Paul L. Caron

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Test Takers Slam New York's First Online Bar Exam In New Survey

Karen Sloan (, Test Takers Slam New York's First Online Bar Exam in New Survey:

NYSBA (2020)A survey of those who took New York’s first-ever online bar exam last week suggests that technical problems were more widespread than officials have indicated.

Among the nearly 500 survey respondents, 41% said they experienced Internet or software disruptions during the Oct. 5 and 6 remote exam. That’s in contrast to early data from the New York State Board of Law Examiners that indicated just 20 or fewer examinees experienced technical problems. (More than 30,000 people took online bar exam nationwide on those days, and bar examiners have hailed the test as a success, saying nearly everyone was able to complete it successfully.)

The survey was conducted by New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman and New York Assemblymember Jo Anne Simon, who partnered on an as-yet-unsuccessful bill that would established a diploma privilege for recent law graduates and enable them to become licensed without taking the bar exam after practicing under the supervision of an experienced attorney. The lawmakers asked examinees to share their experiences with the test. The survey respondents represent about 10% of the 5,165 people who took New York’s exam.

Nearly 75% of the survey respondents said taking the online bar exam was a negative experience, while 8% said it was positive. (Another 18% rated it as neutral.)

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