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Texas’ First Online Bar Exam Records A Dip Of 17% In The Pass Rate
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Texas’s first online bar exam, held on October 05-06, 2020, recorded a dip of 17% in the overall pass rate. While the overall pass rate among those who appeared for the in-person September 2020 exam was nearly 77%, the remote exam held in October 2020 saw an overall pass rate of 60%.

The pass list for the October 2020 exam showed a total of 1116 law graduates took the online exam, out of which 671 passed and the rest 445 failed the exam, bringing the overall pass rate to 60.13%. Out of these 1116 examinees, 768 were first-time takers, and the remaining 368 were repeats.

The pass rate among the first time examinees stood at nearly 71%, with 544 passing and 224 failing the exam. In sharp contrast, the repeats’ pass rate was roughly half that, 36.5%, with 127 passing and 221 failing the exam. For comparison, the pass rate among the first time examinees was almost 86% percent for the September 2020 in-person exam. The September 2020 bar exam had recorded the highest pass rate in the state among the first time test takers at 98.3% by the University of Texas law graduates.


Among the first-time exam takers, graduates from Texas Tech University of Law posted the highest overall pass rate at 92.31%, followed by the University of Texas School of Law at 84.62%. Baylor Law School and SMU Dedman School of Law came in close at 82.76% and 82.86%, respectively. The Thurgood Marshall School of Law recorded the lowest pass rate among the first time examinees at 38.18%. Among the repeat takers, law graduates from Baylor and the University of Texas posted the highest rate at 66.67%.

Owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Texas Supreme Court canceled the July 2020 bar exam. Some people speculated that the September 2020 in-person bar exam’s high pass rate could be attributed to the extra two months that the examinees got for preparation.

On October 05, 2020, more than 30,000 law graduates appeared for online bar exams across 18 states. Examsoft administered these exams, and the company claimed that only a small percentage of test-takers witnesses technical problems. In an email to the ABA Journal, Judith Gundersen, president of the NCBE, claimed that more than 98% of the applicants had no software issues.

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Some states, such as Michigan and Indiana, reported significantly higher pass rates for the remotely administered exams. In Michigan, the pass rate went up from 60% for the July 2019 exam to 68% for the 2020 online exam. Indiana’s bar exam results for the August 2020 online exam recorded an overall pass rate of 74%, which was higher by ten percentage points over the previous four July bar exams. As more and more states come in with their results, a better and more precise picture of the online bar exams’ success and feasibility will form. But for now, Lawcrossing wishes congratulations to all the examinees who passed the Texas online bar exam during these challenging times.



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