The Kentucky Bar Exam

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The Kentucky Bar Exam

General information
Exam TypeNon-UBE
Jurisdiction-specific component
Upcoming Registration DatesOctober 1, 2018 (February 2019 exam); February 1, 2019 (July 2019 exam)
Recent Pass Rates60% (February 2017); 61% (July 2017)

What is the Kentucky bar exam?

The Kentucky bar exam assesses whether an examinee is competent to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Passing the bar exam is an essential step in becoming a lawyer in Kentucky. 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 Kentucky bar exam is a full-time job that requires discipline, determination, and—for most people—a formal course structure. Quimbee’s Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) review course is expertly designed to help you prepare for the Kentucky bar examination in the most efficient and effective way possible. Our MBE review course includes 7,000+ smart flashcards, real practice questions and answers with detailed explanations, full-length practice tests, and comprehensive outlines of MBE subjects.

Read on to learn more about the Kentucky bar exam.

What is the Kentucky Bar Exam format?

The Kentucky bar exam consists of the MBE, the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE), and six Kentucky essay questions.

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 Kentucky, on the last Wednesday in February and July of each year.

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 Kentucky bar exam subjects include civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts. To pass the Kentucky bar exam, examinees must score a minimum of 135 on the MBE.

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.

Jurisdiction-Specific Component

The Kentucky bar exam includes six Kentucky essay questions. Each of the six Kentucky essay questions covers one or more of the following subjects:

  • contracts, including sales and secured transactions

  • constitutional law

  • business entities (corporation, partnerships, and/or others)

  • criminal law and procedure

  • evidence

  • civil procedure

  • family law

  • property (real and/or personal)

  • torts

  • estates (wills and/or trusts)

To pass the Kentucky bar exam, examinees must receive an average score of 75 or greater on the essay section. More information on the Kentucky essay section can be found on the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions’ website.

Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

A passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is also required to become a licensed Kentucky 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. Kentucky requires a minimum-passing MPRE score of 80.

Kentucky Bar Exam Information

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

What are the Kentucky Bar Exam Dates?

The Kentucky bar exam is offered twice a year on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July. The February 2019 exam will be administered in Lexington. The July 2019 exam will be administered in Louisville. For more information on dates and locations, please see the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions' website.

When Do I Need to Register for the Kentucky Bar Exam?

The regular deadline for registering for the February 2019 bar exam in Kentucky is October 1, 2018. The regular deadline for the July 2019 exam is February 1, 2019. For more details on these deadlines, please see the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions' website.

What are the Fees for the Kentucky Bar Exam?

The regular application fee for the Kentucky bar exam is $875. For more details on fees, visit the  Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions' website.

When Will I Receive My Kentucky Bar Exam Results?

Kentucky bar examination results are released approximately nine weeks after administration of the exam. Results are posted publicly on the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions' website.

What Is the Kentucky Bar Exam Contact Information?

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

1510 Newtown Pike, Suite 156
Lexington, KY 40511

Phone: (859) 246-2381 


How Do I Get Kentucky Bar Exam News?

News and information about the Kentucky bar exam can be found on the Kentucky Office of Bar Admissions' website.

What is the Best Kentucky Bar Exam Prep Course?

Quimbee does not provide state-specific coverage for the Kentucky bar exam, but you can use Quimbee MBE Review to supplement your prep. Heavy and cumbersome coursebooks are a thing of the past. All of the course material for Quimbee MBE Review is available from your computer..

Kentucky Bar Practice Tests

Quimbee’s course offers several full-length practice MBEs and thousands of MBE practice questions—many licensed directly from the NCBE.

Kentucky Bar Study Guide

With Quimbee, 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.

Kentucky Bar Flashcards

You’ll also have access to Quimbee’s 7,000+ MBE 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.

So, if you’re wondering how to pass the Kentucky bar exam, check out Quimbee MBE Review, and you’ll see why Quimbee is the best MBE review tool available.