We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Interpret My MBE Scores?

By Theresa Miles
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) scores are interpreted by taking the scaled score provided by the testing agency as part of an examinee’s test results and comparing it to the cut off for MBE scores in the state where the examinee is taking the bar exam. If the scaled score is higher than the cut off, the examinee has passed the multistate portion of the exam. The examinee must also determine the weight given to MBE scores in the state’s bar examination process. Some states weigh the MBE as 50 percent of the total score needed to pass the bar exam, and other states give MBE scores less weight.

In the U.S., each state determines the qualifications for licensing lawyers to practice and administer its own bar exam. The MBE is a standardized multiple choice test designed by the National Council of Bar Examiners that a state can choose to use as part of its bar admissions process. It tests knowledge of multi-jurisdictional applications of constitutional law, contracts, criminal law, evidence, real property, and torts. Most states administer a bar exam in two parts by using the MBE to test general legal knowledge and an essay section to test state-specific knowledge. States then assign a weight to each part of the exam to determine an overall state bar exam score.

The MBE contains 200 questions, 190 of which count towards an examinee’s raw score. Raw scores are subjected to a statistical process called equating, where the testing agency assigns a difficulty level to each of the questions on the exam. Two examinees might have the same raw score or have gotten the same number of questions right, but the difficulty level of the questions might mean that the two end up with different scaled scores. There is a bit more to the statistical computations that are applied to the raw scores to transform them into scaled scores, but the exact formula is not published by the testing agency.

Equating is designed to adjust the MBE scores for each test session according to difficulty so that no examinee has an advantage or disadvantage by taking an easier or harder version of the test. The process is supposed to assure that the entire test ends up with the same overall difficulty level across testing sessions even though the actual questions change. Its validity depends, however, on a subjective assessment of the difficulty of each question.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.