CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

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rcharter1978

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CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 3:55 pm

I'm currently avoiding work, so I thought I would share this with all of you who took the CBX in July 2018 and those prepping to take the exam this year.

https://abovethelaw.com/2018/12/a-break ... july-2018/

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Mon Dec 31, 2018 8:59 pm

Every CA ABA school dropped. Santa Clara and San Francisco down 21 points? WTH?

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby dabigchina » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:49 pm

When do they usually post out of state school past rates?

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:54 pm

dabigchina wrote:When do they usually post out of state school past rates?


I believe it's on the second page of the article if you scroll down.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby rcharter1978 » Mon Dec 31, 2018 9:55 pm

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:Every CA ABA school dropped. Santa Clara and San Francisco down 21 points? WTH?


Yeah, I really don't get it. A double digit drop is ridiculous.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:10 pm

Looks like Pepperdine increased by a point. I wonder if they will boast about that stat..."the only California law school to increase its bar passage rate".

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby FinallyPassedTheBar » Mon Dec 31, 2018 10:44 pm

dabigchina wrote:When do they usually post out of state school past rates?



WOAH! Duke had a 100% pass rate! 25/25

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby QContinuum » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:15 pm

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:Looks like Pepperdine increased by a point. I wonder if they will boast about that stat..."the only California law school to increase its bar passage rate".

Funny you mention that. The source for ATL's article was none other than Pepperdine Law Dean Paul Caron. :P

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby ithrowds » Mon Dec 31, 2018 11:54 pm

FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
dabigchina wrote:When do they usually post out of state school past rates?



WOAH! Duke had a 100% pass rate! 25/25


Pretty nuts considering some of their t14 peers - Penn/Michigan/Northwestern

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Iwanttolawschool » Tue Jan 01, 2019 5:36 pm

ithrowds wrote:
FinallyPassedTheBar wrote:
dabigchina wrote:When do they usually post out of state school past rates?



WOAH! Duke had a 100% pass rate! 25/25


Pretty nuts considering some of their t14 peers - Penn/Michigan/Northwestern


OMG. This must mean Duke > Yale> Harvard > Stanford > the rest.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby mathandthelaw » Wed Jan 02, 2019 6:30 pm

First of all, thanks for posting this. I was awaiting this!

Second of all, it is pretty crazy how the results affected most schools. But what I like about the Bar is that anyone can pass whether you went to a T-14 law school or not. So long as you attend an ABA accredited school with a good reputation.

Third of all, I hate how the bar keeps blaming the LSAT and GPA scores. I personally did not put in full effort in college. I still did reasonably well putting in little effort, but I did significantly better in law school because I put in my 100%. Had I put in a lot of effort beforehand, I would have made it into a T-14 law school. And that's a similar story for many students who performed at the top of their law school. Maybe they took a scholarship? I sure did. Besides, they can compete with the best of them. So why do they keep analyzing how we were before we even got into law school? It makes no sense to me.
I personally blame the multiple choice. I thought it was very difficult. The increase in difficulty of the multiple choice in recent years I think is an important causal factor. I'd like to see an analysis done from when they decided to increase the level of difficulty. I did lots of those old multiple choice, was getting around 85% correct! No way lol.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby rcharter1978 » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:11 pm

mathandthelaw wrote:First of all, thanks for posting this. I was awaiting this!

Second of all, it is pretty crazy how the results affected most schools. But what I like about the Bar is that anyone can pass whether you went to a T-14 law school or not. So long as you attend an ABA accredited school with a good reputation.

Third of all, I hate how the bar keeps blaming the LSAT and GPA scores. I personally did not put in full effort in college. I still did reasonably well putting in little effort, but I did significantly better in law school because I put in my 100%. Had I put in a lot of effort beforehand, I would have made it into a T-14 law school. And that's a similar story for many students who performed at the top of their law school. Maybe they took a scholarship? I sure did. Besides, they can compete with the best of them. So why do they keep analyzing how we were before we even got into law school? It makes no sense to me.
I personally blame the multiple choice. I thought it was very difficult. The increase in difficulty of the multiple choice in recent years I think is an important causal factor. I'd like to see an analysis done from when they decided to increase the level of difficulty. I did lots of those old multiple choice, was getting around 85% correct! No way lol.


No problem, happy it interests people other than me!

Totally agree with your second point. The bar exam is not the great equilizer, but it kinda is. It's part of the reason I didn't go to business school. Who knows what the hell those people are learning? Just kidding!!

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby anon sequitur » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:39 pm

mathandthelaw wrote:Third of all, I hate how the bar keeps blaming the LSAT and GPA scores. I personally did not put in full effort in college. I still did reasonably well putting in little effort, but I did significantly better in law school because I put in my 100%. Had I put in a lot of effort beforehand, I would have made it into a T-14 law school. And that's a similar story for many students who performed at the top of their law school. Maybe they took a scholarship? I sure did. Besides, they can compete with the best of them. So why do they keep analyzing how we were before we even got into law school? It makes no sense to me.


They use the LSAT and ug GPA because they are objective and, in the aggregate, provide useful and undeniably relevant information: on average, law school students are not as high-performing as they were in the past. It's not like people putting in lackluster effort in undergrad is a new phenomenon, why do you think your experience as a mediocre college student who turned into a good law school student is particularly relevant?

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby mathandthelaw » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:21 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
mathandthelaw wrote:Third of all, I hate how the bar keeps blaming the LSAT and GPA scores. I personally did not put in full effort in college. I still did reasonably well putting in little effort, but I did significantly better in law school because I put in my 100%. Had I put in a lot of effort beforehand, I would have made it into a T-14 law school. And that's a similar story for many students who performed at the top of their law school. Maybe they took a scholarship? I sure did. Besides, they can compete with the best of them. So why do they keep analyzing how we were before we even got into law school? It makes no sense to me.


They use the LSAT and ug GPA because they are objective and, in the aggregate, provide useful and undeniably relevant information: on average, law school students are not as high-performing as they were in the past. It's not like people putting in lackluster effort in undergrad is a new phenomenon, why do you think your experience as a mediocre college student who turned into a good law school student is particularly relevant?


First of all, your response is patronizing. Do not write like that to opposing counsel when you practice law, it is unprofessional and disrespectful. Second of all, I believe that law school grades are probably more indicative of success on the bar rather than undergraduate performance on the LSAT/GPA. There are statistics that also substantiate the importance of law school grades. Third of all, you assumed that I performed "mediocre in law school" but objectively, a 3.4 undergraduate GPA is not mediocre, so do not call me mediocre. Fourth of all, while I do think an overall decrease in LSAT/GPA may have a minor impact on performance on the bar, my point is simply that I believe that the multiple choice on the bar exam has become increasingly more difficult over the past few years. I've done Adaptibar questions and the most recent past released multiple choice examinations, and I found them to be significantly harder (many others have said the same to me). In fact, sources online state that Adaptibar scores were generally inflated around 10% higher than actual MBE scores. See Joe Separac.

Therefore, I think that the increase in difficulty of the multiple choice has had the most substantial effect, rather than the decrease in LSAT/GPA. That is my opinion that I am fully entitled to have. Thank you very much.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby anon sequitur » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:44 pm

mathandthelaw wrote:Third of all, you assumed that I performed "mediocre in law school" but objectively, a 3.4 undergraduate GPA is not mediocre, so do not call me mediocre. Fourth of all, while I do think an overall decrease in LSAT/GPA may have a minor impact on performance on the bar, my point is simply that I believe that the multiple choice on the bar exam has become increasingly more difficult over the past few years. I've done Adaptibar questions and the most recent past released multiple choice examinations, and I found them to be significantly harder (many others have said the same to me). In fact, sources online state that Adaptibar scores were generally inflated around 10% higher than actual MBE scores. See Joe Separac.

Therefore, I think that the increase in difficulty of the multiple choice has had the most substantial effect, rather than the decrease in LSAT/GPA. That is my opinion that I am fully entitled to have. Thank you very much.


I'm sorry if calling you a mediocre college student sounds mean, I really didn't mean it that way, I think it's more impressive to do well in law school than in undergrad. And if your point is only that the MBE has gotten harder over the past few years, that's a reasonable belief backed by good evidence (I think the inclusion of Civ Pro all by itself probably makes a significant difference), and that probably explains a significant part of the change in passage rates. But that's not how your comment read, specifically the part I quoted. You wrote that you were annoyed that people refer to LSAT and ugpa to explain lower bar results. LSAT and ugpa together are about as good as you can get in generalizing overall academic quality of law school students as a whole. When you have lower-performing students entering law school, it's pretty reasonable to expect bar passage rates to fall. You seem to take exception because I guess you don't think your LSAT/ugpa reflect your real abilities--well that's great if you did better than the numbers suggested, but doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things because people are always going to over and underperform, the correlations are not strong enough to be a meaningful predictor on an individual level. That's why I asked why you thought your experience was particularly relevant.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby mathandthelaw » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:55 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
mathandthelaw wrote:Third of all, you assumed that I performed "mediocre in law school" but objectively, a 3.4 undergraduate GPA is not mediocre, so do not call me mediocre. Fourth of all, while I do think an overall decrease in LSAT/GPA may have a minor impact on performance on the bar, my point is simply that I believe that the multiple choice on the bar exam has become increasingly more difficult over the past few years. I've done Adaptibar questions and the most recent past released multiple choice examinations, and I found them to be significantly harder (many others have said the same to me). In fact, sources online state that Adaptibar scores were generally inflated around 10% higher than actual MBE scores. See Joe Separac.

Therefore, I think that the increase in difficulty of the multiple choice has had the most substantial effect, rather than the decrease in LSAT/GPA. That is my opinion that I am fully entitled to have. Thank you very much.


I'm sorry if calling you a mediocre college student sounds mean, I really didn't mean it that way, I think it's more impressive to do well in law school than in undergrad. And if your point is only that the MBE has gotten harder over the past few years, that's a reasonable belief backed by good evidence (I think the inclusion of Civ Pro all by itself probably makes a significant difference), and that probably explains a significant part of the change in passage rates. But that's not how your comment read, specifically the part I quoted. You wrote that you were annoyed that people refer to LSAT and ugpa to explain lower bar results. LSAT and ugpa together are about as good as you can get in generalizing overall academic quality of law school students as a whole. When you have lower-performing students entering law school, it's pretty reasonable to expect bar passage rates to fall. You seem to take exception because I guess you don't think your LSAT/ugpa reflect your real abilities--well that's great if you did better than the numbers suggested, but doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things because people are always going to over and underperform, the correlations are not strong enough to be a meaningful predictor on an individual level. That's why I asked why you thought your experience was particularly relevant.


My point is simply that the Bar committee's focuses only on the LSAT/GPA reduction. I have not seen, and correct my if I'm wrong, that the Bar committee considered the increase in difficulty of the multiple choice (with the inclusion of Civ Pro as you correctly pointed out). I think that the multiple choice increase in difficulty is a far more significant factor than the LSAT/GPA reduction.

I was speaking to my own experience (as well as others who I have spoken with that did really well in law school but are not at T-25 law schools), and based on statistics, that law school grades are far more indicative of overall performance on the bar than LSAT/UGPA. That's where I think it is relevant, that the Bar committee makes it seem like LSAT/UGPA strongly decides your fate, and does not even mention that law school grades does too. While I understand they are analyzing the downward trend, I'm not saying in the aggregate the LSAT/UGPA has not had an effect at all on the downward trend in recent years on bar performance. I think it has a minor correlation. I'm saying that the Bar committee's explanation is in my opinion, inadequate and misleading, especially with the increase in difficulty of multiple choice.

You quoted only a portion of my comment, which is why to you it read that to say my personal LSAT/UGPA experience was not indicative of my law school/potential bar performance, and therefore that applies in all cases and the Bar committee is wrong. That isn't what I said or what I was trying to say, so I hope I am making myself clearer. But I'd still object on the basis that you misstated my prior testimony.

Also, I appreciate that you did not intend to personally attack me and make assumptions of my performance in undergrad. However, I would admonish you to be very careful of communicating in that manner in your practice of law. Again, I understand if you disagree and you seem knowledgeable about this issue. But decorum and civility in being able to engage in a substantive debate is important in this profession. I know this is an online forum and the environment is more lax, but I think it is wise not to make it an unconscious habit.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Loquitur Res » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:20 pm

mathandthelaw wrote:First of all, thanks for posting this. I was awaiting this!

The increase in difficulty of the multiple choice in recent years I think is an important causal factor. I'd like to see an analysis done from when they decided to increase the level of difficulty. I did lots of those old multiple choice, was getting around 85% correct! No way lol.


How has the MBE increased in difficulty? I was not aware that the difficulty had increased, other than adding civ pro as another topic. Scores have come down, which is circumstantial evidence that the questions are more difficult; though, you could also say that less-qualified takers are to blame. Yet, you assert the questions are harder so matter of factly.

FWIW, I actually did quite a bit better on the real thing than in practice (Barbri and old MBE questions). I took the UBE, not CBX, but didn't find the MBE to be all that hard (the process sucked, but the threshold for how many you can get wrong is pretty high). I straight up guessed on a good portion and passed by a mile.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby rcharter1978 » Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:11 am

Loquitur Res wrote:
mathandthelaw wrote:First of all, thanks for posting this. I was awaiting this!

The increase in difficulty of the multiple choice in recent years I think is an important causal factor. I'd like to see an analysis done from when they decided to increase the level of difficulty. I did lots of those old multiple choice, was getting around 85% correct! No way lol.


How has the MBE increased in difficulty? I was not aware that the difficulty had increased, other than adding civ pro as another topic. Scores have come down, which is circumstantial evidence that the questions are more difficult; though, you could also say that less-qualified takers are to blame. Yet, you assert the questions are harder so matter of factly.

FWIW, I actually did quite a bit better on the real thing than in practice (Barbri and old MBE questions). I took the UBE, not CBX, but didn't find the MBE to be all that hard (the process sucked, but the threshold for how many you can get wrong is pretty high). I straight up guessed on a good portion and passed by a mile.


I don't know, I don't think there is anything more than anecdotal data. But the continued low pass rate in California is weird. I assumed the pass rate would be substantially higher once the most objective part of the bar became worth 50% instead of 35% and they shaved a day off the exam.

I don't think that lsat scores and UG gpas have decreased substantially since the exam format changed so unless the test became harder the pass rate should have risen. If for no other reason than that the most subjective portion is worth less. And there is one less day.

There aren't even so many fewer essays, which might explain something, because with substantially fewer essays you have a worse chance of being able to save a crappy essay about a subject you know nothing about, with one about a subject you have a good grasp of.

So why the continued low pass rate? I don't know, maybe it's a tougher MBE? Maybe it's something else, I truly don't know.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Loquitur Res » Sat Jan 05, 2019 10:15 am

rcharter1978 wrote:
Loquitur Res wrote:
mathandthelaw wrote:First of all, thanks for posting this. I was awaiting this!

The increase in difficulty of the multiple choice in recent years I think is an important causal factor. I'd like to see an analysis done from when they decided to increase the level of difficulty. I did lots of those old multiple choice, was getting around 85% correct! No way lol.


How has the MBE increased in difficulty? I was not aware that the difficulty had increased, other than adding civ pro as another topic. Scores have come down, which is circumstantial evidence that the questions are more difficult; though, you could also say that less-qualified takers are to blame. Yet, you assert the questions are harder so matter of factly.

FWIW, I actually did quite a bit better on the real thing than in practice (Barbri and old MBE questions). I took the UBE, not CBX, but didn't find the MBE to be all that hard (the process sucked, but the threshold for how many you can get wrong is pretty high). I straight up guessed on a good portion and passed by a mile.


I don't think that lsat scores and UG gpas have decreased substantially since the exam format changed so unless the test became harder the pass rate should have risen. If for no other reason than that the most subjective portion is worth less. And there is one less day.



Ok. I didn't know if there was any hard evidence about this as I've noticed posts asserting that the test has become harder as if it is a an unequivocal fact.

While LSAT scores for new law students may have leveled off in the past couple of year, I think that LSAT scores bottomed out for class of 2015 (I could be wrong on this, but I know admissions bottomed out this year), which is the class that graduated just before the July 2018 exam. So, it would make sense that this past year would be a low point. Further, there is a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle as repeat takers become a higher percentage of takers overall due to lower pass rates.

Maybe it is the test and not the students, but, from my perspective, there is more/better evidence to back up what the bar examiners are saying. Assertions by those criticizing the bar seem to be fairly conclusory, IMO. Though, I understand the frustration.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Bmzl » Sat Jan 05, 2019 7:30 pm

Loquitur Res wrote:
rcharter1978 wrote:
Loquitur Res wrote:
mathandthelaw wrote:First of all, thanks for posting this. I was awaiting this!

The increase in difficulty of the multiple choice in recent years I think is an important causal factor. I'd like to see an analysis done from when they decided to increase the level of difficulty. I did lots of those old multiple choice, was getting around 85% correct! No way lol.


How has the MBE increased in difficulty? I was not aware that the difficulty had increased, other than adding civ pro as another topic. Scores have come down, which is circumstantial evidence that the questions are more difficult; though, you could also say that less-qualified takers are to blame. Yet, you assert the questions are harder so matter of factly.

FWIW, I actually did quite a bit better on the real thing than in practice (Barbri and old MBE questions). I took the UBE, not CBX, but didn't find the MBE to be all that hard (the process sucked, but the threshold for how many you can get wrong is pretty high). I straight up guessed on a good portion and passed by a mile.


I don't think that lsat scores and UG gpas have decreased substantially since the exam format changed so unless the test became harder the pass rate should have risen. If for no other reason than that the most subjective portion is worth less. And there is one less day.



Ok. I didn't know if there was any hard evidence about this as I've noticed posts asserting that the test has become harder as if it is a an unequivocal fact.

While LSAT scores for new law students may have leveled off in the past couple of year, I think that LSAT scores bottomed out for class of 2015 (I could be wrong on this, but I know admissions bottomed out this year), which is the class that graduated just before the July 2018 exam. So, it would make sense that this past year would be a low point. Further, there is a bit of a self-perpetuating cycle as repeat takers become a higher percentage of takers overall due to lower pass rates.

Maybe it is the test and not the students, but, from my perspective, there is more/better evidence to back up what the bar examiners are saying. Assertions by those criticizing the bar seem to be fairly conclusory, IMO. Though, I understand the frustration.


I can’t speak to how challenging Bar was in the past. However, I took and passed this bar this cycle and can say this— I felt that we were woefully underequipped to take this exam.

Many law schools do not even pretend to teach to the bar, and we rely on bar prep courses to pass— primarily, the expensive and popular courses like barbri - the thought being that at least no one else will know any more than we do. Problem is that - in my experience- the prep course leaves us woefully unprepared for the exam. Whether we actually pass reflects far more on our test-taking ability then any substantive mastery over the covered subjects.

It’s infuriating, and no coincidence that there are better pass rates at higher ranked schools- where strong test takers tend to end up

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Nightcrawler » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:08 pm

The State Bar's argument is that the pass rates are decreasing because candidates are worse. So, obviously, they pick and choose the factors that can justify their reasoning - like the decrease in GPA and LSAT scores.

Why are they ignoring the changes in the test itself? Such as:
- Adding Civ Pro in 2015;
- Adding other subjects (can't find anything online at the moment, but more subjects were added to the exam later on such as Con Law, Evidence, and others - please mention sources if you have them);
- Removing the subscores (per subject) for unsuccessful applicants and just stating the "percentile";
- And others.

The lack of a subjective study is a clear indicator that the State Bar knows what's going on. Everybody does. Gatekeeping instead of finding a better way to determine minimum competence. Understandable but unfair. They are taking time with the CA Supreme Court going back and forth with these useless and time-consuming studies to keep repeating their argument.

In the meanwhile, law schools will lose their accreditation (Thomas Jefferson is next).

I see no solution for now. Just angry that it took me 2 years of my life to pass this stupid exam. In these two years I could have learned so much more of my specialty while working but instead I was forced to keep studing unreal law scenarios where to apply rules that I ave already forgotten. Did this make me more competent than I was 2 years ago? I don't think so. Thank you State Bar of California, the public thanks you!

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby anon sequitur » Tue Jan 08, 2019 5:58 pm

Nightcrawler wrote:The State Bar's argument is that the pass rates are decreasing because candidates are worse. So, obviously, they pick and choose the factors that can justify their reasoning - like the decrease in GPA and LSAT scores.


A decrease in the overall gpa/LSAT of the population taking the test seems pretty significant, wouldn't you expect scores to go down when that happens? Especially if it's a sustained drop over 5+ years at his point?

Why are they ignoring the changes in the test itself? Such as:
- Adding Civ Pro in 2015;
- Adding other subjects (can't find anything online at the moment, but more subjects were added to the exam later on such as Con Law, Evidence, and others - please mention sources if you have them);
- Removing the subscores (per subject) for unsuccessful applicants and just stating the "percentile";
- And others.


These factors, with the possible exception of adding civ pro, seem pretty modest. Adding civ pro was a significant change to the MBE, but it's always been a subject people had to study for essays. Before that the last time there was a major change in the MBE was in the 1970's when they added con law. Ultimately the MBE is equated, and that process is used on pretty much every standardized test out there, it's not a fringe approach. Unless it's a legit conspiracy, the difficulty of that part of the test isn't going to be dramatically different year to year.

I'm not trying to say that the bar exam is a reasonable proxy for competence or that the process couldn't be seriously overhauled to be more fair without putting the public at risk. But I don't see why it's supposedly harder now.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Loquitur Res » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 pm

Nightcrawler wrote:
Why are they ignoring the changes in the test itself? Such as:
- Adding Civ Pro in 2015;
- Adding other subjects (can't find anything online at the moment, but more subjects were added to the exam later on such as Con Law, Evidence, and others - please mention sources if you have them);
- Removing the subscores (per subject) for unsuccessful applicants and just stating the "percentile";
- And others.


1. So the only change to the test is adding civ pro. If that made the test harder wouldn't you expect a big drop in 2015 and then leveling off after that?

2. I am pretty sure evidence and con law have been tested on the bar exam for a while now. You throw out a completely unsubstantiated claim as if it is fact and ask other people to find sources!

3. How is changing the how the scores are reported a change to the test itself? Are you seriously suggesting that this is causing a decrease in pass rates?

4. "And others" LOL, what?


The lack of a subjective study is a clear indicator that the State Bar knows what's going on.




Why would they conduct a subjective study, and how is this a "clear indicator the State Bar knows what's going on"? How would a such a subjective study even work? "Hey Nightcrawler, do you think the test is too hard?"

I can understand you are frustrated, but your argument makes no sense.

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby JoeSeperac » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:22 am

anon sequitur wrote:A decrease in the overall gpa/LSAT of the population taking the test seems pretty significant, wouldn't you expect scores to go down when that happens? Especially if it's a sustained drop over 5+ years at his point?

Bar exam pass rates are tied to the MBE (e.g. if the MBE average for an administration goes up, the pass rates almost always go up) and MBE scores are correlated with LSAT scores. The 2013 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who took the bar exam in 2016) had a 25th LSAT Percentile/75th LSAT Percentile average of 155.8. Meanwhile, the 2014 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who took the bar exam in 2017) had a 25th LSAT Percentile/75th LSAT Percentile average of 155.6. This trend continued. The 2015 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who take the bar exam in 2018) had a 25th LSAT Percentile/75th LSAT Percentile average of 155.4. The 2016 Full-Time Law School Matriculants (who take the bar exam in 2019) had a 25th LSAT Percentile/75th LSAT Percentile average of 154.2. If the Full-Time Law School Matriculants are becoming statistically less capable with each passing year, it is reasonable to presume that the bar pass rates will be lower. FYI, the LSAT percentiles for 2017 matriculants finally reversed their slide so I would expect 2020 pass rates to be better than 2019 pass rates.

To illustrate, below is a chart where I compare the CA pass rate over the past 20 years to the national mean MBE over the last 20 years and the LSAT Percentiles from 2010-2014 (to correspond with 2013-2017 pass rates).

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Nightcrawler

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Re: CBX July 2018 pass rates by school

Postby Nightcrawler » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:18 pm

anon sequitur wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:The State Bar's argument is that the pass rates are decreasing because candidates are worse. So, obviously, they pick and choose the factors that can justify their reasoning - like the decrease in GPA and LSAT scores.


A decrease in the overall gpa/LSAT of the population taking the test seems pretty significant, wouldn't you expect scores to go down when that happens? Especially if it's a sustained drop over 5+ years at his point?

Why are they ignoring the changes in the test itself? Such as:
- Adding Civ Pro in 2015;
- Adding other subjects (can't find anything online at the moment, but more subjects were added to the exam later on such as Con Law, Evidence, and others - please mention sources if you have them);
- Removing the subscores (per subject) for unsuccessful applicants and just stating the "percentile";
- And others.


These factors, with the possible exception of adding civ pro, seem pretty modest. Adding civ pro was a significant change to the MBE, but it's always been a subject people had to study for essays. Before that the last time there was a major change in the MBE was in the 1970's when they added con law. Ultimately the MBE is equated, and that process is used on pretty much every standardized test out there, it's not a fringe approach. Unless it's a legit conspiracy, the difficulty of that part of the test isn't going to be dramatically different year to year.

I'm not trying to say that the bar exam is a reasonable proxy for competence or that the process couldn't be seriously overhauled to be more fair without putting the public at risk. But I don't see why it's supposedly harder now.




Loquitur Res wrote:
Nightcrawler wrote:
Why are they ignoring the changes in the test itself? Such as:
- Adding Civ Pro in 2015;
- Adding other subjects (can't find anything online at the moment, but more subjects were added to the exam later on such as Con Law, Evidence, and others - please mention sources if you have them);
- Removing the subscores (per subject) for unsuccessful applicants and just stating the "percentile";
- And others.


1. So the only change to the test is adding civ pro. If that made the test harder wouldn't you expect a big drop in 2015 and then leveling off after that? Why would it level off? Are there enough released Civ Pro questions for candidates? Not yet. They just released another 30, for a total of 40. There are around 200 for each other subject.

2. I am pretty sure evidence and con law have been tested on the bar exam for a while now. You throw out a completely unsubstantiated claim as if it is fact and ask other people to find sources! I was asking for help in remembering good arguments for this side of the debate. I debate to find the truth, not just to get self-validation. I think it's fair in a debate to help other sides, if necessary. That's objectivity. Unless your goal in the debate is to win. But hey, con law and evidence have been introduced that long ago, great. Thank you for the info. I thought they were added much later. Still, why were they added at all?

3. How is changing the how the scores are reported a change to the test itself? Are you seriously suggesting that this is causing a decrease in pass rates? Yes. Not showing the candidates how many questions they got wrong can mislead their preparation, which in turn can decrease the pass rates. Not saying this is the only factor, but we can't deny this does not help students. More than anything, why hide the subscores? I see no point in that beside making it harder for students. Please, change my mind.

4. "And others" LOL, what? Again, I am not a troll and I don't have all the time in the world. I know there are other factors that have been mentioned ad nauseam by many people in this forum, me included, that I don't remember at the moment. No need to ridicule the fact that I don't remember. They add more and more crossovers on the written portion. There you go, I got an extra one. Crossovers are getting more frequent, which is a way to find more holes in the students preparation. Don't get me wrong, nothing bad about it per se. What I'm saying is that the exam is getting different/harder.


The lack of a subjective study is a clear indicator that the State Bar knows what's going on.




Why would they conduct a subjective study, and how is this a "clear indicator the State Bar knows what's going on"? How would a such a subjective study even work? "Hey Nightcrawler, do you think the test is too hard?" An objective study would be "let's try to find why pass rates are shit lately considering as many factors as possible, like adding civ pro, more crossovers, etc." instead of "politically, it's good for us to say that A is the only factor for this decrease. Let's try our best to only analyze A".

I can understand you are frustrated, but your argument makes no sense.



I would expect too that lower GPA/LSAT will equal to lower bar pass rates. That doesn't mean it's causation though. It could be one of the many factors. And so far I haven't seen any attempt to isolate other factors that could have determined this drop. It would be interesting to have access to scores and subscores of all candidates in the past few years and see how much Civ Pro, for example, is dragging the candidates down. But such information is not public. How much would the pass rate be in the past few years taking Civ Pro out of the MBE? When you want to be objective, you try to argue against yourself. The state bar is not doing this at all. It's pointing its finger to the schools, the schools do the same. And by the way, the schools even desperately tried the minority card to prove their argument (and save their accreditation). Ah, politics...

Don't get me wrong, I agree that candidates may be less prepared, but I think it's absolute madness to think that it is the only reason for these historically low results.



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