Bar aptitude pilot a success
A proposed aptitude test for bar students could accurately identify individuals who would do well in their courses, according to pilot studies. The Bar Standards Board proposed the test for students applying for the bar professional training course following the 2008 Wood review. The hour-long test is designed to assess candidates’ suitability and predict the likelihood of success or failure. A report to the BSB last week said a test would help to ensure that students would not ‘needlessly waste time and money on a course that would not ultimately prove beneficial’. The report covers the findings of two pilots, on 200 students in 2009-10 and with students who started the course in September 2010. It concludes that grades and final exam scores ‘showed strong relationships’ with test scores. It says there was no evidence to suggest that the test showed any adverse impacts for gender, primary language, age, disability or university. However John Carrier, chair of the BSB’s education and training committee, said ethnicity did affect scores, with minority groups being less successful, so an equality impact assessment would be carried out. A full report of the findings will go to the BSB next month.