Preparing For An Online Bar Exam – Technical Considerations
In October, California successfully administered its first online bar exam because of the coronavirus pandemic. The results for the October bar examination are expected to be released in the middle of January 2021. California presently plans to administer the February 2021 bar exam online as well. The State Bar hopes to release the February bar exam results in the middle of May 2021. The State Bar is actively seeking to reduce the grading timeline so that applicants may receive their results in an expedited fashion.
Several states have already conducted online bar exams and will continue this practice for the February 2021 examination. Taking a bar examination on a computer is daunting enough in-person. Taking a bar exam on a computer remotely online may be terrifying. One of the most stressful aspects of such a test is the knowledge of the possibility that a technical malfunction may jeopardize passing the examination. Here are a few tips for avoiding these technical failures.
Have an exceptional Wi-Fi connection
This may be the single-most important tip because if this is neglected and a computer’s Wi-fi connection fails during the test, the remaining tips become irrelevant. If a computer crashes during the bar exam, an applicant will not be allowed to make up any lost time, thus making this occurrence even more potentially damaging to an examinee’s final score. No person other than the examinee will be available to fix any issues and no person will be available to verify that any issues were not the fault of the examinee. It may be possible to upgrade an internet connection temporarily, perhaps for one month, to ensure a solid, consistent, connection.
Take the test on a computer updated to modern specs
Because the bar exam is taken remotely, test-takers now have the option of using a desktop computer. This may mean signify a benefit for the examinee if the desktop is superior in performance to any laptop that would be used under normal circumstances. Nevertheless, the risk of a technical malfunction remains if the desktop is not up to current working specifications.
Become (more than) familiar with the software/proctoring system
Each state administering a bar examination will likely use some type of proprietary system to administer the essay section of the test. This may require a substantial amount of guesswork on the part of examinees to familiarize themselves with how the software operates, as well as its quirks and limitations. Examinees should take as much time as is available to ensure familiarity and comfort.
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