Bar Results and Other Information about the California Bar Exam

Pass List and Statistics

The Pass List for the Winter (February) 2015 California Bar Exam can be found here.  The Bar Examiners’ website states that the overall pass rate on the Winter 2015 General Bar Exam was 39.5%, significantly lower that the 46.1% passage rate on the Winter 2014 General Bar Exam, but only slightly lower than the passage rate for the Winter 2013 General Bar Exam (which was 41.9%).   The passing rate for first-time takers was 47%, and the passing rate for repeaters was 36%.  The passing rate for the Attorneys’ Exam was 46.1% (down from 53.9% on the Winter 2014 Attorneys’ Exam and 50.0% on the Winter 2013 Attorneys’ Exam).  More detailed statistics are available here.

(The passage rate for the state’s Winter General Exams is always considerably lower than the passage rate on Summer General Exams.  Mr. Josephson explains why this is the case – and why it may be advantageous to take one exam or the other – to his tutees.)

While not normally available until several months after the initial bar passage statistics are released, the California Bar Examiners eventually release even more detailed statistics which will be available here.

Instructions for Essay Questions

The instructions for answering the essay questions on the California Bar Exam have not changed in many years (click here to read those instructions).  However, the questions asked on the most recent exams, taken as a whole, reveal that there has been a subtle, yet discernible shift in emphasis which requires changes to how California bar applicants need to study the substantive law and write their answers.  Mr. Josephson’s flexible, one-on-one approach to bar preparation allows him to seamlessly adapt to these changes.

Past Essay Questions and Performance Tests

The essay questions and Performance Tests asked on the Winter 2015 California Bar Exam can be found here.  The essay questions and Performance Tests asked on older exams can be read and downloaded here.

Answers Published by the California Committee of Bar Examiners

The Committee of Bar Examiners does not publish official “model answers” to either the traditional essay questions or the Performance Tests.  Instead, the Bar Examiners traditionally provide two “applicant” answers to each question.  These “good” answers are normally published on the Bar Examiners’ website sometime around July 1 for Winter Exams and around the first of the year for Summer Exams.  Those answers can be found through links available here.

This is how the Bar Examiners describe the published answers:

“The answers received good grades and were written by applicants who passed the examination.  The answers were prepared by their authors, and were transcribed as submitted, except that minor corrections in spelling and punctuation were made for ease in reading.  The answers are reproduced here with the consent of their authors.”

Although reviewing these applicant answers can obviously very useful to bar applicants, doing so is not without risk.  Mr. Josephson explains the pros and cons of utilizing these applicant answers (and other types of so-called “model answers”) as a part of his tutoring services.

More Links to the California Committee of Bar Examiners’ Website

Click here for more information about the California General Bar Exam

Click here for more information about the California Attorneys’ Exam

Click here for more information about the California First-Year Law Students’ Examination (the “FYLSX” or the “California Baby Bar”)

Click here for more information about the Multistate Bar Examination (the “MBE”)

Click here for more information about the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (the “MPRE”)