How, Exactly, did New York Grade That Bar Exam?
The New York State Board of Law Examiners managed to foul up this year’s bar exam, as readers of this space know, by losing many of the essay answers that had been submitted on laptops.
I covered it when 400 answers were still unaccounted for at the end of August: New York Bar Examiners Still Can’t Find Complete Essay Answers.
And after the results were made known 11 days ago, and the examiners claimed to have taken educated guesses on the missing results, I wrote about it here: NYS Bar Examiners Do Grade Approximation For Missing Exam Answers
But over the holiday weekend, this anonymous comment appeared on my site, claiming that credit was given for an essay with no answer, and the same credit was given for an essay with a great answer. And there was no indication that this person was told his/her essays were part of the missing ones:
Here’s a fair summary (having taken the test, having intense problems down loading and uploading the test) and failed: I left one NYS essay blank. (Ran out of time) I received a 3/10. That’s odd…But then, on the essays I KNEW–KNEW so well that I was practically jumping for joy as I took the test–I received a 3/10 on those as well.
BOLE claims they have informed all those who had computer essays lost–I suspect not. I have written away for my answers and I will be intensly interested to see how that blank esay scored a 3/10…I suspect they were ALL blanks, because of the uploads.
If anyone else is in this prdicament, please chime in. There are a few attorneys that specialize in this, and I’ve contacted a few.
Which leaves all to wonder, especially those that were given a failing grade, exactly how the Board Examiners actually graded the essays. Or if they did at all.
Addendum: There is some discussion at Above the Law about the continued weirdness of the NY exam, and as to the legitimacy of the comment, and understandably so. I am reprinting an exchange from that site where I gave the reason I thought the comment was legit:
Anonymous: Most likely story: 1) Guy is a moron – gets 3/10 on ‘esay‘ he KNEW; 2) BOLE sees blank essay – thinks guy had software problem; 3) BOLE gives guy 3/10 on blank essay, which is his average from the other essays.
Me: That was also my initial reaction. But the writer seems to indicate that s/he was not notified that s/he had a missing essay.
And the fact that the comment was submitted on an 11-day old post (actually 7 days at the time it was made) on a small blog meant it was likely to only be seen by a few, so a hoax didn’t seem likely either.
This gave it a certain ring of truth.
We’ll see if it amounts to anything.
2nd Addendum 12/16/07 – There is an appeals process that BOLE has not publicized: New York Bar Examiners Will Entertain Appeals Over Laptop Problems
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