detailed explanations, full-length practice tests, and comprehensive outlines of Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) subjects.

Read on to learn more about the Illinois bar exam and how Quimbee’s bar-review course can help you pass the Illinois bar exam.

Illinois Bar Exam Format

Illinois administers the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE).

The UBE is a uniformly administered bar exam that results in a portable score. This means that applicants who take the UBE may transfer their scores to seek admission in other UBE jurisdictions.

UBE scoring is based on a 400-point scale. Each jurisdiction sets its own minimum-passing score. Illinois’s minimum-passing UBE score is 266.

The UBE consists of three sections: the MBE, the MEE, and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT).

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

The MBE is a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice examination developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) and administered by participating jurisdictions, including Illinois, on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in July of each year. The MBE counts for 50 percent of an examinee’s total UBE score.

According to the NCBE, the purpose of the MBE is to assess the extent to which an examinee can apply fundamental legal principles and legal reasoning to analyze given fact patterns.

The MBE is divided into morning and afternoon testing sessions of three hours each, with 100 questions in each session. There are no scheduled breaks during either the morning or afternoon session, though test taskers typically may be excused from the exam room during the test. Be sure to check with your jurisdiction, however, as the rules regarding leaving the exam room may vary.

Of the 200 questions on the MBE, 175 questions are scored. The remaining unscored 25 questions are used by the NCBE to test potential future questions. The scored questions are distributed evenly, with 25 questions from each tested subject area. The Illinois bar exam subjects include civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts.

Multistate Essay Examination (MEE)

The MEE consists of six 30-minute issue-spotter questions. The MEE is administered on the Tuesday before the last Wednesday in February and July of each year. The MEE counts for 30 percent of an examinee’s UBE score.

Subjects that may be tested on the MEE include business associations, civil procedure, conflict of laws, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, family law, real property, torts, trusts and estates, and Article 9 (secured transactions) of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

The MPT is the third component of the UBE. The MPT is used in many jurisdictions that haven’t adopted the UBE; 45 jurisdictions administered the MPT in 2017.

Unlike other components of the UBE, the MPT is not a test of substantive knowledge. The MPT consists of two 90-minute problems designed to mimic real-world tasks that a new attorney might be assigned. The MPT counts for 20 percent of an examinee’s UBE score.

The materials for each MPT include a file and a library. The file consists of the facts of a fictitious case and includes legal documents related to the case. The library contains statutes, cases, and other forms of rules. The file and library will include both relevant and irrelevant information; it’s up to you to figure out what you’ll need to complete your task. The examinee’s task will be outlined in a memorandum contained in the file.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

In addition to the UBE, a passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is also required to become a licensed Illinois attorney. The MPRE tests an examinee’s knowledge of the ethics rules related to the practice of law. According to the NCBE, the purpose of the MPRE is to “measure examinees' knowledge and understanding of established standards related to the professional conduct of lawyers.”

The MPRE’s questions are largely based on the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct, but the MPRE also covers relevant court decisions as well as procedural and evidentiary rules.

The MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions—50 scored questions and 10 unscored questions. As with the MBE, each question on the MPRE is followed by four possible answer options. You’ll have two hours to complete the exam.

The MPRE is offered three times per year, typically in March, August, and November. Be sure to register early—the regular registration fee is $95, but the late registration fee is $190.

The MPRE is scored on a scale that ranges from 50 to 100. Illinois requires a minimum-passing MPRE score of 80.

Illinois Bar Exam Information

Below is a list of useful information for Illinois bar examinees:

Dates

The Illinois bar exam is offered twice a year on the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. The Illinois bar exam is administered at various venues in Chicago.

Registration Filing Deadlines

The regular deadline for registering for the February 2019 bar exam in Illinois is September 15, 2018. The regular deadline for the July 2019 exam is February 15, 2019. For more details on these deadlines, please see the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar’s website.

Fees

For first-time applicants, on-time filing fees range from $500 to $950, depending on whether the examinee previously filed a student registration application in the state. For more details on fees, visit the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar’s website.

Results

Results from the July exam are posted to examinees' user homepages in early October. Results from the February exam are posted in early April. For more details on Illinois bar exam results, visit the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar’s website.

Contact Info

The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar is the organization responsible for overseeing admission to the bar in Illinois. It is through this board that you will register for the bar exam, receive exam information, and obtain your score.

Address:
Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar
625 South College Street
Springfield, IL 62704

Phone: (217) 522-5917

Website: https://www.ilbaradmissions.org

News

News and information about the Illinois bar exam can be found on the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar’s website.

Illinois Bar Exam Prep Course

Quimbee Bar Review is your best option to prepare for the Illinois bar exam. Heavy and cumbersome coursebooks are a thing of the past. Quimbee Bar Review and Quimbee MBE Review offer everything you need to thrive on the Illinois bar exam, and all of the course material is available from your computer.

Illinois Bar Practice Tests

Quimbee’s course offers several full-length practice MBEs and thousands of MBE practice questions—many licensed directly from the NCBE. Quimbee’s practice MPTs are also real, licensed tests from past bar exams. You’ll also get personalized feedback from a dedicated attorney grader on your practice essays for the MEE, so you can check your understanding, learn what you need to work on, and feel confident that you’re ready by test day.

Illinois Bar Study Guide

Quimbee Bar Review will walk you through bar prep from start to finish. You'll start with a high-level overview of every bar topic to refresh what you learned in law school. You'll watch Quimbee's beautifully designed video lessons, practice multiple-choice questions to test what you've learned, and read through Quimbee's expert-written outlines. And true understanding isn’t just answering a question correctly. You need to know why you got a question right or why you got a question wrong. That’s why Quimbee provides you with detailed explanations for every practice question, so you can understand the difference between the correct and incorrect answers.

Quimbee’s outlines provide comprehensive coverage of all MBE and MEE subjects. Quimbee Outlines are written by experts and are perfectly tailored to the NCBE’s subject-matter outlines, so you can be confident you’re studying only the material that’s tested on the bar exam.

Illinois Bar Flashcards

You’ll also have access to Quimbee’s 7,000+ MBE flashcards and MEE flashcards, which utilize the latest developments in learning science to ensure you’re learning as efficiently as possible by assessing your proficiency as you go. Quimbee harnesses the magic of spaced repetition to maximize your learning outcomes. Quimbee’s flashcards cover every topic that appears on the MBE and MEE.

So, if you’re wondering how to pass the Illinois bar exam, check out Quimbee Bar Review, and you’ll see why Quimbee is the best Illinois bar-review course available.