California Supreme Court to decide bar exam passing score

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A decision on whether to lower the passing score on California's licensing exam for attorneys is now in the hands of the state Supreme Court.

State Bar officials on Wednesday voted to send the court three recommendations on the score amid an alarming decline in people passing the test.

One recommendation would reduce the minimum score on an interim basis from 144 to a little over  141. A second recommendation calls for a lower passing score of 139. A third option would leave the score as is.

The passage rate on California's July bar exam fell from nearly 62 percent in 2008 to 43 percent in 2016, mirroring a national trend.

The California Supreme Court has final say over the score. It's not clear when the judges will decide.


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