Lower passing score for two-day test will not be applied retroactivelyBy CBSLA Staff

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Following up on plans announced last month, the California Supreme Court Monday ordered the state’s bar exam to permanently lower the passing score by 50 points and administer the test online in October in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The California Bar Exam — which will now have a passing score of 1390 instead of 1440 — will be administered online Oct. 5 and 6.

The lower score for the two-day test will not be retroactive for previous test attempts, the court confirmed in a letter Monday.

“With one exception, the court is unaware of any jurisdiction in the
past decade that has lowered the exam passing score and applied that decision retroactively,” the court wrote.

While three other states – North Carolina, Oregon and
Washington – have lowered bar exam passing scores during the COVID-19 pandemic, those changes were deemed temporary and applicable only to future exams in, according to the California court.

California is one of 25 states that have moved their bar exam online.

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