Florida’s July bar exam pass rate fell to 44%, down three percentage points from the most comparable test scores held two years earlier.
The success rate of the 3,343 online test applicants compares to the 47% who passed in July 2019. A similar percentage, 47.4%, passed the October 2020 test, which was delayed due to the pandemic and concerns about technological issues.
Florida also reported that a lower percentage of first-time bar exam candidates passed the test two months ago – 71.6% – compared to July 2019 – 73.9%.
Florida’s plummeting success rate out on monday reflected lower rates reported so far in other, mostly smaller, states. Iowa’s crossing rate fell to 71% in July from 80% in July 2019, for example, and that of Nebraska fell to 72% from 79%.
The National Bar Examiners Conference suggested that the results of tests taken in person in July 2019 are the most comparable to the July 2021 exam, given that states have used a greater variety of approaches for the bar exams. bar and licensing in 2020.
The reported success rate declines in Florida could be due to the continued stresses test candidates have had to endure due to the pandemic, said Sean Silverman of Silverman Bar Exam Tutoring.
Online bar prep classes are sometimes less effective than traditional classes, and technical issues have plagued states like Florida that last year decided to use remote monitoring software to oversee their tests, a he declared.
The problems with the technology “could have reduced the percentage of success,” said Silverman. “It was not a problem in July 2019.”
States like Florida that attempted to run online exams in the summer of 2020 while using software from technology providers ExamSoft and ILG Technologies have encountered a series of technical issues. Testing was delayed until October in most cases.
Florida canceled its online exam scheduled for August 19 of last year less than 72 hours in advance, after vendor ILG encountered numerous technical issues while attempting to take the exam.
In a few states, pass rates have remained static or increased when comparing 2019 and 2021 results.