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Information For Bar Exam Applicants

What - The Illinois Bar Exam

Applicants for admission to the Illinois bar may qualify on examination.

Illinois Supreme Court Rule 704 sets forth the requirements for qualification on examination, which includes an academic qualification examination, also known as the Illinois bar exam.

When - February and July 

The Illinois bar exam is offered twice a year on the last consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July.

Where - Chicago

The Illinois bar exam is administered at various venues in Chicago.

The February bar exam will be held at the University of Illinois of Chicago Forum (UIC Forum) located at 725 W. Roosevelt Road, Chicago 60608.

The July  bar exam venue(s) will be announced in early Spring.

Notices of Eligibility for the exam are posted to his/her user homepage approximately 2 weeks prior to the exam.


Filing Deadlines for First-time Illinois Bar Exam Registrants

For the July exam, the regular filing deadline is February 15.  Late filing, upon payment of sharply escalating fees, is permitted through May 31.

For the February exam, the regular filing deadline is September 1. Late filing, upon payment of sharply escalating fees, is permitted through December 31.

IMPORTANT: The Board of Admissions to the Bar will NOT consider any request to file an application beyond the latest deadline for any given reason.

Filing Fees and Deadlines

Filing fees and deadlines for first time applicants who have NEVER previously registered for an Illinois bar examination

ON TIME
The regular filing deadline for a July exam is the preceding February 15, and the regular filing deadline for a February exam is the preceding September 1. The regular filing fees for first time exam applicants are as follows:
For those who previously filed a law student registration application apart from an exam in Illinois $500
For those who did not previously file a law student registration application in Illinois $950
LATE
The late filing deadline for a July exam is April 1, and the late filing deadline for a February exam is November 1. The fees for first time Illinois bar exam applicants filing February 16 through April 1 for a July exam or September 2 through November 1 for a February exam are as follows:
For those who previously filed a law student registration application apart from an exam in Illinois $700
For those who did not previously file a law student registration application in Illinois $1150
REALLY LATE
The final late filing deadline for a July exam is May 31, and the final late filing deadline for a February exam is December 31. The fees for first time Illinois bar exam applicants filing April 2 through May 31 for a July exam or November 2 through December 31 for a February exam are as follows:
For those who previously filed a law student registration application apart from an exam in Illinois $1000
For those who did not previously file a law student registration application in Illinois $1450

Filing deadlines and fees for applicants who HAVE previously registered for an Illinois bar examination
ON TIME
The regular filing deadline for a July exam is May 1, and the regular filing deadline for a February exam is November 1. The regular filing fees for applicants who have previously registered for an Illinois bar exam are as follows:
For those who withdrew prior to or were entirely absent from all such exam(s) and have never failed an Illinois bar exam $500
For those who previously have failed an Illinois bar exam $500
LATE
The final late filing deadline for a July exam is May 31, and the final late filing deadline for a February exam is December 31. The final late filing fees for applicants who have previously registered for an Illinois bar exam are as follows:
For all applicants who have previously registered for an Illinois bar exam, including those who failed, withdrew and/or were absent

$850


Bar Examination Application Forms

Please be aware that application forms are specific to each bar exam. This means, for example, that an application filled out for the July 2013 bar exam may not be used to apply for the February 2014 exam. Filling out the application form(s) is time consuming, so applicants should check to make sure they are working with the correct forms before entering any data.

Receiving Your Results

Results from the July exam will be posted to examinees' user homepages during the first two (2) weeks of October. Results from the February exam will likewise be posted during the first two (2) weeks of April.

Examinees who fail an Illinois bar exam may request permission to inspect their written answers along with "sample answers" that were written by fellow examinees. Sample passing answers are not perfect answers but are representative of those answers that received the highest score. 


Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

The MBE is a 200 question, multiple choice test developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). MBE questions are designed to be answered by applying fundamental legal principles in the areas of constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, evidence, real property and torts. The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar, along with nearly every other jurisdiction, administers the MBE as part of its bar exam. The test is divided into two (2) periods of three (3) hours each, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, with 100 questions in each period.

MBE scores are computed nationally. The MBE raw score (number of questions answered correctly) is converted to a MBE scaled score, which controls the variation in test question difficulty across the various administrations of the MBE. As a result of this process, a given MBE scaled score indicates about the same level of proficiency, regardless of the examination on which it was earned.

The NCBE website at http://www.ncbex.org provides detailed information, booklets, and study guides concerning the MBE.

MBE Score Transfer

The Illinois Board of Admission to the Bar will accept a scaled score of 140 or more that was earned by an applicant on a MBE administered in another jurisdiction within the 13 months immediately preceding the current Illinois bar exam. The applicant must have passed the entire bar exam in the jurisdiction in which the MBE score was earned.

Applicants opting to transfer a MBE score must take and pass the written portion of the Illinois bar exam in order to pass the exam. This means that the point of value of the transferred MBE score cannot be used to offset an inadequate performance on the written portion of the bar exam.

Any Illinois bar examination applicant, including any MBE transfer applicant, who fails the Illinois bar examination, will be required to take the exam in its entirety upon re-examination.

MBE Score Transfer or Advisory request FROM Illinois

IBAB no longer authorizes the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) to transfer its MBE scores. If you would like to have your IL MBE score transferred to other jurisdictions, for a fee of $25 per jurisdiction, please submit your request by filing out and sending in our MBE Score Transfer or Advisory Request Form. MBE Score Transfer or Advisory Request form. 

MBE Score Advisories for District of Columbia and Minnesota

IBAB no longer authorizes the NCBE to advise Illinois examinees as to whether their MBE scores are sufficient for admission without examination in the District of Columbia (MBE scaled score of 133) or Minnesota (MBE scaled score of 145) to qualify for admission without examination. A score advisory will not provide you with the MBE score itself but will let you know, for a fee of $25 per jurisdiction, whether your score meets or exceeds the DC or MN minimum scores. Submit your request for score advisory by filing out and sending in our MBE Score Transfer or Advisory Request Form. MBE Score Transfer or Advisory Request form.

The 2014 examination information booklets are available on the National Conference of Bar Examiners website:

MPT: http://ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Information-Booklets/MPTIB2014.pdf

MEE: http://ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Information-Booklets/MEEIB2014.pdf

MBE: http://ncbex.org/assets/media_files/Information-Booklets/MBEIB2014.pdf


Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE)

The Mulitstate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) is administered by the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) on behalf of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. The MPRE is a 60 question, two-hour, multiple-choice examination administered three times per year at established test centers across the country.

Like the MBE, the MPRE is scored and scaled nationally. The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar requires a MPRE score of 80 or more. An applicant need not take the MPRE before taking the bar exam, but must have done so and obtained a passing score before he or she can be recommended for admission to the bar.

For full information, resources, access and faq's: http://www.ncbex.org/about-ncbe-exams/mpre/mpre-score-services/

To directly access the MPRE booklet for 2014: http://www.ncbex.org/about-ncbe-exams/mpre/


Non Standard Testing Accommodations

Any qualified applicant seeking nonstandard testing accommodations (NTA) on the basis of a disability must file properly completed NTA request forms simultaneously with the remaining paper portion of his/her bar exam application. *NOTE* Request forms and documentation submitted after the application is filed will be assessed the late filing fee applicable at the time the forms are filed. NTA request forms are NOT electronically filed. You may access the NTA request/information forms by selecting Information & Applications, Bar Exam Applications then Browse Forms from our website.