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  • Writer's pictureTommy Sangchompuphen

Feb. 2024 Results: Early Reports Indicate a Rebound in Pass Rates for First-Time Takers

UPDATED: April 17, 2024, 7:00 am (EDT)


So far, the National Conference of Bar Examiners has posted detailed bar exam statistics for the February 2024 exam for nearly one-half of the jurisdictions. With numbers from four additional jurisdictions posted by the NCBE this week as of yesterday, first-time bar pass from 23 jurisdictions have been published, representing a total of 4,823 examinees. This examinee count represents about 24% of the examinees who took the February 2023 exam, when 20,192 took the exam.


The two jurisdictions with the largest number of examinees (New York and California) have not released their results yet. Also, while Texas and Illinois have released their results to examinees, the NCBE has not yet posted detailed statistics on its website yet.


Here's how the four most recently posted jurisdictions fared between the February 2023 and February 2024 administrations with respect to first-time passage rates:


Florida, ⬆️ 1 percentage point (from 55% to 56%)

Maine, ⬇️ 7 percentage points (from 51% to 44%)

Utah, ⬇️ 5 percentage points (from 74% to 69%)

Washington, ⬆️ 1 percentage point (from 56% to 57%)


Overall, the average first-time passage rate for these 23 jurisdictions has slightly dipped from 61.30% on the February 2023 exam to 60.35% on the February 2024 exam.



 

UPDATED: April 12, 2024, 4:46 pm (EDT)


It's been a busy past couple of days for bar results.


Since my last update, the National Conference of Bar Examiners has posted detailed bar exam statistics for seven more jurisdictions, bringing the total number of jurisdictions with detailed statistics to 19.


Here's how the seven most recently posted jurisdictions fared between the February 2023 and February 2024 administrations with respect to first-time passage rates:


Arkansas, ⬆️ 4 percentage points (from 59% to 63%)

Kentucky, ⬆️ 1 percentage point (from 52% to 53%)

Missouri, ⬆️ 4 percentage points (from 59% to 63%)

Oklahoma, ⬇️ 3 percentage points (from 55% to 52%)

Pennsylvania, ⬆️ 8 percentage points (from 55% to 63%) Tennessee, ⬇️ 4 percentage points (from 54% to 50%)

Wyoming, ⬇️ 18 percentage points (from 58 % to 40%)


Of the 19 jurisdictions with detailed statistics published by the NCBE, nine jurisdictions have seen increases in their first-time pass rates from the administration a year ago, nine jurisdictions have seen decreases in their first-time pass rates, and one jurisdiction has seen no change.


Overall, the first-time passage rate has slightly dipped from 61.79% on the February 2023 exam to 61.16% on the February 2024 exam.



 

UPDATED: April 10, 2024, 4:32 pm (EDT)


I continue to track February 2024 bar exam results. The latest update from the National Conference of Bar Examiners brings the total number of jurisdictions with detailed pass rates to 12.

 

North Dakota and Vermont, the latest jurisdictions to have their statistics published by the NCBE, have both reported notable declines in their first-time pass rates, reinforcing the trend of unexpected downturns we've been observing recently.

 

North Dakota, a state that typically boasts consistent pass rates, has shown a decrease in its first-time pass rate, dropping from 69% in February 2023 to 63% in February 2024.

 

Vermont, on the other hand, presents an even more striking case. The state saw its first-time pass rate plummet from 72% in February 2023 to a mere 56% in February 2024. This substantial decline is one of the most dramatic among the states reported so far.

 

With these new data points, we now have detailed statistics from a dozen jurisdictions. Sure, there are plenty of results remaining. But the pattern emerging, so far, is one of inconsistency and fluctuation, challenging the initial optimism spurred by early results from states like Kansas and Nebraska.



 

UPDATED: April 9, 2024, 4:09 pm (EDT)


I continue to track February 2024 bar exam results. The latest update from the National Conference of Bar Examiners brings the total number of states with detailed published pass rates to 12.


North Dakota and Vermont, the latest states to release their results, have both reported notable declines in their first-time pass rates, reinforcing the trend of unexpected downturns we've been observing recently.


North Dakota, a state that typically boasts consistent pass rates, has shown a decrease in its first-time pass rate, dropping from 69% in February 2023 to 63% in February 2024.


Vermont, on the other hand, presents an even more striking case. The state saw its first-time pass rate plummet from 72% in February 2023 to a mere 56% in February 2024. This substantial decline is one of the most dramatic among the states reported so far.


With these new data points, we now have detailed statistics from 12 jurisdictions. The pattern emerging is one of inconsistency and fluctuation, challenging the initial optimism spurred by early results from states like Kansas and Nebraska.



 

UPDATED: April 5, 2024, 11:42 am (EDT)


Happy Friday!


The NCBE posted exam statistics for an additional two jurisdictions this morning (Iowa and Kansas), bringing the total of released jurisdictional scores to seven (Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, West Virginia, and Wisconsin).


Kansas saw a nine percentage point increase in its first-time pass rate on the February 2024 exam from a year earlier. It now boasts 72% first-time pass rate. While this is a significant improvement over the February 2023 exam, it's still not where it was on the February 2022 exam, when the first-time pass rate was 78%.


Of the seven jurisdictions that the NCBE has posted detailed statistics for so far for the February 2024 exam, Iowa is the only jurisdiction to have reported declining first-time pass rates on both the February 2023 and February 2024 exams. After seeing an 81% first-time pass rate on the February 2022 exam, the first-time pass rate dipped to 70% on the February 2023 exam and again to 68% on the February 2024 exam.



 

UPDATED: April 4, 2024, 11:58 am (EDT)


The NCBE has updated its data to include the first-time pass rates for two additional jurisdiction: New Mexico and Wisconsin. So far, the NCBE has released detailed pass rate information for five jurisdictions.


New Mexico has the highest first-time bar pass rate on the February 2024 bar exam, so far. Its first-time bar pass rate jumped from 72% on the February 2023 exam to 84% on the February 2024 exam.


Wisconsin is the first jurisdiction to report a decrease in first-time pass rates from a year ago. It saw 57% of its first-time examinees pass the February 2024 exam whereas 67% of the first-time examinees passed the February 2023 exam.



 

ORIGINAL POST: April 4, 2024, 7:00 am (EDT)


It’s the beginning of April, so that means it’s bar exam season.

 

According to the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ data, a few jurisdictions have released their results so far, and the numbers are encouraging.

 

Of the jurisdictions that the NCBE has released detailed information for, the data show an improvement in first-time bar passage rates compared to February 2023 numbers.

 

Granted, the data set is small at this point, as numbers for just three jurisdictions have been posted. But the information is consistent with the recent statement made by NCBE Director of Assessment and Research Rosemary Reshetar, EdD, who said: “These numbers reflect a continuation of the trend that began last February: we are moving back toward pre-Covid numbers in terms of both the mean and the examinee count. We will likely see an increase in pass rates compared to last February, but we are also still seeing the effects of the pandemic on examinees who were in law school in 2020, 2021, and 2022.”

 

Parse that statement, and that could mean that jurisdictions will likely see increases in first-time pass rates, while repeat takers may still continue to struggle on the exam.

 

So far, the NCBE has posted detailed bar exam statistics for Nebraska, North Carolina, and West Virginia. (The NCBE has not yet posted detailed statistics for the following jurisdictions even though examinee results have been released by the individual jurisdictions: Kansas and Wisconsin.)

 

Nebraska’s first-time pass rate on the February 2024 exam jumped to 71% from 42% on the February 2024 exam. When it came to repeat takers, the pass rate dropped slightly from 40% in 2023 to 39% in 2024.

 

North Carolina’s first-time pass rate on the February 2024 exam jumped to 64% from 41% on the February 2024 exam. While North Carolina saw an increase in its repeat pass rates, the numbers are still low (34% in February 2024 compared to 29% in February 2023).

 

Finally, West Virginia remained steady with its first-time pass rates, with just one-half of the first-time examinees passing the exam on both February exams. However, West Virginia saw a significant decline in its repeat pass rates, dropping 15 percentage points (41% in February 2024 compared to 56% in February 2023).

 

All three jurisdictions administer the Uniform Bar Examination and have a passing score of 270.

 

Revisit this page for regular updates as the NCBE releases additional state-specific statistics.



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