February 2016 MBE bar exam scores drop to lowest point since 1983

I've written extensively about the bar exam, including the significant decline in bar exam scores, specifically the Multistate Bar Exam, and the corresponding the decline in pass rates in most jurisdictions. The February 2016 results are the fourth consecutive exam to display a significant decline in MBE scores. In fact, it's the lowest score on the February test since 1983--even worse than the July 2015 results, which were the lowest since 1988. Below is a visualization of February test scores since 2005--note the precipitous drop in the last two tests. (I may visualize results since 1983 in the future.)

This will likely mean a decline in pass rates in most jurisdictions, news of which will trickle out over the next several weeks. The decline in scores continues to correlate with declines in student quality, as law schools admitted classes with an increased number of students at risk of failing the bar exam. Whether other factors contribute to the decline remains an open question. But this helps illustrate that the problems are not one-time issues as the result of ExamSoft--they are structural and long-term issues with significant consequences. I'll blog more about this in the near future.