Legal Education

Following a boost in 2021, national average score for February 2022 MBE drops

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After increasing to 134 in 2021, the national mean scaled score for the February Multistate Bar Examination has decreased to 132.6 for 2022, which was the same as it was in 2020—just before COVID-19-related quarantines started in many jurisdictions.

An April 8 news release from the National Conference of Bar Examiners also compares the February 2022 mean scaled score to 2018—when it was 132.8.

“There hasn’t been a consistent trend in February MBE results for the past several years, and we should be cautious about reading too much into this year’s February scores,” said Rosemary Reshetar, the NCBE’s director of assessment and research, in the news release.

The February 2022 bar exam was in person, while the February 2021 test was administered in person and remotely, depending on the jurisdiction.

Reshetar also noted that the majority of February examinees tend to have taken and not passed a bar exam, and they often show lower performance than first-time test-takers. Also, there were more first-time test-takers than usual for the February 2021 administration, according to the news release.

The February 2022 MBE had 16,504 examinees, compared to 16,759 in 2021, and 19,122 in 2020.

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