Grantee Research

A Preliminary Study Looking Beyond LSAT and LGPA: Factors During the Bar Study Period That May Affect Bar Exam Passage

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



bar passage correlates, bar preparation, bar passage, achievement motivation, time management, self-confidence


Most research on bar passage has focused on relationships between LSAT scores, law school academic performance and bar exam performance. To date, little attention has been given to the relationships between student bar exam preparation and their bar exam performance. This research looks at an under-studied area: the time between graduation and the bar exam. It uses a self-report survey to help identify study methods, non-cognitive skills, and other potential factors that may relate to bar passage. The study makes some preliminary observations about potential factors relating to bar passage including: examinees’ essay question practice methods, their motivation and self-confidence levels, the way examinees use study groups, and their expectations about the amount of substantive material and how long it will take to learn that material. It suggests ways the data may be further developed and used to help identify potential interventions. It also notes that because bar pass barriers may be school- specific, schools should consider using the survey, or some version thereof, to identify bar study period risk factors for their own students in order to identify the interventions that would be most helpful for their graduates. The Appendix includes the survey questions.


Related research:

Andrea A. Curcio et al., Measuring Law Student Success from Admissions Through Bar Passage: More Data the Bench, Bar and Academy Need to Know (2019),