Sixty-Eight Percent Pass the First Bar Exam in the Maldives
With the first ever Bar Exam being administered in the Maldives in November 2022, Kaplan Assessments is delighted to have advised the Bar Council of Maldives on the planning, development and delivery of the exam which reached international best practice quality standards for a new high stakes licensing exam. The successful 2022 exam cycle represents a major milestone for the Maldivian legal profession following intensive work by the Bar Council of Maldives over a period of a year. Read the full press release below.
JOINT PRESS RELEASE:
The Bar Council of the Maldives (BCM) successfully administered the historic first Bar Exam in the Maldives on 19 November 2022. Of the 173 candidates that sat for the Bar Exam in Male’ City and Addu City, 68%—more than two-thirds— obtained passing scores.
These candidates have now completed one of the two essential requirements to obtain a license to practice as a lawyer in the Maldives, with the other being the completion of a licensing training programme. The successful 2022 exam cycle represents a major milestone for the Maldivian legal profession. The Bar Exam is central to BCM’s mission to standardize the legal profession, foster high standards of professional and ethical conduct for lawyers, enable members to better serve their clients and the public, and increase access to justice in the Maldives.
Analysis of the exam data shows that the first Maldives Bar Exam reached international best practice standards.Principal stages in designing the first Bar Exam involved a robust process, including development of a syllabus, question writing training and subsequent writing, editing and reviewing of questions, drafting of policy and regulation for the exam, and then subsequent analysis of results for consideration by the Assessment Board.
Uz Ismail Wisham, President of the Bar Council of the Maldives said “The Bar Exam is the culmination of hard work and dedication of countless people. The 2019 Legal Profession Act blazed a new trail for the legal sector,with the Bar Exam being the most significant change to our system. It offers protection for the public by ensuring a more competent and capable legal profession. Developing and administering the nation’s first Bar Exam is a remarkable achievement and milestone for all of us.”
The multiple-choice exam (with questions in both Dhivehi and English) covered the application of fundamental legal rules and principles in Tort Law, Criminal Law and Procedure, Constitutional and Administrative Law, Contract Law and Practice, Land Law and Practice, and the Maldivian Legal System. In preparation for the exam, BCM and volunteer lawyers prepared a range of study materials for candidates, including reading lists, sample practice questions, and online lectures. Those interested in sitting for the 2023 exam can access those materials on the BCM website: https://maldivesbarcouncil.org/bar-exam/ Dr Eileen Fry, Director of Assessment, Kaplan Professional UK said “We are delighted to have advised the BCM on the successful planning, development and delivery of the first ever Maldives Bar Exam. The BCM is to be congratulated that the exam reached international best practice quality standards for a new high stakes licensing exam.”
The exam was developed as a result of intensive work by the Bar Council of Maldives over a period of a year. This work was made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and its implementing partner, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative. Kaplan Professional UK acted as consultants giving professional legal assessment advice and further advice was given by National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) in the United States.