Statistics & Research

NCBE publishes annual statistics on bar examinations and admissions in all US jurisdictions. 

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NCBE collects statistics from all US jurisdictions on the February and July administrations of the bar examination and on annual admissions. These statistics, along with national score distributions, examinee counts, and mean scaled scores for the Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE), and scores earned and transferred by jurisdiction for the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE), are published annually in the Spring issue of NCBE’s Bar Examiner magazine.


Next Gen Bar Exam logo

NCBE is in the process of implementing the Testing Task Force’s recommendations for the next generation of the bar exam, which were approved by NCBE’s Board of Trustees at the end of January 2021. The new bar exam will measure both knowledge and skills holistically through a mix of item formats.

Technical Advisory Panel

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NCBE’s Technical Advisory Panel of measurement experts provides technical and psychometric guidance to NCBE’s research staff.

Research Awards

NCBE provides funding for research related to testing and measurement, with a particular focus on research related to high-stakes licensure testing such as the bar exam.

NCBE's Joe E. Covington Award for Research on Testing for Licensure honors Joe E. Covington, a former dean of the University of Missouri–Columbia School of Law who was the first Director of Testing for NCBE. The Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) was created and launched largely through his vision and perseverance. The award is intended to provide support for graduate students in any discipline doing research germane to testing and measurement, particularly in a high-stakes licensure setting.

The NCBE Validity and Fairness Research Award was conceived by Hon. Phyllis D. Thompson, a judge on the District of Columbia Court of Appeals since 2006. Judge Thompson is a former member of the NCBE Board of Trustees and of the Council of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. This award is intended to provide support for graduate students and faculty in any discipline whose research identifies aspects of validity evidence including, but not limited to, scoring, response processes, and the impact of licensure and certification testing.