Hardest Bar Exams by State 2022

By the time you finish studying law, you must decide where you want to practice. This is the state where you’ll take the bar exam, so it’s a crucial decision to make. The level of difficulty of the bar exam varies by state. Some states have lower pass rates and notably more difficult exams than others.

Don’t get scared by pass rates from a particular state. Instead, consider the exam’s format, type of material on the exam, and the exam duration. We normally consider human factors when defining the hardest bar exam. So don’t let your career be determined by the estimates alone because you play the biggest role in your bar exam results!

Meanwhile, here are the hardest bar exams by state.


The California Bar Exam has one of the lowest pass rates in the country. The exam takes full days, including a performance test to evaluate your ability to handle several legal challenges involving a client. Besides the performance test, the exam also comprises five essay questions and the Multistate Bar Examination, which all the applicants must take nationwide.


Arkansas has the second most notorious and difficult bar exam in America. Although Hillary Clinton once said it was simple than the Washington, D.C., bar examination. Just like in California, it’s also a two-day exam. The difficulty level is due to the local laws and the number of states on the exam. If you wish to practice law in Arkansas, ensure you study for your bar exam smartly.


There are three law schools in Washington, producing a higher number of students annually who sit for a two-day bar exam. Seattle is one of the most moving cities due to many out-of-state bar examinees. If you wish to practice law in Washington, prepare for a tough exam!


Louisiana prepares its law student differently from any other state in the country – its four law schools teach civil (the tradition in Europe and France) and common law (the tradition in England and other 49 states). So, if you want to practice law in Louisiana successfully, you must go to law school in the state, learn the unique legal system there, and then sit for a bar exam that is entirely different from other states.


There is one law school in Nevada, and it offers two and half-day bar exams alongside one of the lowest pass rates in the U.S. This is due to the combination of unique laws and higher required aggregates to pass.

State-by-State Pass Rates

Here are the pass rates as recently compiled by Law.com. Read on to find out how your state ranks.


Iowa: 86.57

Missouri: 86.30

New Mexico: 85.71

New York: 83.92

Montana: 82.61

Utah: 82.61

Oregon: 82.55

Nebraska: 81.67

Kansas: 81.51

Minnesota: 80.07

Illinois: 79.82

Pennsylvania: 79.64

Idaho: 79.33

Massachusetts: 79.30

Alabama: 79.29

Wisconsin: 78.88

Tennessee: 78.83

Washington: 77.88

Connecticut: 77.69

Arkansas: 77.49

Louisiana: 76.85

Texas: 76.57

New Hampshire: 75.96

Delaware: 75.95

Hawaii: 75.71

Virginia: 75.62

Ohio: 75.52

Colorado: 75.37

Michigan: 75.14

West Virginia: 75.00

District of Columbia: 74.60

Maine: 74.38

Georgia: 73.23

Indiana: 72.88

Wyoming: 72.73

Nevada: 72.10

South Carolina: 71.79

North Dakota: 71.21

New Jersey: 69.89

Vermont: 69.33

Kentucky: 69.02

South Dakota: 68.18

Florida: 67.90

Maryland: 66.70

California: 66.19

North Carolina: 65.22

Arizona: 63.99

Mississippi: 63.95

Puerto Rico: 40.25

Hardest Bar Exams by State 2022