State-by-State Bar Exam Information: Rhode Island

Bar Information


Key Dates

When is the Bar Exam: 

The last Tue and Wed of February and July

When is the application for the July exam made available: 

Available all year on the Rhode Island Supreme Court's website

By when is the application for the July exam due?: 

May 1st

Exam Details

What tests and types of questions are on the bar exam?: 

Written: Three Rhode Island-specific essay questions, six Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) questions, and one performancre test from the Multistate Performance Test (MPT)

Multiple-choice: The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

How is the bar exam structured?: 

Day One: 90 minutes for the MPT; 90 minutes for three R.I. essay questions; lunch; six MEE questions.

Day Two: Three hours in the morning for first 100 MBE questions; lunch; three hours in the afternoon for second 100 MBE questions.  

What subjects are tested: 



Is it possible to take the written portions of the exam on a laptop computer?: 

Yes. All applicants who request to take the exam on a laptop will be able to do so.

Are past exam questions and sample answers available?: 

Yes, here

How is the exam scored?: 

The written portion (MPT, 9%, and essays, 41%) and the MBE are each weighted at 50% of the overall score.


What was the first-time taker pass rate for the most recent July bar exam? : 

2012: 81%; 2011: 77%

What was the overall pass rate for all takers of the most recent July bar exam?: 

2012: 80%; 2011: 75%


Can MBE scores be transferred from other jurisdictions?: 

Yes, but concurrent examination only

Can applicants already admitted in another state gain admission without taking the bar exam?: 

Yes, but they have to take an attorney exam--three local questions, one MPT, and six MEE questions.

The information for Rhode Island was obtained from the R.I. Board of Bar Examiners' website and response to our survey, as well as the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements  and annual statistical report.