What does the hole between in-person and on-line bar examination scores inform us?

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The results of the online bar exams have more or less followed expectations. There are always small variations, but it is difficult to say that the online exam has been proven to produce worse results than the standard license exam. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone, as the bar exam is inherently intended to provide stable results, and if jurisdictions deal with scaling with a number of NCBE castoff questions, it is reasonable to assume that things would be mostly scripted.

But what about Texas?

The total score for the first online Texas bar exam was 60%, compared to nearly 77% in September. This is based on statistics published by the Texas Board of Law Examiners. The first success rate in October was also lower: 71% versus 82% in September. The pass rate for the July 2019 exam was almost 69%.

That’s a hefty jump, but it’s also one that doesn’t provide much information.

Are NCBE Personal Exams Better? That is inevitably the takeaway that the bar exam monopoly would like to promote. Aside from the fact that they were different test questions rated by different people with different scales, the October exam also had more retest takers among the October online crew, which generally depresses the passage numbers.

The only possible insight I can see is that Texas examiners who scaled the test themselves may be less forgiving than other jurisdictions. Given that the hostility examiners appear to have no choice but to take the NCBE in-person exams, it wouldn’t be shocking for examiners to apply a stricter metric to the online results if they think they are a perfectly acceptable September exam have dropped. That probably didn’t happen either, but as I said, that’s the only possible insight here.

It’s an interesting outlier among the early results we saw. As more states join, we’ll get a better idea of ​​how this test played out. But don’t read anything too important into these results for now.

Pass rate drops for first Texas bar exam online [Law.com]

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HeadshotJoe Patrice is Senior Editor at Above the Law and co-moderator of Thinking Like A Lawyer. Feel free to email tips, questions, or comments. Follow him on Twitter if you’re into law, politics, and a healthy dose of college sports news. Joe is also the managing director of RPN Executive Search.

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