February 2020 MBE Mean Score Declines; March 2020 MPRE Mean Score Increases

The national Multistate Bar Examination mean scaled score for February 2020 was 132.6, a decrease of about 1.4 points from the February 2019 mean of 134.0. This decrease returns to the downward trend in February performance that was seen between 2014 and 2018. 19,122 examinees sat for the MBE in February 2020, about 10% fewer compared to the 21,316 examinees who sat in February 2019. In general, the average decrease in mean MBE scores from February 2019 to February 2020 was attributable to lower performance across the collective group of likely repeat test takers, who continue to represent more than two-thirds of February examinees. 

The national Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination mean scaled score for March 2020 was 95.8, an increase of about two points from the March 2019 mean of 93.8 and the highest mean score for a March/April MPRE administration since 2012. 17,000 examinees sat for the MPRE in March 2020, about 11% fewer compared to the 19,138 examinees who took the exam in March 2019. The March 2020 exam was the first fully computer-based MPRE administration.

Jurisdictions are currently in the process of grading the written components of the bar exam; once this process is completed, bar exam scores will be calculated and passing decisions reported by jurisdictions. MPRE scores have been released to jurisdictions and examinees.

Bar graph shows the number of February MBE examinees from 2016 through 2020. The number declined from 23,324 in 2016 to 22,269 in 2017 and to 21,111 in 2018. It then rose slightly to 21,316 in 2019 before falling again to 19,122 in 2020.Graph shows the February MBE national mean scaled scores from 2016 through 2020. The score declined from 135.0 in 2016 to 134.1 in 2017 and to 132.8 in 2018. It then rose to 134.0 in 2019 before falling again to 132.6 in 2020. 

 Bar graph shows the number of MPRE examinees for the March, August, and November exams in 2016 through 2019 and the March exam in 2020. March and November numbers were similar in 2016 through 2018: 19,823 in March 2016 and 19,821 in November 2016; 20,260 in March 2017 and 20,798 in November 2017; and 20,346 in March 2018 and 20,580 in November 2018. August numbers in those three years were considerably lower: 16,480 in 2016, 17,326 in 2017, and 16,651 in 2018. In 2019, the number of March examinees was lower at 19,138 and the number of November examinees was higher at 22,165, while the number of August examinees was 17,066. The number of March examinees fell again in 2020 to 17,000.Graph shows the MPRE mean scores for the March, August, and November exams in 2016 through 2019 and the March exam in 2020. The March score was 93.5 in 2016, declined to 92.7 in 2017, rose to 94.7 in 2018, declined to 93.8 in 2019, and rose to 95.8 in 2020. The August score was 92.0 in 2016, rose to 93.7 in 2017, declined to 93.0 in 2018, and rose slightly to 93.4 in 2019. The November score showed a steady rise from 93.5 in 2016 to 94.1 in 2017 to 95.5 in 2018 and to 97.0 in 2019.