## Raw Essay Score to Scaled Essay Score Calculator

NOTE: If you are taking the upcoming UBE exam, I recently created the Seperac UBE Score Estimator which will estimate your UBE bar exam score based on the demographic and grade information you enter.

The following calculator will estimate your raw essay score based on your scaled essay score and vice versa. You can read about how the essay scores are scaled to the MBE here.

According to NY BOLE, "[t]he scale score for each of the five essay questions and the MPT question is arrived at by converting the raw score for each question to a scale that generally ranges from approximately 20 to 80, with 50 as the mean. In the conversion from the raw to scale scores, the essays are weighted 40%, or 8% each, and the MPT is weighted 10%). The candidate's five essay question scale scores and the MPT scale score are then totaled and divided by six to arrive at an average scale score for the written section. That average is then converted to a score distribution that is comparable to that of the MBE."

Caveat: In order for this conversion to be accurate, you need to know the correct mean and standard deviation (SD) for the MBE in your jurisdiction, along with the essays/MPT. For New York, I guesstimated both. While I think the MBE figures are fairly accurate (the estimated median MBE score in NY is based on my interpolation of scores submitted to me by failing examinees), I really have no idea about the essay figures (unfortunately NY BOLE does not release the New York bar exam statistics needed to correctly calculate scaled essay scores). Without knowing the New York mean and standard deviation for the MBE and Essays/MPT, there is no way to properly estimate the raw scores. However, the calculator is useful in illustrating how the mean MBE and SD affects the scaling of scores. The higher the mean, the higher the scale. The higher the standard deviation, the lower the scale. Accordingly, a 50 will generally not represent an average of 5/10 on the essays.

The only difference between the Essay Calculator and the MPT calculator is that the Essay Calculator adjusts by a percentage of 8% (the value of an essay on the NY bar exam) while the MPT calculator adjusts by a percentage of 10% (the value of the MPT on the NY bar exam).

To illustrate how the calculator works (and how I test it), an examinee who wrote one sentence on Essay #4 of the July 2010 exam received a Scaled Essay Score of 21.59. Because only one sentence was written, the raw score for this essay was likely 0.0. The New York MBE mean scaled score for the July 2010 exam (based on 11,557 examinees) was approximately 141.86. A scaled score of 141.86 would be a raw score of 135 (based on the July 2006 NY MBE scale - this is the last exam that NY BOLE released both raw and scaled MBE scores). The NY MBE raw SD, NY Essay mean raw score, and NY Essay raw SD are unknown (only NY BOLE knows this), so I guesstimated values for these items. For example, the average national MBE standard deviation from 2000-2005 was 15.3 - I used 13.5 for New York. The NY Essay mean raw score must be under 5.0 since 50 is the mean scaled score according to NY BOLE. Using the below guesstimated values, a July 2010 raw essay score of 0.0 results in a scaled score of 21.60.

Note: If you are trying to calculate the February raw-scaled conversion, you
need to change the
NY MBE mean raw score
to 127.8. This is the raw score calculated using the February 2006 raw-scaled
conversion based on the February 2010 NY mean scaled MBE score of 136.6.

If you have any additional questions or comments, please email me at joe@seperac.com.

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