Scoring and Weighting

I.        Texas Bar Examination Components

The Texas Bar Examination (TBE) consists of four component parts discussed below.  The highest possible combined scaled score on the TBE is 1000, and a combined scaled score of 675 whole points is the minimum passing score.  Scores less than 675 are not rounded up.  The relative weight of the component parts is:


Procedure & Evidence (P&E) = 10%

 (scaled score ÷ by 2)       

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) = 40%

 (scaled score x 2)
Multistate Performance Test (MPT) = 10% (scaled score ÷ by 2)

Texas Essays (Essays) = 40%

(scaled score x 2)

A.     Procedure and Evidence Questions

The Procedure & Evidence (P&E) portion contains forty (40) short answer questions on Texas and federal procedure and evidence:  twenty (20) questions on civil procedure and evidence and twenty (20) questions on criminal procedure and evidence.  There are 100 possible raw points on the P&E questions; the examinee’s raw score on this portion is scaled to the MBE 200-point scale by use of a statistical process called the equipercentile method, explained in detail after the discussion of the component parts of the TBE.

B.     Multistate Performance Test

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT) is designed to test an applicant’s ability to use fundamental lawyering skills in a realistic situation by completing a task that a beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish.  The MPT consists of one 90-minute item, in which the examinee is furnished with a file of source documents and a library of research materials to be used in accomplishing the designated task.  The MPT requires examinees to:  (1) sort detailed factual materials and separate relevant from irrelevant facts; (2) analyze statutes, cases, and administrative materials for principles of law; (3) apply the law to the relevant facts in a manner likely to resolve a client’s problem; (4) identify and resolve ethical dilemmas, when present; (5) communicate effectively in writing; (6) complete a lawyering task within time constraints.  There are 100 possible raw points on the MPT; the examinee’s raw MPT score is also scaled to the MBE 200-point scale by use of the equipercentile method.

C.     Multistate Bar Examination

MBE raw scores are scaled, or adjusted, to account for possible exam-to-exam fluctuations in the level of difficulty.  This adjustment is the result of a process called equating, which analyzes a particular applicant pool’s responses to about sixty (60) questions that have appeared on prior MBEs.  The responses of the current test-takers to these common questions are then statistically compared to the performance of prior examinee pools.  This comparison reveals the relative level of knowledge of the current pool of examinees versus prior examinee pools and determines how many points should be added to or subtracted from the raw score to reach a scaled score.  A scaled score is the standardized score that has been adjusted to account for the differences in difficulty of the questions appearing on different administrations of the exam.  Therefore, a particular scaled MBE score on the current exam is indicative of approximately the same level of proficiency as the identical scaled score on any MBE administered before or after this exam.  The maximum scaled score on the MBE is 200.

D.     Texas Essay Questions

The TBE also includes twelve (12) Texas Essay questions.  Each essay question is worth 25 raw points.  The raw Essay score is the sum of the examinee’s raw scores on the twelve essay questions.  There are 300 possible raw points on this portion.  The examinee’s raw Essay score is scaled to the MBE’s 200-point scale using the equipercentile method.


                                                                                      Method of Scaling Scores

II.       Equipercentile Method of Scaling Scores

The TBE is scaled using the equipercentile method.  This method of scaling is accomplished by rank-ordering (high to low) the raw scores on the P&E, MPT, and Essay segments next to a high-to-low rank-ordering of the MBE scaled scores.  For example, in rank-ordering the MPT scores, the highest MPT raw score is aligned with the highest MBE scaled score.  Each MPT raw score is converted to a scaled score equal to the MBE scaled score with which it is aligned. When a “tie” of raw scores occurs, all are assigned an average of the corresponding MBE scaled scores.  The process of rank ordering is repeated with the raw scores of the P&E and the Essay segments.


III.     The Examination Review Process

Rule XI, Rules Governing Admission to the Bar of Texas, provides for two kinds of exam reviews -- a formal review and an informal review.  You cannot request both a formal and an informal review of the same exam.  The purpose of these reviews is to assist you in improving your performance on future exams.  Such a review is neither an appeal nor a re-grade of your performance on the exam.

A.  Formal Reviews

Rule XI(g) provides for a one-time formal review, which is an individual, oral review of your performance on the exam (excluding the MBE).  You are entitled to a formal review if you have failed the TBE at least twice and have not previously had a formal review.  Regardless of the number of exams taken, you are entitled to only one formal review.  We must RECEIVE your written request for a formal review within 14 days from grade release.  Applicants are encouraged to fax their request for a review to 512-463-5300.  We will notify you of the exact date and appropriate procedures after we receive and process all requests.

B.  Informal Reviews

Rule XI(h) provides for an informal review of your performance on the failed portions of the exam.  The examining Board member has the discretion to decide whether the review will be an oral, telephonic, or written review.  You are entitled to an informal review each time you fail the TBE.  We must RECEIVE your written request for an informal review within 14 days from grade release.  Applicants are encouraged to fax their request for a review to 512-463-5300.    We will notify you of the appropriate procedures after we receive and process all requests.