New York Bar Exam Difficulty

Relative Difficulty Level
Moderately Difficult 43%

How Hard is the New York Bar Exam?

The New York bar exam cut score or passing mark (266/400) is higher than it is in some other other states. However, a majority of states have higher score requirements than New York.  This means that the New York bar exam is not one of the most difficult bar exams (at least with respect to the passing score requirement).  Nonetheless, the New York Bar Exam still qualifies as a moderately difficult bar exam.

An applicant must score 266 on a 400 point scale in order to pass the New York Uniform Bar Exam (UBE).   When considered on a 200 point scale (because it is easier to compare to other states), the New York passing score of 133 is comparable to the bar exam passing score of many states that do not administer the UBE.  In comparison to the passing score of the other states that administer the UBE, the New York UBE passing score fits in the middle of the range between about half of the UBE states having higher passing scores  (e.g., 270 or 280) and about half of the other UBE states having the same or a lower passing score (e.g., 260).

Cut Scores Compared

New York Bar Exam Components

How do the New York Bar Exam components compare to other States?

The New York bar examiners have adopted the Uniform Bar Exam. The components of the New York bar exam are the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), and the Multistate Performance Test (MPT). The New York bar exam is typical of many bar exam in terms of administering those three multistate tests (MBE, MEE, and MPT) and its two-day duration. Although some jurisdictions have bar exams that include some part of a third day of testing, and a few jurisdictions have bar exams that are less than two days of testing, New York falls within the majority of jurisdictions that have a two-day bar exam.