State-by-State Bar Exam Information: Ohio

Bar Information

Applicants to the Ohio bar must attend or view an approved one-hour session on substance abuse as a requirement for admission. Pitt Law usually holds at least one approved session (typically one of the Pitt Law Academy events) each year. Alternatively, the Ohio State Bar Association can provide access to an online video or DVD that qualifies as well.

Key Dates

When is the Bar Exam: 

The last Tue, Wed and Thu of February and July

When is the application for the July exam made available: 

Always available

By when is the application for the July exam due?: 

Law students intending to take the Ohio Bar Exam must register with the Supreme Court of Ohio by January 15th, which is the late-registration deadline and requires a $200 fee. (The timely deadline is Nov. 15th of 2nd year of law school.) In addition, the application to take the exam itself is due by April 1st, with a late-filing deadline, costing $100 extra, on May 12th.

Exam Details

What tests and types of questions are on the bar exam?: 

Written: 12 state-law essay questions and 2 performance tests from the Multistate Performance Test

Multiple-choice: The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE)

How is the bar exam structured?: 

The Ohio Bar Exam consists of two half-day sessions of the MBE (100 questions during each session); one half-day session consisting of two performance tests; and two half-day sessions consisting of the 12 essay questions.

What subjects are tested: 

The MBE tests Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Real Property, and Torts.

The state-law essays test Business Associations, Civil Procedure, Commercial Transactions, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Evidence, Legal Ethics, Property, Torts, and Wills.  

Where is the July exam administered?: 
Is it possible to take the written portions of the exam on a laptop computer?: 


Are past exam questions and sample answers available?: 

Questions, but not answers, on the Ohio Court website.

How is the exam scored?: 

The written portions (performance tests, 13.3%, and essays, 53.3%, combined) are weighted at 2/3rds of the overall score. The MBE is weighted at 1/3rd.


What was the first-time taker pass rate for the most recent July bar exam? : 

2012: 85%; 2011: 86%

What was the overall pass rate for all takers of the most recent July bar exam?: 

2012: 81%; 2011: 82%


Can MBE scores be transferred from other jurisdictions?: 


Can applicants already admitted in another state gain admission without taking the bar exam?: 

Yes but only if they have practiced law for five of the previous ten years.



Students who wish to take the Ohio Bar Exam MUST register with the Ohio Supreme Court by January 15th of the year in which they wish to take the July exam.

The information on Ohio comes from the Ohio Supreme Court's website as well as from the National Conference of Bar Examiners' Comprehensive Guide to Bar Admission Requirements and annual statistical report.