The Ohio Bar Exam

Ohio Bar Exam Overview

The Ohio Bar Exam is held every February and July.  It is a three day test that begins on Tuesday morning and ends Thursday at noon.   It is composed of three different parts:

  1. Twelve essay questions
  2. Multistate Bar Exam, 200 multiple choice questions, and  
  3. Multistate Performance Test, two closed-universe writing problems.

You must score a minimum of 405 points to pass.  The MBE counts for 1/3 of the score and the written portion (MPT and essays) count for 2/3 of the score.

In addition to passing the bar exam, in order to practice law in Ohio, you must also pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE).  The MPRE is offered every March, August, and November.  Ohio requires a minimum score of 85 (out of 150 possible points).

Sample questions and answer explanations are available from the National Council of Bar Examiners (NCBE) website.  There is currently one Online Practice Exam (MPRE OPE) available at a cost of $35.

Essay Questions

There are 6 essay questions on the afternoon of the first day and six on the third day. 

You will receive at least one essay, but no more than two essays, on each subject area listed below:

  • Business Associations (Agency, Partnership, Corporations)
  • Civil Procedure*
  • Commercial Transactions (Secured Transactions, Commercial Paper)
  • Constitutional Law*
  • Contracts*
  • Criminal Law* (also includes Criminal Procedure)
  • Evidence*
  • Legal Ethics
  • Property* (Real and Personal)
  • Torts*
  • Wills

*also tested on MBE

You have 30 minutes to respond to each question.  If you are using a laptop, your essay response is limited to 3900 characters or fewer, including spaces.  If you are handwriting your essay response is limited to the front and back of one sheet of lined paper.

The Ohio Supreme Court posts past Ohio Bar Exam essay questions online.

Multistate Performance Test

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is composed of two closed universe writing problems.  It is not a test of substantive knowledge but is representative of an assignment that might be given to a new attorney.  The MPT is given on the morning of the first day.

Each MPT is a 90-minute problem and all the materials necessary to complete the assignment are provided in the MPT (ex: task memorandum, case file, library of cases, regulations, rules, etc.).

Sample questions and answer explanations are available from the National Council of Bar Examiners (NCBE) website.  The most recent MPTs (from 2009 to present) with point sheets may be purchased for $25 to $35, depending on format. Released questions from 2004 - 2009, with point sheets, are available online, without charge for personal use.

Because each MPT is a closed universe, these older exams can safely be used for additional practice, as long as you review the recommended answer format from more recent MPTs or your bar exam preparation course.

Multistate Bar Examination

The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) is composed of 200 multiple choice questions.  It is given on the second day, 100 questions in the morning and 100 questions in the afternoon. 

There are 190 scored questions and 10 unscored questions (indistinguishable from the scored questions but not scored).  

The following subjects are tested on the MBE:

  • Civil Procedure (27 questions)
  • Constitutional Law (27 questions)
  • Contracts (28 questions)
  • Criminal Law & Procedure (27 questions)
  • Evidence (27 questions)
  • Property (27 questions)
  • Torts (27 questions)

Sample questions and answer explanations are available from the National Council of Bar Examiners (NCBE) website.  There are currently four Online Practice Exams (MBE OPE) which reflect the most recent question structure and format and cost $50 each. Older questions are available from the NCBE website but those questions do not reflect the current MBE style and format and should not be used for substantive preparation.