BSB reveals bar exam pass rates following summer proctoring problems

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Scores consistent with previous years, says regulator — if you don’t count students who encountered IT issues

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) has released the pass rates for two of the three August bar exams that were marred by technical problems.

The regulator told Legal Cheek that the pass rate for candidates who experienced no IT failures was 65% for civil litigation and 68% for criminal litigation. In both cases this was consistent with previous years.

It did not disclose what the overall pass rates were if students who did have problems were included, but the Law Society Gazette reports that pass rates fall to 48% for civil and 51% for criminal if they are taken into account.

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Results for the third exam, professional ethics, come out next month.

The BSB has previously admitted that around one third of people sitting the online bar exams in August experienced technical problems. Some were able to resit last week and others will in December.

A BSB spokesperson told Legal Cheek that “a majority of students were able to sit the exams and our Chair and our Director General have apologised to students who were unable to complete them”. The organisation has commissioned an independent review of the fiasco.

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That many people fail? Christ.



The exams that went well went well ??



Exactly. This is why the results were not waived. The snowflakes have to endure exams like every other cohort.



They try to teach too much in a single academic year. In order to produce better advocates the Bar Council must make it a two year course.



It’s worth remembering that:

(i) this year’s August sit isn’t necessarily the usual sample, as students were offered a free deferral to (then) December (and it’s reasonable to assume that those more likely to fail were more likely to take this up), and

(ii) the BSB haven’t released any data on whether the distribution of marks within those that have passed has gone up or down.

I feel I’d probably want some data relating to those two things before concluding (as the BSB invite) that everything was fine.


Lord Bond

I commented on the previous thread as a student who sat in August and in October, and disagreed with an exam waiver.

I can’t say I’m surprised that those who robustly advocated for a waiver are the same students who have failed at least one Centralised exam, in some cases failed two exams.

They are the same students who refused the October sit. How can anyone have any sympathy for these students, especially when they have failed to mitigate their loss by refusing to sit the exams in October? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that these students were looking for an easy option, namely the waiver. However, they now have to revise everything again for December. Lol.


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