Posted Mar 31, 2016 02:53 pm CDT
The mean scaled score on the February administration of the Multistate Bar Examination fell to 135, down 1.2 points from the previous year and the lowest average score on a February administration of the test since 1983.
The number of test-takers was up 4 percent from last year, from 22,396 in 2015 to 23,324 this year, according to Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which developed and scores the test.
February scores are typically lower than July scores, Moeser said, because July test-takers tend to be first-time test takers, who generally score higher on the exam than repeat takers.
She said the results, while “a bit disappointing,” are not a surprise.
“We believe we’re in the middle of a downward trend that is likely to continue for at least a couple more years,” she said.
The multistate bar exam, a six-hour, 200-question multiple-choice test, is administered as part of the bar exam in every state except Louisiana.
The July 2015 results were also down 1.6 points from the previous year, to 139.9, its lowest point since 1988.