Here’s the PressRelease from the CA Bar Examiners’ Web Site. The “official” overall pass rate was only 42.2%, with only 53% of first time takers passing and a 37% pass rate for repeat takers.
This is the lowest official pass rate in the country that I’m aware of for the Feb test, and frankly, it’s just crazy. There’s no justification for a test that is only producing a 40+% pass rate when the rest of the nation is in the 70+% range.
I’ll be reviewing test scores later this week as individual applicants receive their score sheets and I’ll share my thoughts more at that point. For today, my guess is that it took a 140 minimum on the MBE and an average 60-65 on the essays and PTs to pass. We’ll see if that’s correct. Until then, if you didn’t pass the exam, hang in there…you’ve got lots (too much) company.
SAN FRANCISCO, May 18, 2012, 6:00 p.m. – The State Bar of California’s Committee of Bar Examiners reported today that 42.2 percent of the applicants passed the February 2012 General Bar Examination (GBX). If the 1,849 people who passed the February 2012 exam satisfy other requirements for admission, they will become members of the State Bar.
Preliminary statistical analyses show that of the 4,382 applicants who took the GBX, 33 percent were first-time takers. The passing rate for 1,446 first-time applicants was 53 percent overall. The passing rate for the 2,936 applicants repeating the examination was 37 percent overall.
Preliminary statistical analyses show the first-time and repeater percent passing the GBX (rounded to whole numbers) by law school type as follows:
School TypeFirst-TimersRepeatersCalifornia ABA62%50%Out-of-State ABA48%39%California Accredited (but not ABA)34%25%Unaccredited: Fixed-Facility0%11%Unaccredited: Correspondence46%17%Unaccredited Distance Learning31%14%
Sometimes I get notes from prospective students that just break my heart. Here’s one that I received this morning (the day after Florida Results were released):
“I am really confused here [about] my options. I took both parts of the Florida Bar Exam in July 2011 and I passed part 1 with a score of 142 and failed the MBE part with a score of 128 ( which is just below the average of the two parts).
Friends informed me to retake part 2 only and they will average both parts from the previous and the recent parts. I just received my scores for the MBE and got 134 which is below the 136 required but with the average of the two parts I could have passed. But apparently they will not use the overall method if you do not take both parts at the same administration.”
As I had to point out to this individual, their “friends” were wrong. Completely. Totally. Absolutely. And now, to this person’s dismay, they have to start over and retake the exam - again. All of this could have been prevented had this individual taken a bar review with a reputable provider instead of relying on hearsay, bar “mythology” and bad advice from friends.
In order to save a few dollars, it will now cost this individual several thousand dollars more, to say nothing of lost job opportunities and wages for 6 more months. Don’t be foolish. Go to experts for expert advice - not your friends!