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Bar Pass Rates — Overall Trends

The NCBE has released valuable data regarding bar pass rates over the past ten years. You can look up your jurisdiction here if you are wondering how bar pass rates have fared!

Bar Pass Rates — Overall Trends

You can see in this chart, the average bar pass rate for all jurisdictions. Overall, for first-time and repeat takers, the average bar pass rate has dropped fourteen percentage points — from 68% to 54%. The first-time bar pass rate has dropped from 79% to 69%. The drop occurred in 2014 and has gone down since then.

bar pass rates overall

Bar Pass Rates — Specific States

You can also look up your specific state. There are some interesting trends.

For example, New York’s bar pass rate fell consistent with the above trends. (The overall pass rate fell from 65% to 56% and the first-time taker pass rate fell from 77% to  71%.) The drop also occurred in 2014, consistent with the other jurisdictions.

bar pass rates new york

However, DC’s pass rate actually increased. This is likely due to the increased number of takers in DC and the fact that DC allows an examinee to “waive in” one portion of the bar exam. There was a drop in 2014, but then as more examinees decided to take DC’s bar exam in 2016, 2017, and 2018, the pass rates increased significantly.

bar pass rates DC

If you just took the bar exam, don’t let bar pass rates make you too nervous! These bar pass rates are based on thousands of bar exam takers so they do not indicate whether you personally are likely — or unlikely — to pass the bar exam!

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