Bar Exam Pass Rates Drop in NY, Florida

Bar exam results have now been released in many states. Unfortunately, New York and Florida reported a slight decline in their February 2022 pass rates.

Additionally twelve other states have noted lower pass rates, while another six have seen an increase.

In New York, the largest bar exam jurisdiction, the February overall pass rate declined to 45% from last year’s 49% rate. Florida saw its pass rate lowered from 47% a year ago to 43% this February.

Pass rates have risen in a few states. Illinois reported a one percent rise to 43%, while North Dakota’s rate surged to 68% from 55% in 2021. West Virginia’s pass rate rose eight percentage points to 56%.

According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners, which designs the national components of the attorney licensing exam, the national average score on the 200 multiple-choice-question Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) decreased a total of 1.4 points to 132.6—matching the all-time low reached on the 2020 February exam and erasing the gains that were made on last year’s test.

Rosemary Reshetar, the National Conferences’ director of assessment and research, cautioned against reading too much into the MBE score decline. “A number of factors may be at play in this year’s results,” Reshetar said in an announcement of the lower MBE score.

Fewer people take the February bar exam, with the population mostly comprised of exam retakers, who statistically pass at a lower rate than first time takers.

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