Tag Archives: NCBEX

Falling National #Average on the #BarExam

10 May

Here are the National average Bar Passage Rates from 2007 – Current day.

  • 2007 ~ 67%
    • February ~ 55%
    • July ~ 73%
  • 2008 ~ 71%
    • February ~ 58%
    • July ~ 76%
  • 2009 ~ 68%
    • February ~ 53%
    • July ~ 74%
  • 2010 ~ 68%
    • February ~ 56%
    • July ~ 73%
  • ​2011 ~ 69%
    • ​February ~ 60%
    • July ~ 73%
  • ​2012 ~ 67%
    • February ~ 55%
    • July ~ 71%
  • ​2013 ~ 68%
    • ​February ~ 58%
    • July ~ 72%
  • 2014 ~ 64%
    • ​February ~ 57%
    • July ~ 67%
  • ​​2015 ~ 59%
    • February ~ 52%
    • July ~ 63%
  • ​2016 ~ 58%
    • February ~ 49%
    • July ~ 62%

I cant be the only person who thinks it was strange that the national average sat on 67-68% for several years. Nor the only person who finds it questionable that in 3 years, it suddenly dropped 10%. Something is wrong, and it cannot just be the students level.

I cannot count a lot of the states (they don’t say how many students sat and passed), but for the 19 states I could count for February 2017 the average was 50.01%.

Vermont is Out and It is Shocking

25 Apr

The Vermont Supreme Court has officially posted their results, and it isn’t good.  

Of the 40 people who took the exam, only 19 passed it. 


That’s less than half! (47.5% to be exact)

This is a sharp different from 2013 and 2014, and it offers further proof that there is a significant downward trend in numbers.  

Over the last 2 years, here are the February and July passage rates:

  • February 2013 – 83%
  • July 2013 – 72%
  • February 2014 – 68%
  • July 2014 – 66%
  • February 2015 – 47.5%

That is a stunning drop of 21% from 2014 and 36% from 2013.  And if the spread remains the same for July, it will be even less than 47% (each year since 2013, July has been lower than February).  

And the other states statistics are looking bad as well. Of all the states reporting right now, only Louisiana shows a hike in numbers. Everyone else has fallen, and some like Ohio and Vermont have fallen pretty far.

It’s hard to imagine how such a serious fall could be purely student related. I find it hard to believe that there isn’t something else going on behind the scenes. The evidence suggests the test is getting harder, and that’s not good.

It begs the question of what responsibilities the Bar Examiners owe to the students. What duty do they have to share important information (such as a stricter exam) with students and how early?

Bar Examiners aren’t acknowledging it, but the fact is, many students use bar passage rates as a significant factor when choosing law schools and future homes.  For example, California is notoriously difficult, so unless you really, really love California, we tend to avoid it. And as for choosing law schools, it’s like any other college decision – you generally find that the better schools have the better passage rates in their state. 

So the problem is three fold. 

  1. We use the passage rates to influence which state we choose.
  2. We use which state we choose to influence which college we choose.
  3. We use the passage rates to influence which school we choose.

Altogether, it feels a little like we were lied to when things like the current fall happen.  They give out these statistics, and they stay pretty stable year in and year out, so you start to rely on it. You make important, hundred of thousands of dollars decisions based on those statistics. You plan your life based in no small part on the belief that you have a chance, because you’ve seen the statistics.

And then the fall comes. People start failing in unexpected numbers, and it starts looking more and more like the schools and examiners have screwed you over with the statistics.  

How soon should they have to tell you that the exam is about to get harder?

1 year? – before you pay for the bar?

2 years? – before you start studying and when you are making plans for which state you choose?

3 years? – Before you choose the law school, before you’ve made life-changing decisions?

Personally, I’m going to say 3 years. We should be given a three-year heads up before the examiners make any decisions about making the exam harder. We rely on the past statistics, and it’s completely reasonable that we do so. We make huge life- and monetary- decision based on those statistics; it’s a really big thing.  You can’t just change things without given us ample warning and time to work around those changes.


Map of States Requiring Standardized Law Tests

10 Dec

The NCBEX offers the map of the US states and territories that use the NCBE exams. These include the MPRE, MBE, MPT, and MEE.  You can see which of these tests are used in which locations. Kind of helpful when choosing which state to bar into.


Finding MPRE Scores

3 Dec

 MPRE scores are posted if you took the test Nov. 2013! Meaning I just spent 45 minutes trying to figure out where they were going to show up.  Now that I have located it, I thought I’d share the directions in case anyone else was having the same problem. 🙂  CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE.

METHOD 1 = Easiest Method

  • Click THIS Direct Link to Your File Cabinet on the NCBEX/MPRE Site.
  • Log in when it asks. This will take you to the File Cabinet; all you have to do is click the “MPRE Score” link and it will show you the scaled score.

File Cabinet

METHOD 2 = Just in Case

  • Go to the NCBEX website.


  • There are two ways to go about this. 
    • Click “Score Services” on the Main page shown above (light blue button under “NCBE Account”
    • Click “Log in” from the top right of the Main Screen shown above.
  • Either one will take you to the NCBE account log-in page. There you need to sign in with your email address and password.
  • Now you are going to be on your account (Score Services takes you to Score Services; Log in goes to Account Home). Doesn’t matter which page you’re on, it’ll still have the same menu on the top. This menu is what you’re looking for.


  • On the menu at the top of this page, the far right option will be “File Cabinet.” Click that.

Menu Bar

  • Voila! Now you just click on the “MPRE Score” link, and you’ll see your scaled score!

File Cabinet


Looks like this. You need the “Scaled Score.”  Now go check out the State MPRE Requirements to see where your score is sufficient to meet their laws. You need at least a 75, usually higher, for all but Puerto Rico, Maryland, and Wisconsin.

MPRE Score Page

Bar Exam Results & MPRE Requirements

4 Nov


   For my Law School followers, I’ve added two new pages to the blog.

  • The first is “Bar Exam Results” — Here you can find links to all the officially posted Bar Results (some states don’t post them, and I’ve marked those) and Statistics. This covers all 50 states as well as Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and the Northern Mariana Islands. Good Luck!

  • The second is “State MPRE Reqs” — Here I share the minimum passing score for each state and the time limits for when they will accept an MPRE. Did you know that 2 states don’t actually require an MPRE score? Good News!

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