Mbe Scoring

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Findedeux

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Mbe Scoring

Postby Findedeux » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:40 am

I'm trying to make sure I understand the basics of how MBE is scored.

First, there are 200 total points and 175 graded questions.

Therefore, each question is worth 1.1428 points (200/175).

Second, in order to get your raw score you would need to multiply your total number of correct questions by 1.1428.

Third, you would add 10-15 points to get a scaled score.

For example, if I answered 75% correct then I would have roughly 131 correct.
I would then multiply 131 x 1.1428 = 150.

Adding 10 points would yield a final scaled score of 160.

Is this correct? Because when I use Seperacs calculator I actually get much closer to 150?

Nightcrawler

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Nightcrawler » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:30 pm

I'm trying to understand this too. All the calculators look more like they just add 10-20 points to the raw score. Confusing. And is the raw score calculated out of 200 or out of 175?

jcwest

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby jcwest » Mon Jul 16, 2018 12:36 pm

I personally don't know the exact math but the addition of 10-20 is the curve depending on the administration and I believe its based on the difficulty of a given test.

Nightcrawler

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Nightcrawler » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:01 pm

jcwest wrote:I personally don't know the exact math but the addition of 10-20 is the curve depending on the administration and I believe its based on the difficulty of a given test.


Oh yes, I got that. Sorry for not writing it explicitly. My doubt was more on whether the 10-20 points include also the .14 points extra awarded (if there is any). I wish the NCBE and the CA bar were less secretive about these things. Still confused about the CA Bar's unwillingness to release the raw MBE subscores per subject after 2015.

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:36 pm

Nightcrawler wrote:Oh yes, I got that. Sorry for not writing it explicitly. My doubt was more on whether the 10-20 points include also the .14 points extra awarded (if there is any). I wish the NCBE and the CA bar were less secretive about these things. Still confused about the CA Bar's unwillingness to release the raw MBE subscores per subject after 2015.


I believe NCBE stopped releasing the subscores because examinees could use that information to strategize. For example, let’s say you failed J17 and your MBE subscore for Criminal Law/Procedure was 1.2. This means that 98.8% of examinees nationwide did better than you on MBE Criminal Law/Procedure in July 2017. But what it doesn’t tell you is that you only answered 7/25 correct, which is about 28% correct. So let’s say you are sitting for the next exam and your Criminal Law/Procedure MBE practice scores are the same in F18 as they were in J17. Let’s also assume Criminal Law/Procedure was tested on the MEE in J17. Such an examinee may take a calculated risk in ignoring the entire subject of Criminal Law/Procedure for the upcoming exam since the impact of ignoring it is slight to that specific examinee.

Knowing your % correct on the actual exam also helps you improve your studies because you can compare how you did in practice versus the actual exam. For example if you were getting 40% correct on Civil Procedure MBE practice questions but got 64% on the actual MBE, your Civil Procedure outline/study materials were probably more helpful to your Civil Procedure MBE score than the Civil Procedure MBE practice questions you used, and so you should focus on those Civil Procedure outlines/study materials on your next attempt while replacing the Civil Procedure MBE practice questions with a better source of Civ Pro MBE practice questions

That said, if you failed the UBE exam, I can provide you with a free 15 page confidential analysis of your scoring which includes breakdowns of your MBE subscores:
http://seperac.com/scoreform.php

If you are in a non-UBE state (e.g. California), while I can't send you a score report, I can give you a breakdown of your MBE subscores and tell you how many more MBE questions you needed to answer to get to 1440:
http://seperac.com/subscoreform.php

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:53 pm

Findedeux wrote:I'm trying to make sure I understand the basics of how MBE is scored.


In regards to MBE scaling, an examinee with a very low MBE may have 30 points added to his/her raw score while an examinee with a very high MBE may have just one or two points added to his/her raw score. While this scaling amount fluctuates from exam to exam, what matters more is your % correct. Since only 175 MBE questions will be graded on the upcoming UBE exam, you want to answer a minimum of 110 of these graded questions correctly (63%). According to a 1997 study entitled Basic Concepts in Item and Test Analysis, "the ideal percentage of correct answers on a four-choice multiple-choice test is not 70-90%. According to Thompson and Levitov (1985), the ideal difficulty for such an item would be halfway between the percentage of pure guess (25%) and 100%, (25% + {(100% - 25%)/2}. Therefore, for a test with 100 items with four alternatives each, the ideal mean percentage of correct items, for the purpose of maximizing score reliability, is roughly 63%." Thus, if you are at 65% correct or better (based on at least 750-1,000 MBE practice questions from reliable sources), you stand a great chance at passing.

With each exam, I see a lot of examinees unnecessarily panic as the exam nears. To give examinees a good understanding of their odds of passing the UBE exam, I took every available statistic from a credible source (e.g. NCBE and NYBOLE) and created a calculator based on that data. While there will always be outliers, the estimations should accurately reflect the majority of examinees sitting for the exam.

http://seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

This calculator is reasonably accurate for all demographics, particularly First-Time Domestic candidates. For example, for the First-Time Domestic candidates who used the calculator and followed up with me after the exam, the PASS/FAIL determination has been correct 100% of the time. Thus, unless you are testing poorly in MBE practice (e.g. 60% or less correct overall) or you are deviating from your bar review in a significant way (e.g. studying part-time), the calculator will be pretty accurate if you are a domestic-educated first-time taker.

Findedeux

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Findedeux » Mon Jul 16, 2018 4:32 pm

Yeah, I've tried that calculator before.

I doubt I will really score a 169 mbe but hopefully it means I will at least pass (like last time).

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Mon Jul 16, 2018 5:02 pm

Findedeux wrote:Yeah, I've tried that calculator before.

I doubt I will really score a 169 mbe but hopefully it means I will at least pass (like last time).



Sometimes the MBE prediction is close but the Total Score prediction is off and sometimes the MBE prediction is off while the Total Score prediction is on point. However, if you are studying full time using a bar review and you are above 63% correct in MBE practice based on 750+ questions, if the calculator predicts you to pass by 20 points or more, you are really safe and only you can screw it up by panicking during the exam/having bad timing.

mrro

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby mrro » Tue Jul 17, 2018 12:31 am

Joe, what would you estimate is necessary to pass with wildly divergent performance between essays and MBE in California?

In other words, what MBE % would correspond to an average essay score of 55/60/65/70, and what average essay scores would correspond to MBE scores of 60/65/70/75%?

notrub14

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby notrub14 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:13 am

JoeSeperac wrote:
Findedeux wrote:I'm trying to make sure I understand the basics of how MBE is scored.


In regards to MBE scaling, an examinee with a very low MBE may have 30 points added to his/her raw score while an examinee with a very high MBE may have just one or two points added to his/her raw score. While this scaling amount fluctuates from exam to exam, what matters more is your % correct. Since only 175 MBE questions will be graded on the upcoming UBE exam, you want to answer a minimum of 110 of these graded questions correctly (63%). According to a 1997 study entitled Basic Concepts in Item and Test Analysis, "the ideal percentage of correct answers on a four-choice multiple-choice test is not 70-90%. According to Thompson and Levitov (1985), the ideal difficulty for such an item would be halfway between the percentage of pure guess (25%) and 100%, (25% + {(100% - 25%)/2}. Therefore, for a test with 100 items with four alternatives each, the ideal mean percentage of correct items, for the purpose of maximizing score reliability, is roughly 63%." Thus, if you are at 65% correct or better (based on at least 750-1,000 MBE practice questions from reliable sources), you stand a great chance at passing.


I read somewhere else—on your website I believe—that the top scorers may only get 1 or 2 points added to their raw score. How is this possible given that the max score for the July 2017 MBE was 190.3 and there are only 175 scored questions now? (http://www.ncbex.org/statistics-and-res ... tatistics/). Doesn't that mean that the person with the highest score had approx 15 points added to his/her raw score? Was 1 or 2 points on the top scores true when there were 190 scored questions but not now?

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:43 am

notrub14 wrote:I read somewhere else—on your website I believe—that the top scorers may only get 1 or 2 points added to their raw score. How is this possible given that the max score for the July 2017 MBE was 190.3 and there are only 175 scored questions now? (http://www.ncbex.org/statistics-and-res ... tatistics/). Doesn't that mean that the person with the highest score had approx 15 points added to his/her raw score? Was 1 or 2 points on the top scores true when there were 190 scored questions but not now?


It varies from exam to exam. When I took the exam in 2005, NY still released raw and scaled MBE scores. I scored a 157 raw score which translated to a 162.1 scaled score. Here is an archive of past raw/scaled tables from NCBE:

http://web.archive.org/web/200003011949 ... ntiles.htm

NCBE doesn't release this information anymore, so I have to reverse engineer it by collecting a lot of scores from examinees and then figuring out all the different permutations. But generally, the scale is much larger for lower scoring examinees than higher scoring examinees. In the end, all that matters is your % correct. If you are at 65% correct or better, you are in great shape on the MBE.

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 10:48 am

mrro wrote:Joe, what would you estimate is necessary to pass with wildly divergent performance between essays and MBE in California?

In other words, what MBE % would correspond to an average essay score of 55/60/65/70, and what average essay scores would correspond to MBE scores of 60/65/70/75%?


I have a California bar score calculator here:
https://ubeessays.com/california-score-calculator/

You should play around with the J17 calculator (the calculations are exact for J17) to estimate your J18 performance. It sounds like you are looking for a matrix calculator, but I currently don't have one for CA.

Nightcrawler

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Nightcrawler » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:26 am

JoeSeperac wrote:[...] Thus, if you are at 65% correct or better (based on at least 750-1,000 MBE practice questions from reliable sources), you stand a great chance at passing.[...]


Last time (F18, California) you calculated that I got a raw score of 115/175 (65.7%) which translated to a scaled 1,337. Do you think that if I get the same raw score in July I may get a scaled 1,440 because of the higher scale?

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 11:47 am

Nightcrawler wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:[...] Thus, if you are at 65% correct or better (based on at least 750-1,000 MBE practice questions from reliable sources), you stand a great chance at passing.[...]


Last time (F18, California) you calculated that I got a raw score of 115/175 (65.7%) which translated to a scaled 1,337. Do you think that if I get the same raw score in July I may get a scaled 1,440 because of the higher scale?


Let me start off with a few caveats. First, 65% correct on the MBE puts you in great shape for passing except for California (never do I get failing examinees with MBEs above 150 except from CA). Second, my scaled to raw MBE calcs are simply good guesstimates so don't expect them to be exact (they can be off by +-3 raw questions). For F18, a 133.7 scaled was likely a 115 /175 raw. In J17, a 115 raw MBE would have resulted in a 141.2 scaled MBE. So 66% correct can get you to 140+ in J18. Again, keep in mind these are just educated guesses based on looking at 100 or so scores. If I could get about 300 CA examinees to send me their MBE subscores, I could give a scaled-to-raw conversion that is probably dead-on accurate - I just need to see all the subscore permutations

Nightcrawler

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Nightcrawler » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:58 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:
JoeSeperac wrote:[...] Thus, if you are at 65% correct or better (based on at least 750-1,000 MBE practice questions from reliable sources), you stand a great chance at passing.[...]


Last time (F18, California) you calculated that I got a raw score of 115/175 (65.7%) which translated to a scaled 1,337. Do you think that if I get the same raw score in July I may get a scaled 1,440 because of the higher scale?


Let me start off with a few caveats. First, 65% correct on the MBE puts you in great shape for passing except for California (never do I get failing examinees with MBEs above 150 except from CA). Second, my scaled to raw MBE calcs are simply good guesstimates so don't expect them to be exact (they can be off by +-3 raw questions). For F18, a 133.7 scaled was likely a 115 /175 raw. In J17, a 115 raw MBE would have resulted in a 141.2 scaled MBE. So 66% correct can get you to 140+ in J18. Again, keep in mind these are just educated guesses based on looking at 100 or so scores. If I could get about 300 CA examinees to send me their MBE subscores, I could give a scaled-to-raw conversion that is probably dead-on accurate - I just need to see all the subscore permutations


Thank you so much. It actually helped a lot with my question! By the exam, I would have added another 1,700 Adaptibar questions (81%), plus Emanuel's S&T with its 400 questions (75%), plus even a 50 Barbri questions (60%) in the mix, so hopefully it will be enough to get a few extra MBEs right.

Now back to study and hopefully after the lowest score in history the July scale will be the highest in history. Lol.

notrub14

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby notrub14 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 3:52 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
notrub14 wrote:I read somewhere else—on your website I believe—that the top scorers may only get 1 or 2 points added to their raw score. How is this possible given that the max score for the July 2017 MBE was 190.3 and there are only 175 scored questions now? (http://www.ncbex.org/statistics-and-res ... tatistics/). Doesn't that mean that the person with the highest score had approx 15 points added to his/her raw score? Was 1 or 2 points on the top scores true when there were 190 scored questions but not now?


It varies from exam to exam. When I took the exam in 2005, NY still released raw and scaled MBE scores. I scored a 157 raw score which translated to a 162.1 scaled score. Here is an archive of past raw/scaled tables from NCBE:

http://web.archive.org/web/200003011949 ... ntiles.htm

NCBE doesn't release this information anymore, so I have to reverse engineer it by collecting a lot of scores from examinees and then figuring out all the different permutations. But generally, the scale is much larger for lower scoring examinees than higher scoring examinees. In the end, all that matters is your % correct. If you are at 65% correct or better, you are in great shape on the MBE.


I get that it varies from administration to administration because the exam is equated. I just don't what reason there is to think that anyone has only received 1-2 points on top of their raw score since the switch to 175 scored questions. And the data I linked show that in Feb and July 2017, the very top scorers received around 15 points.

ladybug1989

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby ladybug1989 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:22 pm

Sorry, this might be a noob question.

I'm taking the CA bar and got a 130/200 on the Kaplan Final. The instructor said for scaling purposes to add 20 points, which would mean 150. Does that mean my scaled MBE for CA would be roughly a 1500? I would like to know so I can use the calculator that's posted above. Thanks.

Lawworld19

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Lawworld19 » Tue Jul 17, 2018 7:25 pm

If I did the MBE study aid from the NCBE and got roughly a 62%, is that a good indicator of what I will get on the bar?

M_Law

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby M_Law » Tue Jul 17, 2018 8:54 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
Findedeux wrote:I'm trying to make sure I understand the basics of how MBE is scored.


In regards to MBE scaling, an examinee with a very low MBE may have 30 points added to his/her raw score while an examinee with a very high MBE may have just one or two points added to his/her raw score. While this scaling amount fluctuates from exam to exam, what matters more is your % correct. Since only 175 MBE questions will be graded on the upcoming UBE exam, you want to answer a minimum of 110 of these graded questions correctly (63%). According to a 1997 study entitled Basic Concepts in Item and Test Analysis, "the ideal percentage of correct answers on a four-choice multiple-choice test is not 70-90%.[/b][/b] According to Thompson and Levitov (1985), the ideal difficulty for such an item would be halfway between the percentage of pure guess (25%) and 100%, (25% + {(100% - 25%)/2}. Therefore, for a test with 100 items with four alternatives each, the ideal mean percentage of correct items, for the purpose of maximizing score reliability, is roughly 63%." Thus, if you are at 65% correct or better (based on at least 750-1,000 MBE practice questions from reliable sources), you stand a great chance at passing.

With each exam, I see a lot of examinees unnecessarily panic as the exam nears. To give examinees a good understanding of their odds of passing the UBE exam, I took every available statistic from a credible source (e.g. NCBE and NYBOLE) and created a calculator based on that data. While there will always be outliers, the estimations should accurately reflect the majority of examinees sitting for the exam.

http://seperac.com/zcalc-passcalc.php

This calculator is reasonably accurate for all demographics, particularly First-Time Domestic candidates. For example, for the First-Time Domestic candidates who used the calculator and followed up with me after the exam, the PASS/FAIL determination has been correct 100% of the time. Thus, unless you are testing poorly in MBE practice (e.g. 60% or less correct overall) or you are deviating from your bar review in a significant way (e.g. studying part-time), the calculator will be pretty accurate if you are a domestic-educated first-time taker.


Is this really true in a UBE jurisdiction?

I understand 110/175 equates to about 63%, but I didn't realize we have that much breathing room to get nearly 65 questions wrong. Not sure why I figured 66% was the ideal number to be around; probably because I read it in a couple places. Your numbers almost make me feel better and less worried now. . .

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:39 pm

notrub14 wrote:I get that it varies from administration to administration because the exam is equated. I just don't what reason there is to think that anyone has only received 1-2 points on top of their raw score since the switch to 175 scored questions. And the data I linked show that in Feb and July 2017, the very top scorers received around 15 points.


I agree that it appears from the 2017 NCBE stats that the scaling for the top scores is about 13-16 points (raw 175 to F17 187.9 or J17 190.3), but I don’t think this is possible, although I don’t really understand what is going on. Allow me to explain:

First, no one will get 100% correct on the MBE to lead to a 175 raw score. If you look at the archived NCBE national data that has raw-scaled values, for July exams, if you average all the highest raw values, it averages 184/200 (looking at J90-J97) or about 92% correct. See https://web.archive.org/web/20000301194 ... ntiles.htm

Likewise, in past released data from CT, the highest examinee averaged about 90% correct (180/200). In IL, the highest subscores added up to 184/200, so once again the highest scoring examinee probably gets at most 92% correct on the MBE. This means out of 175 questions in 2017, it would be 161 raw. That means the scale would need to be 27-30 points (raw 161 to F17 187.9 or J17 190.3) for the highest-scoring 2017 examinee. To me, this is simply impossible based on everything I have seen. For example, the last exam to report raw-scaled MBE was NY in 2013 (they did it by mistake). To give you some real concrete examples from actual examinee J13 scores, an 55 raw MBE resulted in a 89.7 scaled MBE (34.7 points scaling) while a 129 raw MBE resulted in a 146.6 scaled MBE (17.6 points scaling). Unfortunately 146.6 was the highest failing MBE score in J13 so I don’t know the scale factor for MBE scores in the 160s or 170s. However, in every single piece of data I have ever seen, as MBE scores increase, the scale always gets smaller. Based on this, I would expect a maximum of 8 points of scaling once you get up to 165 raw. This ties in with the J90-J97 data where the difference between scaling for the top scores is 9 points. This is likewise why I received a 157 raw but 162.1 scaled in 2005 (a very small scaling of 5.1 points). As to why or how the highest scaled MBE scores in 2017 are 187.9 in F17 or 190.3 in J17, I haven’t a clue.

Don’t worry about the scaling – just know that if you get a 65% correct or better on the MBE, you stand an excellent chance of passing (except in CA).

myspiritanimal

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby myspiritanimal » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:44 pm

Why is it that people focus so much on MBE for estimates re: passing? I assume it's just statistically likely that people that perform at a certain level perform at a similar level on the essay portion. Is that right?

JoeSeperac

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby JoeSeperac » Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:47 pm

ladybug1989 wrote:Sorry, this might be a noob question.

I'm taking the CA bar and got a 130/200 on the Kaplan Final. The instructor said for scaling purposes to add 20 points, which would mean 150. Does that mean my scaled MBE for CA would be roughly a 1500? I would like to know so I can use the calculator that's posted above. Thanks.


For true scaling purposes, as I mention above, in J17, a 115 raw MBE (66% correct) would have resulted in a 141.2 scaled MBE. So if you are about 65% correct on the J18 MBE, you should see a 140-145 MBE. I think what Kaplan is saying is that examinees that get a 130/200 on the Kaplan exam get a 1500 scaled on the CA MBE (which would be about 72% correct on the actual MBE). This is because you study more after the Kaplan test and increase your knowledge, boosting your overall % correct by exam-time.

L_William_W

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby L_William_W » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:44 pm

When I took the July 2017 bar, I thought I got almost every Civ Pro question wrong. The only subject were I felt confident in were Torts and Con Law. My final MBE was a 149.3.

Don't worry about specific percentages. Get as many correct as possible. When in doubt, choose a statement of law over a statement of fact.

Omerta

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby Omerta » Wed Jul 18, 2018 6:08 pm

myspiritanimal wrote:Why is it that people focus so much on MBE for estimates re: passing? I assume it's just statistically likely that people that perform at a certain level perform at a similar level on the essay portion. Is that right?


Because it's easy to bullshit your way to a decent essay score, and most JX allow the person to pass by passing both sections or averaging the MBE and the essays together. Getting a 150 MBE gives you a significant margin for error on the other sections.

ladybug1989

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Re: Mbe Scoring

Postby ladybug1989 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:11 pm

JoeSeperac wrote:
ladybug1989 wrote:Sorry, this might be a noob question.

I'm taking the CA bar and got a 130/200 on the Kaplan Final. The instructor said for scaling purposes to add 20 points, which would mean 150. Does that mean my scaled MBE for CA would be roughly a 1500? I would like to know so I can use the calculator that's posted above. Thanks.


For true scaling purposes, as I mention above, in J17, a 115 raw MBE (66% correct) would have resulted in a 141.2 scaled MBE. So if you are about 65% correct on the J18 MBE, you should see a 140-145 MBE. I think what Kaplan is saying is that examinees that get a 130/200 on the Kaplan exam get a 1500 scaled on the CA MBE (which would be about 72% correct on the actual MBE). This is because you study more after the Kaplan test and increase your knowledge, boosting your overall % correct by exam-time.


Thanks for clearing that up. I have another question.

If a friend who took the NY bar last year got a scaled MBE score of 160 (since NY releases scores), does that mean in CA, if he took the same MBE, he would have received a scaled score of 1600? Or does CA do its own independent scaling and therefore his scaled score in CA might be different? Thanks.



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