If you failed the February 2014 bar exam, you should know that you are not alone. February bar exam pass rates are typically between 41% and 43%. So, if you did not pass, you know that you are among a significant number of people who are in the very same position.
What do I do now?
So what do you do now? Do you take another bar review course? Do you hire a private tutor? Do you study on your own? The answers to those questions will be different for everyone. First, you need to properly evaluate why it is that you failed. Second, consider attending one of our free bar exam workshops.
Free Bar Exam Workshops
We will offer at least one free bar exam workshop for the July 2014 bar exam. Our next free bar exam workshop is on Thursday, May 22nd from 7:00 pm to 9:30 pm. To register, click here.
Free Bar Exam Score Review
We provide, for a limited period of time (as our classes and private tutoring obligations begin and then we are just not available to provide this service) a free review of your past bar scores. In order to participate in this program, you will need to send your scores to firstname.lastname@example.org. We only accept scanned in score sheets (but we do not accept your typed in scores in an email). We have to be sure that we are dealing with you. In addition, provide a phone number where you can be reached (all score reviews and evaluations are conducted via phone). Apologies – we no longer receive score sheets via fax.
Why should I have my scores reviewed?
As a repeat bar examinee, the first step to passing the next bar exam is to review your bar exam score sheet. This can be a very confusing piece of paper. Partly because it is simply just painful to look at. Here you are, you have just received the terrible news that you have failed the bar exam and now you have to make sense of the scores. In my experience, examinees very often do not understand how the scaling works or what equals a passing “raw” score. So hopefully, what follows below will be of help to you.
Because the scoring of the California Bar Exam is scaled, it is not easy to understand what a given raw score means nor is it clear where you will need to focus from numbers alone. For example, if an examinee scores consistently the same scores on their essays (i.e., all sixties or three fifty-fives and three sixties) it will indicate a different problem than an examinee whose scores have a greater range (i.e., one 45, one 75, two 65s and two 60s etc.).
What is a passing raw score for an essay or performance test?
First of all, the raw score that is passing for the essays, performance tests and the MBEs varies from bar exam to bar exam. Most examinees incorrectly believe that a 70 is always required for an essay to be passing. However, this is simply not the case. In the past several bar rounds, a passing raw score on the essay has been as low as a 61 and as high as a 63 – not a 70. Of course, a 70 is a much better score to receive and better yet, 80s are really what you should be shooting for – this is the score we do our best to teach our students to be able to achieve consistently.
What is up, why are scores missing on my score sheet?
If you were unsuccessful on the February 2014 California bar exam, you have probably already received your score sheet from the the California bar examiners. If you have taken the bar exam more than once, you will notice that your score sheet is different this year. There is no raw MBE score provided (how many out of 200 MBEs you completed correctly), instead only the “scaled score” is provided. In past years, the bar examiners always provided a total “raw MBE score” as well as a breakdown of your raw MBE score for each MBE subject.
I personally do not think that this changes much of anything about what is actually necessary or what it takes to pass the bar exam. However, it does mean there is one less diagnostic tool to use to evaluate an examinee’s performance. Mostly, that just makes the exam scoring to be even a bit more mysterious and perhaps confusing. But, the fact that there isn’t a break down or a raw score provided does not make the test any harder (or easier). It is still the same test.
Wishing you all the best of luck in your studies! Stay tuned for bar exam study tips!
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