In August 2020, 2,014 students registered to sit the Civil litigation exam and 1,997 students Criminal litigation. Technical problems meant that around a quarter of students who were sitting the exams using Pearson VUE’s OnVUE system could not see all the questions but of those who did, and those who took pen and paper tests, the overall passing rate for the August 2020 Civil litigation examination was 64.6%, (970 candidates passed). The equivalent overall passing rate for the August 2020 Criminal litigation examination was 68.4%, (1,028 candidates passed). There is no expected pass rate for these exams but these figures are consistent with the average passing rates for those sitting the exams for the first time over the last three years. The Professional Ethics examination is differently designed and marked and results will be made available on 6 November.
These figures confirm that a majority of students were able to sit the exams and our Chair and our Director General have apologised to students who were unable to complete them. Those students have had a further opportunity to sit the exams this month and will have another chance in December.
As we have already announced, we are also commissioning an independent review of the handling of the August examinations. This review will report to BSB’s Governance, Risk and Audit Committee, which is composed of independent non-executive directors, and will be undertaken independently of the BSB.