South Dakota Bar Exam

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The state of South Dakota uses  the Uniform Bar Exam (“UBE”) and consists of the Multistate Performance Test (“MPT”)Multistate Essay Exam (“MEE”) and the Multistate Bar Exam (“MBE”). State law is tested at times on the MPT and of course for the Indian law exam.

Indian Law

There is one essay that must be completed within 30 minutes on Indian law. This is done usually on the first day of the exam along with the MPT and MEE. The Indian Law essay is based upon laws from the Indian Civil Rights, Child Welfare, and Gaming Acts.

MEE (Multi State Essay Exam)
Day one of the South Dakota Bar Exam consists of 6 hours of testing. The first three hours include (6) MEE essays. Each essay should be completed within 30 minutes for a bar applicant to have the best chance at passing. The MEE essays may include the following:

  • Business Associations (Agency and Partnerships; Corporations and LLCs)
  • Civil Procedure (Federal)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (Common Law, Sales/UCC Art. 2)
  • Criminal Law
  • Criminal Procedure (Constitutional aspects)
  • Evidence
  • Family Law
  • Real Property
  • Secured Transactions (UCC Art. 9)
  • Torts
  • Trusts and Estates (Decedents’ Estates, Trusts, Future Interests)

MPT (Multi-State Performance Test)
South Dakota Bar Exam also includes one (1) MPT performance tests which occur in the second half of the first day of the exam after an afternoon lunch period which follows the MEE testing.

MBE (Multiple Choice Bar Exam)
South Dakota Bar Exam tests (MBE) is conducted on the second day of the two-day test and consists of a 6 hour time period. Each time period is divided in half so you have 100 questions to answer in the first three hours, followed by a lunch break and then 3 more hours to complete the second 100 questions for a total of 200 questions. The South Dakota bar exam test 7 subjects:

  • Civil Procedure
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts (Common Law, Sales/UCC Art. 2)
  • Criminal Law & Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

UBE and MBE Score Transfer
The state of South Dakota allows transfers based on a few factors, MBE scaled scores of 130 or greater.  The score must have occurred within the past 2 and half years and the applicant must have passed the exam from which they are transferring their score.

Bar Exam Testing Schedule

Day 1

  • First three hours = 6 MEE Essays
  • Lunch Break
  • Second 3 hours = 1 MPT and 1 Indian Law Essay

Day 2

  • Morning first 3 hours – MBE Part 1 (100 questions)
  • Lunch Break
  • Afternoon second 3 hours – MBE Part 2 (100 questions)

Exam Dates and Application

South Dakota Bar Exam consists of two days of testing. The testing generally occurs  on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of February and July. Y


South Dakota bar exam final scores are based on a scalable score.

Exam Date               Results

Feb. 21-22, 20XX     May. 11, 20XX

July 24-25, 20XX    Oct. 13, 20XX

South Dakota Bar Exam Weighted Scores

MPT 25%
MEE & Indian Law Essay 25%
MBE 50%



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