This webpage provides general information about the standard exam environment for State Bar-administered tests. Please refer to the bulletin for the specific exam you intend to take for the most up-to-date information.
The California Bar Exam is a timed exam administered in a proctored setting. The written session is comprised of five one-hour essay questions and one 90-minute performance test question. Applicants may use their personal laptop to type their answers, or they may handwrite their answers. The multiple-choice session is comprised of 200 questions where applicants must record their answers by darkening circles using a Number 2 pencil on an answer sheet.
Applicants are assigned seating with two people per six-foot table in large conference halls. Hard copy materials are provided to all applicants testing in person. Applicants are not allowed to bring food into the exam room; however, a lunch break is given during the written session and during the multiple-choice session. Applicants may bring water in a clear, sealable container. Applicants testing in-person are allowed to use the restroom and to stand and stretch during the exam. The exam is administered in a quiet environment, and applicants are allowed to bring and use earplugs.
For February 2024 and into the future, the California Bar Exam will be administered at different test sites than the State Bar has utilized in the past. As a result, the manner in which some testing accommodations have been administered in the past may look different than previous administrations. Please read the information below regarding the specific changes to the way some testing accommodations will be administered going forward. The list will be updated as needed. Applicants with previously granted testing accommodations are encouraged to carefully review these changes, along with their list of approved testing accommodations, to ensure they understand how these changes may impact the manner in which their testing accommodations are administered going forward.
For applicants with testing accommodations that are designed to limit auditory and visual interruptions during the exam, the State Bar will offer three modified testing environments outside the standard testing environment:
The First-Year Law Students’ Exam is a timed exam administered in a proctored setting. The written session is comprised of four one-hour essay questions. Applicants will use a computer at a test center or their personal laptop, if testing remotely, to type their answers. The multiple-choice session is comprised of 100 questions where applicants must select their answers on the computer system.
Applicants will test either at a Prometric test center or remotely. Applicants are not allowed to have food or beverages in the exam room; however, a lunch break is given between sessions. Applicants also have access to water and a restroom between exam sessions. The exam is administered in a quiet environment, and applicants are allowed to bring and use earplugs.
Sample schedules for the bar exam are provided below for your reference.
Time and one-quarter
Time and one-half