Exam Raising The Bar For Aspiring Lawers In Illinois

Illinois Bar Exam Sets New Minimum Grade

CHICAGO (CBS) — For the first time in 20 years, the minimum passing grade is going up on the Illinois bar exam.

Beginning with this summer’s exam, the minimum passing grade will be 268, up 4 points from the current minimum of 264.

“It’s a hurdle. I would immediately concede it’s a hurdle,” said Erica Moeser, president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners. “But it’s not as high a hurdle as one might otherwise suspect.”

That might create some anxiety for aspiring lawyers, but Moeser said that’s nothing new.

“I think you understate it. I think there’s always anxiety when anything about the bar exam changes, and that’s understandable, and I’m confident that the Illinois Board (of Admissions to the Bar) is sensitive to how candidates feel about this,” she said.

Beginning with the July 2015 bar exam, the minimum passing score goes up again – to 272.

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