The National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) testing taskforce has released preliminary recommendations as to what it feels that the next generation of bar examinations should look like. As part of its examination process, the NCBE is committed to periodic content review and design, in order to ensure high-quality licensing and examinations. The recommendations are a culmination of a 3-year study which included stakeholder interviews, and ongoing market analysis, in order to ensure lawyer competencies were being tested and were adequate for an evolving legal profession.
Based on their extensive research, the Task Force has made some high-level decisions about the content and the design for the next generation of the bar examination. Those decisions are founded on the principle that the purpose of the bar exam is designed “to protect the public by helping to ensure that those who are newly licensed possess the minimum knowledge and skills to perform activities typically required of an entry-level lawyer.”
The preliminary recommendations specify the use of an integrated examination that measures both knowledge and skills through a mix of item formats. The exam will be offered two times per year as a summative event and delivered by computer. Compensatory scoring will be used to produce a single combined score for making admission decisions.