The COVID-19 pandemic has completely shaken the legal profession, and many states are still struggling to make the right decision in terms of time and place for administering the bar exam.
Some states are postponing the exam to September. Other states have announced the bar will be administered online. A few states have greenlit diploma privileges, while some are administering the bar in July as if nothing happened.
This is definitely a challenging time to be finishing law school, and the current uncertainties likely add to your anxiety, which was already going through the roof.
We have listed special considerations for students taking an online bar exam and students taking an in-person bar exam. Tips for Taking an Online Bar Exam
Set up everything ahead of time .
Double-check your wi-fi connection and make sure your connection isn’t finicky. States offering an online bar exam require a video recording to prevent cheating and to monitor any irregularities so check if your video camera works properly. Some states like Indiana require an external webcam with a desktop stand. So make sure you have all the needed information about your state’s requirements. Figure what laptop or desktop you are going to use. If your laptop tends to freeze regularly, or you have keys that always stick, you might consider borrowing or even buying a new laptop. Some states are also allowing exam takers to use “loaner” laptops if the student does not have their own functional laptop. So you can check with your state board if this is the case!
Try to get this all set up early, so that you can anticipate if there’s going to be any problems during the exam. It’s better to know now than a day before the exam. You don’t want any unpredicted connection breaks or tech issues that will undoubtedly add to your stress. Mimic the exam!
Most states offering online bar exams prohibit scratch paper and instead provide a digital option — so try to practice in this manner. Review and mimic test conditions ahead of time. Set up your room ahead of time.