||This paper presents experimental results of drained and undrained triaxial compression tests of saturated Meuse–Haute/Marne claystone. The emphasis is to study the evolution of pore pressure with growth of microcracks and the effect of pore pressure on mechanical behavior. Basic mechanical responses are first investigated through drained triaxial compression tests, showing nonlinear stress strain relations, volumetric dilatancy and pressure sensitivity. In undrained triaxial compression tests, the pore pressure exhibits a transition from increase to decrease due to the transition from volumetric compressibility to dilatancy caused by the growth of microcracks. The failure surfaces, determined by total stress and Terzaghi’s effective stress under undrained condition, are compared with the one under drained condition.