Repeat Test Taker Scores Drive February 2018 Average MBE Score Decline

21,111 examinees sat for the Multistate Bar Examination in February 2018, 5% fewer than the number who took the exam in February 2017.

The national average MBE score for February 2018 was 132.8, a decrease of about 1.3 points from the February 2017 average of 134.1. The reliability of the February 2018 MBE was 0.92, an all-time high for February.

About 30% of February examinees were likely first-time test takers.* The average score for these examinees was 135.0, slowing the downward trend for first-time test takers seen in recent years. The average for this group was 135.3 in February 2017.

Repeat test takers comprised about 70% of those who sat in February 2018 and had an average score of 132.0, a 1.7-point decrease compared to February 2017. This result drove the change in the overall February 2018 MBE mean.

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.


* The classification of examinees as first-time or repeat test takers is an estimate based on an analysis of biographic data from previous exam administrations.