To:                  Applicants on the North Carolina Bar Examination

From:            The North Carolina Board of Law Examiners

Re:                  Understanding your Examination Score


Understanding Your Score

Bar Score. The passing score on the North Carolina bar examination is 350 out of a possible 500 total points.

Written Examination – North Carolina Essay Questions. There are currently 12 essay questions on the examination. Each essay answer receives a raw score on a 0 to 10 point scale for a total of 120 possible points. The answers are scored on a relative basis with there being no passing or failing score. Your raw score for a particular answer reflects your performance relative to that of the other examinees on that particular question. The sum of your 12 raw scores is your ‘written raw score’.

Your written raw score is scaled to the MBE, which is an equated test (see below) and statistically reliable. As a result of scaling to an equated test, the written raw scores are adjusted for differences in exam difficulty across examination administrations.

The scaling process uses statistical formulas to impose on total raw essay scores the same standard deviation and mean as the MBE. Once your written raw score is scaled to the MBE, your ‘scaled essay score’ is on a two hundred point scale.

Your scaled essay score is then weighted 60% of the examination (resulting in a total maximum scaled essay score of 300 points) and the result is added to your MBE scaled score to determine your Bar Score.

MBE.  Your MBE has been scored by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE). Your MBE score is a scaled score with a maximum of 200 points. The number of questions you answered correctly is the raw score. The MBE raw scores of test-takers across the jurisdictions, through the statistical process of scaling, are transformed into a different score scale with the raw scores converted to scaled scores. This different score scale is derived from another statistical process called equating, which is used to adjust for differences in difficulty across MBE test administrations. As a result of these statistical processes, a given MBE scaled score indicates about the same level of proficiency regardless of the examination for which it is earned.