Bar Examination

A bar examination is a licensure examination required for obtaining a license to practice law. Some criminal justice careers in the court system require a license to practice law. The bar exam, typically administered by the bar association for the state in which you are applying for licensure, is designed to help a state licensing board assess your understanding of a variety of legal concepts and regulations. The specific concepts covered on the exam will vary from state to state. However, most states will require you to complete a standardized multiple-choice exam known as the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE), a standardized essay examination known as the Multistate Performance Test (MPT), and a state-specific bar examination. The MBE consists of 200 multiple-choice questions that will assess your knowledge of contracts, constitutional law, criminal law, evidence, property law, and tort law. The MPT consists of 2 questions that will ask you read and analyze a series of legal documents related to a mock case. These questions will require you to create a letter, plan, or memo that describes the appropriate course of action considering the factual, legal, and ethical issues involved. The state-specific examination can vary greatly from state to state, but most states will require you to answer a series of short answer, essay, or multiple choice questions about regulations in the state in which you are applying for licensure.


Most states also require you to take a standardized professional ethics exam known as the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) before you take the bar examination. Some states require you to answer a series of ethical questions in addition to those typically included on the Multistate Bar Examination or the state-specific examination. This typically occurs in states where the MPRE is not required, but a few states require the MPRE and a state-specific ethics exam.

EPPP & Other Forensic Psychology Examinations: The Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP) is one of the three licensure examinations required in order to obtain a license to practice forensic psychology, and it is required for most of the criminal justice careers in the psychology field. This exam, administered by Prometric Testing Services, is designed to help a state licensing board assess your understanding of a variety of psychological concepts. The EPPP consists of 225 multiple-choice questions that will assess your knowledge of psychological assessment and diagnosis; the biological bases of behavior; the cognitive bases of behavior; growth and development; the ethical, legal, and professional issues psychologists face; prevention, intervention, and treatment; research; and the social and multicultural bases of behavior.

The EPPP is scored on a scale of 200 to 800, and you must score at least 500 to pass the exam. A score of 450 to 499 may allow you to obtain a limited license to practice psychology, but you will be allowed to use that license only under the supervision of another licensed psychologist. Once you have obtained a passing score on the EPPP, you typically will be able to sit for the license to practice psychology exam for the state in which you are applying. The license to practice psychology exam can vary greatly from state to state, but most states require you to answer a series of essay or oral questions about the practice of psychology as it applies to that state. After you receive your license to practice psychology and complete a one to two year forensic psychology fellowship, you can sit for the state forensic psychology certification exam. The state forensic psychology certification exam also can vary greatly from state to state, but most states require you to answer a series of multiple-choice or oral questions about child witnesses, criminal psychology, mental competency evaluations, profiling, violent offenders, and other forensic psychology topics.