Colorado Supreme Court

Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel

Promoting Professionalism. Protecting the Public.

General Information About the Colorado Bar Exam

NOTICE: The following information is provided as a summary of commonly asked questions regarding the Colorado Bar Exam. It is not intended to fully address all application/admission policies and requirements. Please refer to both the “Instructions for Filing an Application to Take the Colorado Bar Exam” as well as C.R.C.P. 203 for complete details.

Exam Dates and Location

The bar exam is held twice yearly on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July.

Colorado is a Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) jurisdiction. The examination consists of the written portions – Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), Multistate Performance Test (MPT)- and the multiple choice portion – Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).

All exam applicants are required to take all portions of the MEE, MPT and MBE examinations. The MEE and MPT are administered on Tuesday, followed by the MBE on Wednesday.

The exam is administered in the Denver Metro Area at only one location.

Filing Deadlines

Applications must be filed using the most recent version of the CiviCore™ Application Management System (AMS) and forms.

Applications, supplemental documents and applicable fees must be submitted through the CiviCore™ Application Management System (AMS) no later than the applicable filing deadline. In addition, all documents required for application submission and which must also be mailed or delivered in hard copy to the Office of Attorney Admissions must be received no more than 30 days following the date the document was issued or executed. The receipt of hard copy documents has no effect on the application fee assessed.

Applications submitted after November 1 for the February exam and April 1 for the July exam will be assessed late filing fees.

No late exam applications will be accepted after December 1 for the February exam and after May 1 for the July exam.

Updating a Previous Application for the Exam

If you previously submitted an application to take the Colorado Bar Examination using the CiviCore™ AMS, you may reapply by logging in to your CiviCore application account and selecting the option for returning candidates to reapply. The AMS will prompt you to review and edit (if applicable) all information previously submitted. New forms must be completed each time you reapply. You must submit a newly signed, dated and notarized Authorization and Release and Statement of Verification, new fingerprints and a new driving record each time you reapply. Additional instructions are contained within the CiviCore application.

Withdrawing an Application

An application for the exam may be filed and subsequently withdrawn by submitting written notification to the Office of Attorney Admissions. If you wish to withdraw your application, you must do so in writing by using the Messaging Center within your online application account. You must specifically state that you are withdrawing from the current examination. Messages in which you inquire about withdrawal policies, indicate that you are “thinking about withdrawing,” or stating that you “may withdraw” your application will not be deemed “formal notice,” and the policies and fees referenced below will be applied accordingly.

If an application is withdrawn (by using the Messaging Center prior to close of business, 5:00 p.m. MST, the Monday before the exam) and reapplication is made within 12 months from the date the original application was filed, and provided you paid the full application fee within the past 12 months, a reapplication fee of $400 will be assessed. If reapplication is made after 12 months from the date the original application was filed the full application fee, in force at that time, will be assessed.

Bar Exam Application Filing Fee – $710.00

Please refer to the “Application Instructions” in your application account for additional policies regarding fees, method of payment, dishonored payments (declined/rejected/unpaid), exam filing deadlines and late filing fees.

If your application fee is declined, rejected or dishonored by your bank after you have submitted your application, your fee will be considered deficient and your application deemed not timely filed. If the fee is resubmitted after the first filing deadline but on or before the last filing deadline, a $200 late fee will be assessed. If the fee is not resubmitted by the date of the late filing deadline, your application will be denied.

Late Filing Fees

Late applications will be accepted through -

December 1 for the February exam
May 1 for the July exam

Late Filing Fee, add $200

Late applications will not be accepted after December 1 for the February bar exam and May 1 for the July bar exam.

The date an application is filed is the date it is submitted through the CiviCore™ AMS and applicable fees are paid. Late fees will be assessed accordingly. Electronic submission of an exam application after December 1 or May 1 will be denied regardless of the day of the week on which the deadline falls.

Applications filed without the appropriate fees or not substantially completed will not be deemed timely filed and will not be accepted for processing.

About the Colorado Bar Exam

The Colorado Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) consists of three parts: The Multistate Essay Exam (MEE), the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) and the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE). In order to pass the Colorado Bar Exam starting February 2023, an examinee must score 270 scale points (of a possible 400). For exams prior to February 2023, the required passing score was 276 points. The formula for determining the total bar exam score is:

MBE Scale Score + MEE/MPT Scale Score = Bar Exam Score

Multistate Essay Exam (Day 1)

The MEE portion of the Colorado Bar Examination consists of six questions. Examinees are required to answer all six essay questions in the morning session. A total of three hours is allocated to answer six essay questions (an average of thirty minutes per question). Learn more about the MEE, including subjects that may be tested and areas covered within those subjects, study aids and information guides.

Multistate Performance Test (Day 1)

The MPT consists of two 90-minute questions. Both MPT questions are given in the afternoon session. A total of three hours is allocated to answer two MPT questions. The MPT questions are designed to test skills commonly used by lawyers practicing law competently. These skills generally include, but are not limited to, the following: Legal Analysis, Fact Analysis, Awareness of Professional Responsibility, Problem Solving, Research Skills, and Writing Skills. Learn more about the MPT, study aids and information guides.

Multistate Bar Exam (Day 2)

The MBE is a 6-hour multiple-choice test consisting of 200 questions. It is divided into a 3-hour morning session and a 3-hour afternoon session. Learn more about the MBE, study aids and information guides.

  1. Colorado does not accept MBE score transfers from other jurisdictions or from previous examinations for purposes of waiving the MBE portion of the exam.

Procedures for Grading and Scoring the Bar Examination

  1. Colorado employs holistic grading for the MEE and MPT. Holistic grading assigns a score to an answer based on a global impression of the answer’s quality. Although grading guidelines outline specific elements that should be included in an answer to the question, the grade assigned to the paper goes beyond a simple tally of the elements covered and assigns a global score that includes the overall quality of the answer. All answers are scored using the same 1-6 score scale. The 1-6 scale is a relative scale, that is, a “6” is better than a “5,” which is better than a “4,” etc. The National Conference of Bar Examiners uses this 1-6 scale to train graders.

  2. Scoring-MBE: Raw MBE scores (the number of questions correctly answered) are converted to scale scores by the National Conference of Bar Examiners using a statistical formula designed to make scores comparable from exam to exam.

  3. Scoring-MEE/MPT: Essay and performance test questions are converted to scale scores by the National Conference of Bar Examiners using a statistical formula designed to make scores comparable. The MEE and MPT scores are scaled to the MBE, with the MBE weighted 50%, the MEE 30%, and the MPT 20%.

  4. After MEE and MPT answers have been graded, the individual raw point totals are added to arrive at a raw total. Next, the raw scores are converted to scale scores by the National Conference of Bar Examiners using a statistical formula and scaled to the MBE. That score is then added to the MBE scale score to arrive at a total UBE scaled score.

Study aids, instructional guides and practice exams for the MBE, MEE and MPT are available from the National Conference of Bar Examiners.