South Dakota Bar Examination

Bar Exam Information

NOTE: Bar exam information is subject to change without notice. Please verify with South Dakota bar examiner’s office.


2024: February 27-28, July 30-31

The South Dakota Bar Exam is a 2-day exam.

Day 1:

  • Five 30-minute Multistate Essay Exam questions
  • One 30-minute Indian Law Essay Exam question (MEE/ILEE in the AM)
  • Two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test questions (MPT in the PM)

Day 2:
Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 200-question, multiple-choice exam (100 questions in the AM, 100 questions in the PM).

South Dakota Board of Bar Examiners

State Capitol
500 East Capitol Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501

Phone: (605) 773-4898

Fax: (605) 773-8479


Subjects Tested

Multistate Performance Test “Closed universe” practical questions using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and other reference material supplied by examiners.

A scaled score of 85 is required for admission to the bar. Accepts previous MPRE score if within 28 months prior to next scheduled exam.


Applicants must pass each portion of the examination. An average of 75% or higher on the combined MPT, MEE, and Indian Law portion is required; and a scaled score of at least 133 on the MBE portion is required.

An applicant may receive additional points on their MBE score, not to exceed three additional points, based on their score on the combined MPT, MEE and Indian Law portion of the examination as follows:

  • 80 to 84 percent – one point
  • 85 to 89 percent – two points
  • 90 percent or more – three points

These additional points may not be transferred to a future exam.

An applicant who has failed only one portion of the exam may reapply to sit for only the failed portion. However, a passing score on one portion of the exam is only valid for two years.


Acceptance of MBE Score

May accept an MBE score from another jurisdiction if taken within two years prior to the next scheduled exam, if applicant achieved a scaled score of at least 135 and passed the entire bar examination in the other jurisdiction.

Admission on Motion

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

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