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Bar exam results get worse: 37% fail AIBE with 70% of repeaters; Next exam May/June

Bar examining
Bar examining
Breaking: Around 63 per cent passed the 8 January 2012 All India Bar Exam (AIBE) out of more than 25,000 graduates who enrolled, said the Bar Council of India (BCI) today.

According to statistics released by the BCI, 24,844 candidates registered, of whom 23,452 appeared for the exam.

Only 14,740 passed – or 63 per cent – which is 6 per centage points lower than the pass rate of the previous bar exam of August 2011.

AIBE: Percentage distribution of pass marks (X axis)
AIBE: Percentage distribution of pass marks (X axis)

BCI chairman Ashok Parija said in today’s press release: “I am happy that the AIBE for all candidates was conducted in Tamil Nadu this time. As the AIBE is getting more entrenched it is also acquiring the characteristics of a standardised testing mechanism. […] The pass percentage of repeat candidates (who did not clear the earlier AIBEs) is lower than that of fresh candidates.”

The statistics reveal that out of 19,925 first-time test takers, 61 per cent passed, but only 30 per cent passed out of 3,527 repeat candidates.

Almost half the number of women as men took the exam (7,952 women as against 15,500 men), but pass rates were almost identical for both genders.


The pass rate in the English language exam, which was taken by the majority (14,209 candidates), was 72 per cent, which was only exceeded by the 61 out of 71 (86 per cent) of Bengali test takers who passed.

AIBE pass rates by language
AIBE pass rates by language

By far the worst pass rates were in the Kannada and Telugu languages, where only 32 and 31 per cent passed respectively. The Hindi pass rate – an exam taken by 3,764 candidates – was just under 60 per cent.

The vast majority of marks in the rough bell curve distribution were around the 70 per cent mark, with the highest grade appearing to have been around 90 per cent.

AIBE state-wise marks distribution
AIBE state-wise marks distribution

Stated differences

Maharashtra and Goa saws the highest participation (4,119 with a pass rate of 61 per cent), followed by Tamil Nadu where the exam was successfully held throughout for the first time (55 per cent of 3537 passed).

In Karnataka and Delhi just over 2,000 candidates appeared each, though pass rates between the two states were wide apart at 47 per cent and 85 per cent respectively.

In West Bengal, just under 90 per cent of 1,217 candidates passed.

In Bihar the pass rate for 279 graduates was a massive 97 per cent, nearly matched by Jammu & Kashmir’s 96 per cent of 132.


The next bar exam would happen in May or June 2012, said today’s press release, with a precise date being “intimated shortly”, while the next academic year would have dates fixed and announced on 31 March 2012.

The publication of the results was delayed by 15 days due to a writ petition against the exam in the Calcutta High Court, with Legally India reporting the BCI chairman’s promise on 8 February that AIBE results would be out within seven days.

Full disclosure: Legally India has an interest in http://www.Barhacker.in, which runs a preparation course for the All India Bar Exam (AIBE). Here’s a testimonial received by BarHacker this morning: “Thanks to your team for conceiving the idea of Bar Hacker in 2011. As someone who used the Bar Hacker material just 2 days prior to the AIBE 2012 and who cracked the Bar exam with 76% score, I wish to thank you and your team from the bottom of my heart!”

BarHacker analysed the third bar exam on 10 January 2012 and predicted a pass rate of 60 per cent.

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