How is the MPRE scored? The NCBE scores the MPRE and reports the scores to jurisdictions and examinees.
Your MPRE score is typically released within five weeks from the date of your examination and it will be posted directly to your NCBE account file cabinet.
In terms of the actual scoring, the MPRE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions but only 50 of these questions are scored and converted to the scale ranging from 50 (low) to 150 (high).
Passing scores are established by each jurisdiction—75 is the lowest passing score (Alabama, DC, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia and Wyoming) while 86 is the highest passing score (California). The most common passing score is 85.
The number of questions you answer correctly determines your score on the MPRE and there is no penalty for incorrect answers, so make sure you fill in an answer for every single question.
Now for the million-dollar question that every law student wants to know the answer to:
How many questions do you need to get correct to get the scaled score required by your jurisdiction?
Unfortunately, this is not black and white. The reason for this is that MPRE scaled scores are calculated by the NCBE based on a statistical process know as equating that is commonly used on standardized examinations. This statistical process adjusts raw scores on the current examination to account for differences in difficulty as compared with past examinations.
Translation? The MPRE is curved to help ensure that you are not unfairly penalized (or rewarded) for taking a more (or less) difficult version of the exam.
Since we know that is not helpful in any way, here is a good rule of thumb you can use as you try to determine the number of questions you need to get correct.
Assume every MPRE question you answer correctly is worth three points, round up and then add one additional correct answer just to be safe. So in California, you would need to get 30 of the 50 scored questions correct to achieve the scaled score of 86.
Here are the calculations: 86/3 = 28.67 rounded up to 29 and then add one more question to get to 30.
While a bit outdated, here is an excerpt directly from the NCBE about MPRE scoring:
The scale was established to range from 50 to 150; the average score at the time of the first administration was 100. While there is some variability from one administration to the next, a score of 100 reflects a performance of approximately 68 percent correct.
The current standards used by jurisdictions reflect lower performance levels: 85 is approximately 60 percent correct; 80 is approximately 58 percent correct; 75 is approximately 56 percent correct. The difference between an 85 and an 86, for example, is less than one question.
Remember, this is just an estimate to help give you a sense of the accuracy you will need to achieve the passing MPRE score required in your jurisdiction.
If you want to take a simulated MPRE, you can purchase MPRE Online Practice Exam 1. This exams retails for $35 on the NCBE online store, but you can save $10 on it and receive 150+ additional real MPRE questions by purchasing MPRE Questions by BarMax instead.
Hope this helps! Wishing you nothing but the best on the examination!