Less than half pass February bar exam, early results show

The slump in passing rates for the Indiana bar exam is continuing with February’s preliminary results being the lowest recorded in Indiana in recent years.

Of the 246 who sat for the Indiana bar exam in February 2020, just 46% passed, according to the results released Monday by the Indiana Office of Admissions and Continuing Education. A list of those who passed can be found here.

However, the February 2020 tally may not be the final result. Because applicants who are within a few points of passing can ask for their tests to be regraded, some could get a passing score through the regrading process, which would boost the overall pass rate.

Comparatively, the final overall pass rates for the 2019 and 2018 February bar exams were 50% and 51%, respectively.

Of the 118 first-time takers who sat for the February 2020 bar, 60% passed and of the 128 repeat takers, just 33% succeeded. For the February 2019 exam, 68% of the first-timers passed and 35% of the repeaters passed, while the 2018 February exam posted pass rates of 70% for first-time takers and 30% for repeat takers.

The number taking the February exam has not changed much, with 240 sitting for the bar in 2019 and 270 in 2018.

Pass rates also have been declining for the July bar exam. Last year, the overall pass rate for Indiana’s July test was 65% which compares to 65% and 66% for July 2018 and 2017, respectively.

A decade ago, the pass rates were considerably higher for both the February and July bar exams.

In Indiana, the overall pass rate for the February 2010 exam was 69% with 76% of first-time takers and 54% of repeat takers passing. The July 2010 exam posted an overall pass rate of 78% and a pass rate of 83% and 43% for first-time takers and repeat takers, respectively.

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