February 2020 California Bar Exam Approaches
Taking the California bar examination for the first time is an experience that is more than a little frightening and stressful. There’s the thought of oversleeping on the first day of the test. How about excessive noise from a party across the motel parking lot that prevents you from sleeping the night before?
There’s a lot to know about the California Bar exam, other than the material. As the 2020 February bar exam in California and other states approaches, knowing all the details is crucial, not only for practical reasons but for reasons of minimizing stress.
1,458 people (31.4 percent of applicants) passed the February 2019 California Bar Exam. This was an increase of 4.1 percentage points over 2018’s February pass rate of 27.3 percent.
Current and aspiring law students should review the following basic information to get a feel of what they will experience when they actually take the bar exam.
California Bar Exam: February 25 and 26, 2020 (Tuesday and Wednesday)
Applicants should plan to arrive at least twenty (20) minutes early to locate their assigned sections or rooms. Applicants using laptop computers must be seated no later than 8:20 a.m. All applicants must be seated no later than 8:30 a.m. Applicants must be seated no later than 1:30 p.m. for the afternoon sessions.
The examination will begin immediately following the instructions.; instructions will begin promptly at 1:45 p.m. The examination is scheduled to conclude on Tuesday at approximately 5:30 p.m. and on Wednesday at approximately 5:00 p.m.
*Applicants are expected to know the “current law” regarding the California Rules of Professional Conduct, meaning the law in effect at the time the examination is administered. The latest California Rules of Professional Conduct went into effect November 1, 2018 and became the current law in February 2019.
*The examination for those applicants who have applied for and are eligible to take the Attorney’s Examination will be administered on Tuesday only.
*Applicants granted extended time may have different schedules, which are communicated to them individually in advance of the examination.
*Additional information concerning the timing and other administrative rules and policies are contained in the admittance ticket bulletin that will be available with an applicant’s admittance ticket (also available online).
Applications and withdrawals
Applications must be submitted in complete form online through the online application process no later than 11:59 p.m., or otherwise received in hard copy by the Los Angeles Office of Admissions no later than 5:00 p.m., on the filing deadline. For the purpose of determining whether a late filing fee applies, an application will not be deemed filed until the proper fees are paid.
The Office of Admissions is not responsible for the failure of an applicant to follow directions for submission of a complete application online, nor for electronic transmission problems, nor for lost, misdirected, or postage-due mail.
Applications received after the final filing deadline will not be accepted. The final filing deadline is mandated by the Admissions Rules and cannot be waived.
The buck stops with applicants. Taking care of business and meeting deadlines should be accomplished well ahead of any deadlines, rather than at the last minute. Applicants should not expect pity when negative circumstances – that could have been avoided – affect the most important test of their lives. Click this for dates and deadlines. Click this for information regarding withdrawals.
Timely Filing Deadline: November 1, 2019
$50 Late Filing Fee: November 2, 2019–November 29, 2019
$250 Late Filing Fee: November 30, 2019–January 2, 2020
Final Filing Deadline: January 2, 2020
Withdrawal Deadline (60% refund – 30 days after timely filing): October 1, 2019–December 2, 2019
Withdrawal Deadline (30% refund – 45 days after timely filing): December 3, 2019–December 16, 2019
Final Deadline to Withdraw from Examination (No Refund): February 11, 2020
Other important deadlines
January 2, 2020
Examination Type Change Request Deadline (Attorney Applicants only)
Testing Accommodations Petition Final Filing Deadline: (Petitions must be complete and received in the San Francisco Office of Admissions)
February 3, 2020
Test Center Change Request Deadline
Appeal of Testing Accommodations Petition Final Filing Deadline: (Appeals must be complete and received in the San Francisco Office of Admissions)
February 11, 2020
Final Eligibility Deadline
Proof of Admission (first-time Attorney Applicant)
Proof of Law Study (first-time Applicant for the General Bar Examination)
February 14, 2020
Emergency Testing Accommodations Petition Final Filing Deadline (Petitions must be complete and received in the San Francisco Office of Admissions)
February 21, 2020
Laptop Certification Deadline
February 27, 2020–12 p.m. (pacific time)
Laptop Exam Answer File Upload Deadline:
February 28, 2020, or February 29, 2020–12 p.m. (pacific time)
Extended Time Testing Accommodations Exam Answer File Upload Deadline, depending on the number of testing days, which will be specified on the Testing Accommodations Notice
Examination Test Centers
Los Angeles area
Ontario Convention Center 2000 Convention Center Way, Ontario Laptop Computers (L400) Writers (W400)
Pasadena Convention Center 300 East Green Street, Pasadena Laptop Computers (L102) Writers (W102) DoubleTree Hotel – Orange 100 The City Drive, Orange Testing Accommodation (S260) (Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations.)
DoubleTree Hotel – Westside 6161 W. Centinela Avenue, Culver City Testing Accommodations (S106) (Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations.)
Del Mar Fairgrounds 2200 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar Laptop Computers (L320) Writers (W320) (Restricted to San Diego residents)
Sheraton Mission Valley 1433 Camino Del Rio South, San Diego Testing Accommodations (S304) (Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations.)
San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area
Oakland Convention Center 550 10th Street, Oakland Laptop Computers (L600) Writers (W600)
Crowne Plaza Hotel 1177 Airport Boulevard, Burlingame Testing Accommodations (S623) (Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations.)
McClellan Conference Center 5411 Luce Avenue, McClellan Park Laptop Computers (L703) Writers (W703) (Restricted to Sacramento residents)
Hilton Sacramento Arden West 2200 Harvard Street, Sacramento Testing Accommodations (S706) (Restricted to applicants with disabilities who have been granted accommodations.)
Upon entering law school, students must immediately begin preparing for the Bar Exam. CDTA utilizes a unique four-year program to prepare students for the bar exam. Upon completion of this 4-year course of study, students will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination.
We educate students by teaching them the substantive law. We train them through a hands-on approach that utilizes mentorship and partnership. We develop them by stressing the importance of developing soft skills.
Not only must students academically and intellectually prepare for the bar exam, but they must also familiarize themselves with rules, protocols, and other considerations related to taking this landmark test. Taking the bar exam in California is a hectic experience. This isn’t Kansas, Dorothy (with apologies to our friends in Kansas). Students shouldn’t allow the heat of the moment to compromise their ability to perform their very best on the test. Planning more than sufficiently ahead of time is a wise course of action.
The California Desert Trial Academy helps students prepare for the bar exam. We look at the bar exam as a challenge rather than an obstacle. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more about the unique law school experience that we offer here.