Statistical results from the February 2017 bar exam are revealing a trend that has many law students, universities, and law firms troubled: MBE final scores are hitting all time lows not seen in almost four decades. Get your MBE Prep with

The latest indication of a sharp decline in overall test scores comes from the MBE February 2017 statistics, from Pennsylvania Last year scores dropped an average of 136.2 to 135 followed by a further full point decrease in mean scores to 134. This is the lowest recorded February bar exam score since the MBE has been in existence.

Law schools have not stayed ahead of the curve. While performance assessments and indicators consistently affirm that the top ten percent of performers in law school are statistically far more likely to achieve passing rates on the bar exam(as opposed to the bottom ten percent of performers in law school) the instruction, format, teaching styles, and curriculum have not been re thought, re formed, or amended to reflect and address these issues. MBE prep and MBE prep courses seem to have been ineffective in killing this downward curve.

Further, enrollment in law school is facing its own downward trend and schools are showing a tendency, if not policy, of accepting applicants with lower LSAT scores than in years past. While LSAT scores are not a direct correlation with success on the MBE prep test or MBE exam there are some statistical correlations between LSAT performance and MBE performance. Erica Moeser, President and CEO of the National Conference of Bar Examiners affirmed this, saying: “If you have a low LSAT score, you are more likely to have a low MBE score when you emerge from law school and take the bar exam.”

The decline in MBE prep test and exam scores does not indicate the MBE exam is more rigorous or even that any individual is less likely to pass. These scores and averages indicate that the bar exam has changed, yet MBE prep test courses have remained static and stale.

Most bar exam review courses provide the content and the the law each student is obligated to memorize. However, passing the bar exam is about applying test-taking tactics and strategies within the larger format of the exam.

The determinative factor on the MBE is how adept any person is at narrowing the provided choices to two possibilities and choosing the best option between them. Rarely does the MBE or MBE prep test offer a question where the correct answer appears obvious. Each MBE test taker should be laser focused on finding the “least incorrect” answer relevant to the question. This technique can help provide a better gauge of preparedness via the MBE prep test and offer valuable practice in applying the law to the rigor and nuance of the MBE exam.