Saturday, November 17, 2018
The California State Bar has released the results from the July 2018 bar exam. The overall pass rate was 40.7%, down 8.9 percentage points from last year and a 67-year low. For California ABA-accredited law schools, the pass rate was 64%, down 6 percentage points from 2017. The mean scaled MBE was 1404 compared with the national average of 1395 (a 32-year low).
The Recorder, Nearly Six in 10 Failed California's July 2018 Bar Exam:
The results mirror lower bar scores in other states. The percentage of successful test-takers in Pennsylvania, Texas [results by school], New York [results by school], Florida [results by school], and Indiana all dipped year over year. ... But California’s nearly six-in-10 failure rate is shocking for a state that has tried to boost scores by shortening the test by a day and conducting studies of the notoriously difficult exam.
State Bar of California, State Bar Releases July 2018 Bar Exam Results:
"I want to congratulate the thousands of applicants who passed the July 2018 California Bar Exam. We’re also troubled by a low pass rate, and are working to better understand the reasons behind this national trend," said Leah T. Wilson, Executive Director of the State Bar of California. "Over the last 18 months we have conducted four distinct studies on the California Bar Exam designed to determine if the passing score is appropriate and the content valid. While these studies did not suggest that changes to either should be made at this time, the State Bar takes seriously its commitment to ensuring integrity and fairness in the admissions process. We have just launched a California Attorney Job Analysis Study to collect information about the knowledge and skills that entry level attorneys need. This job analysis will form the basis of a new review of the exam itself to ensure that the Bar Exam is relevant and actually testing what’s needed."
The first meeting of the working group for the Job Analysis Study will be held on December 10, 2018, at the State Bar’s San Francisco office. The study is currently expected to be published in December 2019.
The State Bar is also looking forward to the evaluation of the Productive Mindset Study, which may assist the State Bar and California law schools in developing mechanisms to help students better position themselves for success on the Bar Exam.