Average multistate bar exam score drops to new low, raising concerns about bar pass rates
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The average scaled score for the multistate bar exam dropped to a new low of 132.6 for February test-takers, raising concerns that bar pass rates will also drop.
This year’s decrease was attributable to lower performance by likely repeat test-takers, who represented more than two-thirds of those taking the test in February, according to a press release from the National Conference of Bar Examiners.
Law.com has coverage.
The previous February low was in 2018, when the average score was 132.8. In 2019, the February average increased slightly to 134, according to the press release.
The low score contrasts with last year’s average July score of 141.1, which increased by 1.6 points from the previous year. It was the largest year-over-year July increase since 2008.
Law.com spoke with Judith Gundersen, president of the NCBE, which is the organization that develops the test.
“It’s obviously disappointing to see this decline after last year’s mean increases in February and July,” Gundersen said. “Although the MBE isn’t the only factor that affects bar passage rates, we will probably see a decline in pass rates for February 2020.”