Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

July Bar Pass Rates Trending Up, After Years of Decline, July Bar Pass Rates Trending Up, After Years of Decline:

It’s too soon to pop the champagne, but early results from the July 2019 bar exam are largely positive. A majority of the jurisdictions that released results in September reported increases in their pass rates. That’s welcome news for legal educators, who have been struggling to reverse declining pass rates for the past five years.

Officials with the National Conference of Bar Examiners had predicted that pass rates would rise due to an increase in the national average score on July’s Multistate Bar Exam, which is the 200-question multiple-choice portion of the exam that accounts for half of a test-takers s core in most jurisdictions. (States can assign different weights to the MBE.)

The average MBE score this July was 141.1, up from 139.5 the previous year. That 1.6-point increase is the largest single-year jump since 2008, according to the National Conference of Bar Examiners. “Most jurisdictions, but not all, will see an improvement in scores and pass rates,” said Judith Gundersen, president of the national conference.

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