Iowa Bar Exam

Iowa Bar Examiners

Iowa Board of Law Examiners
Office of Professional Regulation
Iowa Judicial Branch Building
1111 East Court Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 725-8029

Bar Exam Format

The Iowa bar exam is the Uniform Bar Exam (“UBE”). The Iowa bar exam has the written portions on Tuesday and the multiple choice portion on Wednesday.

Day 1

On the first day, the board of law examiners administers 2, 90-minute MPT questions within the 3-hour morning session, and 6 MEE questions within the 3-hour afternoon session.

Day 2

On the second day, the board of law examiners administers 100 MBE questions in the 3-hour morning session, and 100 more in the 3-hour afternoon session.


Basically, Iowa permits admission without examination for a lawyer who fulfills specified requirements, which include:

  • being licensed in another state or the District of Columbia;
  • practicing law for five of the past seven years; and
  • not having character or fitness problems.


The Iowa bar exam essay questions may examine these subjects:

  • Agency;
  • Article 9 of the U.C.C. – Secured Transactions;
  • Conflict of Laws;
  • Constitutional Law;
  • Contracts (including Article 2 of the U.C.C. – Sales);
  • Corporations;
  • Criminal Law (including Criminal Procedure);
  • Decedents’ Estates;
  • Evidence Law;
  • Family Law;
  • Federal Civil Procedure;
  • Limited Liability Companies;
  • Partnerships;
  • Real Property;
  • Torts; and
  • Trusts and Future Interests.

Bar Exam Dates

The Iowa bar exam is held in February and July. The exam is usually on the last Wednesday and prior Tuesday of each month.


  • February 27-28, 2024
  • July 30-31, 2024

Exam Results

The Iowa Board of Law Examiners grades the Iowa bar exam and reports on its results within six weeks after administering it.  The Board posts online the names of the successful takers and identification numbers of the failers.  The Board mails letters confirming results to all of the takers.


A passing score on the Iowa bar exam is 266 on a 400-point scale or 133 on a 200-point scale.  The Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”) weighs 20%, the Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE”) weighs 30%, and the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”) weighs 50%.

Pass Rate/Stats

Over several Iowa bar exams, the pass rates range from 67% to 93% for total takers, 79% to 95% for the first-time takers, and 32% to 63% for the repeat takers.