Lowest bar exam results in nearly a decade prompt some states to consider options
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Last summer’s Multistate Bar Exam produced the lowest results in nearly a decade, spurring questions about test reliability and a search for alternatives.
About 80 law deans sought details on how questions were chosen and tests were scored, but the National Conference of Bar Examiners did not provide additional information, the New York Times reports.
Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners, said last year that the exams were checked and rechecked, and the results were correct. She attributed a decline in scores to a “less able” group of test takers.
Meanwhile, some states are looking at alternatives the Times says. Iowa considered, but did not approve, waiving the bar exam for graduates of the state’s two law schools—which would have mimicked a waiver in place in Wisconsin. The state hasn’t ruled out other changes, however, including a proposal to allow students to take the exam in their third year of law school, a change that was adopted in Arizona.
New Hampshire already has an alternative in place, the story says. Students at the University of New Hampshire School of Law can skip the bar exam if they enter an apprenticeship program and pass a bar examiner review of their oral advocacy and written work.