What is the South Dakota bar exam?
The South Dakota bar exam assesses whether an examinee is competent to practice law in the State of South Dakota. Passing the bar exam is an essential step in becoming a lawyer in South Dakota. 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 South Dakota 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 South Dakota 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 South Dakota bar exam.
What is the South Dakota Bar Exam format?
The South Dakota bar exam consists of the MBE, the MEE, the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and one essay question on Indian law.
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 South Dakota, on the last Wednesday in February and the last Wednesday in 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 South Dakota bar exam subjects include civil procedure, constitutional law, contracts, criminal law and procedure, evidence, real property, and torts. To pass the South Dakota 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.
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 South Dakota bar exam. 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 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. To pass the South Dakota bar exam, examinees must score an average of 75 percent across the MEE and MPT.
The South Dakota bar exam includes one essay question on Indian law. Indian law includes basic principles of federal Indian law, including but not limited to civil and criminal jurisdiction, the Indian Civil Rights Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It does not include tribal laws or customary laws. For more information on the South Dakota bar exam’s Indian-law component, please see the South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners' website.
Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)
A passing score on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is also required to become a licensed South Dakota 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. South Dakota requires a minimum-passing MPRE score of 85.
What is the Best South Dakota Bar Exam Prep Course?
Quimbee does not provide state-specific coverage for the South Dakota 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.
South Dakota Bar Practice Tests
Quimbee’s course offers several full-length practice MBEs and thousands of MBE practice questions—many licensed directly from the NCBE.
South Dakota Bar Study Guide
With Quimbee, 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.
South Dakota 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 South Dakota bar exam, check out Quimbee MBE Review, and you’ll see why Quimbee is the best MBE review tool available.