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Illinois Bar Exam


Format, Content, & Grading of the Illinois  Bar Exam


All data provided below are subject to change by a decision at any time by the Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar.  When any changes are made, they will be posted on this site.

The Illinois Bar Exam is a two-day exam -- Tuesday and Wednesday -- with the performance test and essays on Tuesday and the multiple-choice Multistate Bar Exam on Wednesday.

First Day (Tuesday): 

One Multistate Performance Test (MPT)
For details on the MPT, click here.
Three Illinois Essays
Six Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions
For details on the MEE, click here.

Second Day (Wednesday):  

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)
200 Multiple-Choice questions.
For details on the MBE, click here.

You may not use a score taken in another jurisdiction at the same time you sit for the Illinois local day. If you are taking another bar exam at the same time, you must take the MBE in Illinois.  

If, however, you have taken the MBE in another jurisdiction (from the preceding two exams), and received a scaled score of at least 140, and passed that jurisdiction's bar exam, you may use that MBE score in Illinois.  

Illinois and MEE Subjects:

Agency, Commercial Paper, Conflict of Laws, Corporations, Equity (Equitable Remedies), Family Law, Federal Jurisdiction & Procedure, Illinois Civil Procedure, Partnership, Personal Property, Sales, Secured Transactions, Suretyship, Trusts and Future Interests, Wills (Decedents' Estates)

Grading of the Illinois Bar Exam:

The Illinois Bar Exam is weighed as follows:

The essays are worth about 43%.
The MPT is worth about 7%.
The MBE is worth about 50%
(The exact weights vary, based on the difficulty of the particular exam.)

The scores are combined.  The results are generally released two to two-and-a-half months after the Summer exam, and about a month and a half after the Winter exam.

*MPRE: Minimum Passing Score: 80.
You must complete at least two-thirds of the credits toward graduation from law school before taking the MPRE for your score to count in Illinois.


Recent Illinois Bar Exam Pass Rates 
For Illinois Law School
First-Time Takers


Summer 2002

Summer 2001

Summer 2000*

1. U of Chicago




2. U of Illinois




3. Northwestern




4. Loyola - Chicago




5. Southern Illinois




6. Northern Illinois




7. Chicago-Kent




8. DePaul




9. John Marshall




Bar Exam Pass Rates Provided by the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin
*Overall Pass Rates

Illinois Bar Exam Details

Admission to the Illinois Bar on Motion 
(i.e., without having to sit for the bar exam)

1. You must be a graduate of an ABA-accredited law school and meet the educational requirements for admission on exam.

2. You must be admitted to the bar of another jurisdiction and must have practiced law actively and continuously for five of the prior seven years.

3. The other jurisdiction must have a similar policy by which Illinois attorneys can be admitted without taking that jurisdiction's bar exam.

Currently, these jurisdictions are: 

Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

4. You must prove your intent to practice law physically in Illinois for at least 500 hours a year.

5. You must never have previously taken and failed the Illinois bar exam.

Illinois Admission on Motion Forms 

Illinois Bar Admissions Law 

For further information, contact:

Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar
625 South College Street
Springfield, IL 62704
Telephone: 217-522-5917

Exam Dates:

Winter 2007
Tuesday & Wednesday, 
February 27 & 28, 2007

Summer 2007
Tuesday & Wednesday, 
July 24 & 25, 2007

Future Dates:

February 26 & 27, 2008
July 29 & 30, 2008

For Illinois Filing Deadlines and Fee Schedule, click here.

Filing deadlines and fees are subject to change.  Contact the Illinois Board to learn the rules in effect at the time of your application.

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