Why is Arkansas bar passage rate so low?

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arbarprep

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Why is Arkansas bar passage rate so low?

Postby arbarprep » Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:49 pm

Taking the AR bar this month. Just wondering why the passage rate is so low?

Last year, the passage rate was 53%, in 2017 it was 63% and in 2016 it was 57%. Passing is a 270 on the UBE, which is on par with states like Nebraska and New Hampshire, and I believe both have significantly higher passage rates.

QContinuum

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Re: Why is Arkansas bar passage rate so low?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:04 pm

Arkansas does not (yet) administer the UBE. It adopted the UBE this April (2019), but won't start administering it until February 2020. The July 2019 AR bar exam won't be the UBE - rather, it'll be the last non-UBE AR bar exam administered. (Hope you've tailored your bar studying appropriately!)

https://abaforlawstudents.com/2019/04/1 ... -bar-exam/

arbarprep

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Re: Why is Arkansas bar passage rate so low?

Postby arbarprep » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:19 pm

QContinuum wrote:Arkansas does not (yet) administer the UBE. It adopted the UBE this April (2019), but won't start administering it until February 2020. The July 2019 AR bar exam won't be the UBE - rather, it'll be the last non-UBE AR bar exam administered. (Hope you've tailored your bar studying appropriately!)

https://abaforlawstudents.com/2019/04/1 ... -bar-exam/


I understand they don't let you transfer the score, but the actual exam is the same as far as I can tell. If you click on 'examination information' here (
https://www.arcourts.gov/administration ... nformation)

it says: The exam lasts two days. The first day will be composed of the Multi-State Performance Test (MPT) and the Multi-State Essay Examination (MEE). The second day will be the Multi-State Bar Examination (MBE).

also on the bar application itself (https://www.arcourts.gov/sites/default/ ... CATION.pdf), page 3 states:

The answers to each MEE essay question and each MPT question will be graded
on a scale ranging from 65 through 85. This score shall be designated as the
applicant’s “raw” score on a question. The raw score on each MPT question will
be multiplied by 1.5. The resulting products from the MPT questions will be
added to the sum of the raw scores from the essay questions to yield a “total
written raw” score.
The distribution of the total written raw scores acquired by applicants on a given
examination will be converted to a score distribution that has the same mean and
standard deviation as those same applicants’ MBE scale scores on that
examination. The score on this converted scale that corresponds to the applicant’s
total written raw score shall be designated as the applicant’s “written scale” score.
An applicant’s total examination score shall be determined by the following
formula: Total Score = written scale score + MBE scale score. An applicant shall
pass the examination if he or she earns a total score of 270 points or higher.

QContinuum

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Re: Why is Arkansas bar passage rate so low?

Postby QContinuum » Wed Jul 03, 2019 7:35 pm

I mean, I don't know - I'm by no means an expert on the AR bar exam. Presumably, though, they are doing something different, because otherwise they'd simply call the current exam the UBE. It's possible the exam is the exact same as the UBE, but they aren't scoring it according to the UBE's requirements. That might conceivably have some impact on the passage rate.

It's also possible that the low pass rate is simply due to selection - i.e., the overall pool of AR test-takers being less qualified than, say, the overall pool of NH test-takers. NH may get a number of T1 law school grads looking to return home to practice. AR, probably less so. The closest T1 law schools are in TX and TN, and I don't think any appreciable numbers of UT/Vandy/Baylor/SMU/UH grads head to AR post-graduation.

All speculation, though. I don't think there's any way to say for sure.

JoeSeperac

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Re: Why is Arkansas bar passage rate so low?

Postby JoeSeperac » Thu Jul 04, 2019 1:30 pm

If you are curious, following are the overall pass rates for each state/territory from 1995-2017 (22 years of data) sorted from worst to best:

38% Palau;
40% Puerto Ricoa;
48% California;
53% District of Columbia;
61% Alabama;
61% Guam;
61% Nevada;
63% Delaware;
63% Louisiana;
63% New York;
63% Virgin Islands;
64% Alaska;
64% North Carolina;
67% Arkansas;
67% Florida;
67% Maryland;
67% Wyoming;
68% Rhode Island;
68% Vermont;
68% Virginia;
69% Arizona;
69% Maine;
69% Oregon;
69% West Virginia;
70% Hawaii;
70% Michigan;
70% New Jersey;
70% Pennsylvania;
70% Tennessee;
71% New Hampshire;
72% Colorado;
72% Georgia;
72% Idaho;
72% Washington;
73% Ohio;
73% Texas;
74% North Dakota;
75% Connecticut;
75% Indiana;
75% Kentucky;
75% South Carolina;
76% Massachusetts;
78% Oklahoma;
79% Mississippi;
79% South Dakota;
80% Nebraska;
81% Missouri;
81% Wisconsin;
82% Illinois;
82% Kansas;
83% Minnesota;
83% New Mexico;
83% Utah;
84% Montana;
86% Iowa;
87% N. Mariana Islands;



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