Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Tuesday, November 16, 2021


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3,995 Applicants Pass July State Bar Exam


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Fifty three percent of those taking the July State Bar exam—amounting to 3,995 persons—were successful, it has been announced.

The State Bar released the results late Friday, noting that a scoring adjustment was made to benefit those who took the exam remotely and experienced technological glitches. It explained:

“This exam was affected nationwide by technological issues reported by vendor ExamSoft, in which some applicants encountered a ‘black screen’ or ‘blue screen,’ requiring them to restart their laptop to continue. ExamSoft reported afterward that these issues resulted from high-memory utilization between ExamMonitor (the video proctoring arm of its software) and the main software that generates digital images.”

The State Bar said an investigation showed that 158 applicants—two percent—appeared to have lost time or content of the answers and 2,429 test takers—31 percent—reported encountering one or more related technical problems. It said that those who experienced such impediments and flunked could apply the exam fee to a future exam or receive a refund. State Bar Board of Trustees Chair Ruben Duran, managing partner of Best Best and Krieger’s Ontario office, commented:

“While a psychometrically sound scoring adjustment was made, it was clear that there’s no way to fully quantify what impacts these issues had on examinees. We decided that offering a credit or refund to those who were affected and were unsuccessful on this exam was the right thing to do.”

Noting that the passage rate was 7.8 percent lower than on the July 2019 exam—the last comparable July exam—the State Bar provided these statistics:

•Completed the general bar exam: 7,536 applicants

•First-time applicants: 4,983 (66.1 percent of total)

•Success rate for first-time applicants: 71.0 percent overall

•Repeat applicants: 2,553 (33.9 percent of total)

•Success rate for repeat applicants: 19.0 percent overall

It provided this chart showing success rate by the type of law school successful test-takers attended:



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