SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The State Bar of California is proposing lowering the minimum score on the most recent licensing exam for attorneys amid an alarming decline in people passing the test considered one of the toughest in the U.S.

State Bar staff said they planned to present the option to the agency’s Committee of Bar Examiners on Monday.

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The proposal would lower the score needed only for the July exam from 144 to a little over 141. The seemingly minor reduction could significantly boost the pass rate.

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On the July exam, it fell from nearly 62 percent in 2008 to 43 percent in 2016, mirroring a national trend.

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California has among the lowest pass rates in the country, though state bar officials say it also has the second-highest passing score requirement.

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