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 is a post in progress that will address two things:
Ongoing updates and further findings on testing mechanics for an online bar exam (see below for information on all states, but the initial focus here is on California)
Strategies for preparing for and taking a test entirely on screen (assuming your state doesn’t allow paper)
Have you reached success in other parts of your life? School, relationships, a new hobby, an extracurricular your mom forced you to do in middle school?
Why not the bar?
As you try to push through this final stretch, you might have some doubts, frustrations, and a general sense of uncertainty. You can’t wait to abandon the bar like a New Year’s resolution and just be done with it!
“That’s normal. I can’t help it.”
The future is full of hope, however, because you don’t need to be extraordinary to pass the bar (although I’ll try to get you there). You can be “normal” and still become an attorney. It’s just a matter of when.
But what you can’t do is self-sabotage. You can help it if you choose to.
Here are three things you should stop telling yourself (one week before the bar exam, two weeks before, anytime you’re doubting yourself during preparation):