Bar Exam

Multistate Bar Exam average score for February drops to apparent new low

  • Print.

bar exam

Compared to last year, there were 5 percent fewer test-takers for the February 2018 multistate bar exam, and the average score decreased from last year's 134.1 to 132.8, according to information released Wednesday by the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

The average February 2018 score of 132.8 was an “all-time record low in test history,” Pepperdine School of Law professor Derek Muller wrote at his blog Excess of Democracy. Jurisdictions are currently grading written portions of the exams, the NCBE reported in a press release.

Of the 21,111 people taking the February 2018 MBE, 30 percent were presumed first-time test takers, and the average score for that group was 135. For the February 2017 exam, the average score for presumed first-time test takers was 135.3. (The presumption is based on analysis of biographic data from administrations of past exams, NCBE says.)

For February 2018 repeaters, the average MBE score was 132. That represented a 1.7-point decrease for that group from last year, according to the NCBE, and that result drove the change in the overall February 2018 MBE mean.

See also: What do falling bar-passage rates mean for legal education—and the future of the profession?

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.