Tackling the MPRE with Confidence

Passing the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE®) is required for admission to every U.S. jurisdiction with the exceptions of Puerto Rico and Wisconsin. Whether you’re taking the MPRE for the first time or need to increase your score, the following tips will help you develop confidence for exam day.

What is the MPRE?

The MPRE has been developed by The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE®) to ensure that bar candidates understand the professional rules of conduct and the procedural and evidentiary rules established by federal and state cases.


The MPRE is a 2-hour, 60-question computerized multiple-choice exam administered at Pearson VUE testing sites. Of the 60 questions, 50 are scored. The remaining 10 are pilot questions for future exams. MPRE subjects and subject weights are as follows:

MPRE Subjects % #
Regulation of the legal profession 6-12% 5-8
The client-lawyer relationship 10-16% 5-8
Client confidentiality  6-12% 3-6
Conflicts of interest 12-18% 6-9
Competence, legal malpractice, and other civil liberty 6-12% 3-6
Litigation and other forms of advocacy 10-16% 5-8
Transactions and communications with persons other than clients 2-8% 1-4
Different roles of the lawyer 4-10% 2-5
Safekeeping funds and other property 2-8% 1-4
Communications about legal services 4-10% 2-5
Lawyers’ duties to the public and the legal system 2-4% 1-4
Judicial conduct  2-8% 1-4


The NCBE administers the MPRE three times a year, in March, August, and November. You can typically register for the MPRE in December for the following year. Applications must be submitted by 11:59 pm CT on the registration deadline with a $150 registration fee ($160 for 2024). To register, you must create an NCBE account, apply for MPRE test accommodations (if applicable), and request authorization to test via your account. Deadlines are as follows:

Test Administration Registration Deadline
November 2 or 3, 2023 September 12, 2023
March 26 or 27, 2024 January 25, 2024
August 13 or 14, 2024 June 12, 2024
November 7 or 8, 2024 September 18, 2024

5 MPRE Preparation Tips

    1. Study Smart

    You’ll notice in the chart above that some topics carry more weight than others. For example, “Conflicts of Interest” and the “Client-Lawyer Relationship” make up a potential 34% of the exam. Of course, you should study each subject thoroughly, but paying special attention to high-yield subjects can increase your chances of getting a high score.

    2. Know the Rules

    You can’t start practicing questions if you haven't developed some foundational knowledge. First, you should actively review and seek to understand the rules:

    3. Learn Key Words and Phrases

    You may come to know the law well, but if you don’t know the nuances of legal terms, you could misunderstand a question and its answers. Fortunately, the NCBE provides a list of must-know keywords and phrases for the MPRE. They include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Attorney
    • Subject to discipline
    • May/Proper
    • Subject to litigation sanction
    • Subject to disqualification
    • Subject to civil liability
    • Subject to criminal liability
    • Disciplinary authority
    • Lawyer-client relationship

    4. Take Professional Responsibility in Law School

    A Professional Responsibility course will typically cover the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Model Code of Judicial Conduct in detail. Taking this course in law school will ground you in the subject and help you better retain its content through classroom debates, lectures on real-life scenarios, and discussions.

    5. Take Practice Tests

    Once you’ve become familiar with the exam content, it’s time to start practicing. The best way to practice is by simulating the exam as closely as possible. That means studying with questions that reflect the exam in both difficulty and format.

    6. Bonus Tip — Sign-Up for Free MPRE Review

    Themis provides free MPRE review that gives you every tool you need to know to pass the MPRE, including an outline, a lecture with an interactive handout, multiple practice exams, and over 200 practice questions with detailed answer explanations developed by Themis experts.

5 Exam Day Tips

    1. Pay attention to the call of the question

    After you’ve read through the fact-pattern, pay careful attention to the call of the question. MPRE questions often use similar calls like “Is the lawyer subject to discipline?” or “Is the lawyer’s conduct proper?” This is where knowing your MPRE keywords and phrases will help you. Consider what the call is asking, and ask yourself whose conduct should be evaluated.

    2. Eliminate answer choices

    Eliminating answer choices you know are wrong is good practice on any exam. As you analyze an MPRE question, root out answer choices that: 

    • Contradict the facts
    • Go against your common sense of how the rules could play out in real life
    • Don’t directly respond to the call of the question

    3. Think before you choose

    Think of the potential answer before you look at the answer choices. MPRE answer choices may try to trick you, but reading them with an answer already in mind will help you avoid such trickery.

    4. Keep Track of Time

    You have 2 hours to answer 60 questions. That means you should answer about 15 questions per half hour. It’s better to pick up the pace than leave 10 questions blank because you ran out of time. Train your pacing by setting a timer when you take practice tests.

    5. Be Prepared

    The better prepared you are for exam day, the less stress you’ll feel during the exam. Get a good night's sleep. Do a relaxing morning routine. But most importantly, stay updated on the most recent test day policies.

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