Taking the Bar/Florida Bar

Most states require applicants to have completed all requirements for graduation before sitting for the Bar Examination. In Florida, for instance, if one takes the Bar Examination without having received the required degree, the score is impounded and eventually invalidated, and the test-taker may be called for an investigative hearing for violating the rules governing admission to the Bar.

The Parts of the Bar

Bar exams normally consist of multiple parts of the test. Passing each part is often required to successfully pass the exam as a whole, but some jurisdictions (like Florida) permit passing with an “overall” passing score that is the average of certain portions of the exam.

There are five main bar exam portions, though not all jurisdictions use all five:

  1. a state portion of the exam, which might be administered with the rest of the exam or could be offered separately in an open-book online exam
  2. the Multistate Bar Exam (the MBE), a 200-question multiple-choice exam
  3. the Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), a 6-essay exam
  4. the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), an exam that tests your ability to analyze the law using sample cases, statutes, and legal documents such as affidavits, police reports, depositions, etc., and
  5. the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE), an exam that tests knowledge of standards governing professional conduct.

The MBE, MEE, and MPT together comprise the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE). You can read about each of these components at https://www.ncbex.org/exams/.

The Florida Bar consists of Part A (the Florida, state-specific portion of the exam), Part B (the MBE), and the MPRE. All three must be passed within 25-months of each other.


In most jurisdictions, the Bar Examination is given on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in both February and July. The Bar Examination is given in some jurisdictions on Wednesday and Thursday, thereby making it possible for one to take two bar examinations concurrently. One should consult the website of each jurisdiction to see if concurrent testing is possible. If one sits for the Bar Examination concurrently in two different jurisdictions, the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE—Wednesday portion of the examination) may count toward admission in both states.

Florida Bar Exam & Logistics

First review the Florida Bar Exam Virtual Tour. The Florida Bar Examination is administered at the Tampa Convention Center. Most test-takers choose to stay in a hotel within walking or a short driving distance of the Convention Center. The Florida Bar of Board Examiners' website, under FAQ, describes what you may bring into the examination room. The site also includes other test-taking information, such as details on using ExamSoft to take the examination.

Tampa Hotel Accommodations

Students should make their hotel reservations no later than the end of your second year at Miami Law. It is imperative that a student has reservations for accommodations for the Bar Examination well in advance of the event, whether for February or July. A complete listing of Tampa Bay area accommodations is readily available. The hotels are listed from closest to farthest from the Tampa Convention Center. There are many other good accommodations within easy commuting distance at perhaps significantly reduced prices. In order to compare rates, it is suggested that one contacts the hotel directly, tries using the hotel website or 800-number, or attempts to use other travel web sites in order to secure the best rate possible. 

Getting To the Exam Location in Tampa

Any student taking the Bar exam should be walking through the turnstiles at the Tampa Convention Center by 8:30 a.m in a relaxed state. That means having already checked in downstairs at the street level, deposited any contraband in the check room, and used the rest room by 8:30 a.m.

Luncheon in Tampa

The School provides a buffet luncheon for Miami Law students on both Tuesday and Wednesday in a Ballroom on the street level of the Tampa Convention Center (down the escalator from the Examination Hall). The buffet consists of cold cuts—meats and cheeses, salads, rolls, desserts, tea, coffee and water.


Some states offer reciprocity with other states. Florida does not grant reciprocity with any other state, so it is not possible to be admitted in Florida based on passing another jurisdiction’s bar exam. However, individuals who previously took the MBE in another jurisdiction can often transfer that portion of the exam into Florida to avoid having to retake the MBE. To do so, you must have scored at least a scaled score of 136 on the MBE (the passing score for Florida) and transfer it within the 25-month time limit.

Information on Other State Bar Exams

The National Conference of Bar Examiners’ website has links to each state’s Bar Admissions Offices, Admissions Procedures and Rules, Multistate Test Dates and Information, Character and Fitness, and Bar Exam Statistics.

The bar exam changes from time to time. Currently, the authors of the UBE are drafting a new exam, and it is tentatively scheduled to be offered starting in 2025 or 2026. It is not yet known which jurisdictions will use this exam.

For Questions

Lastly, remember to be diligent, then confident and relaxed on the day of the Bar Exam. For any questions along the way, please contact Director Steven Maxwell at smaxwell@law.miami.edu, or our Associate Directors, Rodney P. Rawls at rrawls@law.miami.edu or Brian Sites at bsites@law.miami.edu.