The Bar Examination tests the competence of applicants in the following areas of legal practice:
The examination is in essay format. It requires applicants to work through hypothetical fact scenarios to identify issues and governing laws, apply them to the facts and reason toward a logical conclusion – in other words, to "think like a lawyer." Unlike law school exams, the Bar Examination is the first opportunity for many applicants to put together everything they've learned and apply that knowledge, rather than being tested on discrete subject-specific topics.
The exam is not designed primarily to test information, memory or experience. Applicants answer 12 questions over a two-day period, with 45 minutes available per question. Each question is marked out of ten. The pass mark is 70 per cent (84 out of 120).
The Society’s Credentials Committee is responsible for setting the standards for the Bar Examination. Through the Screening Committee, the Credentials Committee ensures that the examinations are jurisdictionally sound. Staff have no input in the marking of the exams but are responsible for choosing the areas from the Master Question List that will be tested on each examination, in an effort to ensure fairness and consistency.
A variety of sample Bar Exam questions and answers is available for review online.