Shit, as they say, happens. Especially to those studying for and taking the California Bar Exam. Here's an excerpt from a letter sent to recent applicants:
It is with regret that I inform you that during the grading of the February 2005 California Bar Examination, several bar examination answer books to Question number 6 were stolen from a grader's car....
Because a written scaled score cannot be calculated without a grade for each of the six essay questions, the Committee of the Bar Examiners determined that a score for Question 6 should be imputed for you and used to calculate your total score.
Or, as Kip noted, the State Bar "ma[de] scores up." I hurt for those applicants.
A little context. Question 1 on the California Bar tested Constitutional Law, specifically, the dormant Commerce Clause. Question 6 tested Trusts. (I think!) I would have loved to have my knowledge of con law imputed to my "knowledge" of trusts. But the other way around and I would have been screwed. As a commentor who suffered imputed scoring (during a different California Bar Exam) noted:
I was very strong in performance tests, strong in MBE, but pretty weak in essays. To make a long story short, I scored around 140 on the MBE, got a 140 on PT 1, but they used my weak essay scores to impute a score of 114 on PT 2, which had been cancelled due to the flooding.
Long story short, I scored 1424 [a 1440 is a passing score], and had I had the chance to take PT 2, which was easier than PT 1, I would have done well. Simply a 130 on PT 2 would have put me over the top, and I would have passed the exam.
Of course, the State Bar is unaccountable, so there's nothing to be done to help these victims: yes, someone who will be denied the right to practice law - and make money - for several months because of the State Bar's agents is a victim. But, like I said, what can you do but take it?
(Hat tip: Amber Taylor, who is herself studying for the California Bar.)