Frequently Asked Questions

1. If I am working full time, is it still possible to pass the exam?

Yes, it is possible, but the Quebec bar is a huge time commitment. If you are working, the exam requires studying during lunch, weeknights and weekends. If you have a family or a particularly demanding job, you may want to consider taking at least a full month off before the exam to study.

2. What can I bring into the examination room?

The equivalency exams are "open book", which means that you can bring in your summaries, a copy of all of the relevant law and any other helpful text you download from the internet.

It is important to remember to make sure to bring all of the law and supplementary materials to your exam because nothing will be provided to you in the exam room.

3. What happens if I fail one exam, but pass the other two?

If you receive a score of less than 60% on an exam, but pass the remaining exams, you must re-take and pass the failed exam within a period of three years. As the exams are held only once per year, this gives you at most three more tries to pass the exam.

You can also appeal your exam mark by following the appeal process outlined in the letter you receive containing your exam results.

4. Can I write the exams in English? Will this hurt my chances of passing?

Many individuals who take the equivalency exams are native English speakers. You should write the exam in the language you feel more comfortable.

In most cases, the question is looking for a specific provision in the Civil Code with a matching explanation. It will not make a difference if you write your exam in French or English if you fail to cite the correct provision required by the answer key.

5. Should I take the preparation course offered by l'École du Barreau before the exam?

The course is only offered in French, so it depends on your level of French comprehension.

I did not take the course myself, so I cannot provide much detail. I can say that there were certain concepts that I did not understand fully and I certainly would have benefited from additional teaching. In this regard, the course may be helpful to provide additional context or helpful exam hints that are not otherwise found in the Civil Code or the collection de doit.

If you took the preparation course and found it helpful or unhelpful, send me an email about your experience at

6. Where can I buy a Civil Code?

There are two main editors of the Civil Code: Wilson & Lafleur and Yvon Blais (now owned by Thompson Reuters).

I used the Wilson & Lafleur version which is available here: Wilson & Lafleur