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Illinois Bar Exam

The July 2017 bar exam is fast approaching, and this season’s test-takers are no doubt feeling the anxiety and stress that comes with it. We asked our members and followers on Twitter to share with us their best tips for tackling the final days leading up to the bar exam. Below is some of our favorite advice:

The Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) is a multistate bar examination prepared by the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which has been adopted in 24 states and the District of Columbia. Administered over two days, the UBE consists of: (a) the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) - a 200- question multiple-choice test; (b) the Multistate Essay Examination (MEE) - six essay questions on general principles of law; and (c) the Multistate Performance Test (MPT) - two hypothetical legal assignments requiring examinees to complete the tasks in writing. Persons who take the UBE receive a portable score, which, if high enough, will be accepted by any UBE jurisdiction as a passing score on its bar exam for a specific time period.

The Illinois Supreme Court announced Thursday changes to a rule that will slightly modify the deadlines to apply to take the Illinois bar examination.

The amendments to Supreme Court Rule 706, which governs the filing deadlines and fees to take the bar exam, will take effect July 1, 2016. The fees will not change under the rule amendment.

Under the amended rule, the on-time deadline to apply to take the February bar exam will be extended by approximately two weeks, from September 1 to September 15, and the final late deadline to apply for the February and July exams will be moved up by two weeks, from December 31 to December 15, and May 31 to May 15, respectively.

Passing score raised to 266 for July 2015 exam

On March 16, 2015, representatives of the Deans ofthe Illinois Law Schools ("Deans") and Board of Admissions to the Bar ("Board") met with the Illinois Supreme Court Justices ("Court") to discuss the raising of the minimum passing score on the Illinois bar examination. The Deans and the Board expressed their respective concerns regarding the process, rationale, and timing involved in raising the passing score. After considering these concerns, the Court approved a revision to both the number of points and the schedule previously adopted for raising this score.

Effective for the July 2015 bar examination, the minimum passing score is set at 266 (out of a possible 400) - a 2-point increase from the February 2015 bar examination. This passing score will remain in effect through the February 2017 bar examination. Effective for the July
2017 bar examination, the passing score is provisionally set at 268. Prior to that examination, the Deans and Board will review the results of the examinations with the 266 passing score and will make their recommendations to the Court.

In addition, the Court will appoint a dean of an Illinois law school to serve as an ex officio member of the Board to establish a formal tie between the Deans and the Board.

The Illinois Board of Admissions to the Bar announced on Tuesday a fee increase to take the Illinois bar examination.

The fee to take the bar exam will increase from $400 to $500. A late filing fee will increase from $600 to $700. The fee for those applying late at the last possible deadline will remain at $1,000.

The fee increases are effective January 1, 2014, and will begin for those applying to take the bar examination in July 2014.