California Bar Exam results using lowered score requirement show improved pass rate

How dumb are the people running the California Bar Exam and the legislature for allowing the dumbing down of the Bar Exam?

“California’s second batch of bar exam results using a lowered passing score standard showed an increased number of passing applicants.

On Friday, the State Bar of California released the results from February’s exam, granting passing grades to those who scored 1390 or above, a lowered requirement from the previous standard of 1440. October’s test results were also based on the lowered standard, a change which was ordered by the California Supreme Court in August in response to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. February’s test was also the second to be administered online.

So how do you fix this exam?  It is being proposed to do away with it.  If you get a law degree this year, you automatically become an attorney.  This moves up the passing rate from about 37% to 100%–The better idea is to get rid of the California Bar—it is not needed if there is no Bar Exam and its discipline of attorneys is backlogged years!

California Bar Exam results using lowered score requirement show improved pass rate

By Vincent Moleski, Fresno Bee,  5/8/21  

Michael Schwartz, dean of Sacramento’s McGeorge School of Law, discusses on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, the reasons behind the proposal for issuing diploma privilege during the coronavirus pandemic. The plan would waive the state bar exam this year.

California’s second batch of bar exam results using a lowered passing score standard showed an increased number of passing applicants.

On Friday, the State Bar of California released the results from February’s exam, granting passing grades to those who scored 1390 or above, a lowered requirement from the previous standard of 1440. October’s test results were also based on the lowered standard, a change which was ordered by the California Supreme Court in August in response to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. February’s test was also the second to be administered online.

A total of 3,098 would-be lawyers took the bar exam in February, and 1,151 of those reached the score threshold necessary to pass, for a passing rate of 37.2%. That passing rate is nearly 39% higher than the passing rate from the February 2020 Bar Exam, in which 26.8% of applicants passed.

“We heartily congratulate the 1,151 applicants who passed the General Bar Exam and the 247 candidates who passed the Attorneys’ Exam, particularly after facing and overcoming the many challenges of 2020,” interim executive director of the California State Bar Donna Hershkowitz said in a prepared statement.

Discussions about lowering the bar exam’s daunting requirement that were already brewing before the pandemic came to a head in 2020, when many legal students and law school deans pressed the state Supreme Court to cancel the test — originally scheduled for July, the traditional time for the second of the semiannual bar exams — in favor of automatic licensing through a process known as diploma privilege. The exam was not canceled, but was eventually pushed out to October.

Legal scholars for years have been pushing for a more forgiving bar exam requirement in California, as test passing rates remained low, and especially among students of color. California had the second-highest cut score in the U.S. previous to lowering it, only surpassed by Delaware. The new cut score of 1390 is still above the national cut score average of 1350. Since 2013 up until the July 2019 exam, more applicants failed the exam than passed it. February 2018’s results hit an all-time low, with 27.3% of applicants passing. In July 2019, a bare majority passed, with a passing rate of 50.1%.

October’s results, which were released by the state bar in February, showed a significant improvement over results from years past. Out of 8,723 applicants, 5,292 passed, or nearly 61%. The group of applicants who tested in October was the largest since 2013, and the pass rate of the group was the highest since July 2008.

State bar officials said that the February testing group was smaller than a normal February group due to the large size of the October test cohort and their high pass rate at the earlier exam. A majority of the February testers were repeating the exam after failing previously, as is normal for a February cohort, according to the bar.

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Really??? says

    Hummm, want to be an Olympic Champion? Eliminate world standards…..expand the gold medals to include everyone. You know everyone that participates will get a trophy.

    How about it, want a lawyer that did not come in 2nd,,,,, they actually came in at the bottom of the class.

    Remember when you hire one of these you voted for the Democrats.

  2. Oh great. So not only will we have *more* lawyers, but they’ll be even dumber.

  3. I AM SO EMBARRASSED; I TOOK THE BAR YEARS AGO WHEN IT WAS ALL ESSAY AND VERY HARD AND PASSED IT; A LOT DID NOT. TOUGH SHIT. IF YOU CANT CARRY THE MAIL, GO INTO SOME OTHER BUSINESS. ITS THIS KIND OF IDIOCY THAT IS DESTROYING OUR COUNTRY….. DESTROYING THE EDUCATION SYSTEM IS THE SUREST WAY TO DESTROY A REPUBLIC. I WILL LEAVE THIS AWFUL DEVELOPMENT WITH THIS FINAL COMMENT: ELIMINATE THE STATE BAR AND THEIR FEE REQUIRMENTS AND DONT EVER ASK ME FOR A DIME YOU DUMB , USELESS, WORTHLESS PIECES OF HUMAN WASTE.

  4. The top score is 2000 points. 1390 is ‘D’ work. Even 1440 is low ‘C’. Seems as though the score should be printed on their law licenses. I would check the license before engaging an attorney, anyone with 1650 or less would not get my legal work.

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