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MPRE Passing Scores By State

June 5, 2024
5 min read


Reviewed by:

Former Head of Pre-Law Office, Northeastern University, & Admissions Officer, Brown University

Reviewed: 6/4/24

One of the many exams aspiring lawyers must complete to become licensed is the MPRE. Read on to learn more about the score you require to pass the MPRE!

Aside from the LSAT, most students must also write the MBE, MPT, MBE, MPRE, and UBE. With so many exams with similar names, keeping track of all the passing requirements can be overwhelming and confusing! 

To take it one step at a time, this guide will focus on the MPRE passing scores. While the MPRE is required for bar admission in almost every state in the U.S., the passing scores vary by state. 

This guide will cover the passing score for each state and go over how many questions you need to answer correctly to meet these scores!

What Are the MPRE Score Percentiles?

The common minimum MPRE passing score of 85 relates to an exam with around 60% correct answers. MPRE scores go from 50 to 150. The average score is about 93-94, depending on where you take the test. If you get over 130, you're in the top 5% of MPRE score percentiles. But if you score 50, you're at the bottom.

The MPRE is different from the bar, which is a requirement to practice as an attorney.

MPRE Scores By State

While the passing scores fluctuate over time, these are the current passing scores by state.

State MPRE Passing Score
Alabama 75
Alaska 80
Arizona 85
Arkansas 85
California 86
Colorado 85
Connecticut 80
Delaware 85
District of Columbia 75
Florida 80
Georgia 75
Hawaii 85
Idaho 85
Illinois 80
Indiana 80
Iowa 80
Kansas 80
Kentucky 80
Louisiana 80
Maine 80

State MPRE Passing Score
Maryland 85
Massachusetts 85
Michigan 85
Minnesota 85
Mississippi 75
Missouri 80
Montana 80
Nebraska 85
Nevada 85
New Hampshire 79
New Jersey 75
New Mexico 80
New York 85
North Carolina 80
North Dakota 85
Ohio 85
Oklahoma 80
Oregon 85
Pennsylvania 75

State MPRE Passing Score
Rhode Island 80
South Carolina 77
South Dakota 85
Tennessee 82
Texas 85
Utah 86
Vermont 80
Virginia 85
Virgin Islands 75
Washington 85
West Virginia 80
Wisconsin Not required
Wyoming 85

Source: NCBEX

Wisconsin and Puerto Rico are the only jurisdictions that do not require the MPRE. Additionally, Connecticut and New Jersey allow law students to complete a course on professional responsibility instead of writing the MPRE. Now that we’ve covered the MPRE passing score by state, let’s move on to what score you need to pass the MPRE.

What Score Do You Need To Pass the MPRE?

You need a score of 85 to pass the MPRE in most states. This means you’ll want to answer around 60% of test questions correctly.

Now that you know your state's passing score, you might wonder why the scores exceed the number of questions on the test. While you will have to answer 60 questions on the MPRE, your score doesn’t directly reflect the number of questions you answer correctly.

Instead, the MPRE uses a calculated scale to determine your final score. Students will receive a score in the range of 50-150, depending on how many questions they answer correctly.

This calculated score benefits students because it accounts for differences in difficulties on the exam. This way, the exam is more fair, and students are held to the same standards from one test to another.

Out of the 60 questions you answer, only 50 will be scored. The weighting of each question fluctuates every year, depending on the difficulty level of current and past exams. As such, it’s nearly impossible to get a definite answer to the exact number of questions you must answer correctly to achieve a certain score.

However, in general, you can follow the table below to figure out approximately how many questions you should get correctly to achieve your passing score: 

MPRE Final Score Correct Answers Needed
75 33-34
80 34-35
85 36-37
90 37-38

Source: NCBEX

Remember, these are approximations and should not be used as precise targets. To stay safe, you should aim a few points higher than these numbers to ensure you pass your MPRE. For instance, if your state requires an 85, consider aiming for a 38-39 as your minimum score instead of 36-37.

Scoring Breakdown for the MPRE

The MPRE consists of twelve different sections that can broken down in the following way:

Section Percentage
Regulation of the Legal Profession 6-12%
The Client Lawyer Relationship 10-16%
Client Confidentiality 6-12%
Conflicts of Interest 12-18%
Competence, Legal Malpractice and Other Civil Liability 6-12%
Litigation and Other Forms of Advocacy 10-16%
Transactions and Communications with Persons other than Clients 2-8%
Different Roles of the Lawyer 4-10%
Safekeeping Funs and Other Property 2-8%
Communications About Legal Services 4-10%
Lawyers’ Duties to the Public and the Legal System 2-4%
Judicial Conduct 2-8%

Source: MPRE

How Hard Is the MPRE?

The MPRE is generally considered to be moderately challenging. The difficulty level varies from individual to individual based on their familiarity with legal ethics and professional conduct rules. People have found the bar exam more difficult than the MPRE.

While some find the MPRE to be manageable with focused study, others may perceive it as more challenging due to the nuanced nature of ethical scenarios presented in the exam. Adequate preparation, including review of relevant study materials and practice questions, is crucial for success on the MPRE.

If you ever feel like you’re struggling while preparing for the MPRE, don’t forget to check out our MPRE tutoring services.

FAQs: MPRE Passing Scores

If you have any remaining questions, read on to find your answers.

1. What State Has the Highest MPRE Score Requirement?

Utah currently has the highest MPRE score requirement at 86.

2. What Is a Good MPRE Score?

A good score to aim for will be a few points over your minimum passing score, also higher than your state’s average MPRE score. Aiming a bit higher can account for the test anxiety and nerves that might make you score lower than you did on your practice tests! Round up to the nearest 10 to ensure you meet your passing score on test day. 

For instance, if your state’s passing score is 76, aim for an 80!

Unlike the LSAT, getting a higher-than-average MPRE score won’t get you brownie points. You just need to pass your MPRE to meet the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ expectations. So, you don’t have to stress over getting a score much higher than your state’s passing minimum. 

3. Is 105 a Good MPRE Score?

Yes! The highest passing score requirement is 86, so 105 is a great MPRE score.

4. How Many Questions Can You Get Wrong on the MPRE?

Depending on your minimum passing score, you can get between 22-27 questions wrong to meet your score. 

5. Which State Has the Lowest MPRE Passing Score?

Alabama, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and the Virgin Islands have the lowest passing score of 75.

6. How Can I Study for the MPRE?

You can study for the MPRE by taking a professional responsibility course at your law school. Besides this preliminary course, it would be helpful to go over the test's subject matter and practice using mock exams!

Begin with a few practice questions and then make your way up to completing full-length practice exams under the same two-hour time restraints you’d be under during test day. 

If you feel overwhelmed with your MPRE studies, know that some experts can help! Juris has a team of 99th-percentile tutors who can increase your score with personalized support that focuses on identifying and improving what matters most.

7. When Should I Take the MPRE?

Law students should take the MPRE exam during the summer to focus solely on studying. While many students take the exam during their second or third year of law school, you should complete the MPRE when you have enough time to prepare for it! 

By second and third year of law school, students are considering different branches of law to pursue. If you want to find out what kind of law would be best for you, feel free to check out our Lawyer Type quiz.

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8. Is the MPRE Difficult to Pass?

The MPRE tends to have mixed reviews when it comes to determining difficulty. In general, students find the content of the questions to be difficult. This is because the MPRE tests specific ethical questions that are challenging to answer in a multiple-choice format. It often seems like more than one answer could be correct.

Excelling on the MPRE requires good memorization and critical thinking skills. A common mistake students make is thinking they can just memorize ethics content to pass the exam. Ensure you understand the principles behind the ethics so you can apply them to different questions!

To maximize your chances of passing the MPRE, ensure you also dedicate enough time to studying. A few weeks is usually enough time to prepare for this exam.

9. How Long Do You Need to Wait to Get Your MPRE Results?

Test-takers typically wait around five weeks to get their MPRE results. 

10. How Can You Check Your MPRE Score?

Your MPRE score will be accessible via your NCBE Account File Cabinet, but only until the next test administration. For instance, if you took the exam in August, you'll have access to your score until the November test. Remember to save your score within this timeframe!

11. Can I Take the MPRE More Than Once?

Yes, you can take the MPRE more than once. Much like the bar, there are multiple opportunities for attempts.

12. Can I Take the Bar Exam Without Going to Law School?

Yes, you can take the bar exam without law school.

Final Thoughts

After finding your passing score and assessing how many questions you should aim to answer correctly, you should be on your way to creating a comprehensive MPRE study plan. This carefully crafted study schedule will help you ace your MPRE and get you one step closer to becoming a licensed lawyer!

Good luck!

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