Seperac UBE Score Estimator (updated June 2018)
Using data from past NY BOLE and NCBE studies, the following calculator will estimate UBE bar exam scores based on the demographic and grade information you enter. As one passing examinee told me: "I received my ube score report today and the ube score was on the dot to what your calculator predicted! That's insane! The mbe was off a bit, but still! ... The calculator did ease my fears a good bit. I'm still a worrier by nature so I still worried, but it really did help. It allowed me to think, in the back of my mind, that I'd be ok." Another passing examinee told me: "I think the score estimate was helpful in calming me and giving me a sense of confidence."
The UBE Score Estimator is fairly new although this is the 3rd iteration of the calculator. So far, about 400 examinees have sent me their pre-exam stats (including their emails), but only about 75 have followed up with their post-exam results. After every exam, I follow up with the most recent batch and then update the calculator again (which is why I am posting here). I also track exam scores - to date, I've received scores from about 4,500 failing examinees (I provide free score reports to failing examinees as a quid pro quo). Recent enhancements include adjustments based on law school tier (for domestic examinees) and country of education for Foreign examinees. If you have taken other bar exams, but are taking a certain exam for the first time, you should put "1" for number of bar attempts since bar examiners generally base their statistics on an examinee’s first attempt at that specific exam. The MBE and UBE score estimates are reasonably accurate – for the estimated scaled MBE score, the calculator's maximum deviation was +12/-9 with an average deviation of -0.4 while for the estimated total UBE score, the calculator's maximum deviation was +28/-23 with an average deviation of -2.6 based on responses to date. These statistics will either make you feel more confident or remind you that more work needs to be put into the exam.
However, please note that even with the recent enhancements, the estimates are less accurate (and possibly misleading) for foreign examinees, lower tier examinees, and multiple re-takers because there is less released data for these demographics. The calculator determines the mean total score for a particular demographic and then adjusts based on other criteria such as MPRE/UGPA/LSAT/LPGA. For example, for the MPRE, I calculate the examinee's % correct on the MPRE and then estimate an MBE score based on that. I then attribute a weight. For example, according to NCBE, there is a moderately high relationship between MPRE scores and MBE scores (correlation of .58) and NCBE also states that MBE scores are a surrogate for total bar exam scores since MBE scores are highly related to total bar exam scores. For foreign examinees, the only adjustment that can be made is with the MPRE and Foreign Country (Canada, Australia, China, etc). However, foreign examinee generally have a pass rate of 50% or less on the bar exam (meaning these examinees are more likely to fail the exam than pass it). Since foreign examinee demographic means are usually below passing, with the absense of other adjustments, the calculator often has the average foreign examinee failing the exam. For multiple re-takers, there is simply not a lot of data from NCBE or the state bar examiners. For lower tier examinees, very few follow up with me after the exam so it makes it difficult to assess the impact of the average scores on lower tier examinees. Finally, extreme inputs will cause problems. While the estimator does a good job of estimating average scores, it does not do well estimating extreme scores. For example, if an examinee has an LGPA of 4.0, this indicates an MBE of 170 based on the study I use for LGPA, but if the examinee is from a T-4 school, the examinee's T-4 status negatively affects the estimate. However, I can’t assess how negatively the estimate is affected because very few T4 examinees follow up with me after the exam to provide data on this. Once I collect more data, I expect future iterations of this calculator to be more accurate. However, as discussed above, your MBE practice scores, assuming the MBE practice questions are of sufficient difficulty and representative of the topics tested, will give you the most insight as to whether or not you will pass the UBE. I hope after a few more iterations, the calculator will do a better job with predicting outcomes for foreign examinees, but even looking at First Time Foreign examinees in July, they are still generally more likely to fail than to pass (which means the projected score will be below 266 rather than above it).
The calculator will predict a "PASS", "FAIL" or "TOO CLOSE TO CALL" based on the expected total score for the average examinee in that demographic. Please keep in mind that these statistics are merely estimates (as you can see from the two standard deviation statistics that I email you, scores can vary widely, meaning that even if the average examinee in that demographic is predicted to fail, an above-average examinee in that demographic may not). Your MBE practice scores, assuming the MBE practice questions are of sufficient difficulty and representative of the topics tested, will give you the most insight as to whether or not you will pass the UBE. The wide range of scores for a particular demographic is likely due to the amount of time an examinee puts into studying for the exam and their ability to score well on the MBE. Doing well on the MBE involves a combination of knowledge and test-taking skills (and skills require drills). Unless you have a solid base for both (e.g. recent law school graduate and/or good test taker based on LSAT, MPRE, LPGA), developing this knowledge and skill takes a lot of time, especially for lower ability examinees – thus if you don’t have a lot of time to spend studying/practicing for the MBE, it is hard to do well on it. While study for the other components of the exam can be “abbreviated” to some extent, MBE study/practice really can’t be given short-shrift, nor can MBE answers be “bluffed” as with the MEE/MPT.
Please keep in mind that while this Calculator provides a good estimate, but it is still an estimate. For example, if your demographic is July exam: Domestic-Educated: All Takers: Male and Female: Number of Bar Attempts: 1, the average scaled MBE score was 145.3 (which is about 68% correct) and the average total score was 291 (converted from pre-UBE exam scores). So the average Domestic Educated First-Time taker is going to score well above passing. However, if you submit your form (along with your email so I can follow up with you post-exam), I provide a better breakdown of the stats. For example, in this case, 95% of examinees in this demographic had a scaled MBE score between 115.8-174.9 and a total UBE score between 240-342. So then I adjust scores based on other studies, but this is obviously an inexact science. For example, based on a 2007 NYBOLE study, someone with an LSAT score of 180 had a 99.5% probability of passing. So if you put in 180 for LSAT, the calculator will shade your score up, but not dramatically. This is because I have seen examinees with 170+ LSATs fail. However, if all your stats are good (e.g. T-1, high UPGA, LGPA, MPRE, etc), the estimated score of the calculator will arrive at 340 or so (well above the original assessment of 291). With each iteration, it will get more precise as I go through the actual results and see which variable has the greatest impact on score.
My advice is to take this calculator with a grain of salt, but look at your current MBE practice scores as the final arbiter. If the calculator has you passing by 20 points and you are at 70% correct or better overall in MBE practice, you are in good territory and the results will be on point. However, if you are only 60% correct overall in MBE practice, you need to focus more because your results will likely shade down (making it possibly too close to call). I can somewhat confidently tell you this based on receiving detailed results from thousands of failing examinees. At some point I will probably add current MBE practice scores as a variable in the Estimator, but I want to collect a lot of data first.
Accordingly, these calculator results are based on the average scores for the demographics you entered, and you can be well above or below this average. For more detailed information on these statistics/correlations (including score ranges based on standard deviations), you should enter your email and Submit the form (I will then email you back in a few days).
The results should automatically update when you enter/change a selection. Please note that as a fairly new calculator, there may be some calculation errors, so if you see a result that appears incorrect, please email me at email@example.com.
If you take the exam and think you may not have passed (especially if you are an at-risk demographic), I suggest you complete my Post Exam form. Filling out this form immediately after you take the exam (while the information is still fresh in your mind) can help you later. For example, using this information, I track the key details of your attempt, so if you later find that you failed the exam, I will try to match your responses/statistics to whoever previously submitted the most comparable details (and later passed) to give you their advice on what worked for them.