This article originally appeared in The Bar Examiner print edition, Summer/Fall 2021 (Vol. 90, Nos. 2-3), pp. 8-9.

July 2021 Bar Exam: In-Person vs. Remote Administrations

To address ongoing concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, NCBE announced on February 2, 2021, that it would again offer jurisdictions the option to administer the bar exam remotely in July 2021.

In-Person Exam

25 jurisdictions decided to administer in-person exams

US map representing 25 jurisdictions deciding to administer in-person exams

Remote Exam

30 jurisdictions decided to administer remote exams

US map with computer icon representing 30 jurisdictions deciding to administer remote exams

July 2021 Bar Exam Status by Jurisdiction

US map shows all 56 jurisdictions (including those that did not use NCBE materials for their 2021 exams) and their July 2021 bar exam status. Jurisdictions shown in green administered a bar exam on July 27-28, 2021. Footnotes indicate that Delaware, Nevada and Louisiana offered their exams on alternate July dates. Jurisdictions marked with diagonal lines indicate remotely administered exams. Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico were in person. Palau cancelled their exam. A further footnote indicates that Puerto Rico traditionally administers the bar exam in November.

 

March & August 2021 MPRE

March MPRE Examinees:18,078 August MPRE Examinees:18,615

A bar chart showing the number of MPRE examinees 2017-2021. In March 2017-2021 there were 20,260; 20,346; 19,138; 17,000; and 18,078 examinees. In August 2017-2021 there were 17,326; 16,651; 17,066; 12,688; and 18,615 examinees. In October/November 2017-2020 there were 20,798; 20,580; 22,165; and 16,607 examinees.

March MPRE Mean Score 99.0

August MPRE Mean Score 96.0 (score scale 50–150)

A line chart showing MPRE mean scores 2017-2021. In March 2017-2021 the mean score was 92.7, 94.7, 93.8, 95.8, and 99.0. In August 2017-2021 the mean score was 93.7, 93.0, 93.4, 98.6, and 96.0. In November 2017-2020 the mean score was 94.1, 95.5, 97.0, and 98.8. The chart includes the following note: Comparability of results may be limited due to fluctuations in examinee counts.

Note: Comparability of results may be limited due to fluctuations in examinee counts.

MPRE Standard Deviations

 

March

August

November/October

2017

17.1

18.0

17.4

2018

17.9

17.8

18.2

2019

17.9

17.5

18.3

2020

18.5

18.3

18.8

2021

18.7

19.1

 

MPRE scores are reported on a scale ranging from 50 to 150. The values reflect valid scores available electronically as of 4/21/21 for the March MPRE and 10/12/21 for the August MPRE.

July 2021 MBE

45,872 July 2021 MBE Examinees

Bar graph of July MBE national examinee counts, 2017-2021. 2017 = 46,627; 2018 = 45,274; 2019 = 45,334; 2020 = 5,678 (July), 1,811 (Sept.), 417 (Oct.); 2021 = 45,872.

July 2021 MBE Mean Score 140.4

Line graph of July MBE national mean scaled scores, 2017-2021. 2017 = 141.7; 2018 = 139.5; 2019 = 141.1; 2020 = 146.1 (July), 142.7 (Sept.), 137.2 (Oct.); 2021 = 140.4.

* Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the July 2020 MBE was administered on three separate dates: July 29, September 10, and October 1. The results shown are for in-person examinees only; approximately 29,000 additional examinees sat for a remotely administered exam using NCBE materials in October 2020. Comparability to other years’ results may be limited due to the lower examinee count.

MBE Standard Deviations

 

July

2017

16.8

2018

16.6

2019

16.9

2020

15.8 (July), 15.0 (Sept.), 17.8 (Oct.)

2021

17.8

MBE scores are reported on a scale ranging from 0 to 200. The values reflect valid scores available electronically as of 8/19/21.

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