The September, Um, October Bar Exam Approaches – Don’t Fear (Bar Exam Moved To October)
The California Supreme Court first announced preliminary plans for administering the October Bar Exam online in a July 16 letter to the State Bar Board of Trustees. These plans have been confirmed and finalized with the next California Bar Exam scheduled for October 5–6, 2020. Under the direction of the California Supreme Court, the exam will be administered primarily online. The California First-Year Law Students’ Exam, also known as the Baby Bar, has been rescheduled to November 17, 2020.
In July, California Supreme Court justices held a videoconference with California law school deans, then held a three-hour virtual hearing to receive input from law school graduates registered to take the bar exam. California is one of 25 jurisdictions to reschedule their bar exam for online administration.
The Court determined that it is possible to administer an online exam without the need for an examinee to have a high-speed or constant internet connection. At least 20 other jurisdictions will hold online bar exams on October 5th and 6th. Applicants registered to take the October 2020 bar exam must have reviewed and signed their Acknowledgment and Acceptance of Testing Conditions Form no later than Friday, August 21, 2020.
“The court strongly encourages law schools to assist those graduates who lack internet access at home, or who have home environments not amenable to two days of uninterrupted examination” by employing measures, including access to facilities and equipment, schools used to allow students to complete the spring semester, the court wrote.
The following examinees will be accommodated at limited in-person testing locations:
- those approved for testing accommodations that cannot effectively be provided remotely; and
- those with extenuating circumstances that prevent them from taking the exam online.
The first day will consist of five one-hour essay questions with a one-hour lunch break. On the second day, the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE) will be administered in the morning consisting of two 90-minute 50 question sessions. During the afternoon, one 90-minute Performance Test will be administered.
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