Bar Exam

Average national Multistate Bar Exam score sinks to lowest level since '84

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The national average for the July 2018 Multistate Bar Examination slumped to 139.5—its lowest level in 34 years, according to TaxProf Blog editor Paul Caron and

Figures released Friday show the average score was a decrease of about 2.2 points from the July 2017 average, the National Conference of Bar Examiners reports.

According to NCBE, the 45,274 examinees for the July exam were the fewest since 2001. That number also represented a 2.9 percent drop compared to the 46,627 examinees in July 2017.

“Performance on the written portion of the bar exam tracks MBE performance,” NCBE president Judith Gundersen told “Pass rates will be lower in most jurisdictions. Already some jurisdictions have completed grading and have released their results. There have been some upticks, but generally, lower performance and bar passage is expected.”

In 2017, the average scaled score for the July exam was 141.7, and 140.3 in July 2016, NCBE says.

“Like everyone else, we were hoping that the rebounding of scores in the 2016 and 2017 July results would continue, but they are what would be expected given the number of applicants and LSAT 25th percentile means of the 2015 entering class,” Gundersen told

Just five years ago, there were 51,005 examinees for the July MBE test. Their average score was 141.5.

See also: “Multistate Bar Exam average score for February drops to apparent new low” “Multistate bar exam scores drop to lowest point ever; is there a link to low-end LSAT scores?”

ABA Journal: “What do falling bar-passage rates mean for legal education–and the future of the profession?

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