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MBE Scores Increase Despite Falling LSAT Scores
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Summary: The National Conference of Bar Examiners found a surprising break in the trend with the average bar exam rising, whereas LSAT scores went down.

Law school deans received welcome new today. President of the National Conference of Bar Examiners Erica Moeser sent a memo to the deans announcing the rise in the national mean score on the MBE. The score from July 2015 to July 2016 rose from 139.9 to 140.3.


The increase is minor but a surprising sign considering LSAT scores have been declining for the last several years. From fall 2012 and fall 2013 the LSAT scores dropped dramatically with seventy percent of ABA-accredited law schools reporting a drop in the 25th percentile scores of the entering class. The score fell three points at 19 schools and four points at five other schools.

Read Bar Exam Scores Plummet to Lowest Point in Past Several Decades.

There is a correlation between LSAT and MBE scores so it is expected that a declining rate in LSAT scores will equal a lower MBE score. Moeser said, “What would surprise me is if LSAT scores dropped and bar pass rates didn’t go down.”

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In the memo, Moeser explained that they still need to examine the scores and what it means. The mean MBE score was higher in 22 jurisdictions, the same in two, and lower in 26. The NCBE will compare the scores to each school’s specific results to understand why the MBE average increased when the LSAT scores did not.

See July Bar Exam Results Show Declining Pass Rates.

There are four main reasons that they may discover: improved preparation from schools, dismissal of more students from the schools, more graduates postponed taking the bar, or the graduates cared more about their education and score.

Do you think they will find a reason for the rise in MBE scores? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To learn more about how bar exam scores affect law schools, read California Law School Accreditation Requires Forty Percent Bar Exam Passage Rate.



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