Virginia Bar Exam details

A typical Virginia Bar Exam is a 2-day exam

Virginia Bar Exam information is subject to change without notice. Please verify with the Virginia Board of Bar Examiners.

Please also reference the NCBE Covid-19 updates page for NCBE updates and individual jurisdiction announcements.

Day 1

  • Nine essay questions plus 10 multiple-choice questions with emphasis on Virginia law
    • The morning (AM) session consists of five essay questions
    • The afternoon (PM) session consists of four essay questions plus the 10 multiple-choice questions

Day 2

  • Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 200-question, multiple-choice exam (100 questions in the AM, 100 questions in the PM)


  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts/Sales
  • Criminal Law/Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • Real Property
  • Torts

Virginia Essays

  • Contracts
  • Domestic Relations
  • Professional Responsibility
  • VA Civil and Criminal Procedure
  • Business Organizations
  • Evidence
  • Real and Personal Property
  • Creditor's Rights
  • Federal Practice and Procedure 
  • Torts
  • Criminal Law
  • Local Government Law
  • Uniform Commercial Code (Articles 2, 3A & 9A)
  • Wills
  • Trusts and Estates 


  • A scaled score of 85 or higher is required and must be achieved within two calendar years of the time the candidate passes the Virginia Bar Exam.

Click here to learn more about the MPRE.

The MBE score (weighted 40%) and the essay score (weighted 60%) are combined to determine if applicant has achieved a passing score of at least 140.

Acceptance of MBE Score

Applicants may transfer an MBE scaled score of 133 or greater, taken within the preceding 3 years, to be able to sit for only the essay portion of the exam.

For attorney applicants who hold an active license to practice law, are in good standing, and passed the bar exam in a jurisdiction other than Virginia; no MBE score is required. These applicants can take only the essay portion of the exam and will need to achieve a minimum passing score of 64 raw points out of a possible 100.

Admission on Motion

A member in good standing of a reciprocating jurisdiction may be admitted on motion in Virginia if the applicant has engaged in the full-time active practice of law for three of the five years preceding application. Additional requirements apply.

Application for Admission without Examination with Character and Fitness Questionnaire: $2,500

Military Spouse Provisional Admission

The dependent spouse of an active duty service member stationed in the Commonwealth of Virginia who has been admitted to practice law before the court of last resort of any state or territory of the United States or District of Columbia, and who meets all other requirements of Rule 1A:8, may apply to the Board for Military Spouse Provisional Admission. A Military Spouse Provisional Admission filing fee applies. This fee covers the cost of processing the Application, investigating matters contained in the applicant’s completed Character & Fitness Questionnaire, and preparing of the Character Report.

We compile all of the information that you need to know about the dates, format, subjects tested, deadlines, fees and more - for each U.S. state - in the free BARBRI Bar Exam Digest.

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