Colorado Supreme Court Lowers Bar Exam Minimum Passing Score

Congratulations to law students in the State of Colorado! Beginning in 2023, law school graduates seeking to practice in Colorado will benefit from a lower minimum passing score on the bar exam.

The Colorado Supreme Court just announced it has adjusted the minimum score from the current 276 down to 270, which will begin with the February 2023 administration of the exam.

Colorado’s threshold of 276 is the second-highest passing score of any state that uses the Uniform Bar Examination, just below Alaska’s 280, according to data from the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). For years, law students hoping to practice in the state have been asking for a lower bar passage score for admission.    

And in fact, every state that borders Colorado has a minimum score of 270 or lower, with the exception of Arizona, where the threshold score is 273.

“The court also recognizes that significant changes to the bar exam are coming in a few years,” the state’s Judicial Department wrote in its announcement. It elaborated that the NCBE is developing a new, “NextGen” exam with a different format and testing focus.

“The court plans to invite public input on the broader question of how to determine minimum competency of candidates for admission to the Colorado bar,” the department added, “and will announce details once the NCBE has defined the timing and content of the proposed NextGen exam.”

The lowest threshold passing scores for Uniform Bar Exam takers are the States of Alabama, Minnesota Missouri, New Mexico and North Dakota, all of which will consider a score of 260 as passing for purposes of bar licensure.

You can read more about this story here.

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