What do REAL bar takers think of the remote/online bar exam? And their advice on how to study for an online bar exam

The bar exam world changed in 2020.

It became possible to take the bar exam remotely—from anywhere on the planet—thanks to the miracle of high-speed Internet. It’s the bandwidth revolution! The Great Reset!

But with new ideas come poo-poo-ers.

People were complaining about how it won’t work, they’re going to spy on us through the camera, there aren’t any bathroom breaks in the middle of a session, there will be tech issues, there are hackers, people will cheat, it’s too complicated, etc.

Some of it DID happen.

Some of it was preventable by bar takers (like remembering to go to the restroom beforehand).

People are calling for remote bar exams to be abandoned, proposing alternative formats, cutting multiple choice questions and making essays open book, and suggesting diploma and license privilege.

They are all valid concerns.

But just because something is uncertain or new doesn’t mean it’s always bad. (Remember when people complained when Facebook kept changing its interface and got used to it within a day?)

I don’t do doom and gloom here. Examples:

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Remote/Online Bar Exam Logistics and Strategies

You’re probably wondering how this whole remote bar exam thing is going to work.

  • Do I get scratch paper?
  • Can I use a desktop?
  • How many monitors can I use for ExamSoft/SofTest/Examplify (or whatever exam software)?
  • Do I need to be online?
  • Can I print?
  • Are they going to proctor me through a camera?
  • Can I take bathroom breaks?
  • What about cheating?
  • What about the MBE? How many questions? Is it all on a screen?
  • What if I’m handwriting?

Uh, yeah, I’m sure you have a lot of questions.

Right now, all the states are having a brawl and doing whatever they feel is necessary to conduct their bar exams.

Many states are shifting from in-person paper testing to an almost entirely digital exam, at least for the 2020 Fall bar exam. This is a significant change, and something worth discussing in terms of preparation and test-taking strategies.

This post will address two things:

  1. Updates and further findings on testing mechanics for taking a remote bar exam. See below for information on all states, but the initial focus here is on California
  2. Strategies for preparing for and taking a test entirely on screen, assuming your state is administering the exam online and doesn’t allow paper for at least some portion

Btw I’m not going to call this an “online bar exam” because it’s done almost entirely OFFline. Just the check-ins sessions require an Internet connection.

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Admire the Buttcrack (and 9 Other Last Minute Tips for Bar Exam Week)

Ahh shit… You utter the first word of the day as a dying declaration.

Because it’s time. Is it really that real? Let’s do this!

Implementing, practicing, and doing. I hope, by doing those things consistently, you’ve made solid progress!

Maybe you don’t feel ready. The good news is that the more prepared you actually are, the less you feel prepared. The bad news is that the other way isn’t necessarily true.

Not all hope is lost, ye weary traveler. For now, go in with a “might as well, even if I’m screwed” or a “you never know until you try” attitude.

You'll never know unless you try

You’ll be able to say, “I’m glad I tried.”

You’ve worked hard these past weeks and months. You’ve come all this way. Let’s finish it without any hiccups at the very end.

We don’t want a “failure of the last mile” to undo all we’ve done up until now.

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