Bar Exam

February bar scores decrease for repeaters and first-time test-takers

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For the multiple-choice section of the February 2023 bar exam, there was a decrease of 1.5 points in the national mean scaled score, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

This year, it was 131.1, compared to 132.6 in 2022, according to a March 31 news release from the NCBE. It was 134 in 2021 and 132.6 in 2020.

All are for February administrations, which tend to have lower pass rates than the July tests.

For the February 2023 bar exam, 72% were likely repeat test-takers, according to the NCBE. However, according to the news release, there were performance decreases for repeaters and first-time test-takers.

“Research in K-12 and undergraduate settings clearly shows that the global COVID-19 pandemic had a negative effect on learning, and surveys of law students similarly suggest that those students who began law school in 2019-2020 would have been significantly impacted by pandemic-related educational disruptions,” said Rosemary Reshetar, the NCBE’s director of assessment and research, in the release.

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