- An estimated 40,000 rising lawyers started a multiday bar exam today, which is being administered remotely for most of them after months of delay because of the pandemic.
- Some examinees complained of glitches, lags, and other technical issues on the test, which is being run by ExamSoft, a Texas test-taking software company.
- Others complained about long hold times for technical troubleshooting or said they were told to give up and take the exam in February.
- The testing company claimed that 97% of users were able to start the first session by early Monday afternoon, and 98% of users were able to get logged in to their sessions by 2:45 p.m. Eastern.
- If you’d like to share your experience with the bar exam and diploma privilege, please reach out to us at [email protected] and [email protected]
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
After months of uncertainty and upheaval amid the coronavirus, law graduates in several major jurisdictions, including New York, California, and DC, finally sat in front of their computer screens today for the first day of remote bar exams. The “#barpocalypse” — as some test-takers called it on Twitter — has arrived.
An estimated 40,000 rising lawyers started a multiday bar exam today, which is being administered remotely for most of them after months of delay because of the pandemic. While some jurisdictions have created ways for law graduates to practice without taking the exam, major states like New York have rejected calls for “diploma privilege” and said the bar exam is necessary.
Examinees aren’t the only ones who are under pressure. ExamSoft, the remote test-taking and proctoring software that’s being used by many states, is in the hot seat after months of intense scrutiny for cybersecurity and facial recognition concerns.
Although day one of the exam appears to have gone well enough for many test-takers, who had the opportunity to download and submit mock exams in September, others encountered issues — from minor glitches to nightmarish problems that may potentially force them to sit for the bar in February.
Read more: New York’s bar exam is cancelled. Here’s why calls are mounting for the test to be canned completely.
Some users reported on social media toward the beginning of the testing period that they were having issues loading pages that included the passwords that they would need to start their tests, but several of them said they were able to access pages containing the same information that had been set up as a fallback. An ExamSoft representative said issues with password pages were resolved by 1 p.m. Eastern time.
Bar-takers used Examplify, ExamSoft’s testing software, and needed to connect to the internet to upload their answers, and they were remotely monitored using screen-recording software and the cameras and microphones on their laptops. Many had downloaded the exam files ahead of time, but they were not able to access them until today.
Several examinees complained of issues like small or blurry text. Tanisha Henson, a Widener University Commonwealth Law School