Paul L. Caron

Monday, May 3, 2021

NCBE Sets The Record Straight On Future Bar Exams And Online Proctoring

Hulett H. Askew, Judith A. Gundersen, Suzanne K. Richards & Hon. Cynthia L. Martin (NCBE), Future Bar Exams and Online Proctoring—Setting the Record Straight:

In response to a recent Insight, we want to clarify how future bar exams will be administered. As widely publicized earlier this year, and as reported by Bloomberg Law, the National Conference of Bar Examiners’ (NCBE) testing task force has made clear that the next generation of the bar exam will be administered in-person on computers and monitored live by on-site proctors.

For reference, “remote” and “online” testing both refer to a method of test administration in which applicants take an exam on their own computers at home (or in another private location, such as a law school or office). Remote testing, as NCBE uses the term, requires an internet connection only at certain times—for example, to enter the exam password and take an identity verification photograph at the beginning of the exam, or to upload exam answer files and monitoring videos at the end of the exam—while online testing requires internet connectivity throughout an exam.

“Computer-based” testing means only that the exam itself can be taken on a computer instead of with paper and pencil. The next generation of the bar exam will be a computer-based test administered either at computer testing centers managed by a suitable vendor or on candidates’ laptops at jurisdiction-managed test sites. ...

The reality is that the two remote administrations of the bar exam in October 2020 and February 2021 successfully achieved their goal of providing emergency relief to candidates, courts, and jurisdictions during the global Covid-19 pandemic. NCBE has always been committed to producing a bar exam that fairly assesses all candidates, and that commitment continues.

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