Bar exam scores rebound to highest point since 2013

After last year's slight year-over-year improvement in bar exam scores, bar exam scores are up again. The scaled mean of the Multistate Bar Exam rose 1.4 points to 141.7, the highest since 2013, which was 144.3, shortly before a hasty collapse in scores. (The MBE score is a good indicator of bar pass rates to come nationwide, but it's hardly a perfect indicator in every jurisdiction.)


For perspective, California's "cut score" is 144, Virginia 140, Texas 135, New York 133. A bar score of 141.7 is comparable to 2014 (141.5), 2005 (141.6), and 2003 (141.6) in recent years.

This is good news for test-takers and law schools--perhaps the qualifications of students have rebounded a bit as schools improved their incoming classes a few years ago; perhaps students are putting more effort into the bar than previous years; or other factors. We should see a modest rise in pass rates in most jurisdictions, comparable to where they were three years ago.

Note: I chose a non-zero Y-axis to show relative performance.