Robert Anderson

Professor of Law Pepperdine University School of Law

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With the national mean scaled MBE score improving +1.355 points, your 52% prediction seems very optimistic. To come true, this would require the CA mean scaled score to improve from 142.1 (J'16) to approximately 144.5 for July 2017. While a 2.4 scaled point increase is possible, it just seems unlikely given what other states, including large states (e.g., PA +1.865 (overall +4.25%, 1st time +5.86%)), have reported. An improvement of something approaching the national increase would put the CA mean scaled score at 143.5, just like July 2014 with its 48.6% overall pass rate. Even if CA's mean scaled score improved 1.9 points, this only would raise the overall pass rate to 50%.

If your 52% overall pass rate prediction comes true, this likely would place the CA-ABA 1st time pass rate near 73.0-73.5%. That would be a very large increase over last year's 62.0%.

Those waiting for their results next Friday hope you are right.


Thanks for the comment. You may well be right, as my analysis makes a number of assumptions and is dependent on the accuracy of data provided by state bars. However, it's my best guess based on the data available. I hope it comes true.

One point about the first-time takers is that it may be difficult to predict that on the basis of the overall pass rate. If, for example, the overall pass rate increases because the number of repeaters drops, then it may not translate into increased pass rate for first timers. The two do tend to move together though, as you point out.

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