FAQs Related to Examination for Admission to the Massachusetts Bar

FAQs – JULY 2022 UNIFORM BAR EXAM -In person Administration

The following frequently asked questions provide critical information, supplementing the information and instructions that petitioners for admission will receive by e-mail from the Board of Bar Examiners and ExamSoft regarding the July 2022 Massachusetts administration of the Uniform Bar Exam. Petitioners for admission are expected to monitor e-mail regularly for time-sensitive notifications, required actions, and instructions from the Board of Bar Examiners and ExamSoft.

Examinees are expected to demonstrate integrity, honor, and ethical behavior during all exam sessions, and throughout the bar admissions process.

Table of Contents

Before the Exam

What additional health and safety requirements are in place for the July 2022 Massachusetts Bar Exam (UBE), to be administered in person?

The Board of Bar Examiners will inform examinees of requirements as they become available.

Are additional registration steps for the July 2022 Massachusetts Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) required, beyond my Petition for Admission to the Massachusetts bar?

All examinees will receive an email in June 2022 containing information regarding both the Portal and ExamSoft for laptop examinees.  First-time examinees will receive an email via townforms.com in June 2022 containing information regarding registering for the Portal. 

ExamSoft - Examinees who opt to type their responses for the written portions of the exam will receive an email from ExamSoft when laptop registration opens.  There is a fee to register for the ExamSoft software, to be paid to ExamSoft.  Examinees that have previously used the Examplify software must uninstall previous versions and re-register with ExamSoft.

Bar Applicant Portal - Examinees will have the ability to upload documents, complete the Massachusetts Law Component and communicate with the Board.  First-time examinees will receive an email with their username and a temporary password.  The following will be required through the Portal:

  • Code of Conduct must be read and signed electronically through the Portal.
  • Examinee Directives must be read signed electronically through the Portal. 
  • The Massachusetts Law Component is a requirement for admission to the Massachusetts bar. It is recommended examinees complete after the bar exam but no later than October 1, 2022.

If you have previously registered and created an account for the Bar Applicant Portal, there is no need to register again.  You may use your login credentials to access information regarding the July 2022 bar exam. Examinees who successfully completed the MLC for a prior exam administration have completed this requirement; the Code of Conduct and Examinee Guidelines must be submitted for each exam.

What is the minimum passing score for Massachusetts admission?

The minimum passing score on the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) for Massachusetts is 270.

What content will be tested for the UBE?

The Uniform Bar Exam is comprised of 200 Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) multiple-choice questions, six Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) questions, and two Multistate Performance Test (MPT) items. A complete description of the subject matter tested on each segment of the Uniform Bar Exam (MBE, MEE, MPT) is available at www.ncbex.org/exams/.  

What is the format for the exam?

Examinees will have the option to either handwrite or type the written portions of the exam.  The February 2022 exam will use the Examplify platform from the software vendor ExamSoft for the MPT and MEE portions of the exam for those typing their responses.

The UBE will provide examinees with a portable exam score, transferable to other UBE jurisdictions where the score achieved meets the standard for the receiving jurisdiction.  Information about the benefits of a UBE score may be found at www.ncbex.org/exams/ube/.   

The Multistate Performance Test (MPT), will be administered on Tuesday morning.  The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE) will be administered Tuesday afternoon.  Exam answer files must be uploaded immediately after the exam session, for those typing their responses.

The Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) will be administered over two test sessions on Wednesday.  Each session will include 100 multiple-choice questions.

Is the Massachusetts Law Component (MLC) part of the bar exam?

No.  The MLC is a separate exam and an additional requirement for bar admission.  It is recommended that you complete the MLC after the bar exam. The deadline for February 2022 examinees is March 30, 2022.  The deadline for July 2022 examinees is September 30, 2022.  Failure to successfully complete the MLC by the deadline may result in a delay in admission to the bar.  Petitioners will receive additional details about this requirement from the Board of Bar Examiners and through the Massachusetts Bar Applicant Portal.

What technology will I need to use my laptop?

Examinees may opt to use a laptop for the MEE and MPT.  Examinees must ensure in advance that their technology is fully functional, and meets or exceeds ExamSoft’s system requirements for the exam.  The minimum system requirements can be found here.

Important note - Examinees using computers that do not meet Minimum Systems Requirements (MSR) do so at their own risk.  Technical difficulties resulting from failure to meet MSR are the sole responsibility of the examinee.  Such issues may result in the examinee handwriting the remainder of the exam session.

Prior versions of Examplify that may be on your device (such as from law school or a prior bar exam) must be uninstalled prior to registering your device with ExamSoft for the July 2022 exam.  Failure to do so will increase the risk of technical difficulties and/or functionality issues during the bar exam. 

Technical issues encountered during the exam sessions that cannot be immediately resolved will result in the examinee handwriting the remainder of the exam session.

Tip:  Be sure that your device's operating system is completely up-to-date before registering with ExamSoft.Internet access will be provided at the beginning and at the end of each exam session.  Internet connectivity is disabled during testing.

General information about Examplify for bar exams may be found here

Note: the "Feedback" requested at the end of an exam session is not for reporting technical support issues.  This is for product feedback only.

Can an external keyboard or mouse be used?

Yes, if absolutely necessary. You must use the external keyboard and/or mouse during the mock exams to be sure they are compatible with the exam software.

Can I practice using the software beforehand?

Yes.  In advance of the July 2022 Bar Exam, examinees will be required to fully complete two mandatory mock exams with the Examplify software, to familiarize themselves with the testing features and functionality of the application.  Additional, optional mock exams may be made available.  Instructions will be provided by ExamSoft. 

Examinees who do not successfully complete, at a minimum, the two required mock exams by July 15, 2022 may be required to handwrite the July 2022 Massachusetts Uniform Bar Exam.

Can I withdraw my Petition for Admission by Examination?

Yes.  You may withdraw your Petition for Admission by submitting a Motion to Withdraw from the Examination to the Supreme Judicial Court referencing your existing Petition.  Please be advised, you will be required to submit a new Petition for Admission if you choose to file in the future.  

Exam Administration Questions

When is the exam?

The standard administration of the July 2022 UBE will be held:

Tuesday, July 26

Multistate Performance Test (MPT 1 and MPT 2)

9:30 AM-12:30 PM

 

Multistate Essay Exam (MEE 1-6)

2:00-5:00 PM

Wednesday, July 27

Multistate Bar Exam (MBE)

 

 

MBE 1-100

9:30 AM-12:30 PM

 

MBE 101-200

2:00-5:00 PM

All times are Eastern Time.  

Examinees pre-approved for accommodated testing conditions will be notified by the Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners of their respective testing schedules.

More detailed scheduling information, such as when doors open, will be communicated to examinees closer to the exam.

What testing conditions are required?

Examinees are expected to demonstrate integrity, honor, and ethical behavior during all exam sessions, including mock exams.

Where can I have my phone?

Examinees may have a phone, turned off and secured in a Yondr pouch (provided each day by the Board of Bar Examiners), at their seat all day. Other electronic devices, aside from laptop computers on day one of testing, are not permitted. 

May I use earplugs?

The Board of Bar Examiners will provide foam earplugs at the exam site.

Must I wear a mask?

The Board of Bar Examiners will follow the health and safety requirements in place at the time of the bar exam.

May I wear a head covering?

Examinees are not permitted to wear a head covering during an exam session except for religious or medical reasons, in which case the head covering may not have a brim or otherwise obscure the examinee’s eyes, face, or ears.

May I eat or have medication during the exam?

Applicants must submit a health-related condition form to have food, medication (prescription and over-the-counter), and required medical devices in the testing area during the exam.

May I use scratch paper during the exam?

Scratch paper will be provided for the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and Multistate Essay Exam (MEE).  Any scratch paper used during the MPT or MEE will be removed from the testing area prior to the next exam session.

Scratch paper and pens are not permitted during the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). 

Will technical support be available?

Yes.  ExamSoft will have technical assistance available on-site before and after each exam session. 

Additional Resources for Exam Takers

Exam Taking process and best practices:

Additional Resources for Exam Administration Questions

Post Examination Questions

When will I know my results?

The Massachusetts Board of Bar Examiners anticipates releasing the results of the February 2022 Bar Exam in late April to all examinees via e-mail.  The e-mail will include information about next steps, a breakdown of the scores, and the total score.  The names of passing examinees will be posted on the website of the Board of Bar Examiners as required by Supreme Judicial Court Rule 3:01.

When do I need to complete the Massachusetts Law Component (MLC) exam?

July 2022 examinees must successfully complete the MLC by October 1, 2022, in order to avoid a delay in bar admission.  Petitioners will receive additional details about this requirement from the Board of Bar Examiners and through the Massachusetts Bar Applicant Portal.

When will the formal admission ceremonies take place?

Examinees who are successful on the Bar Exam and satisfy all other admissions requirements will be contacted by the Supreme Judicial Court regarding formal admission ceremonies.

When can I uninstall the Examplify software?

Examinees should keep the Examplify software on their computers until they receive exam results.

How can I transfer a UBE score?

The transfer of the Uniform Bar Exam score in support of admission applications in other UBE jurisdictions is handled by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.  See www.ncbex.org/ncbe-exam-score-services/ube-score-services/ for more information.

Can I obtain copies of my essay answers?

If a passing score is not achieved, an examinee may request a copy of their Multistate Essay Exam and Multistate Performance Test responses.  These instructions are provided in the email with bar exam results.

Will future Massachusetts bar examinations be administered remotely?

The remote October 2020, February 2021, and July 2021 Massachusetts exams were in response to the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The Board of Bar Examiners will administer future bar exams in person. 

October 2020 Examinees

Which jurisdictions are reciprocal for the October 2020 Massachusetts remote bar exam? 

The following jurisdictions will accept qualifying scores earned in Massachusetts for the October 2020 remote bar exam:

  • Connecticut
  • Kentucky
  • Illinois
  • Maryland
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee
  • Vermont
  • Virgin Islands
  • Washington, DC

As part of the reciprocity agreement, scores were automatically shared among these jurisdictions; October 2020 examinees should not contact NCBE to transfer their scores, and should instead contact the jurisdiction where they are planning on applying for more information and to ensure that their score has already been received.

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