What is REALLY a passing score on the Michigan Bar Exam essay portion?
If you have taken a practice Michigan bar exam, or completed practice essays that you submitted for grading, you may wonder if your essays are considered “passing” — or what score you would get on the essay portion.
The short answer is: if your average essay score is 6.26, it is considered “passing” by last administration’s (February 2019) standards.
The Michigan Board of Law Examiners has started to curve the examination more generously in recent years. There may be various reasons for this, but for your purposes, all you have to know is last administration an average score of 6.26 on the essay portion would have led to a passing score.
If you multiply 6.26 (average score) by 15 (# of essays) you would receive 94. Last administration, the Michigan Board of Law Examiners added about 41 points to everyone’s score as part of their scaling process. So 94 (raw score) + 41 points = 135 (converted score). (Note: 135 is a passing score in Michigan).
If you actually took a 15-question practice exam, to figure out the score you would receive on the essay portion, complete the following steps:
- Add the scores of all 15 essay questions together (this is your “raw score”)
- Add 41 points (this is your “converted score”, which is all that matters for grading purposes.
Note: There is no guarantee the Board will add 41 points as its scale this administration. However, the Board has been generous with its scale the past few administrations.
If you have any questions, please contact us! Good luck studying!
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