Jurisdiction Bar Examination Data

(First-time and repeat test taker status based on an examinee’s testing experience in the reporting jurisdiction only.)

2021 Totals

Total persons taking: 64,833

  • 30% of 2021 examinees were repeaters
  • 70% of 2021 examinees were first-time takers
  • Total persons passing: 60%

Total first-timers taking: 45,195

  • Percentage of first-timers passing: 74%

Total repeaters taking: 19,638

  • Percentage of repeaters passing: 28%

February 2021 Totals

February persons taking: 17,967

  • 51% of February 2021 examinees were repeaters
  • 49% of February 2021 examinees were first-time takers
  • February persons passing: 48%

February first-timers taking: 8,825

  • Percentage of February first-timers passing: 63%

February repeaters taking: 9,142

  • Percentage of February repeaters passing: 34%

July 2021 Totals

July persons taking: 46,866

  • 22% of July 2021 examinees were repeaters
  • 77% of July 2021 examinees were first-time takers
  • July persons passing: 64%

July first-timers taking: 36,370

  • Percentage of July first-timers passing: 77%

July repeaters taking: 10,496

  • Percentage of July repeaters passing: 22%

4% of 2021 examinees were graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools

  • Total graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools taking: 2,812
  • Percentage of graduates of non-ABA-approved law schools passing: 25%

11% of 2021 examinees were graduates of law schools outside the USA

  • Total graduates of law schools outside the USA taking: 6,988
  • Percentage of graduates from law schools outside the USA passing: 28%

 

NCBE MBE-Based Data

The first-time and repeat test taker data above are those obtained from the jurisdictions and are based on the examinees’ testing experience in the reporting jurisdiction only. Therefore, they do not account for possible previous attempts at the bar examination in other jurisdictions. The data below are based on an examinee having previously taken the MBE in any jurisdiction.*NOTE: In July 2020, many jurisdictions administered a remote exam instead of or in addition to the July 2020 or alternative-date exams offered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (See “COVID-19: Implications for 2020 Statistics” in the Spring 2021 issue of the Bar Examiner.) These remote exams either included only a limited set of MBE questions (in the case of NCBE’s October 2020 remote testing option) or did not include the MBE at all (in the case of jurisdiction-drafted remote exams). (One jurisdiction also offered an in-person exam consisting solely of jurisdiction-drafted questions.) These types of exams administered during the July 2020 exam cycle account for 32,523 examinees. These remote testing options were scored by the individual jurisdictions that administered them, so NCBE does not maintain MBE records for the examinees who sat for those examinations. Because the likely first-timer and repeater counts/percentages below are based on whether an examinee has previously taken the MBE, attempts made by examinees who sat for these remote administrations during the July 2020 exam cycle (and therefore did not take the full, in-person MBE) are not reflected in the determination of status. As a result, it is likely that first-timer values are somewhat inflated and those of repeaters are depressed. February 2021 first-taker values are further inflated by the fact that many examinees likely delayed their July 2020 test date to February 2021 due to the pandemic. Comparison of 2021 data to other years’ data may be limited for these reasons.


 

2021 Totals

Total persons taking: 62,631

Total likely repeaters taking: 17,393

  • 28% of 2021 examinees were likely repeaters

Total likely first-timers taking: 38,863

  • 62% of 2021 examinees were likely first-time takers

approximately 10% of 2021 examinees are untrackable

February 2021 Totals

February persons taking: 16,759

February likely repeaters taking: 6,875

  • 41% of February 2021 examinees were likely repeaters

February likely first-timers taking: 8,125

  • 49% of February 2021 examinees were likely first-time takers

approximately 11% of February 2021 examinees are untrackable

July 2021 Totals

July persons taking: 45,872

July likely repeaters taking: 10,518

  • 23% of July 2021 examinees were likely repeaters

July likely first-timers taking: 30,738

  • 67% of July 2021 examinees were likely first-time takers

approximately 10% of July 2021 examinees are untrackable

 

* The first-time and repeat MBE-based test taker information calculated by NCBE is an approximation based on the NCBE Number and biographic data, which has not been used consistently in all jurisdictions across time. Approximately 10% of 2021 examinees are unable to be tracked with certainty by NCBE as either first-time or repeat takers due to a lack of sufficient biographic information.The differences in the numbers of persons taking the MBE in the NCBE MBE-based data displayed above and those taking the bar examination as reported by jurisdictions in the jurisdiction bar examination data displayed on the previous page are accounted for by the following: (1) two jurisdictions do not administer the MBE (and are therefore not represented on this page but would be represented on the previous page), (2) jurisdictions track repeaters within their own jurisdiction whereas NCBE tracks repeaters across jurisdictions, and/or (3) certain jurisdictions accept banked or transferred (including concurrently transferred) scores.(Note: The counts and percentages in the NCBE MBE-based data above are based on the designations effective at the time of publication. Because these designations may change as more information becomes available over time to more completely identify examinees, the counts and percentages published above may differ slightly from previously published counts and percentages.)

  • Bar
    Bar Exam Fundamentals

    Addressing questions from conversations NCBE has had with legal educators about the bar exam.

  • 2022
    2022 Bar Admission Guide

    Comprehensive information on bar admission requirements in all US jurisdictions.

  • NextGen
    NextGen Bar Exam of the Future

    Visit the NextGen Bar Exam website for the latest news about the bar exam of the future.

  • BarNow
    BarNow Study Aids

    NCBE offers high-quality, affordable study aids in a mobile-friendly eLearning platform.

  • 2021
    2021 Year in Review

    NCBE’s annual publication highlights the work of volunteers and staff in fulfilling its mission.

  • 2021
    2021 Statistics

    Bar examination and admission statistics by jurisdiction, and national data for the MBE and MPRE.